I was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1966 to Wayne and Wilma Musselwhite. My dad is your typical hard working blue collar man and has incredible mechanical abilities. If something is broken, he will study it and find a way to fix it. My dad modeled and passed on to me the spirit of American ingenuity and resourcefulness. I am blessed to still have both my parents to learn from -- our elders have so much to teach us.

We gradually moved south throughout the years from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and finally to Florida. I graduated from Mobile County High School in Alabama, Class of 1984. A student loan made it possible for me to enroll in the University of South Alabama as a communications major; I thought I wanted a job in Radio or TV.

Life happens fast, I left college to start a family at 19, so I understand the struggles of making enough money to support a young family. Fortunately I had extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents that helped provide what we needed to get started. I would not be the person I am today without their help and encouragement. After minimum wage jobs in retail, the food industry and general labor I realized I needed additional training to be able to make a better living. I soon found myself learning refrigeration, pipe fitting and welding.

I worked as a pipe-fitter and welder for a number of years, those jobs included refrigeration warehouses, chicken processing plants, chemical plants, refineries, coal fired, natural gas, geothermal, and nuclear power plants. These jobs have been located all over the US, from Florida to Washington St. and from Texas to Minnesota.

In 2007, I became a certified welding inspector. Welding Codes and specifications are in place to ensure the safety of those at the facilities as well as the surrounding communities. Providing quality oversight is an enormous responsibility, and I am grateful they thought I had the integrity, as well as the intelligence to fulfill their commitment to quality.

Traveling across this great country has given me a unique perspective and allowed me to meet a lot of people from various backgrounds and cultures. Each place has its own way of solving problems. We can learn much from other’s successes as well as their failures.

Time has a way of moving way too fast. After years of travel working as a welder and currently as an inspector, my children are now adults with families of their own. I look forward to the next chapter in our lives, and taking an even greater responsibility, meeting the challenges of representing Florida District 20.

5 Generations of my family.

Above picture: Evelyn Jones Tidwell (Grandmother), Wilma Musselwhite (Mother), Greg Musselwhite, David Musselwhite (Son), Fischer Wade Musselwhite (Grandson). Five generations of my family.

My dad, Wayne Musselwhite.

My Dad, Wayne Musselwhite during a fishing trip off of Dauphin Island, AL