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The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Murphy’s Bay owner puts love of antiques to work

Putman devotes more than 35 years to Bluffs arts scene

Wagner goes above and beyond with volunteering

Laughlin brings theater, good hair to county

First Assembly of God’s Oberg here to serve

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Submitted photo

Shirley Hanafan, left, and her husband, Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan.

For last 25 years, Shirley Hanafan has shared her husband with Council Bluffs TIM ROHWER

trohwer@nonpareilonline.com

One could say that Shirley Hanafan has been the first lady of Council Bluffs for the last 25 years, though it wouldn’t come from her. “Tom is the celebrity, I am not,” she said, referring to her husband, Tom, the mayor of this community all these many years. High school sweethearts from their days at Thomas Jefferson High School, the Hanafans will begin a new, hopefully more relaxed chapter in their lives early next year when Tom steps down from the city’s top position. “The following week we’re head-

ing to Florida for a vacation,” Shirley said. To be the mayor of a community demands frequent time away from family – early morning breakfast meetings, evening and weekend functions, as well as the 8 to 5 daily routine. It was no exception for Tom Hanafan and Shirley understood that. “If people wanted him at a function, he would be there,” she said. “It wouldn’t be like him to say no and I understood that.” There were times during these 25 years when official business conflicted with family events, Shirley said, but quickly added, “We dealt with that. It hasn’t been bad.”

During the past 25 years, Shirley saw first hand how her husband dealt with memorable moments – good and bad. This included the 1988 tornado that occurred just months into his first term. The Hanafans lived on the city’s west side at the time, which is where most of the damage occurred. Shirley and her children stayed with relatives, while Tom spent most of the time at city command centers. “We didn’t see him for a week,” Shirley said. “For me, I think that time affected him the most because of the damage to the city.” Obviously, the 2011 flood came to mind quickly, though she saw her

husband more frequently than the tornado, Shirley said. As far as the good times, her husband was excited when the casinos came in, plus the arrival of Google and the jobs it created, she said. A special moment occurred just recently when city officials named the River’s Edge Park in his honor. “That is something he will always cherish,” Shirley said. “It was an emotional moment for him and it showed there are times when things will touch him. I don’t think anyone in our family had a dry eye. It was awesome moment for him.” Shirley also spoke with pride about how Tom ran a clean ship during his 25 years at the city’s helm.

“There never has been any controversy. Even during campaigns, it was always straight forward and nothing negative. People like that.” Shirley, who is 66, and Tom are both 1965 graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School. Retired six years ago from the Union Pacific Railroad Co., where she was a quality analyst, Shirley wasn’t surprised when Tom announced his retirement earlier this year. “It was just a good time to do it,” she said. At last, they will have all the time in the world to enjoy their children, Chris and Kari, and their six grandchildren. “It will be good,” she said.

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2013 Southwest Woman

2F Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Daily Nonpareil

Murphy’s Bay owner puts love of old to work

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COURTNEY BRUMMER

cbrummer@nonpareilonline.com

ecky King just got back from a business trip to Georgia. And while most people who travel for business have to attend conferences or meetings, King got to spend her time shopping. The owner/operator of Murphy’s Bay, a home decor and antique store, laughed as she talked about her recent excursion to the south. “I haven’t had a chance to put things out yet,” she said. King sees the beauty in things that are aged and historic. Her favorite items is furniture from the 1930s and 1940s. “I like everything, but I really like the workmanship of that time,” she said. “The wood is so beautiful and there is something so different about the detail. I can’t put my finger on it, but I love it.” A former real estate appraiser, King turned her lifelong love of antiques into a business, which is located at 1840 Madison Ave., near Dairy Queen and across from Village Inn. When the housing market started

to slump, King said she decided it was time for a job change. “I was tired of that stressful life,” she said. “I thought I should do something fun, that I would enjoy doing. I walk in now and I’m happy to be at work, I’m not stressed out all of the time.” King credits her mother for inspiring her love of antiques. “We would take small trips to go ‘antiquing,’ maybe spending a weekend in Missouri, Iowa or Colorado,” King told the Nonpareil when her store first opened. Since the opening, she said she has been busy, with several customers coming in looking for specific items from antique kitchen utensils to hoosier cabinets. She said furniture such as library tables and rockers have also been popular. “It depends on what they are looking for,” she said. “But, I’ve had a lot of people come in here and say ‘Wow, Council Bluffs needed this.’ I think that’s cool.” She said the location of her store – inside Village of Madison Avenue – is the perfect place for her. “We’re just off the interstate, it’s great parking and its a quaint, rustic little spot,” she said. “It fits the whole area.”

