CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY

Meet Alison Theiss

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Get to know the woman behind the movement, her life, what she stands for, and what her plans are for Wayne County and the state of Ohio!

I know what struggling Ohioians need because I’ve lived it.

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Hi everyone, I’m Alison Theiss, your Democratic candidate for Ohio state representative in District 1. I’m a proud Navy mom who raised a son as a single mother.

I understand the needs of struggling Ohioans as I’ve lived it. I’ve been food poor, lost my house, and put off medical care because I could not afford it. I drove my 2000 Cavalier until it died because I took out a series of high-interest loans just to get by. I still struggle at times to pay what is needed, but I feel very fortunate now as I have a steady job and employer-based health care.

Education

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The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Bachelor of Arts degree received May 2011

Major: Psychology, Minor: Business Administration

The University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

Master of Industrial-Organizational Psychology October 2013

Organizations & Clubs

-Founding Chapter Co-President, University of Akron chapter Active Minds
-Member Psi Chi

 

Solo Entrepreneur

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I’ve been a serial entrepreneur all my life. It started at the grand old age of five when I needed money for some cool toy I wanted. My dad taught me that if I wanted something, earn the money for it. So up went my lemonade stand. It took me all summer, but I bought that toy!

My lemonade stand gave way to fixing bicycles and washing cars to make money for school trips. A little later in life, I had a pet sitting service before pet sitting was “in” and moved from that to making all-natural dog treats before treating dogs like the furbabies they are hit primetime.

Fast forward to being a new mom with a baby and a husband who started a new job at a local manufacturing plant in Wooster. Money was tight, and we only had one car. So how could I make a little extra money from home? Back in 2001, there were not as many online opportunities as there are today. I decided to mix my desire to help people with my love of oracle cards & numerology. I started offering my advice on eBay and after a couple of years moved to my own website.

At the start of the Great Recession in 2007, I found myself a single mother with no way to earn a living. I did not have a college degree, I had been out of the workforce since 1997, and no one wanted to take a chance. So what was I going to do?

Take my business from a side hustle to the main source of income.

My income grew as I discovered people wanted advice from careers, to relationships, to helping women get their mojo back. The business gave me enough money to keep our heads above water. It’s been a blessing to have people from all over the world seek me out for my brand of advice.

During this time I also wrote several books, unproduced screenplays, and TV pilots. My love of writing led to a branch of business on helping people develop their stories and get them published.

After nine years of the financial ups and downs of having a business, I decided I wanted a steady income. Finding someone to hire me still wasn’t easy – despite the fact that by now I earned my master’s degree. The sad reality still remained that I had not been in the traditional workforce since 1997 and I was over the age of 40.

Lucky for me, Wooster City Schools hired me first as a bus aide in 2016 and then I became a contracted school bus driver in 2017. This is a job I love and I am proud to be a bus driver.

I still help people in various ways because at the end of the day, helping people is what I love to do.

Personal Life

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My single-parent status happened at the worst time, the start of the Great Recession. I found quickly that being a single parent isn’t easy, especially if no one will hire you. With zero job prospects, I decided to head back to school for my bachelor’s and masters in psychology.

While attending school, I designed my life around my son so that I could be there if he needed me.

I did this by turning a part-time side gig of helping others into a full-time business. Despite my motivation to have a good life for my son and me, I found myself having to temporarily lean on the system for food stamps, health care, and help with utilities.

I have had many people ask why I am driving a school bus for Wooster City Schools when I have a master’s degree. At the beginning of my employment, that answer was simple, this was the only job offer I received since I started my job search in 2007. However, if asked why I stay at the job the answer is easy; I love my students.

From preschool through high school, I care about my students and want them to succeed no matter if they live in the disadvantaged south end, behind the College of Wooster, or across from the Country Club. I use what I’ve learned for my psychology degrees to try to understand what they are going through and how I can talk to them in a way that will be helpful to them. Driving a school bus isn’t about me, it’s about them, the children, a parent’s most precious cargo.

I come from a union household, so it was an easy decision to become a WEA union representative for the transportation department. Being pro-union, I will always stand on the side of worker’s rights.

I’ve lived in Doylestown as a child, Wooster as a single mother, and now in Shreve. I know Wayne County and want to serve the needs of residents and communities alike.

As a proud Democrat, I will put energy into working with diverse constituencies. I believe “we work better together,” instead of against one another.

Vote for authentic representation. Vote for me, Alison Theiss.