My family - wife Sophie, daughters Elin and Olivia.
A Burlington native, I grew up in the same house my whole life. My father worked in law enforcement, and my mother took care of the family home until she went to work at a local factory when my siblings and I went to school in the Burlington school district. I attended Burlington Community High School and graduated in the class of 2003.
Following graduation, I joined the United States Navy, where I served on active duty as a military police officer until I left the service in late 2008. During my time stationed abroad, I met my wife, Sophie, and we fell in love. I was so blessed to have her move back to Iowa with me to start our lives together.
After returning to Iowa, my wife and I enrolled in school at Southeastern Community College. I worked towards my degree in public policy, while she completed her degree to become a Registered Nurse. It was a challenging time, myself working three jobs and my wife working two. We were determined to make ends meet, and, in 2013, I graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Political Science and Economics. Shortly after graduation from WIU, I started my career as a local Shelter Insurance agent in Burlington.
My wife and I started a family in 2011, welcoming our first daughter Elin into the world. Olivia, our second child, arrived soon after that, further humbling us and reminding us that parenting is not an easy job – but one we sure love and embrace. Our family experienced the all too real heartache of loss in 2016. We lost our 3rd child Mia during childbirth, and our family prayed and prayed for the opportunity to have just one more child. God blessed us with Jacob, our fourth and final baby, who completed the family in 2018.
My wife and I currently work in Southeast Iowa, and our children attend local schools.
The official ribbon cutting of my new office with Shelter Insurance.
In 2013 I started my career as a local Shelter Insurance Agent. I chose insurance because I saw it as an opportunity to help people when they needed it the most. Insurance is about being there when people need you, and that is something that I have always enjoyed doing.
As a small business owner, I have learned that hard work and dedication can lead to success. Taking care of your clients and their families is always number one, but it requires lots of late nights and early mornings to make a business run. Like most small business owners, I wear many hats, and this has allowed me to understand the importance of businesses and business owners in our communities.
Presenting a check to the Burlington Public Library from the Community Foundation of Des Moines County.
At a young age, I learned the importance of volunteering and giving back to your community. In 2014 I started a partnership with local law enforcement agencies called Southeast Iowa’s first Shop with a Cop were third graders are paired up with officers, and they spend the day doing team building and shopping for Christmas. This event has helped strengthen the relationship between our community’s youth and local law enforcement officers.
Over the last six years serving as a Burlington Rotary Club member, I have supported our local mission is to improve literacy and to ensure there is a book in the home of every local child. In 2017, I was one of a few individuals who traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to provide support to Syrian refugees who needed assistance. I have also served in many other capacities with organizations such as the Burlington Education Foundation, The Des Moines Community Foundation, and The Southeast Community College Booster Club.
After being elected to the Burlington City Council in November of 2017, I began working on the 80-million-dollar budget process that happens annually as a city councilman. The budget process was an eye-opening and informative experience because I quickly learned how much local government could impact the daily lives of those in the communities that we serve. It may be surprising, but local government can have a more significant impact than any other level of government. Therefore, it is essential to have support at the state and federal level for our locally elected officials to identify, support, and move our needs forward.
While serving as a Burlington City Councilman, I have worked closely on several city projects, including the Burlington Riverfront Masterplan and Burlington’s long-term Community Investment Plan (CIP). I have also served as the city representative on several committees and boards, including The Burlington Bees, Economic Development, Southeast Iowa Regional Planning, and the Southeast Iowa Riverboat Commission.