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Missouri Times 2023 30 Under 30 Honorees

The Missouri Times is proud to bring to you this year’s 30 Under 30 class. From lobbyists to Capitol staffers and more, the 2023 honorees work tirelessly around the clock to make Missouri a better place.

This list will be updated as more honorees are decided during the coming days.

Congrats to our 30 Under 30 list below. 

Karlee Seek

Raised in the St Joseph area, Karlee Seek was determined to succeed in life while working to make her state a better place than she found it.

A self-made woman, Karlee put herself through school at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Her hard was was recognized by the university when she was announced as one of the “Mizzou ‘39”. Named after the university’s founded (1839), Mizzou ‘39 are the 39 seniors who most represent the core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery & Excellence.

While finishing college Karlee also managed the campaign of Columbia Mayor, Barbara Buffaloe. She then became a key figure for Kip Kendrick’s campaign for Boone Co Presiding Commissioner.

Today Karlee is still hard at work in her free time for Stephen Webber’s campaign for state Senate. She works full-time in the Capitol for Senator Greg Razer. “She came to me recommended by Kip Kendrick.” Razer said “if Kip goes out of his way to recommend someone, they must be really good. However this time he undersold her strength and work ethic.”

“With Karlee’s win this year, and my Chief of Staff Tyler Travers receiving this honor last year, I’ll put my staff up against anyone’s.”

Karlee was nominated by State Senator Greg Razer

Trey Faucheux

Trey Faucheux is absolutely what the “30 Under 30” is about! The 21-year-old college student is a cancer survivor, president of the Mizzou College Republicans, and he’s involved with several other political groups including the Missouri Young Republicans.

While pursuing his B.A. in Constitutional Democracy, he freelances in the world of politics working on campaigns and elections. He worked on Eric Schmitt’s successful 2022 campaign for U.S. Senate and is currently involved with the Will Scharff for Attorney General campaign.

He also has organized several successful political events including the “Modern Rebublicanism” forum he put together at Mizzou earlier this year that featured political leaders from across the state including House Speaker Dean Plocher and State Treasurer Vivek Malek.

Trey lives and breathes politics and never shies away from radio interviews when asked to cover politics from the perspective of a younger conservative. He does all of this in an effort to make Missouri a better place to live, and that’s why Mr. Faucheux should be honored during the “30 Under 30” event.

Trey was nominated by lawyer and radio host Stephanie Bell 

Victoria Hooker

Victoria Hooker first came to the capitol in January. The learning curve was steep but she took it in stride. She evaluated the landscape and realized that relationships were crucial to learning and being successful. She is organized and a voracious reader, both of which are helpful in the building. Victoria graduated from college on a golf scholarship, another great asset for a career in lobbying. Looking forward to seeing what her future holds.

Victoria was nominated by Pat Thomas, Chief of Staff for State Senator Lincoln Hough 

Olivia Wilson

“Olivia Wilson is more than just a rising star in the lobbying world; she’s a proven healthcare policy expert with a notable presence in the Capitol. Her advocacy journey began as a college sophomore at Westminster College when she defended the Access Missouri scholarship funding for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri (ICUM) before the House and Senate. This early prowess paved the way for an internship at Gamble & Schlemeier. The firm was so impressed with her dedication and expertise that they offered her a full-time lobbyist role, even as she completed her senior year at Westminster. Olivia’s client portfolio is diverse and expansive, having worked on client accounts ranging from physician anesthesiologists to foster care agencies, and now she stands as a lead advisor for the University of Missouri Health Care system at Husch Blackwell Strategies. It speaks volumes that she has been named the youngest member ever to serve on the Westminster College Board of Trustees. Olivia embodies intelligence, ethics, trustworthiness, and discipline—qualities that ensure she will remain a prominent figure in Missouri Politics for years to come”.

Olivia was nominated by David Jackson, Principal at Gamble and Schleimer 

Ryan Siegel

Ryan Siegel is a Communications Coordinator for Missouri Soybeans. In his position, Ryan tells the story of Missouri soybean farmers and executes the vision of Missouri Soybeans boards and staff.

He enjoys creating materials that illustrate farmers’ stories and the work they do throughout the state. Ryan also likes working on strategic messages to reach the most followers and offer a unique storyline to traditional agricultural communications.

Ryan graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia with a degree in agriculture education, communications and leadership, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in digital marketing communications from West Virginia University. He was raised on his family’s dairy and row crop operation in Clifton City, Missouri.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with family, reading memoirs of comedians, cooking and watching the latest comedy series.

Ryan was nominated by Samantha Turner, Director of Communications & Marketing for Missouri Soybean Association

Danyale Bryant

“Danyale is a very quick learner and knows her job inside and out. She has been a great asset for the Accounts and Administration Chair’s office.  One of the things I wanted for the office was to provide great customer service to the Representatives and Danyale was the perfect person to carry that out.  Her dad said she is extremely loyal and I wholeheartedly agree.  Thank you, Danyale for your service to the House of Representatives”.
Danyale was nominated by Former Missouri State Representative Glen Kolkmeyer


Madalyn Warren

Madelyn Warren serves as a communications coordinator for the Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. In her role, Madelyn works to showcase the soybean industry’s positive impact on the feed, food, fuel and fiber systems. She also assists in maximizing the efforts of Missouri Soybeans program directors to better serve farmers.

Through her work in written and digital content creation, Madelyn works with the rest of the communications team to develop communications strategies to enhance the soybean narrative.

Hailing from Dawn, Missouri, Madelyn earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture education, communications and leadership at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Growing up, she raised dairy goats, was involved in 4-H and FFA and later gained closer insight into production agriculture when her mother married a row crop and cattle farmer.

Outside of the office, Madelyn enjoys reading, listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with friends and family.

Madalyn was nominated by Samantha Turner, Director of Communications & Marketing for Missouri Soybean Association

Nick Glover

Nick is a Deputy communications strategist at Show Me Victories in STL. He played a critical role in the successful Tracy McCreery for State Senate campaign as a fundraising assistant and strategist. In his day to day role with Show Me Victories, he handles digital and social media for labor unions and nonprofits as well a strategy and communications for candidate campaigns and issue campaigns in STL and around the country.

Nick was nominated by Sam Gladney

Dylan Anderson

I wanted to nominate Dylan Anderson for 30 Under 30. As Missouri Soybeans’ Field Services Coordinator, Dylan plays an integral role in grassroots efforts during legislative session & various campaigns.

He serves Missouri’s soybean farmers by being the boots-on-the-ground spokesperson throughout the state and liaison for industry partners. Dylan loves visiting farmers across the state and learning about issues important to them. His job allows him to build a grassroots network across Missouri.

Dylan started out as an intern with Missouri Soybeans and has advanced in his role within the organization. Dylan is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in agribusiness management.

Dylan is one the hardest working guy you’ll ever meet. If you’ve ever attended one of our Mizzou tailgates, fish fries at the office, or any other event we’ve hosted, Dylan was the man behind the plan.

Dylan was nominated by Baylee Asbury, Director of Outreach and Communications at the Missouri Soybean Association 

Sam Turner

Sam Turner is the owner and operator of Turner Ag Solutions – a family-owned business rooted in providing quality service to all customers to grow their livelihood today and for generations to come. Started in Central Missouri, Turner Ag Solutions provides seed, chemicals and a helping hand in growing the family operation.

During Sam’s collegiate career, he interned in Washington D.C. for Congressman Jason Smith. Turner was also involved in the Collegiate Farm Bureau, Pi Sigma Alpha (a political fraternity), Student Hall Government Association and ran for University of Missouri Student Body President. Sam graduated from Mizzou with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics with an emphasis in public policy.

Today, Sam Turner serves on the Boone County Farm Board, where his family was selected for Boone County Farm Family in 2022. Turner is also an active member of the Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Corn Growers. Turner aspires to be more involved in Missouri politics with goals to be a state representative.

