I recently joined the DBA team and am thrilled to be working for you, and I look forward to great things ahead for our organization and for the dairy community in Wisconsin.
While I had the good fortune to meet and talk with many of you at the Dairy Strong conference in January, I wanted to share a little about myself.
I arrived at DBA after almost 23 years working in and around Wisconsin state government. I began my career in 1997 working on staff in the state Capitol offices of Reps. Tom Sykora, Chuck Schafer and Jerry Petrowski. From there, I moved to the private sector and worked in government relations with the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin, where I served more than 2,000 members in a 12-county region. One major initiative I worked on during this time was helping communities implement recent Smart Growth Plan development.
In 2004, I went to work for American Medical Security, a health insurance company based in Green Bay, as a state government affairs specialist responsible for monitoring, tracking and reporting on legislation in a 14-state region.
While originally from Eau Claire, I grew up in Appleton but graduated high school in Sun Prairie. As the son of a military father, I followed in his footsteps by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force after high school. I served on active duty for five years and was stationed in various locations around the world, including New Mexico, Texas and Germany. In 1990, I was deployed to Dharan, Saudi Arabia, as part of Operation Desert Storm.
Upon separation from active duty in 1992, I stayed in Texas, joined the Air Force Reserve and enrolled in college at Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) in Abilene, Texas. I attended HSU for two years but decided it was time to return to Wisconsin.
I moved to Madison, transferred from the U.S. Air Force Reserve to the Wisconsin Air National Guard and attended Ripon College. I graduated from Ripon in 1996, and in 1998 applied for a commissioned position in the Air Guard. I attended Officer Training School at Tyson-McGhee Air Base in Knoxville, Tenn., and rose to the rank of captain before retiring in 2010.
Since 2011, I’ve worked with state Rep. (now Sen.) Kathy Bernier, representing the Chippewa Valley area. While with Rep. Bernier, I served as chief policy adviser and clerk for the Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committee.
We have opportunities to improve the regulatory environment for dairy farmers and processors, but we are working in a new environment. Dairy is the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy and engrained in our state’s culture. I will remind legislators and regulators of this fact as I work on your behalf every day.