2012 Special Olympics Polar Plunge Legislator of the Year announcement With my wife Diana, and sons Mitch & Nick
Jeff Farrington is the State Representative for Utica, western Sterling Heights and southeast Shelby Township. The State Rep race in 2010 was the first election he ever ran in and did so to help create an environment in Michigan that is condusive to job growth. He also believes that it is important to keep our spending in line with revenue and he's proud to be part of a legislative body that has finished three straight budgets ahead of schedule instead of government shutdowns as in the prior decade.
Here's a little background to help you get to know Jeff:
My parents, Tom & Marie, raised my three sisters (Terry, Sandy & Lori) and I in Utica. I've been a resident of Utica (currently and as a child) and Sterling Heights (where my mom still lives) for over 35 years, living in Michigan my entire life. I graduated from Utica High School in 1983 and was a member of their championship baseball team as a pitcher and third baseman. On the geeky side, I was also a high school national finalist in D.E.C.A. (the only Michigan student that year to earn a "finalist" ranking.)
Over a ten year period I balanced family, work and school attending Macomb Community College, then earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree at Walsh College in 1988 and a Master's degree in 1993 from Walsh. This experience demonstrated to me the importance of a good education and I want to make sure it's available for the next generation. Along the way I married my high school sweetheart, Diana Corning. Twenty seven years later that wonderful story continues.
My work career has not been one spent in politics. I'm a business person by trade and proud of it. I've spent a lifetime helping others find good jobs as a professional in the staffing industry. Much of my career was spent with a national staffing firm where I worked my way up from the bottom, eventually becoming a Vice President at the age of 36 with a knack for turning around poor performing operations. Along the way I was awarded for top performance as an individual performer, and as as a leader.
In 2004 I walked away from what most people would consider a dream job. I was a VP with all the perks one hopes for when they take the career route I took, yet I turned in my "corporate shoes" and decided to follow the dream of starting and growing my own business. That experience showed me how the state and federal governments can hinder or help the atmosphere of economic growth. I co-founded a staffing company, Dynamic Recruiters, Inc. to assist in the direct hire recruiting and interim staffing of professionals. We grew at a fast rate during the first four years, but like many small businesses in this area we hit a rough patch in 2009. Instead of throwing in the towel, we looked in the mirror and decided it was time to make tough decisions and adapt to the environment around us. Those decisions paid off and we hit record sales in 2010 and 2011. It's that attitude that I brought to the State government. Stay within a new lower budget and transition to a new model for future success. I've since sold the firm to focus my attention on being the best legislator I can be.
As a first term State Representative my peers elected me to the leadership team as an Assistant Majority Floor Leader. In the second term I was appointed Chairman of the House Tax Policy Committee. Additional committees I serve on are; Commerce, Energy & Technology and Financial Services. If it has to do with improving our state's job growth prospects - I'm in the thick of it. Likewise, I sponsored legislation that reformed PA 312 (public safety arbitration) in such a way that it gained near-unanimous approval in the House of Representatives and the Governor signed it in to law in 2011. This reform has been sought for 30 years so to get it passed I worked with all interested parties to achieve a result that will have lasting positive results in our communities. Last year the Small Business Association of Michigan awarded me with the Legislator of the Year honor and this year the Michigan Manufacturers Association did the same. This is a testiment to my focus on job growth in our state and I will continue with the same focus going forward.
I am a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica, Kiwanis of Sterling Heights and the Walsh College's Communication Advisory Committee. Other interests include coaching. I have spent 15 years coaching youth baseball, basketball and soccer.
On a more personal side, I am the proud father of two sons. One attends Michigan State and the other graduated from Western Michigan University finding a good job here in Michigan. My family was a big part of my first two campaigns and I'm sure you'll see them out there with me in the future. My dad, who grew up in the mountains of Colorado had a true passion for the outdoors, history and our nation. Those passions were passed down to me and are at the foundation of my desire to contribute to Michigan's turnaround. Our family has spent a tremendous amount of time camping, as well as hiking the National Parks and enjoying the lakes of northern Michigan. Our environment not only brings pleasure, but it is a resource that we can't allow to be ruined for short sighted gains.
My goal is to bring Michigan back to a level of prosperity allowing families to stay together instead of having to leave the state to find good employment. I hope this Bio provides insight to who I am and I look forward to meeting you as we work together for Michigan.