Joan Ballweg was born the oldest of four to a first generation American in West Allis, WI on March 16, 1952. After graduating from Nathan Hale High School in 1970, Joan received her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Joan and husband Tom married in 1974 and settled down in Markesan, WI after purchasing an agricultural and lawn equipment dealership.
While Joan and Tom together ran a successful business in Markesan, Joan began to demonstrate her leadership and commitment to the community. In 1984, she chaired the Markesan Revitalization Committee and in the fall of 1986 was elected as Alderperson to the Markesan City Council. Joan helped to found the Markesan PTA in 1987 to fight against all day kindergarten and served as its president in 1989. Joan served as alderperson to the Markesan City Council until being elected to serve as Mayor in the fall of 1990, a capacity in which she served until 1997.
Joan has exhibited leadership in education, business and health care. She participated as a spokesperson for the City of Markesan school referendum in 1998 and served as a member of the Waupun Memorial Hospital Board of Directors from 1999 to 2005, after serving as Chairperson of the board from 2002 to 2005 and on the management committee of Agnesian HealthCare Enterprises, LLC from 2003 to 2004.
After winning a nine way Republican primary in September 2004, Joan was elected in November 2004 to represent Wisconsin’s 41st district in the State Assembly. Now in her fifth term, Joan serves as Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Council, and as a member of the following committees: Colleges and Universities, Tourism, Assembly Organization, Rules, and Building Commission. She has served on the following special committees: 911 Communications, Emergency Management and Continuity of Government, Continuity of Legislative Operations, Review of Higher Education Financial Aid Programs, Differences in Laws Applicable to Cities and Villages, and Review of Emergency Detention and Admission of Minors Under Chapter 51.
Joan has authored legislation impacting agriculture, small businesses, health care, education, state preparedness and homeland security in the State of Wisconsin. She is fighting to expand the eligibility of financial aid to part time and non-traditional students; she has achieved the passage of Donate to Life Wisconsin license plates in an effort to raise awareness and funds for organ donation; has achieved the opportunity for residents and non-residents to purchase on-day fishing licenses and is working hard to modernize and provide greater access to the small claims courts process in Wisconsin.
Joan and husband Tom live in Markesan, WI with daughter Becky (21). They have two adult children who reside outside the district, Jeffrey (31) and Kristen (30).