I've been passionate about trees and wood for as long as I can remember. I got my start at about age five driving a nail into every piece of scrap wood in my dad's workshop. I got a degree in industrial technology and taught industrial education for seven years. Then, during an eighteen year stint building new homes on and around Lake Wawasee I witnessed hundreds of trees being removed and cut up for firewood or chipped and hauled to the dump.

Late in my building career we had a tear-down and rebuild where the owner wanted every tree on the lot removed; about six large black oaks. He wanted a year's worth of firewood for the fireplace and I could do what I wanted with the rest. I had it sawed and dried and built his staircase out of it and had lots left over. I later had a customer who lost a huge maple tree to a windstorm that I turned into four pieces of office furniture for him.