Born March 22, 1968, life-long resident of Jackson County, growing up and living in Independence. Graduate of Truman H.S., B.S. in Speech Communications and Political Science from Central Missouri State Univ. and a Master’s degree from Baker Univ. Lives in Independence with wife Nancy and two daughters, Meghan and Madeline. Member: Democratic Leadership Council; Saint Mark’s Catholic Church; Mason Lodge 76; the Ararat Shrine; and the Independence PTA. Awards: The Hero for Healthcare Award, The 2008 James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award, UCM.; The St. Louis Business Journal 2008 Legislative Award; “Champion of Justice” from the MATA; Friend of Education Award by Missouri NEA; National Delegate to the ACYPL exchange program to the People’s Republic of China. Elected to the House: 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. Unanimously elected as House Minority Leader from 2007 to 2010.