- Born Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 4; married; 2 children.
- Graduate Buffalo Grove High School (Illinois); B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, 1992.
- Former congressional aide and legislative aide.
- Member: University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Alumni Association (former president); La Crosse County League of Women Voters; La Crosse County Democratic Party (former chair); University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Chancellor’s Community Council; Viterbo University Board of Advisors; La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce; La Crosse County Local Emergency Planning Committee; La Crosse Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build; Vernon Women’s Alliance; Viroqua Chamber Main Street; Riverfront La Crosse Community Advisory Board.
- La Crosse County Board, 1990–92.
- Elected to Assembly 2000–10. Elected to Senate in August 2011 special election. Reelected since 2012. Leadership positions: minority leader 2017, 2015; minority caucus sergeant at arms 2005.