I was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and was raised in Grundy County. I served in the United States Navy from 1970 through 1973. From 1973 through 1977, I attended the University of Northern Iowa and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the field of English Literature and the Purple and Old Gold Award for achievement in the field of English Literature. From 1977 through 1980, I attended The University of Iowa College of Law. I was admitted to the Iowa Bar in June 1980. I am a member of Iowa State Bar Association, Johnson County Bar Association, Linn County Bar Association, Iowa Association of Workers' Compensation Lawyers and the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers.