Due to political unrest in the late 1970′s, at 16 I left my country of birth and started my journey to freedom. I crossed two neighboring countries mostly on foot, walking over 400 miles, and I have never looked back.
In time, I managed to make my way onto a plane that was headed to Frankfurt, Germany; however, because I did not have a Visa, I was not allowed to leave the terminal.
After being stuck at the terminal for some time, I managed to board a plane headed to Rome, Italy. Within hours, I was inside the American Embassy.
There I met a U.S. official who became a friend for life. Because she could not promise that I would be cleared for political asylum status from the United States, she encouraged me to seek asylum in other countries as well.
By the time my asylum from the American government was granted, several months after my initial interview at the American Embassy, I had actually been cleared for asylum in eight other countries. I chose America.
You see, I am truly an American by choice. That choice those many years ago made everything else in life possible for me.
Here in America, I secured a job and worked my way through college. I finished college, acquiring a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Business Management and Accounting, pursued graduate studies in Auditing, Finance, and Business Law, and successfully passed the Board of Accountancy CPA exam in my first attempt receiving an overall score of 90 percent.
Early on, I also joined a start-up business with a handful of employees with a modest warehouse in Torrance, Ca. I developed viable financial models, supported & positioned for growth eight privately-owned companies strategically located throughout the United States, and planned capital needs with the goal of forming one public company by the year 2000.
By the late 1990’s, we employed hundreds of employees across the country and abroad. In 1998, we had our Initial Public Offering (IPO) and our stock began trading on NASDAQ.
Today, I help start-up companies and business owners pursue the American dream as I have myself and as I am living it every day.
I also own and operate small businesses, two of which are right here in Lake Forest, where I have called home for over thirty years now, including seven years in Portola Hills and three years in Foothill Ranch. I also own commercial and residential real estate properties, some of which are right here in Lake Forest.
I love this country and know better than most why people risk everything to come here. This is the greatest and freest country in the world, and Americans make up a nation of people who are most decent, loving, caring, and giving of all. This is the one place on earth where one is limited only to one’s own imagination and fortitude.
Being your Councilman is the greatest honor of my life. I pledge to you that I will work hard every day to make sure that Lake Forest is living up to its greatest potential for all of us, a vibrant and prosperous community where its citizens are truly proud to live, work, and raise their families.
I pledge to you that I have both the forethought and courage to make policies that challenge status quo, protect our quality of life, spur economic growth, and strengthen our community, and I promise you that I will not be in anyone’s pocket, real estate developers and the like.
An accountant and auditor by trade, I will be a stalwart budget hawk for taxpayers on spending and will work to establish a leaner, transparent, responsible, and responsive government.
As government expands, freedom contracts, and so I am all for a smaller government but not too small as governments do serve a legitimate purpose aimed at protecting us, our way of life, and our future. There is no denying that.
As tax rates and types increase, the government’s tax revenues decrease, so I am for lower taxes knowing you and I know much better than the government how to spend our money.
Accordingly, any expansion or rate increase must be outweighed against the supposed benefits and nothing will be more important than your input for that nothing is more vital to a democracy and protecting way of life than a well-informed and involved electorate. I shall endeavor to keep you apprised at all times.