|I am proud to be a native
Utahn who was raised by two loving parents. I learned from
their example that the most important values in life are
compassion and charity. My parents stood up for what they
believed in, even though it may have not been popular. They
encouraged independent thought and showed me much of the
world outside Utah. My youth was shaped by their example of
unconditional love and I have experienced success in life
because of their never wavering support. Its true that you
can't pick your parents, but I couldn't have picked a
Immigrating from war-torn Denmark at the age of 20 in 1950, my mother, Greta, left to seek the American dream. She vividly recounted the Nazis overrunning Denmark in one day. Greta never backed down from a fight and was never shy about sharing her political beliefs. My mother ran the modest family business that she and my father started together of importing steam juicers and stainless-steel kitchenware from Finland.
My father Robert's family line goes back through the early pioneer, Peregrine Sessions, who at the request of Brigham Young, went north from Salt Lake City and founded Bountiful. My American genealogy goes back even further to the original pilgrims who settled Plymouth in 1620. Robert served in World War II, as did his father, Wallace, in World War I. My father worked as a machinist, an elementary school teacher, then taught manufacturing design at Salt Lake Community College before his retirement.
Growing up in Bountiful, I was raised at the family home my mother and father built together by hand, nestled in a small canyon above Pheasant Way. It was the Utah version of "Huckleberry Finn", devoted to horses, camping, hiking, and clubhouses. Surrounded by the outdoors, I found plenty of time for adventure, but was also attracted to technology and gadgetry that eventually lead my career path. I attended Leo J. Muir Elementary School, South Davis Junior High School, and then graduated from Woods Cross High School in 1985. Bussing tables at the Japanese restaurant, "Mikado" was my first job. Working for an electrical contractor, computer sales, data entry, and computer repair were some of my other early jobs.
After high-school, I attended Salt Lake Community College. When I received my Associate's degree, I transfered to the University of Utah and started studying film. Eventually, I found that my time was completely occupied by computers, so I switched to the engineering department and studied Computer Science.
While I was at the University of Utah, I managed to get a job with local computer graphics legend Evans & Sutherland as a computer operator and admin assistant. Although I started XMission in 1993, I stayed at E&S until 1994 when I was able to match my salary.
From 1992 to 1996, I lived in a small Salt Lake City neighborhood behind the Greek Orthodox Church simply known as "The Courts." These small bungalows were built as railway worker houses around the turn of the century. Cheap rent and a downtown location attracted many students and artists. Here I fell in love with my wife, Robin. Robin had a young daughter named Madeleine who was only 18 months old when we started dating. In 1998 we married with Madeleine bearing the rings.
On the fourth of July in 2000, Robin and I had a son named Henry. Henry could use a web browser before he could speak. He reminds his father too much of himself, good and bad.
On October 11th, Robin had our third child, a girl named Greta after my mother. Having and raising children has been the highlight of my life. Nothing has been harder, yet more rewarding. My ancestors settled America to make a better place for their children. I want to carry on that tradition so my descendants can realize the greatness of America as I have.