Staff photos/Kyle Bruggeman

Murphy’s Bay antique store owner Becky King sits with her dog, Murphy, outside her shop on June 7. Murphy’s Bay opened earlier this year.

Tips for women juggling a family and a career Metro Creatvie Connection

The days when single income households were the norm are long gone, as nowadays both Mom and Dad must work in order to make ends meet. That reality has left many women juggling the obligations of motherhood with the obligations of a successful career. Such a juggling act is seldom easy, and many mothers find themselves neglecting one obligation for the benefit of another. The following are a few tips to make balancing work and family a little easier. • Share the responsibilities. While the days of the single-income household may be a thing of the past, many of the conventions of those days remain. Women may still feel the responsibility to cook family meals, clean up after the children and make it to all of their children’s sporting events or other school-related events. But those responsibilities should be shared so women can ensure they’re giving both their careers and families the attention each deserves. Devise a schedule where both parents tackle such responsibilities equally so each parent knows when they have some wiggle room. For example, if your husband routinely cooks on Tuesdays, then you know you won’t need to rush home on Tuesday night and you might be able to stay at the office a little later to work on

a project or catch up on work. Such sharing and scheduling can considerably reduce the stress of juggling a family and a career. • Exercise daily. Juggling a family and a career is often stressful, and stress can have a very adverse effect on your health. Women with high stress levels are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and cardiovascular disease. But the American Psychological Association notes the positive impact of exercise as a means to alleviating stress, citing studies that have shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than people who are sedentary. It’s easy to become irritable when stressed, and no mother wants

to be irritable in the presence of her children. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way to alleviate the stress of juggling a family and a career, and you can even incorporate your family into your exercise routine, going for nightly walks after dinner or playing with your children in the yard. • Stay involved with your child’s school. Many mothers find staying active with their children’s school is a great opportunity for them to bond with their kids and keep abreast of developments at their school. Such involvement can be minimal, such as attending a monthly luncheon with kids or agreeing to be a chaperone on one or two class trips per year. Such events are

typically scheduled months in advance, so you should have ample time to arrange a break from the office without neglecting your professional responsibilities. • Take advantage of work-from-home policies. As technology has advanced, many companies have become much more lenient with regard to employees working from home. If your company allows you to work from home, even if it’s only once per week, then take advantage of that offer. This can provide more time with your kids, it will likely save you money on childcare, and you are certain to appreciate the opportunity to skip your daily commute, even if it is only once a week or a couple of times per month.

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2013 Southwest Woman

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, June 16, 2013

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t’s not just a man’s world. For the female staff members at Bath Fitter in Omaha, their working world is as much a woman’s as it is a man’s. Bath Fitter specializes in a oneday bath remodeling concept. They are most famous for acrylic tub liners. A process which includes taking very precise measurements and creating a liner custom fit to that individual tub. The liner is able to go right over the top of the existing structure which means Bath Fitter does not have to disturb the existing plumbing or floor. Bath Fitter also offers a unique, onepiece wall system that can go right over existing tile, creating a seamless surround that keeps moisture from getting into the walls. In addition, Bath Fitter offers stand-alone showers as well. A popular offering is the tub-to-shower conversion. This is especially popular when people have mobility restrictions. Bath Fitter will take out the bath tub and replace it with a large shower pan, making it easy to step in and out. Bath Fitter was started in 1984 by brothers Glen and Brian Cotton. It remains a family-owned company with more than 200 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Omaha franchise is locallyowned by Jim Ryan, who got his start in the collision repair business. He also owns Abra Auto Body & Glass next door to the Bath Fitter Omaha location. All of the Bath Fitter products are made in North America, with factories in Montreal, Canada and Springfield, Tenn. The company, as a whole, has a generally playful demeanor. In the its promise, Bath Fitter informs customers, “We want to provide the kind of service that makes people smile.” Among the people working to provide service to make others smile are: • Christina “CJ” Kadlec, Sales & Marketing Manager – Oversees sales staff of three in-home estimators and marketing staff composed of the events team and inbound sales rep. Kadlec also manages marketing efforts including advertising placement. • Kristi Fischer, Office & Oper-