Sam was nominated by Madalyn Warren, Communications Director for the Missouri Soybean Association

Hannah Siegel

Growing up in a military household, Hannah Siegel, understood from a young age the meaning and importance of public service. Watching both her parents serve in the United State Army, she too found her calling in serving others in her community. This desire would drive her to pursue her Master’s degree in Public Administration and continuous development as a leader as a public servant. In her short amount of time in her career, she has had the opportunity to work at both the federal and state level of government learning processes and assisting citizens in different capacities. Most recently, her responsibilities as budget manager for the Children’s Division and member of the DSS Leadership Academy inaugural class. As the budget manager for the Children’s Division she is responsible for assisting with responses to questions from the General Assembly members, staff and other interested parties such as news reporting agencies. She leads the effort on the budget book process including analyzing data for performance measures and new decision items that could result in additional funding opportunities for the Children’s Division. Hannah understands the importance of understanding the “why” and how the end result is helping children within the child welfare system.

I have worked with Hannah in various capacities, first as a budget analyst reporting to me in the central budget office for the Department of Social Services, and most recently, as the budget manager for the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division; she is always helpful, reliable, and knowledgeable. It is clear that Hannah has a passion for state budget and public service.  Hannah is always eager to learn and take on challenges, identifying  opportunities for process improvements and implementing solutions.

Hannah was nominated by Courtney Stalter Deputy Division Director of Division of Finance & Administrative Services for Missouri Department of Social Services

Stephanie Whitaker

Stephanie Whitaker recently assumed the role of Director of Communication for Governor Parson, a position she not only excels in but has earned through her unwavering dedication, loyalty, and relentless hard work. Stephanie joined Governor Parson’s communications team back in 2018, during the formative stages of his office. Throughout her tenure, she successfully navigated the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, job shortages, natural disasters, and various other obstacles with unwavering diligence and a high level of professionalism. Stephanie approaches her work with the same earnestness, humility, and no-nonsense attitude that she applies to every facet of her life. Striking a remarkable balance between her demanding career and her roles as a devoted wife, mother, and friend, Stephanie has dedicated her professional journey to serving the people of Missouri. She undoubtedly deserves recognition as one of the 30 individuals under 30 who have made a significant impact on Missouri politics!

Stephanie was nominated by Hannah Beers Sutton, Vice President of Clout Public Affairs

Brady Hays

Born in Lebanon, Missouri Brady Hays has always had a knack for leadership and politics. In his year and a half at The Missouri Times, Brady has proven himself to be a great reporter and a fantastic coworker. He has put in countless hours interviewing, writing, and helping plan events like these. All while attaining his degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri Columbia. He even finds time to volunteer in Columbia outside of work and school. He is now attending Law School at the University of Missouri, something he spent all last summer working for.

Brady deserves this nomination because he is a worker who is hard to find in Missouri politics. He has never said no to a single task given him and every task he completes he does with 100% effort. Texting, calling or emailing Brady is a surefire way to get something done the right way the first time. Which is probably why everyone chooses to email Brady first when they need to contact the Missouri Times, instead of me. No matter how big or small, he is always up to the challenges that reporting comes with.

Spending countless nights in the Senate viewing gallery, traveling across the state to cover elections, and writing endless amounts of stories are not easy tasks but someone has to do it. And Brady does them in a way no one else does. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a nomination than Mr. Hays.

Brady was nominated by his fellow Missouri Times Reporter, Kelton Turner

Dallas Ernst

Dallas Ernst embarked on his political journey right at the grassroots level in Pulaski County while still a high school student. From those early days, he recognized that working to help exceptional individuals secure elected positions was his true calling. After contributing to the success of two gubernatorial campaigns and gaining invaluable insights into the intricacies of state government, Dallas took the leap and founded his own enterprise in 2021. His company, Skyline Strategic, offers a range of unique services tailored to campaigns of all sizes, and Dallas’s unwavering sense of urgency in achieving outstanding results for his clients truly sets him apart. With over a decade of experience in and around the realm of Missouri politics, Dallas is poised to continue making a significant impact for many years to come.

Dallas was nominated by Hannah Beers Sutton, Vice President of Clout Public Affairs

Danielle Sanger

Danielle Sanger currently serves as the as Development & Operations Coordinator at Missouri Wins Investor Network. Before joining the MO Wins team, Danielle served as campaign manager for State Representative Betsy Fogle. Danielle met Betsy while volunteering as a door knocker for Betsy’s very first campaign. Danielle showed such passion for policy and love for Missouri that Betsy decided to bring her on board – a decision Betsy gives thanks for daily.

