John N. Tree (D-IL-10)
John N. Tree Congressional Candidate Illinois District 10
Biography of John N. Tree from Friends of John Tree
Democrat John Tree is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a successful businessman, former collegiate athlete, a husband and a father.
The son of a career Air Force Fighter Pilot and combat veteran, John is an Eagle Scout who lived in eighteen different places by the time he entered college at the United States Air Force Academy. His family of eight struggled at times living on a single military paycheck, but his upbringing was rich with experience as John grew up in communities across the country and across the world.
Between his second and third year at the Air Force Academy, John spent two years as a missionary in Haiti where he encountered devastating poverty, malnutrition, high infant mortality and humbling hardship. His mission building homes and tending to those in desperate need changed his life, inspiring him to always to stand up for those in need. As a result of these two years in Haiti, John Tree believes strongly in the role of government to tend to the most vulnerable in our society, and will fight Republican efforts to destroy the basic safety net that keeps the elderly and children from being overwhelmed by the growing poverty in America. That work in Haiti was a transformative experience for Tree, who left a childhood shaped by conservative Mormon parents and grew into an adult who left that faith and that political upbringing to become a strong, progressive Democrat.
John left Air Force active duty in 1997 and currently serves in the Air Force Reserve as the Senior Reservist to the Director of Global Combat Support for the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon. A highly-decorated Colonel, John has deployed to multiple conflicts around the world and has served with distinction for over 21 years.
John’s private sector career as an entrepreneur and a healthy foods executive has been diverse and equally successful. He started his business career as an Assistant Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble and then worked as a Senior Brand Manager and Marketing Director at The Kellogg Company, President of a local small natural foods business with twenty employees, and along with his wife Michelle, a Wharton MBA Graduate, ran a business from their own home helping companies market their healthy food and drink brands.
John Tree understands how economies grow, and how businesses succeed and create jobs. He holds an MBA from Chaminade University in Hawaii and a Masters in Economics from the University of Oklahoma.
Tree, 45, was working at the Pentagon in May of 2011 as the debate over the debt ceiling was unfolding in Congress. As it became clear that an agreement might not be reached, the Pentagon had to plan for the scenario that our troops and their families would not get paid in the event of a government shutdown.
Knowing what it was like to grow up in a military family living paycheck to paycheck, Tree decided then and there he would get directly into the fight to protect middle-class families. He was motivated to run for Congress when it became clear that incumbent Congressman Bob Dold was siding with extremists in Congress who were willing to put their party before their country and shut down our government.
John would bring broad experience to Congress on both economic and foreign policy matters.
During the period 1994 to 1997, Tree served as Chief of West Mediterranean Logistics for the 16th Air Force at Aviano Air Base, Italy and was responsible for Air Force logistics support for Tunisia, Morocco and Israel. Israel was assigned to Tree’s portfolio because all of the countries that border Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean were hostile to Israel. John was on the ground in Israel on twelve different occasions collaborating with the Israeli Air Force on military security. His security clearance allowed him to see realities that most Americans don’t see, fueling his strong support for the State of Israel.
John is married to Michelle Tree and they have two children together, including a new baby boy born in January, 2012. It is a 2nd marriage for both of them, and they each have two children from first marriages who live with them in Long Grove. John’s oldest daughter Stephanie died tragically from an accidental drug overdose in 2011.