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.