Danielle lives in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri but spent over four years living in Shanghai, China and earned a degree from New York University. Danielle resides in House District 135, enjoys walking her dog and eating Chinese with Betsy at New Oriental.

Danielle was nominated by State Representative Besty Fogle 

Madison Baker 

Madison Baker, Wayne County Native, joined Senator Roy Blunt’s staff shortly after graduating from University of Missouri-Columbia and quickly rose to the rank of District Office Director. Following Senator Blunt’s retirement from the Senate, Madison joined Congressman Jason Smith’s office as District Director, overseeing twenty-eight counties and five district offices within the 8th congressional district.

Congressman Smith said this about Madison in announcing his hiring,

“Madison Baker is an excellent addition to my team,” said Smith. “With his natural leadership abilities, background as a rancher, and deep ties to southern Missouri, I know that Madison will do a great job helping me serve the hardworking folks of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District.”

Derek Coats, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Blunt said this about Madison,

“Madison is a hard charger, who is well in tune with the needs and challenges of Southeast Missouri. In addition, he is politically astute and one the most impressive young people I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Baker graduated from the Greenville R-II school district as Valedictorian of his senior class and then went on to graduate from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He has been involved in local politics, in campaigns for both state and statewide offices, as well as a short stint in service for the Missouri House of Representatives. For the last five years he has served as a state staffer for the United States Senate. Barker currently resides on the family farm at Lowndes where he operates a small cow/calf and feeder operation.

Throughout the last decade Baker has stayed active in the Wayne County community. He is currently a member of the Wayne County Historical Society, has served as officer of the Greenville Alumni Association, is a member of the East Wayne County, MO. Chamber of Commerce, is a member of Greenville Lodge No. 107 A.F. & A.M., and is a member of Greenville Chapter No. 337 O.E.S.

Baker is a sixth generation Wayne County cattleman and stays active in various agriculture and livestock organizations including, the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Cattleman’s Association. In addition, he is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Poplar Bluff, a 32nd Degree member of the St. Louis Scottish Rite and a member of the Three Rivers Shrine Club.

Madison was nominated by Derek Coats, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Blunt

Hannah Adkisson

Producer Hannah (Hannah Adkisson) works tirelessly around the clock to
make Missouri a better place to live!

Producer Hannah’s day starts early at 5 AM in the Wake Up Mid-Missouri
studios where she produces and is a main player on the highly rated show
that airs on Ninety-Three-Nine The Eagle and on One-oh-four-five NewsRadio
Nine-Fifty K-W-O-S.

The 23 year old native of Centralia has been wielding her influence and
sharing her unique opinions on the show since she left high school and
managed to get a degree in Ag Sciences from Mizzou while she was part of
the show.

Professionalism….she’s got it! She regularly deals with some of biggest
names in Missouri and national politics while readying them for their
appearances on the show.

Patience….she’s got that too! She keeps Branden Rathert and Stephanie
Bell in line on the 3 hour show that airs weekday mornings from 5:30-9!

Producer Hannah is a solid choice for The Missouri Times “30 Under 30”!

Hannah was nominated by WakeUp Mid-Missouri Host Branden Rathert

Tim Burke

Tim Burke has shown himself to be an asset in his position as a Legislative Assistant in the Missouri House of Representatives. He quickly acclimated to the job duties and has now become a go-to resource for others in the building. His strong work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond for constituents sets him apart and will certainly result in his continued success. One of my favorite things about Tim is that he is always smiling. You can count on Tim for a positive attitude, a great idea to solve the problem at hand, and probably some sarcasm for good measure.

“I feel like I hit the lottery having a legislative assistant like Tim for my freshman year,” said Rep. Melanie Stinnett. “I never have to question if the job is going to get done or if my constituent’s needs will be met.”

Tim was nominated by State Representative Melanie Stinnett

Jake Ayers

Raised in Southwest Missouri, Jake Ayers embodies the core values and principles of the Show-Me State. His journey into the political sphere began through grassroots organizing, a genuine manifestation of his unwavering dedication to community engagement.

Throughout his career, Jake has proven himself as a skilled political professional. He played pivotal roles in campaigns such as “Parson for Missouri” and in the “NRSC Georgia Senate Runoffs.” His unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of the unborn and advocating for farmers showcases his strong dedication to the values cherished by the heartland.

