Waukee Patch: What’s your background?
Erna Morain: I am originally from Amsterdam (the Netherlands). I came to this country, to Des Moines, in 1983. I lived in West Des Moines and moved to Waukee eight years ago.
Waukee Patch: What sort of things have you been involved with in Waukee?
Erna Morain: Since we moved to Waukee, I've always been involved in my daughter's school. The Leadership Institute has been instrumental in a lot my involvement in the city and they’ve realized that, so now they have my number. I've been in the Rotary Club for several years. I've served on the board of the Leadership Institute for several years, as well as the Waukee Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO). With any of these organizations, the aim is at offering leadership and then making room for new leaders and moving on.
Waukee Patch: How did it happen that you filled in for Melinda Behn at the Chamber?
Erna Morain: When Melinda announced to the board of the Waukee Chamber that there would be a need for someone to fill her shoes while she was away, I volunteered. I have some time available and it just happened to work out so I offered my services to them. I started on March 12. Melinda will be back on April 23.
Waukee Patch: How do you promote business in Waukee?
Erna Morain: The big benefit is that people here are very loyal, they have that sense of community and support business-to-business. When somebody starts a new business, sometimes it's hard to get the word out. We help promote their business. When people learn of a new business in Waukee, they will patronize it.
Waukee Patch: What's the benefit of joining the Waukee Chamber of Commerce?
Erna Morain: Anyone can be a member of the Chamber. Most of our members are business owners but you can join as an individual. Most of the time, the individuals that join have been involved with the Chamber or have been a business owner, or even worked outside this area and they like to stay involved. For new residents of Waukee, I would recommend looking at the Chamber website and looking at all the events. It's a great opportunity to see what’s happening in the city.
Waukee Patch: What do you like about life in Waukee?
Erna Morain: For me, the beauty of living in Waukee is that it's close enough that if I want to be in the city, it's just minutes away. Waukee also has its own identity and it's a real community and such a fast growing community with a younger generation coming up. To feel the energy, to see what’s going on and be part of news business - everything that we need in our daily lives, I can do in Waukee.
Waukee Patch: What should people know about you that they may not know already?
Erna Morain: Most people know more about me than I know about myself. I was born in Amsterdam but I am very proud to be American. I really love this country and love Iowa and the greater Des Moines area. I'm married and together we have five kids. I'm very active. I love the bike trails, running, swimming, skiing, gardening, traveling, too many things to count.