I was born in Winona and raised in Minnesota City of Winona County. I have spent nearly my entire life in Winona County. In my younger years, many of you saw me working at the family business – Bass Camp Restaurant and Resort. At a young age, I started helping in the kitchen by prepping food, assisting with cooking, and washing tons of dishes nightly. As I grew older, I further helped my family with the resort by doing grounds maintenance, selling
bait and tackle, and eventually, when I became old enough, managing the resort during the summers. Throughout my many, many years at Bass Camp not only did I develop a strong work ethic, I also learned customer service skills and how to handle difficult situations. Eventually, everyone came to me to fix their problems, handle disagreements, and resolve issues with difficult customers.
When I graduated from Winona Senior High in the late 1990s, my stepfather Nick Novak was the deputy sheriff of Goodhue County and encouraged me to enter the law enforcement field. I followed his advice, sought out, and soon accepted my first law enforcement job working in corrections. After working in the jail setting for 1 ½ years and becoming introduced to all the various aspects of law enforcement, I decided that law enforcement was indeed the career path for me. This motivated me to further my education. Thus, I went back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement.
After college, I took a full-time job working for the City of Caledonia in Houston County as a city patrol officer. While I enjoyed my job in Caledonia, I carefully watched for Winona County job openings and when a position became available in 2007, I applied and started my career with the Winona County Sheriff’s Department. I initially began as a patrol deputy working night shift. After several years, I began to oversee the water patrol unit and eventually was also asked in 2014 to take over the civil processing unit. Today, I still oversee the civil processing unit, the water patrol unit, coordinate with the Department of Natural Resources and Federal Fish and Wildlife, maintain boat equipment, and take many calls for service. I also routinely assist records staff, jail operations, and complete various other tasks at the public’s requests.
My family and I enjoy the outdoors. I am an avid hunter and fisherman. I enjoy turkey, duck, and deer hunting. I also am frequently on the water in my spare time and routinely participate in fishing league and competitions. My other hobbies include trap shooting, hunting for deer sheds, searching for morel mushrooms, and riding ATVs and UTVs on the various state trails.
Due to my passion for the outdoors, I am a member of Ducks Unlimited Winona Chapter, Mississippi Backwater Fishing Angler Club, and have previously been a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation of the Winona Area. I have worked diligently with all these volunteer committees to raise money for such as items as awareness, wetlands, conservation, and youth events. I am also a volunteer assistant coach of the Lewiston Altura High School Trap Shooting team and active member of the Winona Civic Association Committee.
To this day, Hannah and I still reside in rural Minnesota city with our three children and our dog Max.