Clients turn to Derek for his expertise in understanding the legislative process and how they can best achieve their goals by building proactive relationships and collaborating with government entities. During his more than 20 years in Congress, Derek did just that, working with members of Congress and their staff from both political parties, across Ohio and the United States. Derek knows the people and the process for how to get things done in Washington, D.C., in many key policy areas.
Most recently, Derek was the chief of staff for Congressman Brad Wenstrup from Ohio’s Second Congressional District. Congressman Wenstrup is a veteran and the only Ohioan and physician on the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax-writing committee in Congress. Ways and Means also has jurisdiction over health care issues, trade, and many federal social services programs. Congressman Wenstrup was also appointed by Leadership to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In Derek’s role as chief of staff when Congressman Wenstrup was newly elected, Derek helped build the office from the ground up, and led the policy, communications, and political operations. He initiated a new congressional customer service survey, which was recognized publicly by the Congressional Management Foundation as a “bold move” with “wildly successful” results. Derek’s additional accomplishments include leading a successful campaign to secure a seat on the prestigious Ways and Means Committee, managing all ethics and political compliance, and navigating a complex legal transition from a medical practice to serving as a member of Congress.
Prior to joining Congressman Wenstrup’s staff, Derek served for more than six years as the chief of staff to a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, Congressman Wally Herger. During Derek’s tenure, Congressman Herger also served for two years as the lead Republican on the Trade Subcommittee. Derek provided policy and strategic advice on all committee issues and was involved with all of the Congressman’s legislative, oversight, and communications activities. Renowned for his exceptional ability to connect with others, Derek developed and maintained relationships with constituents in California’s Second Congressional District, including key business leaders and locally-elected officials, and he supervised a staff of 16 employees in Washington, D.C., Redding, and Chico, California. The office was recognized by a Sunlight Foundation report as having the third highest staff retention rate of the 435 Congressional offices for the years 2009–2011.
In 1999, Derek began his career on Capitol Hill as Congressman Herger’s legislative assistant/counsel for energy, agriculture, and natural resources policy, and was promoted to legislative director in 2003. In that position, he managed the Congressman’s legislative staff and handled health care issues, served as his principle liaison to Ways and Means, and oversaw the office’s legislative agenda. He was promoted to chief of staff in 2006 and served in that capacity until Congressman Herger’s retirement at the end of the 112th Congress.
Working from both Toledo, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., Derek resides in Northern Ohio with his wife, Stephanie, and their four children.