T.J. Berry Biography

T.J., born to Tom and Theo Berry on September 11, 1965, has been a life long Clay County resident,. He graduated from Liberty High School in 1984 and then went to Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, MO, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Graphic Arts Management. He completed his degree work in 3 years so he could marry his high school sweetheart, Shelly Ellison. They have two children, Alex and Sami. Both are college students.

At the beginning of his junior/senior year of college T.J. contracted the entrepreneurial bug. He started Oakstone Wood Shavings. The company sold wood shavings to horse barns to use as their bedding material. This small business provided T.J. a great learning experience, along with a nice starter income, while he finished college and established himself in the business world.

After completing his college degree, T.J. joined Ashcraft Printing, where he had done a college internship. He was an account executive at Ashcraft Printing, and his duties involved calling on accounts and establishing relationships to sell printing on an ongoing basis.

In 1991 three big events happened in T.J.'s life, the most important being the birth of his son Alex. The second event was the loss of his job due to the closing of Ashcraft Printing, which led to the third event, the starting of his second business: Business Cards, Ltd.

Since winning his 2010 election T.J. serves on the following committees: Economic Development, Small Business, International Trade and Job Creation, Down Sizing Government and Alternative Energy. In these committees T.J. has continually fought to create jobs and balance Missouri's budget.

He also saw a need for organization where the representatives of Clay, Jackson, Platte and Cass counties would meet and work on regional issues. TJ created the Kansas City Caucus to facilitiate this collaboration, and now 17 republicans and 16 democrats work together to solve regional problems. TJ is the republican chairman of this caucus,and shares the leadership with his democratic counterpart Representative John Rizzo.

Outside his business life T.J. attends First Baptist Church of Kearney where he teaches and has been a deacon for many years. He is an avid golfer and likes to socialize with his large group of friends. T.J. currently resides in rural Clay County, just outside of Kearney.

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