Curt Vanderwall

Member Spotlight

Curt VanderWall, State Representative — R- Ludington

MY PROFESSION ... MYSELF

I have 20-plus years of experience in the retail food industry as a store director and supervisor. For the past 17 years, I have been a small business owner of a lawn care and pest management company. In addition, I just finished six years in county government as a county commissioner.

WHY I BECAME A STATE LAWMAKER

What motivated me to run for state office was the chance to keep Michigan moving on a positive track. As a business owner, I thought I could add an important perspective to the legislature - someone who has signed the front and the back of a check, and has had to balance a budget. That business focus and my passion for expanding skilled trades education fueled my desire to run. Michigan has made a lot of progress over the past 10 years - and many people are now referring to Michigan as the comeback state.

MY CAMPAIGN EXPERIENCE

I loved the campaign trail. Knocking on doors was my favorite part, followed by attending community events and interacting with so many interesting people. Campaigning for office allowed me to meet many business owners and operators and to tnear their concerns and successes. Many of those folks are members of the Michigan Chamber. Being able to hear from and visit with them was and continues to be very helpful to me.

TOP LEGISLATIVE ISSUE

Increasing access to skilled trades education for students or those looking to start a new career is very important to me. We have a skills gap in this state. There are many openings for skilled trades jobs, but few people to fill them. Access to an education network for these skills is better in some areas, but as we get into the rural areas of our state, those opportunities shrink dramatically. The average age of many of our trades workers is in the mid-SO's or higher. Reversing this trend is a must for the continued success of our state.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

What some people may not know about me is that I married my best friend who has worked incredibly hard for me out on the campaign trail and continues to support me as we travel to events throughout northwest Michigan. Also, it might surprise some people to know that I love eliminating moles as part of my business, which is why I am known as the "Mole Man."