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Women fit in perfectly at Bath Fitter I

Staff photo/Kyle Bruggeman

From left, Christina Kadlec, Jessie Kite and Lindsey Streske are just three members of the female workforce at Bath Fitter in Omaha. ations Manager – Oversees ordering and installations as well as the office staff. Fischer has worked with Ryan for more than 20 years and manages the financials for both Bath Fitter and Abra Auto Body & Glass. • Jessie Kite, Assistant to Ryan – On a given day, Kite may be typing a dispute letter (drawing from her experience as a legal secretary) or hauling 4x8 plywood to one of Ryan’s real estate investments, probably within an hour of each other. • Lindsey Streske, Events Manager – Bath Fitter primary public outreach is through events – home shows, flea markets, county fairs, etc. Streske’s job is much like the carnival act where a guy has to keep all the

plates spinning on sticks without letting one drop. She oversees the set-up & tear-down of the displays, staffing the event workers, and ensuring everything and everyone look great to maximize the lead flow. • Tracy Martin, Inbound Sales Rep – Martin is the pleasant voice heard when calling into the office: “Thank you for calling Bath Fitter! How can I make you smile today?” She is a bloodhound when it comes to finding appointments for the sales staff. In just a few short weeks on the team, she’s made a huge impact. And while it might sound like a mostly male-dominated business, the women on staff at Bath Fitter are essential parts of the team.

“It’s impressive to me that Jim Ryan is not afraid to have women as generals at his side,” Kadlec said. “I don’t think it ever even occurred to him to think we would not be able to do the tasks required of us.” Martin said Bath Fitter is conscious about the needs of its employees outside the work environment. “It’s accommodating to family time and considers individuals’ needs,” she said. “Being a small business, we are able to help each other and tag team on projects.” Kadlec is no stranger to working in typically male-dominated fields. Having worked in car sales for 2 ½ years, she’s learned you can’t be afraid to tackle uncharted territory.

“To be the Bath Fitter sales manager, I have to know as much or more than my staff about the technical aspects of our installations,” she said. “This was a little intimidating, as I’d never been in a position where a permanent fixture depended on my precise measurements.” To her surprise, she was a quick study in tech understanding and surpassed many of the men she trained with. “I just reminded myself that, when I started car sales, I had no idea about compression ratios, pound-feet of torque, or different suspensions,” she said. “I learned those things and I’m fully capable of learning remodeling as well. I think a lot of times women psych ourselves out of jobs that are stereotypically associated with men. There’s no logical reason for this. We are perfectly capable of becoming handy with a tape measure, swinging a hammer, or lining up a laser level.” Kite added that the team environment also makes working for Bath Fitter more enjoyable. “We have a great team and get along well,” she said. “It’s all about who you work with. We don’t take each other too seriously, but we rally to get the job done.” Martin said she liked being able to work independently and that she is trusted to follow through on your responsibilities. To her, the job is more than just a paycheck. “I never knew anything about measurements or the materials used in a remodel,” she said. “This job allows me to be creative and to incorporate good sales techniques. I’ve learned how to hear what people aren’t saying when we speak on the phone.” Estimator Gene Deters praised the women on the Bath Fitter staff. “The women here are very hardworking, reliable and customer-oriented,” he said. “They are able to provide insights into our customers’ motivations that may not occur to us as men. Given that our most common customers are women, this is invaluable as we strive to find the right match between customer and product.”

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4F Sunday, June 16, 2013

2013 Southwest Woman

The Daily Nonpareil

Putman devotes more than 35 years to Bluffs art scene Ashlee Coffey

acoffey@nonpareilonline.com

Submitted photos

Top, Denise Putman and Jerry Gray working with the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.” in 2011. Center, Putman shows “Toto” aka Muffin off after a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at Chanticleer Theater in 2010. Above, Putman helps adjust costumes before a dress rehearsal of “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.”

Denise Putman has been a supporter of the arts since she was a young girl. She had her first lead in a musical when she was in the fifth grade. By her sophomore year in high school, Putman knew she wanted to be a music teacher. But even while she was teaching, Putman was active in several art organizations outside of school. When she and husband, Robert, who was also a vocal music and band teacher, moved to Council Bluffs in 1971, they became active in the Chanticleer Community Theater, located at 830 Franklin Ave. Putman said her first show at the Chanticleer was “Oklahoma” in 1975. Through her involvement at the Chanticleer, Putman and her husband decided to create B&D Productions to host their own community shows for children. “Our thinking was that it would not only help Chanticleer but gave us a space where we produced shows,” she said. “We would do the shows four times each day and we would pay for the kids to come and see the show. We thought the students needed to have an experience with the live arts and that wasn’t happening in the school system as much so we would bus kids in.” B&D Productions eventually grew so much “I know the value of that the couple decided to produce a what the arts can do show every summer. for children. It’s a “That first summer, we did 29 shows and the second summer we did 15 known fact that kids shows – it was a major undertaking,” who are in the arts – she said. “We did that for 12 summers.” whether music, visual or After her mother died, the couple performing arts – score decided they had been doing the shows for long enough. higher in standardized The last B&D Production show – tests because they had “Hello Dolly” – was in 2007. The couple the advantage of being has thought about starting the producexposed to the arts. tion company up once more – but Putman said they are still undecided. So I’m certainly all In addition to being involved in nearly for that.” every show at the Chanticleer – whether – Denise Putman on stage or behind the scenes – Putman has also taught several theater workshops. She’ll be teaching the Children’s Theater Summer Workshop 2013 this July. She’ll also be directing the junior version of “Beauty and the Beast” this September. Putman was also named the president of the board at Chanticleer – a position she held for 11 years before stepping down last September. But she’s still on the board as the ex-officio. When Putman retired from teaching in 2005, she was able to devote more time to the arts. She became active in the Bluffs Art Council, which, Denise said, is “very instrumental in doing a lot of arts events around the city.” Every year, the Bluffs Art Council hosts several art events, including the Bluffs Quiltfest every June; Paint the Bluffs; Black Squirrel Art classes and camps for students; Savor the Flavor – a “tasteful celebration of craft beer, fine wine, gourmet food, local art and live music”; and Music and Movies in the Park at Bayliss Park during the summer – among many other things. Putman said she served on the Bluffs Art Council board for three years before she was asked by the executive director to become president – a position she took this past January. One of her favorite things about being involved in the arts for so long is the relationships she’s made along the way. “I have friends I met the first day I walked into Chanticleer, taught with or met in choirs that I sang in. I’m still friends with them today,” she said. That’s the neatest part of it. It’s the relationships you get into when you work in the arts. You see a whole different side of people. It helps you work together. You have to learn to be a team and that’s a good thing for me and anyone to learn.” One of the reasons Putman has remained so active in the arts is because she was a music teacher for 34 years. “I know the value of what the arts can do for children,” she said. “It’s a known fact that kids who are in the arts – whether music, visual or performing arts – score higher in standardized tests because they had the advantage of being exposed to the arts. So I’m certainly all for that.” Putman said she also know that school districts across the country are facing budget cuts and that, more often than not, it’s the arts that have to be cut. “The money just isn’t there. If we have to give kids those (art) experiences outside the school setting, then that’s what we have to do. It’s my belief the arts is something that stays with children for the rest of their lives,” she said. “They can enjoy a play, a concert or a dance recital until their last day on this earth. I think it’s definitely important we educate them and we reach them at an early age. We need to show them how important it is.”

