I’m Greg. This is my blog, ToVa.

Once upon a 2014, when this site was launched, it was called Toward Vandalia. My original aim was to blog about personal development (and you can still find those posts if you scroll back far enough). Vandalia was the name of a proposed ‘ideal’ colony that would have been established on the land now occupied by my home state of West Virginia. For a transplanted Mountaineer, it was a very personal way of saying the site was meant to help us move “toward something that might be ideal”.

I’m still trying to move in an ideal direction — aren’t we all? — but the shape of that journey is a little different these days. Indeed, the shape of my life is very different. In 2014 I was wrapping up my MBA and looking forward to getting married. As I write this in 2024, I’m not only a husband but also a dad and a full-time academic.

Consequently, my time to pursue creative writing has been curtailed and my academic interests have gently nudged me toward more philosophical writing in the form of essays and shorter ‘notes‘. Somewhere in the middle of the last decade I was having a lot of fun with fiction, but lately I’m more focused on creative non-fiction. My writing on film reflects this pretty well, and often blends into other forms of writing (sneaking into an essay, for example). My interest in photography has been steady throughout this time, though this hobby tends to be limited to travel and sporting events.

I now see this site for what is: a place to deposit the thoughts and things that are moving me. Maybe some of it will move you, too.

A little about me

I’m an Appalachian-American born and raised in West Virginia. Following my undergraduate studies, I lived in Orlando for a few years before migrating to Australia in 2009. I’ve always been a writer – it’s one of my great passions – and the focus of these efforts is ever-shifting (as I outlined above). Otherwise, I enjoy movies, sport (particularly baseball, women’s cricket, and women’s tennis), photography, hiking, cycling, travel, and (of course) reading. Oh, and I have a podcast.

Professionally, I’m a lecturer of strategy and innovation at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). I completed my undergraduate studies at West Virginia University (B.S. Economics) — though WVU and I are currently in a fight — and my MBA and PhD at UTS. My doctoral research was concerned with the use of human-centred design thinking within the front office of the Sydney Sixers, one of eight clubs in the Women’s and Men’s Big Bash League (Australia’s professional T20 cricket competition). I now research and teach in the broad areas of innovation, sport management, and human resource management.

I live in Sydney with my wife (referred to in my writing as The Girl) and son.

My other projects

The Knowledge Mill – My podcast featuring a different PhD researcher in every episode.

My Commonplace Book – coming soon