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About Theresa Greenfield

Business Leader, Mother, Farm Kid

Theresa Greenfield grew up on a family farm in southern Minnesota, just over the Iowa border. She and her four siblings were taught the value of hard work and self-reliance. Her father, Derald, encouraged his daughters to do everything the boys did on the Greenfield farm, including driving the tractors and the grain trucks, baling hay and feeding hogs. As Theresa likes to put it, “There were no boy jobs. There were no girl jobs. Just jobs that needed doing.”

From the time they were 16, Theresa and her twin sister Maria would meet with area farmers to negotiate terms and mark out fields for the family crop-dusting business, giving Theresa experience in how small businesses operate at a young age.

Like many of their neighbors, Theresa’s family suffered through the farm crisis of the early 1980s. But thanks to student financial aid and multiple part-time jobs, Theresa put herself through college, studying first at Iowa Lakes Community College and Iowa State University before graduating from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.

She also met and fell in love with Rod Wirtjes, married and settled down in Buffalo Center, Iowa. Rod, a journeyman lineman and member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) shared Theresa’s common sense, small-town values and work ethic. Theresa was just 24 years old – with a 1-year-old and four months pregnant – when Rod was killed at work. With the support of her family, community, Social Security and workers’ compensation, Theresa restarted her life by returning to school to study for a profession that would help her provide for her two boys as a single mom.

After working with numerous communities as an urban planner, Theresa joined Rottlund Homes, then a major developer and home-building company based in Minneapolis. She was soon tapped to head Rottlund’s Iowa division in Des Moines. Today she is president of Colby Interests, a family-owned commercial real estate company based in the Des Moines area.

Theresa and husband Steve Miller, owner of a marketing and communication business, live in Des Moines. Together they have four grown children: Tanya, Nick, Phil, and Dane, who is a soldier in the U.S. Army.

Theresa is running for Congress with the same farm kid values and plain-spoken, get-it-done attitude she has demonstrated throughout her life. She knows it will take Iowa values – mixed with a heavy dose of can-do common sense – to overcome the problems we face here and in Washington.