I grew up on a 40-acre farm. I am the youngest in a family of eight. I have six older brothers and one older sister. We grew up very financially challenged. My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis shortly after I was born, and my father suffered a severe stroke when I was 6, which made full-time employment difficult.
At the age of 15, my father could not care for me, so my incredible sister and her family opened their home to me. She taught me discipline, the value of learning, and pushing myself to a better person. My mother succumbed shortly afterward to the ravages of M.S. When I was 16, I underwent the first of four successful brain operations, despite suffering a stroke and complete paralysis on my right side after my first operation. With months of intensive physical and occupational therapy, combined with a positive outlook, I was able to recover. Due to these experiences, I believe all challenges can be overcome.
I bring the same drive to Community Service.
I spent over seven years with Precision Inc., a national electronics manufacturer, leaving the company in 2002 as Director of Operations to be a stay-at-home Dad. My wife Kay and I moved to Isanti in the summer of 2001. We welcomed Alexander in August 2002 and Abigail in December of 2004.
The Connexus Board is a unique opportunity to serve our member-owners. I come from a military family, a service family. The medical complications left me unable to serve in the military as I had planned.
I decided to help my community in other ways. I have been a volunteer religious education teacher for 30 years, Odyssey of the Mind Coach, President of my local Jaycees, Health Council member, Arctic Plunge sponsor/jumper/fundraiser, Co-Chair of the Cambridge/Isanti Bike/Trail, volunteered for park builds and tree plantings. In the past few decades, I have applied my business finance and operations experience to local government roles.
I was appointed to Park and Recreation Board and found a lot that is achievable in making local government more efficient and approachable to residents. This led to a successful run for City Council. Two years later, I was elected Mayor, and we created a great team to turn around our city from being deep in debt, high crime, and slow business growth.
We cut debt 70%, cut taxes over 30 percent, made Isanti the 6th safest city in the entire state of Minnesota, and won numerous awards for business recruitment while doubling private-sector jobs. My years in budget and planning in the private sector, culminating as Director of Operations of Precision Inc, a Twin Cities-based electronics manufacturer, helped me be a productive Mayor.
In 2019 I began working to bring greater awareness to our local communities and how important they are. We, as individuals, can have a significant impact on the quality of our communities. I have always wanted to create a way to help bring a little more light on important issues that affect us.
I have created a Podcast called Wimmer’s Wilderness to give voice to this idea. Wimmer’s Wilderness is an informed look at Politics, Community, Government, Environment, and Education from a local perspective.
Our regions, states, and countries are simply a collection of local communities working together. If we can make a positive change in our local communities, it will lead to better outcomes at the regional, state, and national levels. To learn more go to wimmerswilderness.org
I am an avid history & philosophy reader. I enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking, and biking.
I try to live by the following attributed quote –
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi