I am a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in the Gallatin Valley. I own a small ranch with my wife Ingrid several miles north of Pony, Montana. We have 3 grown children: Jill, Heather & Josh and 4 grandchildren: Grayson, Fletcher, Sidney & Jude. I am a retired businessman with extensive experience in commercial construction, architectural design, business and planning.
I graduated Summa Cum Laude in Architectural Technology from Western Technical College in 1970. I am a member of Phi Eta Sigma national men’s scholastic honor fraternity. I volunteered for the draft in 1971 and after refusing an offer to join the White House Communication Corps, was sent directly from basic training to an assignment as an Architect in Training with the Facilities Engineers, Headquarters – U.S. Army, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C. I worked on a number of Corps of Engineers facility projects at Ft. McNair, Ft. Myer and Cameron Station and was loaned out on occasional “other” Federal projects until my active duty commitment was fulfilled. I was offered a civilian GS position, but by then had absolutely no interest in becoming another government bureaucrat. I couldn’t wait to leave “the swamp on the Potomac”. I saw first hand how our Federal Government functioned at the highest levels, and it wasn’t very pretty. Watching the Federal government work is like watching sausage being made….it turns your stomach and makes you want no part of it. It turned me from a flaming liberal to a constitutional conservative in two short years. It’s there that I started to pay close attention to how the system really worked………and I’ve never been the same since!
I attended Montana State University, Front Range Community College and the University of Colorado in the Architecture & Public Administration /Planning curriculums taking graduate courses in Economics at CU/Colorado Springs.
I took a career changing position for 5 years as the manager of design & construction operations for a mid-sized commercial construction company in Denver, Colorado and when the company moved to California; stayed in Denver and started, managed and continue to maintain an ownership interest in a very successful design/build commercial construction business (Happel & Associates, Inc.) with projects and personnel in 7 states.
My success in business allowed me to retired early and we moved back to Pony, Montana in 1996 to spend more time with family and to enjoy the beautiful state that I grew up in.
I have spent many years in voluntary positions on planning commissions (6 years as Chairman) and several more years as the Vice Chairman of the Northglenn Urban Renewal Authority in the Denver Metro area. I was one of the first contractors to take the Class A – Unlimited National Reciprocal Contractor’s Certification, am a CSI certified CDT, ICBO certified Building Inspector, NACREA certified Real Estate Appraiser and hold numerous professional licenses and certifications that I acquired over my lifetime in business. My company has won several regional/national awards for industry excellence and I have served on corporate boards, authorities, commissions and trusteeships in several states.
I currently serve on several corporate boards, serve as a Trustee on the Harrison/Norris/Pony & Summit Valley Fire District, am a Board member of the Montana Forest Stewardship Foundation, the Montana Forest Legacy and Forest Stewardship Steering Committees, serve on the Board of the Three Forks Flying Club, am a member of the Montana Farm Bureau, lifelong member of the NRA, sponsor of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, am active in the Montana Policy Institute (Montana’s Free Market Think Tank), Chairman of the Madison County Republican Central Committee, member of Freedom Force International, American Stewards of Liberty, and am an occasional contributing writer for Freedom Advocates.
I have been a frequent speaker on property rights, banking & finance and liberty issues in Montana. I have proudly accepted General Vallely’s offer to become a member of the Stand Up America U.S.A. Kitchen Cabinet since they so thoroughly represent the values and ideals I cherish as an American.
I am a strong proponent in private property rights and personal responsibility as the cornerstone of our American republic. Unlike some in our society, I believe that private property stewardship is a much preferred alternative to public lands ownership.
I have watched in horror as our “leaders” in Washington on both sides of the aisle destroy our country from within with their leftist Progressive policies. I have witnessed the dismantling of our industrial base, economy, and national sovereignty in their headlong rush to global government. My children and grandchildren’s futures are being sold to the highest bidder and ……..I am not amused!!
I can no longer sit idly on the sidelines and watch our wonderful country bleed to death under the feet of the Jackals in Washington. Recognizing that our Federal government is completely out of the control of the common man, I gave up my lifelong pledge to stay out of politics and have filed as a candidate for the Madison County Commissioner’s race in November. When it becomes bad enough to get me to do that………….God help us all!