I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood of Van Nuys, California by my single mother. We didn’t know it at the time, but we grew up extremely poor (living off of food stamps and taking hour long bus rides to schools in better neighborhoods), like Sherman Oaks and later the Pacific Palisades.
Often the outsider, my younger brother and I found community through playing baseball in Van Nuys, pursuing Kenpo Karate with Hall of Fame Sensei Cecil Peoples, and being part of the early generation of video gamers, playing Quake and Age of Empires.
As very young boys without a father present, my brother and I both went on to revere Cecil as a father figure. We also learned so much from his adopted son, Emmaneul “Skewee” who taught most of the classes.
As teenager, we had the honor of representing the United States at the ages of 18 and 16 in South Korea at the world’s first Electronic Olympics, competing originally at Universal Studios Hollywood in Age of Empires. We traveled to South Korea and were there for two weeks, competing against other teenagers from around the world.
After high school, I attended Otis College of Fine Arts (I had studied oil painting with Betty Collins in North Hollywood as a very young kid), Santa Monica College and then eventually UCLA. I studied fine arts at Otis for about 2 years before transferring.
Around this time, I bought my first apartment building in Echo Park (a small 4-unit on Bellevue). This led me into the world of Los Angeles residential and commercial real estate.
Beyond my career as a top real estate broker, I have also co-founded and invested in tech startups and continue to find myself as a marketing consultant for companies here in LA and also in the Bay Area.
I’ve started several tech companies, and also managed several real estate brokerages (Keller Williams Downtown Los Angeles and Keller Williams Marina Del Rey). I was a top agent at Sotheby’s Los Feliz, Marcus & Millichap Los Angeles and Douglas Elliman Beverly Hills. I now am the manager and commercial director at our family-owned real estate brokerage, Levine Realtors.
And around all of that, I am the father to four young children… who I’m very involved with through coaching AYSO soccer teams, little league baseball teams and parent-volunteering at their school. I care about my family and our community, and want to make a difference for the people around me, regardless of what political party they may be aligned with.