My family and I moved to Champaign in 1968. I attended Bottenfield Elementary, Edison Middle School, and graduated from Central High School. During these years, I participated in various Park District programs along with youth baseball, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 7.
I enjoy spending time with my teenage children, Will and Chloe, my mother, Millie, and my dog, Ivy. I am an avid baseball fan and supporter of the Fighting Illini and Parkland Cobra athletics. I have been known to grab a guitar and regale my constituents, including a guest spot sitting in with hometown heroes, REO Speedwagon.
Perhaps the most “famous” period of my life derives from the time I was heavily involved in rock bands, cited by MTV as one of the “Top Five Musicians with Political Credibility” in 2011. These were my “glory days.”
My employment history runs the gamut from Champaign Park District Day Camp Leader to working construction, cooking in restaurants, delivering furniture, managing a record store, and even owning a small business. Currently, I am employed as the Facilities Manager for the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois.
My first elected position is that of Mayor of Champaign, having been voted into office in 2011. Both my childhood experiences and raising my family here have inspired me to want to serve in local government. I have grown to cherish the Champaign community, its citizens, and Champaign’s vibrant atmosphere.
I have a hard time thinking of myself as a traditional politician. However, I am exceptionally proud to be a public servant who represents and works for the people of Champaign. I am exceptionally proud to work with a Council and City Staff, who understand the City’s potential to be one of the best, if not the best, small city in America.
We will always have important work to do, but I truly believe we should take time to celebrate, enjoy, and have some fun as well.