Lev Shvarts, 39, was born in a country in the Ukraine in the Soviet Union and is now a proud US citizen. He grew up in the Boston area and got a BS in Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. He went back to work in Massachusetts, but while sitting in an air conditioned office, he decided to leave a perfectly good career in engineering to pursue dog mushing. He moved to Willow, Alaska in 2011. He is now a self-employed contractor and operates a short-run manufacturing shop. He is married to Melissa. His hobbies include tinkering, tools, and tattoos.