In past posts I have talked about being a business owner. In 1994 I started a Sound business providing sound and lighting systems for concert and church events throughout central Illinois. This was a side business that kept me busy on weekends mostly. In 1999 that sole proprietor business turned into a partnership and a Corporation. We had several part time employees and worked many long hours. It started by hauling equipment in small trailers to hauling equipment in semi trucks.
As the company quickly grew, we needed to hire our first full time employee. This was a big deal because we were able to attract a young man from a competitor who was one of the best in the business. I remember thinking and hoping that we would do enough business to keep him busy and pay his salary. Well…within a month came another full time employee, and another, and another. The company grew and we expanded the services of our company and began doing large scale concert tours and corporate events across the Nation. I worked with numerous National acts and unions across the Country as we would be in different venues in various Cities. I would manage multi city concert tours, would advance shows and would have to multi-task to keep everything running smoothly.
As I managed our staff over the years, I never promoted those who I considered a “yes man or woman” because I wanted people working along side of me who could think on their feet, were motivated toward excellence, and could show me their true talents and abilities more than just tell me what I wanted to hear. I always encouraged my staff to bring me ideas, and I always listened. There were times I could not implement them and would offer the reason why. However, there were many times ideas would be expressed and I would implement them with great success. This created a great work environment with ownership from those who worked at our company. I believed that it was extremely important to hear from those who were in the field working day to day. I never believed that I was better than any one of my employees. In fact, I was proud that I had some amazingly talented people within my business who had gifts and abilities that I did not have. This made us stronger as a company.
A business partner and I started a Communications company in 2006 in addition to the Production company. We provided 2 way radio communications and worked on emergency vehicles. I eventually sold the production company but kept a few of my long term clients and rolled that into the Communications company.
I entered public service as a Police Officer in 2006. I remained in the private sector running the company as well until 2013 when I became the Public Information Officer for Pekin. I knew this was going to be a very busy and sometimes challenging role and could no longer do both. I worked very hard on the Public Image of the Department, and developed a great working relationship with the Media and with the Crimestoppers Board of Directors, where I served as the coordinator for Peoria, Woodford and Tazewell Counties. I established a strong social media presence which provided the public with information about various incidents, upcoming events, and even severe weather. I also worked to improve community engagement, and we became more visible to the public.
I currently serve as the Chairman of the Tazewell Teen Initiative. I am the President-elect for the Sunset Kiwanis club, and I serve with the Ambucs group of Pekin. I served as a Pastor for many years leading groups and offering encouragement. I am a progressive thinker, love to dream, and I am always looking for ways to make things more efficient and effective. I love to speak to groups, and I love meeting new people. I love challenges and looking for creative ways to solve problems and bring people together.
I have a vast amount of experience and a tremendous vision for the future of the Sheriff’s Office. As a business owner, I had to really watch spending and manage cash flow to ensure there was always money to pay the staff and our expenses. I believe we need more business leaders in politics who will keep a watchful eye on spending and make sure that we don’t have careless spending and the attitude of “oh well its not my money.” We must be responsible and good stewards with tax payer money that is entrusted to us.
I have the experience, vision, and the passion to be your next Sheriff. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you for believing in me!