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The Daily Nonpareil

2013 Southwest Woman

Sunday, June 16, 2013

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Wagner goes above and beyond with volunteering

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Ashlee Coffey

acoffey@nonpareilonline.com

t first glance, Mariel Wagner seems like any average person. She’s a mortgage loan originator at Frontier Savings Bank – where she’s been since 2004. She has a husband, Terry, and an adult son named Alex. During her free time, Mariel enjoys taking care of her family’s pets, as well as gardening and cooking. But at a closer view, it’s easy to see that Wagner is an above average person. Last December, she was named vice president of Frontier Savings Bank. “My boss, president and CEO, Gary Matters, has always told us, ‘You are empowered to make decisions. If you aspire to take on additional challenges, you Wagner will have the opportunity,’” she said. In addition to her every day work duties, Wagner also spearheads Frontier Savings Bank’s Fill the Bus campaign. “The purpose of the Frontier Savings Bank’s Fill the Bus campaign is to collect and donate school supplies for the underprivileged and needy children in our community,” she said. “On the first day of school, children are excited to begin the school year, and yet some of these children do not have the most basic of supplies.” In 2005, Wagner said she asked co-workers to purchase extra school supplies to donate to children at Longfellow Elementary School, which is in the neighborhood of one of the bank’s offices, located at 509 23rd Ave. “The next August, the same request (was made) and we donated (more than) 1,700 items,” she said. “The third year it was suggested we make this a community event and Fill the Bus began.” For Wagner, the best part of the

campaign is delivering the school supplies. “It’s very exciting and heartwarming,” she said. “Every year the donations grow thanks to our generous customers, business associates and the community as a whole.” In addition to being the best part, delivering the school supplies is also one of the biggest challenges of the campaign. “We have been delivering them by pickup truck – several trips over two or three days,” Wagner said. Wagner is also involved in several other community organizations – like the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County and Council Bluffs Trees Forever. Wagner is the president of the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County, which strives to “kindle and keep alive an active interest in state and local history,” according to its website. As president, Wagnersaid her responsibility is to “make sure the board runs smoothly and as a team.” “I also believe it is my role to be sure the work of the board is done in an efficient manner,” she said. “These board members wanted to be a part of the society so it is also important for me to keep everyone involved.” The Historical Society of Pottawattamie County operates two museums, Wagner said, including the Historic Squirrel Cage Jail, 226 Pearl St., and the Railswest Railroad Museum, 1512 S. Main St. Wagner is also one of 17 members who are involved in Council Bluffs Trees Forever – a group dedicated to planting trees. In the last 21 years, Council Bluffs Trees Forever has completed more than 60 planting projects, Wagner said. The tree planting projects include at schools, parks and along city streets. “Two projects the group is currently working on and planning for is Heart of the City Phase II and Railroad Avenue Phase II,” she said. “A person would be hard pressed to not pass by a project site while driving around our community.” The group is important because “trees add to the quality of our life and beautify the community,” Wagner said. They also benefit the community with energy efficiency and improved air and water quality. Even though Wagner has a family and a job, she said she never found it hard to find time to volunteer. “I’ve never felt like I had to juggle. My family comes first and when my son was old enough, he volunteered with me – whether it was making treats for a bake sale to raise money for a cause, shopping for an adopted family at Christmas or helping at Paint-A-Thons,” she said. Wagner said she feels a sense of accomplishment and purpose when she volunteers and that she hopes to continue being so active in the community because “there will always be a need for volunteers.” For those interested in volunteering, Wagner has some advice: “Search yourself first – what interests do you have? Volunteer with a group or project that inspires you, has a high degree of meaning to you or something you are passionate about.” For herself, Wagner said doesn’t feel she has to be involved in the community – she desires to be involved. “We live in a great community and it’s always good to give back,” she said.

File photo

Mariel Wagner adds to the growing pile of school supplies as she unpacks more donated items during a “Fill the Bus” event.

