I might have been a dairy farmer.

I grew up on a dairy farm in East Tennessee, so I’m not scared of slinging hay bales, shoveling manure and wrangling cattle. But the next thing you know, I was handed an award for “Exceptional Achievement in Media Design” with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Middle Tennessee State University. Suddenly I didn’t have to worry about falling out of a rickety barn loft and getting mean stares from pissed-off bulls.

I started out as a designer for a Tennessee newspaper, where I created everything from advertisements, billboards and trade show banners to special sections, front pages and marketing campaigns. In the mid-2000s I made the switch to regional magazines. During this time I served as art director for three books, spearheading top-to-bottom redesigns of each. I planned and supervised photo shoots, conceptualized features with writers and editors and managed a group of talented designers and interns.

I decided to try something new when a new decade rolled around and started up my own freelance design and consulting business. I love small business, and helping entrepreneurs grow and meet their goals was an incredible adventure. This led me to Chattanooga, where I was hired to do an overhaul and redesign of the Chattanooga Times Free Press’ daily paper. At the end of the process the company offered me a full-time job as Presentation Editor, just in time to launch the new product in 2014.

The Times Free Press is one of Tennessee’s largest, most award-winning newspapers, and I’ve been blessed to work with an amazing group of editors, reporters, photographers, designers and developers. I’ve had the chance to work on projects that have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, and won top awards from the Society for News Design, The Society for Professional Journalists, Tennessee Press Association and The Associated Press.

I currently live in Chattanooga with my awesome wife, Joan, who is an investigative journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. We’ve got an amazing son named Marshall and a hilarious dog named Gidget. And yes, even though I’m a few hours away, I’d still be happy to throw on my boots and milk a few cows if they need me.