Originally born in Indiana, Derek moved to Gig Harbor with his family at the age of 8. He attended Peninsula public schools and after coming home from college, Derek worked in the private sector in finance and consulting.
At 21, Derek was asked to run for Gig Harbor City Council. Winning reelection 3 more times, he spent 16 years leading locally and regionally on growth, transportation, and budget policy.
In 2015 Derek was again called to run for Pierce County Council. As member of the Council, Derek represents District #7 which covers the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsulas, Islands, and parts of North and West Tacoma.
He chairs the Community Development Committee which directs land use, environment, and park policy. He also serves as vice-chair of the Public Safety, Human Services, & Budget Committee responsible for law enforcement, corrections, justice, public health, and human services. Externally, Derek serves on the National Association of Counties Health Policy Board, Washington Association of Counties Law and Legislative Steering Committees, Washington Telecom Officials and Advisors Board, Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Policy Board, Pierce County Regional Council, and Rainier Communications Commission.