I find that it’s valuable to know a bit about the people we work with, beyond the lines on a traditional resume. To that end, I would like to share a few biographical details about myself. My goal is to kick-start the kind of human connection that usually takes a while to build – and also to give you a heads up on the sort of person you might be considering working with.

I’ve moved around, spending years in Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island before settling in the Boston area. I tried out several Boston suburbs and neighborhoods (Braintree, Dorchester, and Fort Point), before settling in Somerville. I like Somerville a lot – enough so that I’ve gotten active in city government. I serve as co-chair of the city’s Urban Forestry Committee, sit on the traffic safety focused Vision Zero task force, and agitate as a citizen journalist and gadfly under the Twitter handle @somershade1. Most Friday mornings you can find me on my city councilor’s front porch, talking about the most local of local politics.

I’m an amateur gardener. Passion vines and voodoo lilies grow alongside tomatoes and peppers in my yard. I once convinced a jasmine plant to produce fruit (yes, in Massachusetts) and then grew new jasmine plants from the seeds. I love to cook, though the precision and consistency required for baking eludes me. I make a good homemade beer and a passable fruit wine. I sometimes use recipes that I found in a cookbook written by my great, great grandfather.

I hold a black belt in Karate, and I practiced Judo for more than a decade. The high points of my judo career were the times that olympic medalists and members of the Canadian and Russian national teams used me as a crash-test dummy / rag-doll during warmups. I find that those experiences prepared me well for technology leadership roles. These days, I satisfy my thrill-seeking urges as a bicycle commuter.

I am passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion – to the point that I have both gained and lost friends over it. I’m aware that it took a combination of privilege, luck, and persistent hard work to get where I am today. I hope to do my part, through direct advocacy, to make the world just a bit better and fairer for the next generation.