Rod Jetton owns Targeted Communications, a boutique content marketing company helping businesses build better relationships with their customers by delivering content that connects. Rod served as the marketing director for Schultz Surveying and Engineering Inc. from 2010 to 2013 where he helped double the company’s revenues allowing SSE to make the Inc. 500/5000 list in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Rodney was recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as the top Marketing Director in Southwest Missouri in 2011.
Rod joined SSE after serving eight years in the Missouri House of Representatives- including four years as the Speaker of the House before term limits required him to leave the legislature in 2009. He also ran a successful political consulting firm until January 2010, helping elect several county and state officials along with managing Mitt Romney’s 2008 Missouri presidential campaign.
As a House freshman in 2002, Rod was chosen to lead the political efforts of the minority Republican caucus. He played a key role in re-drawing the House legislative districts and developed a plan to recruit and train candidates to run in each district, spearheading the Republicans drive that netted fourteen new seats and captured the majority for the first time in 48 years.
He was elected Speaker Pro Tem in 2003 and he led the efforts on several legislative initiatives including legal reform, performance-based budgeting, welfare reform, educational choice and allowing law-abiding citizens the right to carry. He continued to coordinate the caucus political activates for the 2004 elections. Under his direction the majority grew to 97 seats giving Republicans their largest majority in state history.
Rod worked tirelessly to create a more bi-partisan environment where issues could be debated fairly. After he was elected Speaker in 2005 he proposed and passed sweeping rule changes despite opposition within his own party. The new rules gave the minority equal time for debate, and made other far-reaching changes that distributed power more evenly throughout the body.
During Rod’s tenure as Speaker Missouri he helped turn a $600 million deficit into a $500 million surplus. His focus on cutting wasteful spending a promoting economic development helped revitalize Missouri’s economy. In 2007 Rod authored and passed one of the largest tax cuts in state history by eliminating taxes on Social Security benefits. Another major concern for Rod was senior nutrition issues. He increased funding for nutrition programs and passed several bills to help ensure no Missourian would go to bed hungry.
For his legislative work Rod has been honored by more than 30 state and national organizations including:
- Lewis & Clark Statesman Award – Regional Chamber & Growth Association, 2003, 2005, 2008
- St. Louis Business Journal Legislative Award, 2005,2007,
- Missouri Chamber of Commerce- “Spirit of Enterprise Award” 2003
- Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives Legislative Leadership Award, 2006
- Missouri Farm Bureau “Friend of Agriculture” Award, 2002, 2004, 2006
- Missouri Bicycle Federation- Distinguished Service to Missouri Bicycling Award,2008
- Eagle Forum, Eagle Award, 2003
- Missouri Republican Party, Pachyderm of the Year, 2005
- Missouri Retired Teacher Association, Legislator of the Year, 2007
- National Federation of Independent Businesses, Guardian of Small Business Award, 2005
Helping Missouri turn deficits into surpluses as Speaker was not the first time Rod had dealt with a tough budget situation. In 1996 Rod was elected to the Bollinger County Commission, and they had a huge $350,000 debt. For a rural county with a with small revenue stream it seemed impossible to get it paid off. Working with the other commissioners he found ways to cut costs and save money. Because of their cost cutting measures and without raising taxes Bollinger County was pulled completely out of debt before his first term ended.
Before his election to the legislature in 2000, Rod served in the military and was a successful businessman. He founded and owned a successful real estate company in Bollinger County. Rod is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he was promoted to the rank of Captain before receiving an honorable discharge in 2001. While on active duty he was involved in the Somalia and Bosnia operations. He is a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW Post 5900. Rod has a history and political science degree from Southwest Baptist University.
Rod understands the highs and lows of life. He went through a devastating divorce in 2009, and 2010 turned out to be an even harder year for Rod. He was the target of a grand jury investigation concerning his handling of a bill in the 2005 legislative session. Plus he was charged with and arrested for felony assault. While he was never convicted of a crime, it was a very dark time in his life. Now that his troubles are behind him, he credits his faith in God for providing him the strength to make it through those tough times. Rod enjoys outdoor activities such as running, hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. He is a member of Gideons International and attends the Sanctuary of Hope Church in Branson, Missouri. Rod is also the father of three wonderful children Callie, Emily and Will. To learn more about him, go to www.rodjetton.com