As a native Lincolnite, business owner, software engineer, property owner, teacher, mentor, lifelong learner, and parent, I am the different kind of leader we need in Lincoln.
Hi, I'm Eric. I'm a 36 year old Lincoln, Nebraskan. I've lived here my entire life--in fact, I live a block from where I grew up. From La Petite to Rousseau to Pound to Southeast to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, my education has been unabashedly Nebraskan. In middle school, I wanted to play football for the Huskers, but my body never really filled out. In high school, I wanted to be an architect, but I wasn't much of an artist, so I gave up on architecture and moved onto an interest in programming that had developed during downtime in math classes at Southeast. I attended the University during the Callahan years (not the best time to have student tickets) and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.
I started working at a local education start-up (Class.com) as I finished my degree and accepted a full-time position after I graduated. I worked there until early 2014 (around 7 years) as a computer programmer, but then the company was bought and jobs were relocated to other states. At that point I had already been working on my own company after work everyday. For a few years, I worked 12-14 hours most days of the week. That's just how it was, but that experience taught me a valuable lesson and I finally had proof that success depends on merit and hard work.
I work hard for my family. I've been married ten years to my lovely wife and business partner. She comes from a city of 8 million people, and yet somehow ended up here in Lincoln. We both love this city and we chose to raise our family here. We have two boys, a one year old and an eight year old. Aside from the international travel, my oldest son's life has been quite similar to my own. He attends the same school, plays in the same park, bikes around many of the same bike paths, plays with my old LEGOs and reads with a parent every night before bed.
Growing up in Lincoln, I witnessed what makes Nebraska the special place that it is. I'm proud of our city and our state, and that pride has been an integral part in my desire to attract international students to our schools here in Lincoln. In 2009, my wife and I started an education business focused on supporting international students in following dreams to study abroad in America. Over the last 12 years, we've facilitated the enrollment of students to the four private high schools in Lincoln, to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, UNO, and to Creighton. Some of these students live in Lincoln for 8 years, some 2 or 3, but no matter how long they're here, each of them contributes greatly to the diversity in our schools and grows our local economy.
From Lincoln to Chicago to Seoul to Saigon, my work takes me around the world. With my company headquarters here in Lincoln and two offices on the other side of the world, I've become accustomed to video conference calls at all hours of the day. More importantly, however, I've learned how to approach every problem with an open mind and respect the differences that exist between cultures.
Living in Nebraska, I've learned to value community, respect, hard work, and honesty above all else. Do your best, and be proud of all you do. Do the right thing, even if it's unpopular. These are the values I work everyday to instill in my children and my students, and they are the values that I'll champion as a member of Lincoln's City Council.