A.J. was born and raised in Massillon Ohio. His mother Becky still resides in the same home he was raised in and is a die-hard Tigers fan. A.Jj has two children, Nichole and Michael, who are both currently serving in the US Army. Michael also runs and maintains a welding facility in Canton South. He is married to his wife Lora and they share two daughters together, Lottie and Mia. Nichole is married to her husband Chris and they live in Fayetteville, North Carolina just outside Fort Bragg.
A.J.’s family has always been the first and most important thing in his life. As a father he could not be more proud of his children. And, as his mothers only child, he continues to try and make her proud of him every day.
Professionally, A.J. served in the United States Air Force during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He looks back at his military experience as the most honorable thing he has ever done. The military strength runs deep in him as well as the pride to this day. After the military, A.J. began in the construction field and quickly progressed through the skills to obtain his General Contractor license. He now has multiple degrees underneath his belt earning the title of Master Carpenter. Degrees in solar studies and energy design have paved the way for him to become a licensed insurance adjuster and contractor working each side of claims that helps him to relieve some of the toll taken on his customers when navigating through the process.
Today, A.J. has been running and maintaining his own company for 23 years and still going strong.
A little later in life he started volunteering his time as a COI (center of influence) with the United States Army helping future soldiers study and adapt for their upcoming military career.
Through this, A.J. was introduced to the world of racing as a fun-day event with the Army. Having never been to an event like this before, A.J. was overwhelmed with everything in this new world he witnessed. The science and math behind it all set his mind into high gear with factors and elements that make a race and a team competing. Like everything else he sets his mind to, he focused all of his energy and time on learning and understanding this new world. He worked his way into the ranks as a marketing manager for a small team and soon into the driver seat.
Never looking back or slowing down, AJ had a vision and dream of owning his own team and organization that could help to give back the knowledge he was quickly gaining. AJ saw a world where his guidance and life lessons could be shared with the youth of today and help lead them to a more successful and productive life.
A.J. filed, and was awarded, a nonprofit organization built around the science and technology drag racing. Patriot500Racing was conceptualized in 2009 and became a reality in 2012.
Today, A.J. and his team travel to schools around the state of Ohio bringing the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) behind Drag Racing to grades K-12 to show what students are learning in school now and how it applies in “real world” applications today.
A.J.’s team has grown into the ranks of Top Sportsman and are dancing on the edge of Pro Mod. Traveling across the eastern states, they compete at tracks in KY, NC, TN, OH and MI to name only a few.
Never slowing down or willing to stop learning, A.J. has set his sights on becoming a pilot with the encouragement of his Megan. As the number one bucket list item for him, Megan enrolled him in ground school as a Christmas present just this past year. As with everything he does, A.J. is focusing all of this time and effort to this new challenge in his life. Soon without a doubt, he will be up soaring in the clouds with Megan by his side off to another adventure great
Our Wedding Party
Sister of the bride, Lauren is newly engaged to her loving fiancé Joey Crevier and resides in Sanford, NC. She works at the family owned restaurant The Twisted Grape as a bartender and shift leader. She loves her 3 children – Taylor, Madison and Brianna and enjoys hosting game nights, reading novels, watching movies and socializing with friends.
First “brother” to the groom, Shane and AJ have been great friends for over 30 years. He is a master carpenter and works in sales for Schlabaugh Wood Design. He has recently moved back home to Ohio from Manhattan, NY and is now heading up the North Carolina sales division for the company. His interests include traveling, listening to music, woodworking and relaxing with friends and family.