Growing up in rural community is not an uncommon experience here in Illinois. But growing up in the same house in which my father was born is a bit more uncommon. The home, on a family farm in Grant Park, Illinois serves as a symbol of the deep roots I have come to appreciate. Those roots are both an important reminder of my past and also a significant predictor of my future. My future is here in the wonderful community which I call home, and in the wonderful state of Illinois.
Membership in a community, however, is not simply about accumulating benefits – it’s also about living a life of service. I’ve been blessed with numerous opportunities to serve others as well as lead organizations. As the current President of Habitat for Humanity of Kankakee County I’ve worked hand-in-hand with some of the best residents of this county! In my seven years on the board, I have done everything from put roofs on new homes to digging holes for plumbing to serving in numerous leadership roles. My passion for the work of Habitat for Humanity has led me to recruit others to the work; both individuals and businesses in the area. My passion for the disenfranchised has led me to serve on the Executive board for the People's Clinic, a free medical clinic for the uninsured. My concern for our world has led me to found & become CEO of Trim Creek Energy in Grant Park Illinois, a start-up developing alternative energy sources. My love of family and community can be seen in the 24 years of teaching Sunday school at St. Peter's United Church of Christ.
Though my service to the community has been fulfillment enough, I am humbled by the recognition I was given in 2011 as “Outstanding Volunteer of Kankakee County” and in 2012 when I received the “Richard and Aline McHie Distinguished Service Award” at Olivet Nazarene University.
Theleadership skills I have learned have been invaluable, helping me in both my career and my civic responsibilities. I have had the opportunity to lead a wonderful team in my role as Manager of General Maintenance at Olivet Nazarene University for the past twelve years. Additionally, my experiences in volunteering and leading organizations of service have enabled me to express a key concern of my life – the need to serve and respect all people. I have a heart for people, whether for my brothers that I met while on a mission trip to the mountains of Haiti, my neighbors in my own backyard, or my wife our four grown children.
It would be my privilege to represent the people of the state of Illinois. If elected, my first goals would be to preserve current jobs in Illinois; influence companies to stay in Illinois; create new job opportunities for the people of Illinois; and through these positive effects see a lowering of crime rates in our communities.