Meet Your Commissioners
Submitted by Presiding Commissioner Marilyn Ruestman
Presiding Commissioner Marilyn Ruestman, elected in 2010.
Marilyn has been a resident of Newton County for 50 years and has resided in the Reding Mills area since 1971. She has served as an elected official for Newton County for 12 years, as a Commissioner, as well as a Missouri State Representative. She attended Benton Elementary School in Neosho, has an Associate’s Degree from Joplin Junior College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Missouri Southern State University, a Master’s Degree (with honors) from Pittsburg State University. The Ruestman family has been in the construction and real estate business since 1946. Marilyn was district assistant to US Representative Hancock for eight years. Marilyn and her husband Dick have three children and four grandchildren.
Associate Commissioner Alan Cook, elected in 2012.
Alan was born in Neosho and has been a lifelong resident of Newton County. Alan is a graduate of Crowder College, attended MSSU, and then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Oklahoma Christian University. He was employed by Leggett & Platt for 23 years in the Computer Information Technology Department, serving as Staff Vice President-Head of Development. In that position he served as Project Manager for several mutli-million dollar projects; and was involved in long range planning, disaster recovery, financial compliance regulations, and software installations. He worked at EFCO, a Pella Company for over four years as a Business Partner in the Human Resources Department. His responsibilities included managing employee relations for over 1,200 employees, recruiting, and conducting management level training courses. Alan and his wife M’lle live in Granby; they have two daughters.
Associate Commissioner Jim Jackson, elected in 2012.
Jim has lived in the area for more than 40 years. Prior to his election to office in 2012, Jim had a 35 year broadcasting career. He began as an on air announcer in 1977 at KCTE Radio in Southwest City, Missouri. He joined KSNF TV in Joplin, Missouri in 1980 and served as the station’s main 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. news anchor for more than 30 years. A graduate of Missouri Southern State University, Jim served as an Adjunct Instructor of Communications for 11 years at Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri. Jim is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War serving in the US Navy in the early 1970s. Jim and his wife Susan live in Neosho; they have two daughters and two grandchildren.