In 1999, I decided to run for Congress in CD-1 as a Democrat in the 2000 election cycle. I spent over a year running a nearly full-time campaign. I sold my company’s office building on Coal and moved into commercial space on Bryn Mawr where I housed both Monitech and my congressional campaign.
From 2000-2002 my wife, Joan and I co-founded a charter school: the Public Academy For Performing Arts in Albuquerque – it is still going strong 16 years later. I have never worked so hard on a volunteer activity; my team-building skills served the team well and we launched the first school of its kind in New Mexico. I also served for several years on the Albuquerque EMS advisory committee that Dr. Barbara McAneny (past AMA President) chaired. As a former EMT and someone who had worked with every emergency department in Sandoval and Bernalillo County, I helped improve our emergency services.
In 2001, I moved my medical IT company to Rio Rancho, on Barbara Loop.
In 2003 and 2004, I ran for the Public Regulation Commission, District 3. I lost in the Democratic primary in a four-way race, coming in second to now Congressman Ben Ray Lujan Jr. I very much enjoyed campaigning in Northern New Mexico and throughout Sandoval County meeting the diverse residents of our state and connecting with them on their home turf.
Throughout my tenure at Monitech, I worked extensively with the Native American communities throughout the Southwest. I helped design Indian Health Service health care facilities, provided state-of-the-art critical care and cardiology instrumentation and my team networked many rural IHS and “638” clinics to urban health care centers through new telehealth initiatives. We trained and installed devices like automatic external defibrillators at several Sandoval County Pueblos to help reduce sudden cardiac death.
In 2008, I sold Monitech after 25 years of operation. After that I worked on two start-ups in 2009, one in cyber-security and one in tele-health. It was tough getting start-ups funded during the recession and I realized I was tired of the private sector. My heart was really in public service. In early 2009, I applied to become a Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State and started work on January 4, 2010.