Bachelor of Business Administration
What do you do at the state Capitol?
I am the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs Director for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). I assist with the development of department legislative priorities. I work with department staff, the Governor's Office and legislative offices to implement those priorities. I am also responsible for overseeing the resolution of legislative constituent issues involving LARA program areas.
How did you become involved in this business?
I've loved politics since a very young age. I was the kid who started watching the nightly news in elementary school. My major was Business Management but I received a minor in Political Science because I enjoyed the classes. Ultimately after I left WMU my interest in politics led me to pursue a career in the political arena. I got a job working for former Governor John Engler and from there I've held positions in the Michigan House and Senate before coming to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
What do you like best about your work?
I like the fact that being a part of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs I am able to work on a wide variety of issues. The department is involved with a host of different subjects such as the licensing of health and occupational professionals, unemployment insurance, liquor control and construction codes. These are just a few of the issues I've worked on in the last year.
What challenges do you face working in the Capitol in 2013?
Time. The biggest issue I've found is sometimes the process can move very slowly which can be quite frustrating, but in other instances the time to work on a particular issue can be far shorter than what I would consider ideal.
What is your advice for citizens who want to advocate for an issue in the state Capitol?
Know the issue you are advocating. Too often legislators are bombarded with constituents who don't really understand an issue. The best way to affect change is by knowing your issue backward and forward which will help to articulate your passion in a well-reasoned though out manner.
Favorite campus activity or Bronco memory?
I have a million great memories spending time with friends on an off campus. I'm still friends with many of the same people that I met at WMU.
A few items that stick out are
- The Central vs. Western football game. To this day I try not to miss that game, especially when it's in Kalamazoo.
- The first really nice days in spring, when the whole campus comes alive and people are out everywhere enjoying the great weather.
- I'd be remiss if I didn't mention nights out that ended with a trip to the Big Burrito.
What do you miss most about Kalamazoo/WMU?
Everything! I don't think I appreciated how special WMU and Kalamazoo are when I was in school. The one thing I say about Kalamazoo is that it's different than anywhere else in the state. It's a totally unique town. My wife is from Portage so fortunately I get back to the area quite a bit. I love it.
Any inspirational faculty or administrators at WMU that influenced your college career?
Dr. Alley. I had a significant team project that I was in charge of and it didn't really come out very well. I felt responsible for letting a group of people down and I felt just awful about it. As much as I didn't want to, Dr. Alley made me discuss the project with him and he helped me realize that one failure isn't the end of the world and you can learn from your mistakes and grow from them. It's something I haven't forgotten and it has helped me make positive outcomes out of difficult situations since that time.