I am a reformer of Europe who was brought up on porridge.
As the firstborn in a family of five children, I was given an ideal share of responsibility and freedom already in my childhood home. I grew up in Alavus in the Southern Ostrobothnia region where my parents worked as entrepreneurs.
We moved to Jyväskylä when I was a teenager. Although I have spent a few years in Denmark and in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Jyväskylä has since been my home town. I also studied in the University of Jyväskylä and graduated as a Licentiate of Philosophy with Communication as my major.
I have always been a hard worker. Right after comprehensive school at the age of 16, I went to work in a horse stable. It was the dream job of a horse girl! Soon after that, I continued the same work abroad when I got a job in Denmark.
I have become familiar with a wide variety of jobs: in addition to stables, I have laboured away in e.g. an ice cream stall, a clothes shop and distributing newspapers. During my studies, I was able to work in my own field in the newspaper Keskisuomalainen. I worked as a Communication Planner and later as a co-owner in the communications agency Medita Communication.
My family consists of my husband Matti who is a Municipal Manager and our son Väinö. Our energetic Jack Russell terrier Lili makes sure that we exercise daily and if we are in need of a really fast-paced run, our trotter Valpuri is happy to help.
My favourite hobby these days is, in fact, running. Longer runs and even marathons serve as a great balance for work. I also love books, as does the rest of my family. In addition to reading, we are all enthusiastic fans of spectator sports. I prefer the trotting-races and Finnish baseball, but I also enjoy the atmosphere in an ice hockey or football stand.
My political career started with the Finnish referendum on joining the EU and the simultaneous presidential election. Those were the worst years of youth unemployment in the middle of the depression. I wanted to develop Finland and Europe so that they would encourage people to use their abilities, work and be entrepreneurs. That same goal has remained a driving force for me throughout the years. The most important thing for me is that Finland and Finns get on and succeed.
Over the years, I have served in multiple different positions of trust in Jyväskylä and the National Coalition Party. I was elected a Member of the Parliament on my third try in 2007. The following year, I was assigned the responsibilities of the Minister of Education. During my second season, I was the Minister of Public Administration, Local Government and Transport.
My seven years as an MP and five years as a Minister have provided solid networks and the ability to reach goals. In the European Parliament, I was appointed to the committees that I hoped for, where I can promote the interest of Finland and Europe. I am a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and a substitute of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN).