About Me

Early Life:

Zach was born and raised in the West Michigan area into a loving Christian home.

Born with Oculocutaneous Albinism, Zach faced some difficult challenges at home and at school. However, with the help of a wonderful and loving family and some close friends, he was able to take any challenge head on and overcome them. Even though he was born with this genetic disability, he still led a fairly normal life. This has given him the ability to see the world in a different way and has been able to speak about it publicly in his adult life.

2-3 Year Old Zach

He attended Georgetown United Methodist Church and later Fair Haven Ministries.

He attended Hudsonville Christian Schools K-8th grade.

He was apart of the PPI program through the Jenison Public Schools before going to Elementary school.

From an early age, he loved the water and thus joined the local swim team and performed well. He also took Karate and was active from 4th-8th grade in Karate classes. This helped him with self-defense training should he ever need it. He also discovered computers and started learning DOS at age 4 when his dad brought a computer home from work. And from there, it was a descent into technological madness. From an early age, he learned all he could about technology including Ham Radio, thanks to his uncle, and other communications. His first radio was a Handheld CB his dad gave him at age 7 shortly followed by a Marine VHF handheld radio at age 9.

His parents always made sure he had the resources he needed to succeed and were always around. His parents owned several Animal Clinics in the West Michigan area as well as his dad being the local zoo’s veterinarian so he had lots of animals growing up ranging from your traditional cats and dogs to cool fish and birds to lizards, snakes, frogs, turtles, and more.

During the summers, he spent a lot of time up on Drummond Island, MI on Lake Huron in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. His parents built a cottage on the island and it became a second home for him, including having his own friend group on the island. Living on the island made him appreciate the outdoors. He enjoyed being out on his boat, as well as hunting, fishing, kayaking, and hiking around the island. Living on the island also allowed him to become very close with his younger sister and they still have a wonderful relationship to this day.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

He also discovered music and enjoyed playing his grandpa’s trumpet, guitar, and various instruments and was in band from 5th-8th grade. His mom introduced him to Queen, Journey, Moody Blues, Beach Boys, The Beatles, Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Michael Jackson, and many others at a very young age. As well as Pachelbel, Beethoven, Bach, and more. His uncle introduced him to Hard Rock music such as Nirvana and he’s been a Rock fan ever since.

Teenage Years:

Before he started high school, he went on a trip north of the Arctic Circle in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up on the Alaskan – Yukon Territory border. He spent two weeks in the tundra in July in an area where the sun never set in a no-rescue zone with just his dad and a good family friend.

Zach also attended Space Camp in 7th and 8th grade. He went into Space Academy in 7th grade and was put in Aviation Challenge Level II in 8th grade.

Zach attended Unity Christian High School 9th-12th grade. He had wonderful teachers who did a great job preparing him for adult life and college. His friend group also became more defined and started friendships with like-minded people.

Another tool that helped him meet people was becoming active in YoungLife, an international Christian organization aimed at helping young people middle school through college know Christ. He was involved with YoungLife 9th-12th grade. He went to Castaway Camp in Minnesota the first year and the following year did a hiking trip around North Manitou Island.

Campfire in the Arctic

He still spend summers up on the island and still enjoyed hunting and fishing and boating.

Zach joined the high school wrestling team 9th and 10th grade and became very involved with weight lifting. In 11th grade, he suffered a severe shoulder injury on the second day of the wrestling season which took him out for the season. So instead of wrestling, he turned his attention on theatre with such productions as Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sound of Music, and The Crucible.

Music became a bigger part of his life. Having quit band, he took up choir and was a Bass II and really enjoyed singing under the instruction of his choir director. He also started enjoying more variety of music and developed a personal eclectic collection, especially Rock and Country.

Driving his boat

He went on a big mission trip to Mexico his Junior year to work in an orphanage and learned Spanish. The trip opened him up to the world and he wanted to travel around see the country and world.

College Years:

Zach went to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. There, he majored in English, History, and Communications. It was a lot to take on. He joined the Pre Law program and was also elected to a leadership position for a Student Organization called SNUH, Calvin’s Simpsons fan club. He chose not to pursue an IT degree at the time because he was told, “Don’t get a degree in a field that is your hobby. We professors love to ruin and suck the fun out of hobbies.” He took this advice to heart and that’s why he chose the path he did.

College were the years of discovery for him. He wasn’t sure which direction to go in life at this point and he needed to figure things out.

YoungLife Castaway Camp 2000

His family joined a new church called Sunrise Ministries in Hudsonville under the Rev. David Breen. His vision was to start a non-denominational church where anyone could go without fear of being judged and a place to be redeemed in God’s Grace. Zach became active in the church. Having done his Profession of Faith, his credo was that everyone around the world should hear the good news of Christ and His love for all. So he developed Sunrise Ministries Global Outreach program which took the form of a Podcast. Podcasts were new to the scene and they had a good outreach. This idea stemmed from an earlier idea Zach had back in middle school where he wanted to video live-stream church services to people who could not attend church for one reason or another. This was 15 years before live streaming became mainstream and easy for anyone. The technology just wasn’t up to par at the time of his idea. Thanks to Podcasts though, his vision became reality and the technology was available to make this possible.

New England Saints 2005

He went on three big trips in college. First he went to New England for three weeks to study early American literature and pilgrim history, which was fascinating for him being a Mayflower descendant. The following year, he went to New York City to study Jazz music and the history of Jazz, Jazz styles, and Blues music. And the year following that, he spent a month in England studying theatre. This led him into the hobby of photography. He didn’t own any expensive cameras, but still enjoying taking photos. He still enjoys photography.

During college, he became fascinated with Anime and Manga. He started watching anime with the Anime Club and had great discussions with like-minded people.

With anime, this brought the interest of video games. He always liked video games but with the Halo franchise, he really enjoyed gaming and the multiplayer aspects of gaming.

Post-College:

After wrapping things up, he moved down to South Bend, IN to be closer to his then-girlfriend as well as to look for work in the IT/computer repair business. However, things went sideways shortly after moving down there and he did some light IT consulting work. While down there, he made more friends and was blessed to meet a few select people who he has maintained friendships with to this day. He also became closer with his two cousins and his cousin’s girlfriend (now wife).

Rockefeller Center

While down there, he rediscovered the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise. He did not know there were games still being made and TV shows being produced. So he reconnected with one of his childhood’s favorite icons.

These friends helped him discover broad games, new video games, and gaming in general, as well as Comics.

After a couple years living in South Bend, he returned to the Grand Rapids area to be the IT Director for his parent’s clinic and help them out wind down the last few years for his parents before they “retired.”

When his parents sold their clinic, Zach left the clinic and is now currently focusing on building a business. At the same time, he has become a ham radio operator. He is currently participating and is involved in the following fields: SkyWarn Storm Spotter, active in his local volunteer emergency management team, the Assistant 6th District Emergency Coordinator for Michigan within ARES, and is current president of the Holland Amateur Radio Club. He volunteers many hours per week serving his community through the use of ham radio.

Tower Bridge, London England

He is currently single, no kids, and just focusing on things most important to him. He enjoys spending time with his sister and her husband and they get along very well! He also spends time with some of his Indiana friends and his cousins, his cousin’s wife, and his other cousin’s boyfriend. They get together now and then for game time and go to Escape Rooms.

He spends a lot of time working on the computer, making ham radio related YouTube videos, and doing IT related things for himself, his family, and others.