I was born in St. Louis, grew up in Imperial, and attended St. Joseph Grade School in Kimmswick and St. Pius X High School. I attended Benedictine College, UMSL and the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Upon leaving college, I went to work in the "family" business (Wieland Auto Parts). I remained in the auto parts industry, working for parts stores, warehouses, etc., eventually becoming the Sales Manager at AMI Warehouse, Inc.
My wife, Terri and I have been married for over 20 years, we live in Imperial, where we are raising our three daughters, Coleen, Cathy, and Nikki. I am a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church; and a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
I became active in public service in the early 1990's and I remain heavily involved today. I have served on the St. Pius Advisory Board, Jefferson County Health and Safety Foundation and as co-chair for the St. Pius Long Range Planning Committee. I am also a member of the Twin Cities Rotary, and on the Jefferson County Community Partnership Board.
Past service includes: Chairman of the Jefferson County Health Department, Chairman of the St. Joseph School Board, and Chairman of the University of Missouri Extension Council. I was a founding member of Jeffco Business Network, and a member of the Mastodon Arts & Sciences Fair Advisory Board.
In 1994, I was elected State Representative in the 101st District. While serving in the General Assembly, I started my first small business - "Benderman". In 1997 I went back to work in the automotive field for a short spell until I had the opportunity to go to work for NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business).
I left NFIB in 2003 to start my own small business. With my ever supportive wife, Terri, we created and published The Edition monthly newspaper. In 2004 we added to our publications by starting the Jefferson County Business Journal.
I began to pursue a new career in the Insurance industry in 2005. In 2006 we accepted an offer to sell the Business Journal, and in 2007 we founded Wieland Insurance Group, LLC.
In 2010 after three years of growth in our insurance agency I decided to once again serve the community in a greater capacity and ran for State Representative. I won a three-way race with over 50% of the vote. In 2012 I won re-election with over 59% of the vote.
I chair the Issue Development Standing Committee on Missouri Ports; serve as Vice-Chair of the Insurance Policy Committee, and a member on the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement, Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Downsizing State Government Committees.
In my years in the House I have handled and passed many bills which have passed the House, seven of which passed were truly agreed to and finally passed by both chambers and became law. One bill HB339 became law in a bipartisan manor by overriding a Governor's veto, a first for any legislator from Jefferson County.
I was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2014 where I’m honored to serve the people of the 22nd Senatorial District. I currently serve as Chairman of the Insurance and Banking committee in the Missouri Senate. In addition, I have been appointed Vice Chairman of Small Business and Industry. Other committee appointments include the Committees on Economic Development, Seniors Families and Children, Professional Registration, and the Joint Committee on Education.