I was born in Vladivostok Russia. As a kid I was able to witness the fall of the Soviet Union. No electricity, no heat, no running water, but when you are a kid you don’t really think that it is a big deal. Standing in a bread line was just quality time with my grandfather listening to his stories.
My mother and I immigrated to Alaska from Russia in 1993 when I was 12 years old. The first few years in America were tough. My mother, my new baby sister and I lived at the AWAIC women’s shelter and I would walk from the shelter to go to class at Central middle school. With the help of housing assistance we moved out of the shelter and into a home on Government Hill. My mother worked at Walmart while going to UAA to complete her engineering degree. I am very proud of my mother and the hard work she did as an immigrant and a single mother to provide a better life for me and my sister.
I met my wife Melissa in gym class while attending West Anchorage High School. Melissa was always the smarter one with better grades, she went on to become a physician. I worked my way through college as a fuel plant operator at the airport. I majored in accounting at UAA and became a CPA.
I started a business traveling around Alaska balancing books for Tribal Governments and helping out with grants to make sure money was available to fund projects in the villages. My accounting business allowed me to see a lot of rural Alaska, and to see the daily challenges Alaskans are facing. Also, I was able to make some good friends, do some fishing, and learn how to swallow my pride and get out of the maqii in a hurry when it got too hot.
I retired from accounting and started an ecommerce company that manufactures and sells products that I invent and design. I have been fortunate to follow my dream of building a company from an idea and turn that idea into an international business. My business has taken me all over the world from San Francisco, Indiana and to Shenzen, China. I learned a great deal about manufacturing in the U.S., international trade, and how to work with people from all over the world.
In 2016 our family grew from two children to six when we adopted four daughters. The events surrounding the adoption brought home the challenges Alaska is facing in the current economic environment. The need to provide security and opportunity to the next generation of Alaskans is the core belief that motivated me to enter the 2018 race for congress. I believe that the next generation of Alaskans should have a voice in what is going on in our country and our great state.