When I was a kid, the list of people I wanted to be when I grew up included Han Solo, Snake Plissken, Dr. Johnny Fever, Kermit the Frog, and John "Hannibal" Smith.

Call it a case of overactive imagination and taking mom's statement "you can be whatever you want when you grow up" a bit too literally.

instead, I develop innovative products that change the way people interact with the digital world, and I run ultramarathons, Which aren't bad substitutes, all in all.

At the start of my career, I spent a decade as a journalist specializing in military affairs and national security coverage. Today, I'm a digital product manager, design thinking practitioner, and user experience strategist working in online higher education. Long story.

A few more quick things: I'm a husband and dad, a military veteran, a home cook, a former radio DJ, a writer and photographer, an owner of rescued pets, an advocate for ending chronic homelessness, and a collector of vintage U.S., Russian, and Japanese watches.

Oh, and the ultramarathon thing? I compete in trail races beyond the traditional 26.2-mile marathon distance, and have completed events ranging up to 100 miles in length. I firmly believe the world looks best when viewed from a mountain ridge.