Want to volunteer? Consider a few things METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION

Many women feel a need to give back to their communities. While a financial donation to a local charity or nonprofit organization can certainly go a long way, some men and women prefer to donate their time and skills via volunteering. Finding the right volunteering opportunity is a great way to ensure the experience is satisfying for you and those you will be working with. In addition, the right opportunity can evolve into a long-term relationship with a particular charity or nonprofit organization, providing a lifetime of positive experiences along the way. When looking for a volunteering opportunity, individuals should consider a host of factors to find the right fit for them. Personality Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, and charitable organizations need volunteers from all walks of life. Some people assume all volunteers must be the outgoing, sociable type, but such an assumption is untrue. Consider your own personality when looking for a volunteering opportunity, and don’t feel discouraged if you’re not very outgoing.

Your strengths as a volunteer may lie in helping plan events like fundraisers or helping the charity navigate its way through red tape. Availability Volunteering can be a major time commitment or something you do occasionally without having to commit much time. Many volunteers would love to devote themselves full-time to a charitable cause they feel a connection to, but prospective volunteers must be honest with themselves about their availability. You can still volunteer if your schedule is already quite busy, just be honest with the charity when they inquire about your availability. Don’t commit time you don’t have, as you won’t get as much out of the experience and you might end up letting the charity down when you can’t participate as much as you had promised. Accessibility Consider a charity’s accessibility when determining if it’s the right fit for you. Many volunteers prefer to contribute to charities in their own towns because such organizations don’t require the additional time commitment of commuting. If you volunteer with

an organization that is far away from where you live, you aren’t as likely to enjoy the experience or continue your participation. The organization should be conveniently located and, if you don’t drive, easily accessible via public transportation. Personal interest While volunteering with any worthy organization figures to be a rewarding experience, the experience can be that much more meaningful if you have a personal interest or connection to the organization. If you’re passionate about a certain cause, you’re more likely to embrace a volunteering opportunity with an organization associated with that cause. On the contrary, if you’re not passionate about a certain charity or its mission, you might not fully commit to volunteering, and neither you nor the charity will get the most out of your volunteering. Volunteering is a wonderful way for men and women to give back to their communities. Finding the right opportunity is the first step toward making the experience beneficial for you as well as the charitable organization you ultimately choose to work with.

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6F Sunday, June 16, 2013

2013 Southwest Woman

The Daily Nonpareil

Medicine Woman Jenson likes science and loves children

tim johnson

tjohnson@nonpareilonline.com

Jennifer Jenson, M.D., of Glenwood has a simple explanation for her decision to pursue a career in medicine. “I’ve always liked science,” she said. “Even as a child going to the doctor, I was always interested in what they were doing and in medicine.” Jenson, a pediatrician, joined Alegent Creighton Clinic in

Dr. Jennifer Jenson

November and sees patients at the clinic on West Broadway in Council Bluffs. “I like to work with the kids and see the kids each day, but then I do enjoy working with parents and teaching parents” how to take care of their children, she said. Jenson grew up in Shelby and earned her bachelor’s degree at Dana College in Blair, Neb. She never really had a female physician as a role model until she went to medical school at University of Nebraska Medical Center. That’s also when she decided on a specialty. “When I really knew I wanted to do pediatrics was in medical school doing my pediatric rotation” at a primary care clinic in Columbus, Neb., she said. She did her residency with UNMC and Creighton University Medical Center, then practiced in Mitchell, S.D., for two years and Kid Care in Fremont, Neb., for five years, she said. Most recently, she practiced at Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., for three years. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Jenson is glad to be back in southwest Iowa and is looking forward to moving to the new Alegent Creighton Clinic on West Broadway when it is completed next year. “In Sioux Falls, pediatrics and family practice were in the same building, but ... we didn’t have any of the specialties,” she said.

Jenson and her husband, Jon Pestel, have a total of five children – three boys and two girls – ranging in age from 7 to 16. She enjoys traveling, camping, biking, volleyball, bowling, cross-stitching and reading. Pediatrics is a medical specialty that provides health care for children. Pediatricians possess skills and knowledge that qualify them to provide a broad range of medical care from basic childhood illness to the most serious of diseases. Jenson offered the following kid-friendly health tips: • Shop smart. “When you offer better options than junk food at home, children are more likely to make healthy choices.” • Lead by example. Model the behavior you want to see in your children by staying active. • Unplug technology. Restrict your child’s screen time – including television, Internet and video games – to two hours per day. A video game that encourages movement can help children work toward a daily goal of 60 minutes of physical activity.

CUT

making the ghlin Wilma Lau

Mike Brownlee

mbrownlee@nonpareilonline.com

Wilma Laughlin remembers her dolls as a child, with mangled hair, if they had any at all. “I had the baldest dolls around,” she said with a laugh. “I cut all their hair off. Ever since I was 4 I wanted to be a hairdresser.” Laughlin grew up dreaming of a career as a hairstylist and she found it, in her hometown of Carson. Through Permanent Solutions Hair & Body Salon Laughlin is plugged into the community, forging bonds with residents of a town she loves. “You get so attached to all your customers, you get to know them, their families, know what’s going on in town,” she said. “With hairdressing there’s always something new. Where else can you get a job and stand behind a chair and tell jokes all day, talk all day, have fun? I just love it.” Laughlin grew up in Carson, where she met husband Craig. The sweethearts met at Carson-Macedonia High School – the school eventually consolidated with Oakland to form the Riverside District. Craig’s entry into the military took them to Delaware, where Wilma attended the Best Beauty School in Dover. They moved back to the area after that, with Laughlin attending the Stewart hair design school in Council Bluffs to become qualified in Iowa. Not too long after opening Permanent Solutions Laughlin joined the Carson Community Club, which holds a variety of fundraisers throughout the year to support causes in the town. Somewhere along the line the club decided to host plays, sketch comedy shows and dinner theaters to raise funds. Laughlin was tasked with writing the shows. “I’d always wanted to write a play,” Laughlin said. “ The first was “Murder in Carson City,” a western spoof based on the popular television series “Gunsmoke.”

Carson’s Laughlin brings theater – and good hair – to eastern Pottawattamie County

“I guess people liked it, so I wrote a few more for fundraisers here and there,” she said. She’s written shows for the annual Carson Christmas celebration, which will mark 20 years this December. People come from the surrounding area for the event, Carson City Clerk Brianne Duede said, including Treynor, Oakland, Silver City, Council Bluffs and beyond. “(People) like to see what Wilma does,” Joyce McClain with the community club added. Laughlin’s favorite play was “Carson RFD,” a send-up of Mayberry and “The Andy Griffith Show.” Members of the community played their family members – for example a daughter portraying her own mother. “Whatever characteristic they had we’d exaggerate that characteristic,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.” The most recent play, and possibly Laughlin’s last, is “Mayhem in the Manor,” which ran on Friday and Saturday. The play told the tale of aging superheroes, including Batman, Superman and Spiderman, in a nursing home. “I think this will be my last play I write. Might do skits, but not whole plays,” Laughlin said. “I think my creative juices are waning. There’s a lot of talent out there, I hope someone takes it over. “It’s easy to put stuff on in this town, everyone has so much talent. We’re all hams, like to do our thing and make people laugh.” Laughlin loves to watch the audience reaction at a show. “I love to stand back in the corner and wonder ‘Are they going to laugh at this?’ ‘Will this work?’” she said. “And rehearsals are so much fun. We always go home with our sides aching, we’ve been laughing and having fun so much together.” Even if she doesn’t write the plays anymore Laughlin will still be involved with shows, acting and helping wherever she can. The Carson native said the people of the small town on Highway 92 are what keep her going, with friendships forged over a new hairdo or a comedy show. “There’s nothing not to love about the community of Carson. The young people say ‘everybody knows your business,’ but everybody knows you and if there’s trouble they’re there for you. If there’s a celebration, a party, they’re there, too. We just help each other out. It’s just a nice, quiet little town.”


