As a natural athlete, Jeff was a high school standout defensive lineman and center who received a Division 1 scholarship to play for San Jose State University. After a successful college career, Jeff entered the corporate world in business development and sales and through a series of providential circumstances became homeless. God met him in the street and while working as a truck driver, he met Caroline, his wife of sixteen years.
With a new heart and direction, Jeff entered the professional BBQ circuit where he competed for eight years winning sixteen Grand and Reserve championship titles. He was selected to appear on the television show BBQ Pitmasters and has helped to open and operate several BBQ restaurants including Salty Joe’s, BRQ and the Real Deal.
Give it to God’s (Jeff’s competitive BBQ team) reputation led him to serve in Oregon with Mission BBQ (a branch of the Portland Rescue Mission) and it was there that he began to see the great blessing that outstanding BBQ can bring to the hurting and displaced
Jeff’s Christian faith is not a secondary aspect of his life, instead, it is what compels him to serve others. He transitioned from the competitive business world into community work cooking for his local food bank – Our Daily Bread where they regularly feed 1,200 meals daily to the hungry and disadvantaged twice a week. After cooking with Operation BBQ during natural disasters, Jeff decided it was time to establish a non-profit of his own, United by BBQ.
United by BBQ organizes first responder efforts to bring love-packed meals during the first weeks of recovery. As Executive Director, his loving heart and people-first passion funnels to the regional community. Covering a geographic area that spreads from Beaumont to Tennessee to Florida, United by BBQ has served over 200,000 meals in two years.
None of this is done alone. United by BBQ has been blessed to have an amazing family of support which includes Bruce Mitchell and Ronnie Adams from the acclaimed TV show Swamp People to Kinion Bankston of Southern Boyz Outdoors and Louisiana hall of fame country artist Chase Tyler.
Jeff currently resides in Hammond, Louisiana