My story begins with my parents. My parents were both born and raised in the Midwest. My mom’s side of the family was 100% from German descent. She was raised in South Bend Indiana and graduated from Purdue University. My dad’s side of the family was first generation American. My great-grandparents immigrated from Lithuania and eventually settled in Chicago, Illinois. My dad grew up in Cicero, a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Most of his childhood friends made bad choices and they eventually ended up in the mafia! However, my dad chose the road less traveled and became the first member of his family to enroll in college and subsequently earn a degree in civil engineering from Purdue University.
After a long courtship in college, my parents married and relocated to Colorado Springs where my dad served four years in the United States Air Force as part of his ROTC commitment. He retired from the military as a Captain.
Eventually my parents relocated to Peoria, Illinois where my dad began his career with Caterpillar Tractor. This opportunity allowed him to perfect his sales skills and become the greatest salesman ever. During this time, my mom was a full-time housewife and an amazing gourmet cook, hosting numerous parties for my dad’s business colleagues. She did this all while raising four children while my dad traveled the world working his way up to Vice President of International Sales for CAT. I’m the middle of two brothers and my sister is the youngest.
When I was seven, we moved to Cleveland, Ohio. All of us kids played sports growing up, so most of our time was spent at games or practice. Both of my parents were heavily involved in volunteer work with our respective sports teams. Our Sunday mornings were spent at church. My dad eventually decided to take a job with a CAT dealership in San Diego, CA and the Dabasinskas clan headed west!
Two years after moving to San Diego, my parents divorced, and myself and my brothers and sister lived with my mom. I was an honor student in high school and had my first taste of “politics” when I was elected ASB Treasurer. I played baseball, football, and basketball in addition to holding down a full-time job at a butcher shop during my high school years. I was also the basketball team captain and MVP in both my junior and senior years.
After graduating high school, I committed to San Diego State to play basketball, but then soon realized my chances of playing professionally in the NBA were slim to none so I transferred to University of California, San Diego where I continued to play basketball while pursuing a degree in economics with a minor in law and society. In order to have spending money, I held several part-time jobs which included tending bar, working for a moving company, and serving as a banquet waiter.
My long-term goal was to be a securities litigation attorney and I spent two years post-graduation in an internship working at a stock brokerage firm. It was during this time I developed an interest and understanding of investing and financial markets which I still carry with me today. Of course, the best laid plans don’t always work out.
It was during one of my college courses, a guest lecturer spoke from the California Attorney General’s Office and made an impression on me where I decided to change course in my career aspirations. Since I lacked the experience required for career as a special agent, I applied to and was hired by the San Diego Police Department so I could gain the experience needed. I graduated second in my Academy class and worked as a patrol officer for a little over two years in the most dangerous part of San Diego. As an adrenaline junkie, this was the perfect fit for me.
Once I had this experience under my belt, I landed a job as a Special Agent with the CA Attorney General’s Office, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. I worked on major multi-jurisdictional narcotics cases where I developed a knack for teaching and became a firearms and entry training instructor. After five years, I was ultimately promoted to Special Agent Supervisor and then Task Force Commander for the Orange County Lab Enforcement Team (OCLET).
It was in this role where I enjoyed my first taste of government work. The Task Force was made up of more than twenty agencies – all who answered to a board which included local, state and federal chiefs/administrators. Besides my normal supervisory duties, I wrote grants and secured program funding as well as drafted and presented new legislation. Subsequently, I was hired as a consultant for the Department of Defense where I taught case management and budgeting.
In 1997, I was presented with an opportunity to further my consulting expertise and began working with a small tech company as its CFO which eventually grew to over 250 employees. During this time, I also became an owner/partner in several small manufacturing companies while running a multi-million dollar private investment trust.
Since then, I have continued to consult with small businesses as a COO and CFO ranging from small start-ups to large companies with $50 million in revenue. In these roles, I have purchased and sold numerous companies and served on several board of directors as well as manage an e-commerce business.
My hobbies include running (I have completed four marathons and a several half marathons), snowboarding, and I enjoy spending time chasing the ultimate craft beer. I am also a die-hard sports fan. I’m married 19 years to my beautiful wife and we’re proud parents to three boys and one grandson.
I have spent the past 14 years volunteering with my sons’ athletic teams. I coached soccer, basketball, and little league and served as the treasurer on the local little league board. Since my passion is basketball, I coached an AAU/travel team for many years. After moving to Camas in 2018, I have coached the boys’ high school basketball team during the fall season.
Feel free to ask me anything about my life and my career. I enjoy remembering and sharing the story of how I got to this moment.