Family: Spouse, Ingrid; Sons, Cody, 17; Gavin, 14
Occupation: Network Design Engineer, Verizon
Tell us about your work and how you got in this field.
I am a Network Design Engineer for Verizon. I help design and turn up high-bandwidth, long-distance circuits that can be used as part of the Verizon infrastructure for major customers like banks, TV networks, large department store chains, etc. As my Marine Corps service was coming to an end, I was going to college for computer electronics. My first job when I got out was with Ciena, a telecom company. In 2005 I made the move to Verizon and have been with them ever since.
What is it like to work from home?
Working from home is a true blessing. It allows me to be more involved with my kids, maintain our home and handle most emergency situations that would otherwise require time off from work. I also find that I actually get more work done at home as I put in more hours. I am usually online working while most people are commuting to and from their work places.
Do you have mentor or role model?
I don’t necessarily have one single mentor or role model. There have been several key people throughout my life that have influenced who I am as a man, father and worker, from both of my grandfathers who taught me how to be the head of a household, to my sister who has shown me how hard work and determination truly pays off. The most important figure in my entire life has been my mother. From her, I learned to treat everyone equally and always keep a calm demeanor. In the workplace, my current manager has helped me advance my career while also allowing me to adjust my schedule in order to coach youth sports, stressing that family life always comes before work.
What advice can you give working parents?
The best advice that I could give working parents is to learn how to separate work and home life. It is crucial to leave work stress in the office or on the PC when you log off. Focus on your family once the work day is over.
What is the best advice another parent gave you?
The best advice that another parent has given me, and I always tell new parents, is to not always listen to the advice of others. When you are a new parent, everyone wants to chime in with their own advice and what worked with their children and their home life. The truth is, most of us already have the right instincts when it comes to parenting and each child needs to be parented differently. Have a few trusted sources, but in the end, just go with your own gut and everything will be just fine.
How do you manage your career and your family life, particularly since you work from home?
One thing that we try to do is have dinner together as a family a few times a week. With busy schedules, it is tough sometimes. But we make it a point to sit down together, put away the electronics and have dinner while talking about our day. We feel it is important to ask our boys how their school day went, how their friends are doing and what else they have going on in their lives. This is also a great way to transition from work life to home life. This obviously becomes a little bit easier since I work from home. I can start dinner a little sooner and try to have something ready as soon as the work day is over.
How do you de-stress? What are you hobbies/outside interests?
For me, de-stressing is a very important part of living a balanced life. Outside of work, I love all sports. I love to coach my boys in soccer and lacrosse, but I also still enjoy playing. I currently play soccer in two adult leagues. Golf has also become a big part of my life. It is a great way to forget about the stress of life for a few hours and spend some time with my buddies. But I think my favorite is still jumping on a Harley, having my wife on the back and my father riding next to me, as we cruise the country roads throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania.
What’s next for you?
In the coming year, we will be transitioning one son into high school while moving the other into college. For me, it means the end of my coaching career and now the ability to spend more time with my wife. We are proud parents watching our young boys turn into fine young men and excited for this next chapter in our lives.