5 Entrepreneurs in the New Congress

Posted by Pierre de la Fortune on October 16, 2015 @ 12:01 a.m.

Written by Jason Del Rey

At age 33, Polis is the youngest entrepreneur elected to Congress this year—and one of the youngest members of the House period. He represents Colorado's 2nd congressional district, which encompasses Denver's northwestern suburbs including Boulder. As a young man in his twenties, Polis launched several pioneering Web companies, including the greeting-card site BlueMountain.com and ProFlowers.com, which ranked No. 7 on the Inc. 500 in 2003. He then became active in state education reform, which led to his run for Congress. In office, he hopes to have a hand in developing new federal policies concerning science and technology. "The government funds a lot of primary research both through federal research labs as well as universities," he says, "and I'd like to look at using those in a more effective way." Polis is the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a freshman, and he will serve on the House Rules Committee and the Committee on Education and Labor.

A former systems security director in the U.S. State Department, Markey then went on to start Syscom Services, with her husband. In the early days, the business provided electronic-communications services. It eventually evolved into a consulting company focused on IT and web development. As CEO, Markey managed the company through a period of fast growth; the business ultimately ranked No. 99 on the Inc. 500. In Congress, Markey represents eastern Colorado including the Fort Collins area. A member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, she recently told a local paper that any economic recovery plan should include "significant investments in maintaining and upgrading infrastructure in rural communities."

2nd) A former systems security director in the U.S. State Department, Markey then went on to start Syscom Services, with her husband. In the early days, the business provided electronic-communications services. It eventually evolved into a consulting company focused on IT and web development. As CEO, Markey managed the company through a period of fast growth; the business ultimately ranked No. 99 on the Inc. 500. In Congress, Markey represents eastern Colorado including the Fort Collins area. A member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, she recently told a local paper that any economic recovery plan should include "significant investments in maintaining and upgrading infrastructure in rural communities."

3rd) Rep. Walt Minnick, Democrat of Idaho Minnick, who represents the western half of the state of Idaho including parts of Boise, served for 16 years as CEO of the TJ International, which at the time specialized in forest products. He later founded SummerWinds Garden Centers, a chain of nurseries with locations in California, Arizona, and Missouri. Minnick, who served in the Nixon White House before resigning in the aftermath of the infamous Saturday Evening Massacre, will likely be one of the more conservative Democrats in the House. He has already come out as an opponent of federal bailout legislation for the financial and automotive industries. "Like the many Idahoans who own and operate businesses, I have spent my entire adult life paying my bills, looking for ways to reduce costs and meeting a payroll,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman on January 17. "I never expected the taxpayers to bail me out when I made bad decisions, nor did I expect to keep my job if those decisions had led to the failure of my company."

4) New Mexico: Teague is the founder of Teaco Energy Services, an oil-well servicing and drilling company based in Hobbs, New Mexico. He got his start in the industry as a 17-year-old laborer working for $1.50 an hour. In Congress, he represents New Mexico's 2nd district, which encompasses the southern part of the state. He supports universal health care and immigration reform. Given his background in the oil business, it is no surprise that he breaks with many members of his party and environmentalists when it comes to support for stateside drilling as a supplement to developing alternative sources of energy. "We do have to drill," Teague told the Silver City Sun-News. "We don't have to drill every single place, but where there's a good return on products, we need to be drilling."

5) Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Democrat of Pennsylvania For 11 years, Dahlkemper and her husband, Dan, have run Dahlkemper Landscape Architects & Contractors, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Dahlkemper's father-in-law established the business in 1955. Today, the company serves customers in New York and New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania—a region, according to Dahlkemper, that must focus on preserving local employers and manufacturing jobs in particular in order to survive economically. Making healthcare affordable for all Americans is another priority for the freshman legislator, who represents Pennnsylvania's 3rd district. "I gave birth to one of my children without health insurance due to having a pre-existing condition at the change of a job," she told the New York Times, "and that pre-existing condition was pregnancy.” —Jason Del Rey

For more info please read: http://www.inc.com/ss/5-entrepreneurs-new-congress#0

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