I'm Donnie J Carpenter, CFP®, the president and owner of First Move Financial, LLC, and this is my story:

I grew up in an upper-middle class family, my dad being the first in our family to graduate college. He then set a goal of providing a college education for my brothers and me. After seeing my parents struggle through paying for my college and other common financial issues (remember the dot com bubble?) I decided that I wanted to help people with their money, but didn't know how. In pursuing my wife and wanting a good reason to stay in Lubbock, I entered the Masters program for Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, earning my degree in 2006. After my graduation it was my wife's turn to earn her Masters, so we moved to Corvallis, Oregon, for her to study Creative Writing at Oregon State University. In 2016, we moved back to the Houston area to be closer to family.

During my career I've spent over three months unemployed, worked for six companies, bought three homes, sold two homes, and made my fair share of mistakes. My longest term job was working for a software company, where I was the in-house financial planning expert.

I have been active in my local church when and where I can. I'm also a member of the Financial Planning Association and recently helped coordinate the FPA NexGen Gathering for 2016 and 2017, a small conference for financial planners under the age 36. My wife and I now live in The Woodlands, Texas, where we enjoy spending time with our kids, being outdoors, and board gaming with friends.

I grew up playing the classic American-style games, trick-taking card games, and 42, a trick-taking domino game that is still a favorite for our family. In high school I discovered Axis and Allies which replaced Risk and became a favorite for a long time. Much later, after getting married, my wife and I were looking for games that we could play together. When we moved to Oregon, our new group of friends played lots of Settlers of Catan, so we learned the game and quickly caught the Eurogame fever. That same year my brother-in-law somehow found the Spiel des Jahres nomination list for 2004, which led him to buying us St. Petersburg for Christmas. When he gave me the gift he also told me about a site he found called BoardGameGeek (BGG), effectively beginning my Eurogame hobby.

I began logging into BGG regularly to look for my next game and quickly amassed classic games from Alhambra to Puerto Rico. Every birthday and Christmas since has seen a new stack of games. I found The Dice Tower, a podcast about board games, and have enjoyed that for several years. I even met the podcast host Tom Vasel when I was in Florida on a business trip, joining him for a (terrible) Star Trek deck building game.

After moving back to Texas I attended my first BGG Spring Con and my first BGG.Con in 2017. Both cons were amazing experiences, though I definitely miss monthly Beer, Pizza, and Games at Guardian Games in Portland.

I enjoy all kinds of games, though I tend more toward Eurogames with my current group. Some of my current favorites are Star Wars: Rebellion, Great Western Trail, Viticulture, and At the Gates of Loyang.