Born in Shelbyville, Indiana in 1976, Derek moved to Gig Harbor with his family 1989. He attended elementary, middle school, and high school in the Peninsula School District until graduating in 1994 from Gig Harbor High School and then attending the University of Washington.
After a several years in banking & governmental affairs, Derek started Empression Media, a marketing and PR firm serving small businesses and non-profits.
Derek was first elected to the Gig Harbor City Council in 1997 at the age of 21 and won re-election 3 times since. In addition to chairing the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, he serves on the Planning/Building & Finance Committees. For the past 8 years he has represented Gig Harbor on the Pierce County Regional Council and 3 years representing Pierce County cities (other than Tacoma) on the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board. He’s also the small cities representative on Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners and serves on the Executive Committee.
Outside of government Derek is a trustee for Forterra, formerly Cascade Land Conservancy, and an ex officio member of Pierce County’s Tourism Promotion Area Board.