I'm a fourth-generation Fayetteville resident. I grew up here and attended Fayetteville Public Schools. I was a proud Butterfield Bronco, Woodland Cowboy, and Fayetteville High Bulldog. I was also a Razorback and attended what's today called the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the UofA.
Growing up, my parents founded the Star Shopper, a well-known weekly advertiser. I learned the value of hard work and teamwork from them. I also learned the value of preserving the things we love; as a child, my parents were part of the 1974 campaign to Save the Old Post Office, in the middle of the Fayetteville Square, from being demolished.
I got an early start working in the family business, learning graphic design, typesetting, layout, and printing. I went on to study architecture, photography, and art. I've worked in related fields, including construction and fabrication, ever since.
Today, I run a small digital marketing agency with my lovely and talented wife, Evelyn Rios Stafford, who serves as a Washington County Justice of the Peace. My photographs have appeared on the cover and pages of the New York Times SF Arts Weekly, and San Francisco's MUNI public transit vehicles and stations. In 2021, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce awarded my company an Excellence in Business Award.
Through my work on city board and commissions, I've become very familiar with how Fayetteville's city government works. I've participated in many city council meetings and gotten to know our elected officials and city staff well.
I'm the only candidate who's gotten an ordinance successfully passed by the Fayetteville City Council - re-writing our Fayetteville Arts Council charter. There's no learning curve - I'm ready to serve on Day 1.
I've been involved in civic causes for many years. I've held successful fundraisers for musicians who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and for Japanese artists who suffered from the earthquakes and tsunamis of 2011. When I came back to Fayetteville to be closer to family, I started working on the 2015 campaign to pass Fayetteville's Civil Rights Ordinance and the 2016 millage to expand the Fayetteville Public Library. I always love thinking about ways to improve our community.
I currently serve on the Fayetteville Arts Council, where I'm the former Chair and where I worked closely with former Ward 1 City Council members Sonia Harvey and Sarah Marsh. We advise the city on matters related to the arts and creative economy. I've also served on Fayetteville's Urban Forestry Commission, and am proud of my work with local organizations and issues supporting equality for all.
I'm currently learning Spanish. My hobbies and interests include birding, gardening, vintage autos and planes, hiking, and camping in the Ozarks with my wife.