Derek grew up in Cobb County and is a graduate of Sprayberry High School. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Derek went to work as a congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide, where he spent six years working to help Georgians in Cobb County and across the state. He has worked in the government relations space for over 20 years, most recently as the Director of Government Relations for the Medical Association of Georgia, where he represented Georgia physicians and patients. In 2021, Derek formed and currently serves as the CEO of Topspin Strategies, Inc., a governmental affairs firm representing multiple clients at the State Capitol.
Derek was elected Mayor of the City of Smyrna in 2019. He previously served four years as the Ward 1 representative on the Smyrna City Council. He has served on several local boards and committees in the City including the Board of Directors for Keep Smyrna Beautiful and the Smyrna Business Association, the Executive Committee for the Smyrna Vision initiative, and served three terms as president of his neighborhood homeowners association. Derek is very involved in local Smyrna schools and sponsors various student groups and teams across the city annually.
Derek and his wife, Laura, are members of Smyrna First United Methodist Church. They have two children, Samantha and Jack.