In 1949, Jacob Hoogendyk Sr., along with his wife and four children, left the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States to pursue the American Dream. Hoogendyk Sr. would not allow himself or his family to be limited by their immigrant status. He immediately found work, taught himself English and began to make a new life for his family.

Jack, born in 1955, watched his father work hard to make a difference and began to understand the importance of individual responsibility. "I want to take the lessons I learned from my father - hard work, integrity, not being defined by circumstances or surroundings – and put them to work on behalf of the people of Michigan. My passions are for smaller government, lower taxes and personal responsibility."

In 1968, Hoogendyk Sr. ran for Kalamazoo County commissioner, where he served two terms. "I've always admired my father – what he stood for and what he accomplished," Jack says. "I grew up with the desire to be in public service in some capacity. I just didn't know where the path would take me."

In 1976, Jack married his wife Erin. They now have five children and seven grandchildren.

Hoogendyk had a successful career in sales and marketing, eventually becoming a national manager for a Fortune 500 company. "Even though I was moving quite a bit, I always stayed involved and active in the political process – no matter where I lived."

In the early '90s, Jack and his family returned to Kalamazoo County, where he became Executive Director of Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center, a faith-based nonprofit serving young women and families facing unplanned pregnancies with services such as clothing and shelter. Jack is also chairman of SHALOM, a non-profit adult foster care agency.

In 1998, Jack was appointed to the Portage City Zoning Board of Appeals and later the Kalamazoo Public Health Advisory Board. In 1999, he ran for mayor of Portage and nearly unseated the incumbent. Not one to be discouraged, Jack was elected to the Kalamazoo County Commission in 2000, defeating a popular county commissioner and former mayor. He went on to win the general election and fell in love with public service.

"Public service is in my blood. It is really quite amazing how similar my political path and philosophy are to my father's," says Jack. "He ran for office and lost the first time - so did I. He ended up on the county board and so did I. My father is one of the biggest political influences in my life."

In 2002, Jack was elected to the first of his three terms as State Representative, taking another step in his public service commitment. Since then, Jack Hoogendyk has been working to protect taxpayers, strengthen education and defend families. He is not willing to be defined by his surroundings, but rather seeks to influence and inspire. He’s been following in the steps of his father by investing in his family, community and state.