In addition to his campaign work, Jake made significant contributions as the Field Director for Vicky Hartzler’s Senate campaign, further solidifying his commitment to conservative values. He continued this dedication by serving as a Field Representative in Hartzler’s congressional office, assisting constituents and facilitating their interactions with the congresswoman. Currently, Jake holds a vital position in Congressman Mark Alford’s office, where he continues to make a positive impact on the communities he serves.

While Jake remains a stalwart advocate for the everyday person, the center of Jake’s life is his fiancée, Mackenzie Haddix. Together, they find strength in their shared commitment to community, values, and each other. With Mackenzie by his side and his tireless dedication, he will continue to shape the political landscape of Missouri and beyond.

Jake was nominated by William Shafer

Freddie Adkins

Freddie Adkins grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, acquiring a Rahm Emanuel level of passion for politics, without the colorful language. He attended the University of Missouri in Columbia where he served as the Executive Director of the Mizzou College Republicans. In 2018, he went to work for the Missouri Republican Party leading the research efforts to help defeat Claire McCaskill. After working for the State Party, Freddie joined the House Republican Campaign Committee team, leading our Regional Field Team for the last two cycles, electing Republicans and defeating Democrats. In addition to his campaign efforts, Freddie has worked for Former Senator Roy Blunt’s office and he currently serves as President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden’s Communication Director.

Freddie often quotes the Dale Carnegie book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and if you ask most anyone who know’s Freddie, you can tell he has taken the lessons to heart. In his limited time in Missouri politics, he has proven to be a key ingredient on any successful campaign or legislative effort. I am nominating Freddie Adkins to be recognized as a “30 under 30 Honoree” for his commitment and dedication to helping elect Missouri Republicans up and down the ballot and choosing our great state to call home.

Mark was nominated by Jon Ratliff, a partner at Palm Strategic Group

Annie Le 

In her two sessions working at the Capitol, Annie Le — a Joplin native — has become one of the busiest and most effective legislative assistants in Jefferson City. Le works for two of the most promising rising stars in the Missouri Democratic Party: state Rep. Ashley Aune, who’s already put her name in contention to become the next minority leader, and state Rep. Betsy Fogle, who has served on the House Budget Committee since she arrived at the Capitol in 2021.Le also took on a request last summer from staff in Minority Leader Crystal Quade’s office to lend her graphic design talents, and in the process, she has played a major role in revitalizing, modernizing, and streamlining the Missouri House Democrats’ communications and branding efforts.

That’s just the work she does in the Capitol. She also serves as an events and communication consultant for the Missouri Asian American Youth Foundation, an organization that encourages civic engagement and solidarity for Asian youth across the state. And she recently became the Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee’s new digital director to take the reins of the organization’s online social media presence. Anyone can take on too many jobs and half-ass them to build their resume, but what makes Le stand out is that she has the talent and the diligence to do each of these jobs incredibly well.

And more than that, according to those who know her best, she approaches her job every day with kindness and empathy. She has helped foster a very unique and collaborative environment in her mezzanine with her fellow legislative assistants, which has genuinely turned it into a place of joy — even on particularly days that are difficult for members of the superminority.

Le is a shining example for the next generation of thoughtful political leadership — making change in the world simply by being the kind of person others strive to be.

Annie was nominated by her boss, State Representative Ashley Aune and the Office of House Minority Leader Crystal Quade.

Mark Fiegenbaum

Mark Fiegenbaum is a product of his rural Missouri upbringing, growing up in Lafayette county before attending Truman State University on a wrestling scholarship. It was his time at Truman State that first brought him to Jefferson City and our State Capitol Building as a part of the legislative intern program. He spent his first session in then-Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden’s office learning the ropes from office gatekeeper, Linda Bushman. Since that first session, Mark has continued to serve in Senator Rowden’s office, currently serving as the District Director, in the President Pro-Tems office.

In addition to Mark’s work inside the building, he has proven to be an impact player on multiple statewide, congressional, and state senate campaigns across Missouri. Mark was vital to Senator Rowden’s 2020 underdog re-election victory. No matter what task you put before him, big or small, daunting or mind numbing, Mark always gets it done without fault. His quiet demeanor, hilarious sense of humor and outstanding work ethic make him someone to know in Jefferson City. I am nominating Mark Fiegenbaum to be recognized as a “30 under 30 Honoree” for the positive impact he has made on state government and the campaigns that elect the leaders of our state.

