Tell us about your background.
I went to college at Southwest Texas State University on a music scholarship in 1980. After my junior recital, I quit the music program and went on to earn my bachelor of science
in Physical and Applied Geography.
After several years in San Antonio, I began work in state government with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and then accepted a position at TxDOT in the Environmental Affairs Division in 1999. Soon after that time, I took a discovery flight while vacationing in Washington. Pow! I was hooked. I went down the next week to the San Marcos airport and took my first flying lesson. It took some time to get my ticket following the restrictions to flight training that were spawned after the events of September 11, 2001, and the bigger-than-life experience of the birth of my son Ira. But I earned my private pilot license.
I jumped ship to the Aviation Division in 2002 and started working for Linda Howard, former director of Planning and Programming. For the first few years I helped formalize the environmental clearance process for the Division. Under Linda’s mentorship, I joined the American Planning Association in 2004 and earned my planning credential in 2007 from the American Institute of Certified Planners. I have over 15 years’ experience in the Aviation Division.
What are the best parts of your job?
I get to travel all over Texas talking to people about airports and airplanes. How cool is that! Every once in a while we get to fly out to our airports – what I call day tripping. I also get to work with some terrific people who are passionate about what we do. My job has tremendous flexibility — meaning it allows me to work on projects of special interest, get out “in the field”, or do office work. Plus our office is right on Town Lake, which allows me to get outside and enjoy the hike and bike trail every day I can.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Every day is busy and each day goes by quickly because of the high volume of work I have to complete and the sheer number of airports I have assigned to me. I work best and am most efficient when I make and use a task list. A large part of the work involves reading and interpreting the FAA’s various advisory circulars and orders. We’re trying to turn a sponsor’s letter of interest into an implementable construction project at the airport. Airport planning takes technical skills, but it also takes a great deal of personal communication skills. I enjoy talking with stakeholders about their projects and
Tell us about your personal life
I married my high school sweetheart and we have been married more than 30 years. We have a young teenage son named Ira, who is just the best kid a dad could ask for. Over the years I played alto and tenor sax in a number of bands and played professional gigs at Antone’s, the Continental Club, Threadgill’s, The Saxon Pub and Gruene Hall. These are places most musicians only dream of playing, and I played them all in one year. It was the proverbial 10 minutes of fame to be certain, but a lifetime of memories.
My motto is all work and no play is no fun at all. I stay active mountain biking, trail running, and playing competitive Ultimate, which is a game played with a frisbee on a football field.