Your journey into the world of IP is slightly different than others. What made you make the jump into this career?

I was active in the Marine Corps for 6 years, working as a KC-130 Navigator, where we primarily performed aerial refueling and airdrops/cargo delivery. I knew I had an affinity for engineering and technology so after I completed my enlistment I enrolled in Cleveland State University’s chemical engineering program.  At the time, I was doing a Co-Op and one of the engineers I worked with was also going to Law School. He mentioned how he was working for a firm’s patent law group- and as I learned more it started to really pique my interest.

Did you always know you would end up in IP?

Intellectual Property always felt like the perfect marriage of all my natural skills. Engineering jobs can often be grueling and much more stressful than I would want, while the IP world allowed me to continue my passion for technology and also apply it to the real world, while building new legal skills. I take a very practical approach to everything and I really enjoy being able to translate the deep complexities of engineering design into real world application and communication.

While still working towards my legal degree I started off as a Junior Patent Examiner, which meant all my work had to be counter signed by a primary and someone is always reviewing my work. I enjoyed the challenge of moving upwards and as an examiner, as you progress, you’re given more responsibility and eventually you’re able to sign off on all work as a Primary. It took me about 5 years to become a Primary - and shortly thereafter I realized there was not much more growth at that office. I happened to speak to (Renner Otto Partner) Mike Wendolowski, who I met during my years at CSU, and I finally joined the firm in January of 2021 as an Associate Patent Attorney.

What have you enjoyed most about Renner Otto since you joined?

I had known about the firm since my time in college. You get to know who the best firms are and Renner Otto seemed to have one of the most respected reputations in the industry. I would say what I enjoy most about this place is their overall approach to work. There is a very strong work/life balance, which is something I really value. Everyone here is not only reasonable and welcoming but very reassuring and always willing to help.  On the professional side, I’m getting a lot more diverse tech experience now as attorney. My world is no longer all about chemical (battery/fuel cell) as I’m exposed to a large variety of other awesome technology. It’s also allowing me to be much more original and creative with my work, which keeps me challenged and stimulated.

Your life outside of work seems to continue to be pretty active. What do you do for fun?

I’ve been a National Ski Patrol member for about 15 years; We provide volunteer first aid services for the Boston Mills/Brandywine/Alpine Valley areas and their events. I’m also an instructor with the Three Trackers of Ohio. We’re a group of volunteers who provide instruction and assistance for adaptive athletes. The founder is an amputee who made skis to adapt to his leg and he turned his entire experience into the Adaptive Skiing Movement.

Outside of that, my wife and I live in Parma with our two rescue dogs, two rescue cats and fish. I also started growing my hair out during the pandemic and plan to donate it to Wigs for Kids very soon!