I was born in LaGrande, Oregon, and lived in Wallowa, OR 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 the Vietnam War. I spent four years serving our country in the Army Security Agency.
After graduating from the U of O, I married Tresa Brotherton, and we purchased our first home in Springfield, raised our two daughters, and now enjoy watching our grandchildren grow up here. Having lived in Springfield for more than 53 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 served on or continue to serve on include Lane Workforce Partnership, Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation, Lane Early Learning Alliance, Friends of Willamalane, McKenzie Willamette Hospital, United Way, SCAR Jasper Mountain, Western Rivers Girl Scout Council, Strong Schools for Springfield, Friends of Lane Community College, 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 has included working many years in the field of economic development at the state and local level. I have also worked for manufacturing companies' i.e. heavy construction equipment and semiconductors. Contact center management is another sector I worked in supporting software manufacturers. For a short period I worked in retail sales in the ski industry and for companies providing a range of professional services from landscape architecture and land use issues, to printing and publishing. 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 provided me first-hand knowledge of the challenges of maintaining good wages and benefits for our people. This experience has been invaluable to me and my ability to understand differing perspectives and approaches to solving a problem when considering legislation.
I have always been proud to say I live in Springfield, and I am honored to represent our citizens in Salem.