1. I have personally planted around 80,000 trees.
True story. I spent the summer after my first year at McMaster University planting trees for a reforestation company in northern BC and Alberta. Incidentally, that’s also where I met my wife Dawn (that’s a long story – as you can imagine the competition was fierce).
2. Family status?
I’ve been married to Dawn for 13 years – we have two children. Sadie is 9 and in grade 4 and Isaac is 7 and in grade 2.
3. Dogs or cats?
The first thing Dawn and I did after buying our house (Upper James and Inverness) was get a big ol’ Bernese Mountain Dog named Daisy.
The thing with big dogs is they don’t live as long as you would like, so after losing Daisy we somehow ended up with three rescue cats – Tinker Bell is the mama and her two kits, Luna and Max-Cuddles.
4. I’m a professional commercial photographer
Having access to your own personal stock photography library is a fun advantage to have during an election campaign. It also really helps to capture some great family photos.
Here is a link to my agency portfolio:
5. I played football at McMaster and won the City Championship at Sherwood vs. Hill Park
I made the McMaster University football team as a 5’10, 145 pound walk-on freshman. This was back in the mid-90’s when McMaster wasn’t exactly the football powerhouse they are now and undersized corners could always be used for the scout team.
I also won two City Championships playing football at Sherwood (OK, it was Tier II, but still a Championship!). The most memorable game I played in was against Hill Park at the old Ivor Wynne Stadium.
6. I go to Vegas for the Rock Climbing and Hiking
Red Rock Canyon just 20 minutes outside of Vegas has some of the best climbing available anywhere – and fantastic hiking too! The last time we were there Dawn and I climbed a 7 pitch trad climb around 800 feet (80 stories).
7. I helped design one of the first Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer bridge decks in Ontario
Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer aka. GFRP, aka. fibreglass is now a common material for high corrosion structural engineering applications – but 15 years ago it was not a well known material. The engineering firm I work for ELLIS Engineering Inc. designed one of the first GFRP reinforced bridge decks in Ontario.
8. I love gingerbread cookies
I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but there is just something about gingerbread cookies! Don’t know what to get me for my birthday, Christmas, father’s day….? The answer is always beer – but for some reason people just don’t believe me.
9. I worked two summers as a Supie for the City of Hamilton
I worked two summers as a park Supie for the City of Hamilton in the mid-90s. I have always thought that the Supie program was one of those serviced offered by the City that never got enough credit for the service it provides in making neighbourhoods livable.
10. I learned how to sail on Hamilton Harbour – before it was cool!
I grew up taking sailing lessons at the now defunct Hamilton Sailing School (where Williams is right now) on Hamilton Harbour. This was back when my friends though that if you touched the water your hand would melt off. As an adult I returned to sailing by racing competitively and forced by wife to learn how to sail too.