A life bio/status update As of May 2021, I am in St. Petersburg, Florida as our boat is being fixed up. We have a 46 foot sailing catamaran.
I am originally from Metro Detroit. Growing up, my dad was unemployed on and off from the time I was in 3rd grade. I know what financial insecurity feels like.
I funded undergraduate and graduate school for myself. I still have $100k of debt from it.
I worked at PG&E, a fortune 200 utility company in California, then briefly at a utility scale wind company. I was laid off and then I co-founded a startup, UtilityAPI. We built the product, grew the team, and funded the company. We raised private and public funding.
I was named a Forbes 30 under 30, I spoke at two White House events, and guest lectured at Stanford and Berkeley.
After 3 years it was time for something new and I consulted for a year, then joined Tesla's Leadership Development program. I had 6 bosses in the first 6 months. I ran a war room for Model 3 deliveries, tracked down vehicles and documented processes (or lack there of).
The leadership program was rotational, so I secured a new role in material flow engineering for the Shanghai Factory. The first week in the new job my boss for that role changed. After material flow, I joined inventory control. I am thankful to my bosses during that time.
I filed for divorce in June 2019. It was finalized later that year. I sold our condo.
In July 2019 I met Rus at Fly Ranch. We have been together ever since. We house sat for a few months and then settled into an apartment in Jack London Square in Oakland. I continued to work at Tesla.
I bought a Mazda Miata Convertible around Thanksgiving. He bought a van in February and worked on his tiny house on his property in Joshua Tree.
March: with the lockdown in sight, we decided to live #vanlife on this property and build tiny houses. I worked remotely. It was much better to be in a beautiful desert than in the anxiety-filled bay area. one month in, he dug a trench to run power and water to the property from the neighbor's house.
We were there for 2 months, then it became too hot. He also needed surgery in Los Angeles. He had sliced his left hand when cutting a bottle into a water bowl for some puppies we rescued in the desert.
After the surgery, we went back to Oakland, and social unrest started. Restaurants and businesses were boarded up, the Target was looted. The city I loved was unrecognizable. It didn't exist anymore. Covid fears and social unrest on top of it. It was too much. Why were we staying there? We stayed in the van around Sonoma for a few weeks, then returned to Oakland to pack our things up. Life was stressful to the point where I went on leave from Tesla. We dropped off most of our stuff in Joshua Tree, then headed to his parent's house in Phoenix.
My grandma died in May and we attended the memorial service in metro Detroit over the 4th of July weekend. My mom moved back in with my dad and brother.
We were there for 2 months, waiting for supplies to come in so we could really build out the van. It was over 115 degrees 90% of the days.
We found a property we liked in Oregon and bought it: 150 acres on a mountain top, with an off-grid home. Views in every direction. It had a metal exterior and reclaimed wood beams from a mill. We bought it sight unseen for $260k, less than anything in the bay area or even northern California.
When we arrived, visibility was under 200ft because of wildfires. We immediately had to go get the UTV we purchased because we couldn't get up our "driveway" with the van. We drove through just burned forests to get to bend for the UTV.
We settled into our place in Klamath Falls and I officially left Tesla in early December.
Rus and I married in December 2020.
The January 6 insurrection accelerated our plan to get a boat. We found the catamaran in February and closed on it in March. We hired a captain and flew to Pensacola, Florida to get it.
The captain sailed us into two storms. The main sail ripped and we lost an engine. Now, we're getting things repaired.
Professionally, I made my first angel investment and also spoke at an entrepreneurship event for the US State department.
The past year has been more challenging than what I can put into words right now. The world is suffering, and we feel that on the individual level in a myriad of ways. Depression is real. Mourning is real. I mourn the loss of the city I loved and the lifestyle I worked for. There are many more struggles that I have been through during this time, and I'm not ready to share them all. There were many dark days.
I have hope for our future: living on a boat where we want to. Once the boat is ready, we'll head to the Mediterranean.