Family, Community & Me
My parents moved our family to the Sherwood area in 1975. My parents traded a suburban house for seven acres of farmland on Chehalem Mountain. I was nine years old at the time and could not understand why we would leave all my friends for a "fixer upper" farmhouse in the boonies.
Looking back, I don't regret a thing. I grew up roaming the hills and woods between Newberg and Sherwood. I would walk the railroad tracks into Sherwood and Newberg to visit my friends, and in the local arcades, spend the money I earned picking strawberries. I feel blessed to have grown up in such a fantastic part of our state.
After Graduating High School in 1984 in Newberg, I enlisted in the Air Force. My initial training was in Avionics, but I ended up working as a Helicopter Search and Rescue Crew Chief at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This was one of the most rewarding and impactful times of my life. In 1987, I transferred to the USAF Reserves and started a new career as a software engineer for a small local software company in Newberg.
In 1997, I met my future wife Sharon. In our first year as a couple, we built a house in Woodhaven and got married, and I started a new job. That was a busy year, but a great test that validated the strength of our relationship.
In 2004, we took a big step and started a family with the birth of our daughter Anna. We knew when Anna was born that she would need a brother or a sister; in 2007, we got both—twins! All three of our kids attend Sherwood Public Schools.
Government Experience & Career
I am currently a Sherwood City Councilor. I was appointed to fill one of the vacant seats created by the recall of two city councilors in October of 2017. The recall centered around concerns over fiscal responsibility, highlighted by the effort of some on the council to end the YMCA's presence in our community. I was approached by many friends, neighbors and colleagues to sign up to fill one of the vacant seats. I believe that my reasoned, fact-based, non-confrontational approach to the recall effort was a primary reason that I was asked to apply and ultimately why the remaining councilors selected me to serve as a Sherwood City Councilor. The voters affirmed the councils decision during a special election in March of 2018.
As a leader and small business owner, the majority of my 33-year career has been focused on delivering innovative technology and consulting services to over 900 local governments across the United States. My time at Accela and Springbrook Software was dedicated to helping local governments to provide quality services with efficiency and transparency while protecting the public trust.
We did this by offering consulting and software solutions that helped cities with everything from running finance and payroll to planning and zoning, infrastructure asset management, utility billing, permitting, and community outreach/engagement. I have spent over 15 years of my career on the ground, working with local governments and city councils all across our great country.
My career gives me a unique perspective on how to run local government efficiently and be responsive to the needs of our community. At this point in my life/career, I want to take what I have learned and give back to my local community.
Feel free to check out my LinkedIn page for more detail on my career in government technology, aviation, and retail technology.
Sherwood “Robin Hood” Elks