Mark was nominated by Jon Ratliff, a partner at Palm Strategic Group

Sophia Shore

Campaigns are a tough business and the people who run them have to be equally tough.

At age 25 Sophie Shore has already shown folks what she’s made of. After leading Senator Jill Carter to an upset win last August, Sophie went on to serve as her chief of staff for the 2023 legislative session. Sophie and Senator Carter certainly had their work cut out for them learning to navigate the senate together and Sophie proved she was up to the challenge. After staffing Senator Carter during her first session Sophie decided to take on another huge challenge and was recently named as campaign manager to the Eigel for Governor campaign. Eigel may start out as the underdog in this race, but Sophie brings a level of enthusiasm and professionalism to what, I’m certain, will be a well run race. Keep an eye on Sophie Shore! I expect we’ll see her kicking butt on the campaign trail for years to come.

Sophia was nominated by Casey Burns, Principal at Leadbelt Strategies

Peter Coyne

When Peter applied, his resume was the one that stood out the most, even though he had just graduated from college. Among many other things, he’s interned in German legislative bodies, including the Berlin Bundestag (their equivalent of the House); he’s even written legislation in German! He’s served as operations coordinator for the Nebraska Democrats and was a paige in the Nebraska Senate. Peter is a rising star, and I’m looking forward to being able to say I knew him when! I just hope he hires me when the time comes!

Peter was nominated by State Representative Aaron Crossley

Abby Baerveldt

Abby Baerveldt is a St. Louis native and a 2022 graduate from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in Political Science. Following graduation, Abby immediately jump started her career by joining then Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s primary election campaign for U.S. Senate.
During the primary election, Abby served in the role of special assistant where she managed grassroots events, staffed fundraisers, and took over the campaign digital and social media portfolio. Following General Schmitt’s primary victory, she served in the role of digital director for the successful general election. Abby played a key role in electing Senator Eric Schmitt.
Abby is known for her hard charging work ethic and attitude by knowing what it takes to get things done. Since 2022, she’s worked on Capitol Hill and served as a campaign consultant for several state and local races around the country. She now heads to Oklahoma where she’s joining State Education Superintendent Ryan Walters team.
Abby is a communications, digital, and campaign professional who’s carried a high level of success in her home state. Her tenacity and instinct have driven her success. She’s earned this recognition.
Abby was nominated by Andrew Leppert, former Campaign Manager for Senator Eric Schmitt 

Aly Gatwood

Aly is non-stop energy. She works hard and always gets the job done right. She has an infectious personality that draws people to her and she knows the legislative process down to the last detail. She’s an invaluable part of our team.

Ally was nominated by Kurt Schaefer

Thomas Riggs

Thomas Riggs owns and operates Show-Me Strategic LLC, a political consulting firm with a rural-minded approach. Started in early 2023, Thomas has already done work for multiple clients, ranging from research, social media, outreach and ag policy.

Thomas was born and raised in Hannibal and began to find his way to politics through the legacy of Hannibal’s most famous son, Mark Twain. As a tour guide at the Mark Twain Cave, Thomas discovered his love and gift for people and storytelling. Thomas’ favorite memories from being a tour guide were meeting Brad Paisley and going on a tour with Senator Roy Blunt.

Thomas attended Columbia College and interned for Senator Blunt and Josh Hawley for Senate. Shortly before graduating, Thomas became the statewide Field Director for Governor Parson’s 2020 campaign. It was through his work with Governor Parson that he gained his most valuable experience by traveling the state in its entirety multiple times. Following graduation and the successful election of Governor Parson, Thomas served as a Field Representative for Congressman Sam Graves in Kansas City.

Thomas resides in Jefferson City with his wife Natalie and their 15 month old daughter who they affectionately refer to as “Hurricane Eleanor”

Thomas was nominated by Hunter Thomas

Maddie Green

Maddie Green is currently a principal for Husch Blackwell Strategies. She previously served as Deputy Attorney General for Policy at the Attorney General’s Office for the Bailey administration.

