I was 13 the first time I saved someone from drowning. I wasn’t a trained lifeguard yet, but I instinctively knew what to do. It was a woman and her young son. I sensed it before I even saw them struggling to stay above water. When I did spot them I didn’t hesitate, crashing into the surf with my dad’s longboard and plucking them from the ocean seconds before they both slipped beneath the surface. This is something that I have been called to do countless times since.
I grew up in Rockaway Beach, a small seaside community in New York City that has a rich tradition of first responders. My dad was a lifeguard captain and my brothers both became US Coast Guard officers. Most of the guys I grew up with are now members of the FDNY. While the career path I chose certainly doesn’t require saving lives like my friends and brothers, maintaining focus and calm in the midst of chaos is in my blood. Whether it’s saving a life, or protecting a brand, I have always been at my best when a crisis strikes.
I cut my teeth in crisis communications early in my career at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), a public authority responsible for providing water and sewer services to Boston and most of eastern Massachusetts. While there I handled PR for highly scrutinized public works projects like the Deer Island Treatment Plant and Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program and served as lead spokesman for nationally publicized events like the “Deer Island Outfall Tunnel Tragedy” and the MWRA’s lawsuit with the EPA over the MWRA’s adherence to the Clean Water Act.
At 451, I specialize in helping clients plan for and navigate the choppy waters of mergers and acquisitions and unforeseen crisis situations.
When I’m not hustling for my clients, you can usually find me running up and down a basketball court or soccer field coaching one of my three daughters, or competing in a local triathlon or road race. I can also occasionally be found relaxing on a beach somewhere with my wife Krista…with one eye always on the water of course.