I was born in LaGrande, Oregon and lived in Wallowa until I was a junior in high school. With limited economic opportunities in Wallowa, our family moved to Springfield where my dad started working at Alexander’s Department Store. I graduated from Thurston High School, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon. Completion of my college education was interrupted by serving our country in the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War era. While my military service did not include serving in Vietnam, I am forever thankful for those veterans who did serve in country and to honor the memory of those who gave their lives for our country.
After graduating from the University of Oregon and marrying Tresa, we established our home in Springfield and raised our two daughters here. Our daughters and son-in-laws have made Springfield their home with our oldest daughter a math teacher at Springfield High School and our youngest daughter working in the 911 center. Now we enjoy watching our four grandchildren grow up here. Having lived in Springfield for more than 50 years, I have seen many changes—and I am proud to have contributed to those changes through my years of volunteer service.
I believe that service to my community is a way to make a difference. My service to our community started when I was elected to the Springfield City Council, and then served as Mayor. At the same time, I started volunteering on many non-profit boards helping citizens in Springfield. Some of the boards I have or continue to serve on include Lane Workforce Partnership, Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation, Willamalane Foundation, McKenzie Willamette Hospital, United Way, SCAR Jasper Mountain, Western Rivers Girl Scout Council, Strong Schools for Springfield, Friends of Lane Community College, Lane Early Learning Alliance and many more. Each has helped me gain knowledge about our community and what I can do to help. In addition, my hours of service have reinforced that only by working together can we create a better community.
My professional career includes working many years in the field of economic development at the state and local level, working in manufacturing, managing contact centers, and working in companies who provide a range of professional services from land use planning to marketing and public relations. As Mayor of Springfield, I partnered with the Eugene Mayor and County Commissioners to form the Eugene/Springfield Metropolitan Partnership. I served on that board for over 20 years, and had the privilege to manage the partnership for over 8 years at a time when our area was very successful in creating new jobs. Working in the private sector gave me first-hand knowledge of the challenges of maintaining good wages and benefits for our people.
I have always been proud to say I live in Springfield, and I am honored to represent our citizens in Salem.