BIOGRAPHY & QUALIFICATIONS
I've been training my whole life for this moment
Growing up without a father and poor in a Steel Town, Don learned many valuable life lessons. After graduating from Clairton High school in 1981 at 17, Don went on to excel at a Navy Career for the next 14 years. While in the Navy, he quickly rose the to the rank of Chief Petty Officer, becoming one of the youngest selected at the age of 25. He was already in a Senior Leadership role and was consistently assigned and qualified for positions normally held by Officers.
* NAVY CAREER
*Always rated at the Top by Senior Officers and peers alike. Ranked as #1 Chief aboard by 3 Captains on 2 different ships.
*Only Enlisted Instructor teaching a course for Officers only. A true professional at his job, he received Top scores and remarks on critiques by students.
*Trained perspective Commanding Officers and Executive Officers 1 on 1 due to his superb knowledge in shiphandling and his ability to grasp the complex process and advanced thinking of maneuvering Large Navy ships.
*Qualified as a Master Training Specialist. A qualification not required or achieved by all Instructors. It requires dedication, many hours of extra work teaching and writing curriculum.
*Only Enlisted Personnel Aboard to Qualify and stand watch as Officer of the Deck underway on 2 ships. This position is a direct Representative to the Captain and is usually reserved for Officers Only. However, due directly to his expertise, knowledge and professionalism, he was authorized to stand the watch in regular rotation with the other Ships' Officers. This requires the utmost trust from the Commanding Officer and is the only one to sign this Qualification.
*Received Navy Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service during a period that included 2 Deployments in support of National Objectives. This medal was awarded for exceptional leadership, foresight, superb navigational skills and uncompromising high standards. He also expertly led his Navigation team to be named as the "Best in the Task Force" by the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 32.
*Volunteered and deployed for a 1 year tour in the Middle East aboard the Flagship, patrolling the Iranian War Zone.
*Continuously given Highest recommendations for Advancement to Officer Programs.
*Placed in critical thinking and decision making roles without hesitation.
*Expert Leader and Manager, as written in evaluations by Senior Officers.
*Leading Chief in the Training and Education Department for the Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Altantic.
* Instrumental in combining 2 merging Training Commands curriculum into an effective flow of information.
*Recommended for placement in the most challenging, visible and accountable positions the Navy offered.
*Dedicated team player with abilities unmatched by others of the same rank, as noted by his Commanding Officer.
*Briefed and worked with Admirals, Captains and other Officers for every Navigation detail, during his many years of sea service, to ensure all procedures and risk factors were known and followed.
*Personally planned every entrance and exit from ports during deployments. Giving all course and speed recommendations for proper and safe movements within harbors worldwide, ensuring International rules of the road for every evolution.
Don served on many boards and committees, reviving some that have been long neglected. He completed tours including deployments to the Middle east, Far East, Circumnavigating South America, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and many local operations with great success. He is also a Desert Storm Era Veteran and was navigator on the lead ship entering the waters of Kuwait though a known minefield area.
Honorably Discharged in 1995. He has a service connected disability rating of 30%.
* CIVILIAN CAREER
After his Honorable Discharge in 1995, Don used his skills to create a few successful businesses. Over the past 24 years, he has provided for his family and created numerous opportunities for people to pursue a career path that enabled their success in various Art forms and the Tattoo Industry. Don has mentored and trained many people over the decades that have gone on to open their own successful businesses. Small business is near and dear to Don's heart. He understands the struggles they face and the heavy burden Government puts on their potential profits. Working to make small business better to own, is one of the issues he plans to tackle. They are the backbone of our economy.
Don is an Award Winning Tattoo Artist with over 20,000 Tattoos completed. He talks with thousands of people from all walks of life which keeps him in touch with society and real life situations as well as the struggles.
He is well respected in the Tattoo industry and has been a Judge at various conventions due to his expertise. He has also tattooed many Celebrities and sports figures as well.
While tattooing and having the desire to do more, Don also created a Tattoo Supply Company. Through this business, he became experienced in international trade. Learning the ins and outs of importing, exporting and tariffs as well as budgeting, planning and ordering according to income and logistics is a great experience. This also provides a service that wasn't available in Pittsburgh.
Recognizing deficiencies within the Tattoo industry, he created 2 products that made Tattooing even better. These products remain on the market today and are used by thousands of Artists worldwide.
He currently owns a successful Tattoo Studio on the South Side of Pittsburgh with 6 well educated and incredibly creative Artists. Providing a family atmosphere as well as a safe, clean and respectable working environment, is the concept he follows for his Studio and it has worked for decades.
* WANTING TO DO MORE
Seeking more community involvement, Don was Appointed by the Mayor as a member of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Clairton (RACC). During that time, Don voted in favor of taking a blighted property and clearing the title, which enabled the Speedway Store to become a reality in the City. This created numerous jobs and provides a service to the community that didn't exist.
Also, as an active member of RACC, Don always provided input and knowledge to every situation or task. He helped create a procedure to purchase blighted/abandoned properties at a reduced price. This enabled people to get a great deal while adding those properties back to the tax rolls. This generates revenue for the City and keep properties in good shape.
Not afraid to speak up for what's right, Don has what it takes to get the message to Congress that we MUST work together to solve problems for our Nation and the people. He also spoke at the Allegheny County Health Department event as a member of Citizens for Clean Air to State and local Officials.
It's obvious the Career path, professionalism, desire to excel and knowledge Don obtained during his life, has led him to this calling for service.
"Please allow me to serve the people again. I know I can bring a fresh look and attitude to any office. We need to work together or We The People, will continue to suffer at the hands of Career Politicians." Don
PAID FOR BY DON FOR CONGRESS 2020