Green also served as Assistant Attorney General for Special Litigation under the Schmitt administration, handling critical litigation at the state and federal level. There, she was the lead attorney for the Hope Initiative, fighting against human trafficking in Missouri.

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Green served as chief of staff to the First Lady in the Governor’s Office, where she worked closely with the Governor’s policy and legislative teams on issues including foster care, adoption, and child welfare advocacy. She then served as manager of strategic initiatives and special assistant to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), where she worked with the Governor’s Cabinet and the state’s 16 executive departments to make government work better for the citizens of Missouri. Alongside the COO, she helped design and coordinate the state’s first flagship leadership development programs.

Only in her twenties, Maddie exemplifies what it means to be a 30 under 30 nominee. She has served the State of Missouri with distinction in a way few others have, and will be a rising star in the years to come.

Green was nominated by Madeline Sieren, Director of Communications for Attorney General Andrew Bailey

Grant Wilson

My name is Grant Wilson, and I’m originally from Nevada, MO, but have been living in Rolla, MO for two years. I was born on July 15, 1997. I graduated from Nevada High School in 2016, and from there, I attended Pittsburg State University in Kansas and received my undergraduate degree with Political science being my major, and a minor in History in 2020. I’m currently studying to receive my masters in public affairs through the University of Missouri.

My interest in politics began at a young age when my parents bought me a placemat when I was with in first grade that had all-then 43 presidents. When I would sit down at dinner every night, I learned to memorize all 43 of them and was able to name all of them, their vice presidents, and the first ladies. From then on out, I’ve been interested in politics. I stayed up to speed on politics all the way through school in Nevada and college, and had the pleasure of serving as the President of the Pittsburg State University College Republicans from 2019-2020. I worked on a campaign in Kansas for the summer of 2020, but when the opportunity came up to come and work in Missouri politics for Governor Mike Parson’s campaign in 2020, without hesitation, I accepted the position and moved to Jefferson City.

After working on the successful campaign that put Governor Parson back in the Governor’s Mansion, I went to work in the Missouri House of Representatives as a legislative assistant for former state representative Sara Walsh. In that position, I was able to help with pieces of legislation and help constituents who were having problems with receiving assistance from their state government. During my time on the Parson campaign, I had the opportunity to meet Congressman Jason Smith. I kept in close contact with him throughout 2021, and when a

position became open to come and work in his Rolla district office as a field representative, I applied, was hired, and moved to Rolla.

In my current position, I work with five counties out of our Rolla office. I attend meetings and events on Congressman Smith’s behalf whenever he’s in Washington D.C., and on occasion will speak on his behalf as well to give updates of what’s going on in our nation’s capital. Some of those events include meetings with county commissioners, local chambers of commerce meetings/luncheons, Lions Club meetings, economic development meetings, regional planning commission meetings, hospital meetings, etc. As a field representative, I’m the eyes and ears for Congressman Smith, and so when I attend these meetings, I keep the congressman up to speed on what’s going on in the district. When I’m not on the road, I work in our district office helping constituents who are having problems with a federal agency. For example, some of the calls, walk-ins, and interactions in the community may include somebody not receiving their tax return from the IRS, a sudden stop in receiving VA benefits, helping speed up the process for someone to receive Social Security benefits through the Social Security Administration, expedite a passport in being shipped to a constituent before an upcoming trip, etc.

In the Missouri Capitol on the third floor, there are words that say “not to be served, but to serve.” I live by those words each and every day while working for Congressman Jason Smith, and I couldn’t be more blessed to be in the position that I’m in. Being able to communicate what Congressman Smith is doing and how he’s helping Missourians by being the Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee and being able to provide assistance to those in need is what motivates me to get up and do work for the people. It truly is an honor and a privilege to call Missouri my home.

Grant was nominated by Hunter Thomas

Austin Higginbotham

Austin currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Mark Alford (MO-04). He is also a board member of the Republican Communications Association on Capitol Hill, which has allowed him to develop extensive experience in press and communications work.

Austin previously worked for various other Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, serving in the South Carolina, Texas, and Arizona delegations before finding a home in the Missouri delegation with Congressman Alford’s Staff. These experiences have afforded Austin the ability to build deep-seeded and comprehensive relationships throughout Capitol Hill.

Austin was nominated by Congressman Mark Alford