Growing up on a Michigan farm, I spent my share of time outdoors working, playing sports and generally getting in to trouble. Yet, according to my parents, my friends and I spent entirely too much time indoors. What was the draw to indoor activities? In the 70’s and 80’s, science fiction, fantasy, role playing games, technology and a love of pop culture exploded. I was obsessed with Star Wars, programming video games on my Commodore VIC 20, the Atari 2600, playing Dungeons and Dragons and reading comic books.
I entered high school and my interests drifted to football, cars and girls. College followed and after that, real life responsibilities. During this time, I was slowly "boxing up" my childhood passions and dreams, trading them in for a degree in Computer Science and a job in Information Technology. Adulthood set in.
My wonderful wife, Andrea, and I have been married 20 years and I am father of two amazing teenage daughters, Emma and Annika. We’ve lived in several different states, toured the country together in an RV for seven months and I’ve achieved meaningful personal goals such as completing several century bike rides. I’ve worked for several different corporations in both Information Technology and Business Operations leadership roles.
I now find myself at a pivotal, mid-life point. Instead of buying a sports car, I want to explore my passion. I’ve identified a way to contribute to others by combining my business expertise with my long dormant childhood enthusiasm for all things “geek”.
The idea of Storming the Castle was born in the Fall of 2015. I had just left my position as Vice President of Operations in health care to spend more time with my family and begin my personal quest. The idea of opening a community gathering place catering to those excited about intellectual hobbies nagged at me as I played board games with my family, learned about the STEM education crisis in America or watched the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie. My personal passion, plus the business opportunity including a way to serve an underserved demographic seemed to be around every corner.
My business mind took over and I started investigating this community-retail idea. After countless hours of research, numerous conversations with friends, family, small business owners, subject matter experts, tax accounts, lawyers, architects, artists and others, it became clear this would become my calling. Storming the Castle would provide a way to become even closer with my family while using my talents and work ethic to benefit others and find personal fulfillment.
The mission for Storming the Castle is to provide a community oriented gathering place to explore imaginative hobbies, inspire dreams and connect with others.