2013 Southwest Woman

The Daily Nonpareil

Sunday, June 16, 2013

7F

First Assembly of God’s Oberg here to serve Mike Brownlee

R

mbrownlee@nonpareilonline.com

uthie Oberg is a sixth-generation reverend. The lead pastor at First Assembly of God church on Harry Langdon Boulevard grew up in Houston, where for years the men in her family followed a “higher calling.” “I’m the first woman,” she said. “In deciding to enter the faith, when I was 15, I felt that’s what God wanted me to do. As a woman, I didn’t know a lot of women that did this. I looked for women mentors, read a lot of scripture and decided this was my path.” Oberg leads a diverse congregation, which includes large deaf and Latino communities. They offer a mass in American Sign Language and Spanish. “We’re trilingual,” Oberg noted. Oberg grew up in Houston and after high school attended Central Bible College – now Evangel University – in Springfield, Mo., where she met her husband Shawn. After college they moved to Iowa, first for a six-year stint in the Quad Cities for six years before two years in Oskaloosa. They moved to Council Bluffs in 2001, where Shawn took the reigns as lead pastor at First Assembly. Ruthie took the lead role in 2011. They have three children, Erik, who’s in the Army, Corrie, who’ll be sophomore in college and Grace, who will be a junior at Lewis Central High School next year. Throughout their time in the church the Obergs have worked together. “We’ve served together for 20 years where he was lead pastor and I focused on raising kids. I did a lot of speaking at conferences, etc., but he did the day-to-day stuff,” Ruthie said. “Now Shawn is in pastoral care and I’m in the leadership position.” She said her goal for the church is for First Assembly to “help make Council Bluffs one of the best places to have a family and raise kids.” “Our goal is to provide a safe place for people that are struggling,” she said. “We hold blood drives four times per year, participate in outreach with adoption agencies and outreach with the deaf. We work with other organizations. “I’d love to see a strong, healthy and multicultural church in Council Bluffs. I want First Assembly of God to be that church.” Ruthie teaches foster and adoptive licensing classes for Iowa Kids Net, the licensing arm of the state Department of Human Services. The church is a member of Community Organizations Active in Disaster of Pottawattamie County, which formed during the 2011 Missouri River flood. Oberg chairs the spiritual needs committee. “My purpose in life, my job is to resource and equip other people to find and fulfill their own God-given purpose,” she said. One congregant she’s helped find purpose is Julie Nielson, who noted, “she’s always there if you need her.” “If it wasn’t for the love of her and (Shawn) I personally don’t know where my life would be,” Nielson said. “She’s a wonderful woman who cares for everyone and everything around her. She has a heart of gold and what seems to be endless energy.” In the pulpit Oberg said she works to make the scripture accessible, works to deliver sermons that are plain-spoken and practical. “My goal with preaching is to make the scriptures so plain anybody can understand,” she said. “I try to never preach a sermon you can’t use Monday when you go to work.”

Submitted photo

The Rev. Ruthie Oberg of First Assembly of God recently visited Vatican City, Italy.

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f o s e l fi o r P

SOUTHWEST IOWA WOMEN

PAM

Kreitzinger

BETH Wilson

CYNTHIA

Urzendowski

MARY

Littleton

JACKIE AMANDA Vacek

Black

Smith Davis Insurance 532 1st Avenue Council Bluffs, IA 712-322-1600

Smith Davis Insurance 532 1st Avenue Council Bluffs, IA 712-322-1600

Smith Davis Insurance 532 1st Avenue Council Bluffs, IA 712-322-1600

Hanger Clinic 1920 Rue Street, Suite 1 Council Bluffs, IA 712-329-3355

Definition Salon & Spa 928 Valley View Dr., Suite 2 Council Bluffs, IA 712-256-9935

Definition Salon & Spa 928 Valley View Dr., Suite 2 Council Bluffs, IA 712-256-9935

Title: Office Manager/ Account Executive

Title: Insurance Agent

Title: Insurance Agent/CPSR (Certified Professional Service Rep)/CSR (Customer Service Rep)

Title: Certified Orthotic/Mastectomy Fitter

Title: Esthetician, Registered Nurse

Title: Stylist/Team Leader

Hometown: Omaha

Hometown: Council Bluffs

Family: Husband Larry Hagadon, Sons Zach, 15, Archy, 5, Asher (almost 2), Daughter Natalie 9.

Family: Husband - Jesse Black, Daughters - Gracie Black, 3, - Lilian Black, 8.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? That this is so much more than skincare. It’s taking care of people, product knowledge, constant learning and growth. You must be a compassionate person or you will fail.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? Do what you love to do and don’t give up, even if you get discouraged. Hard work always pays off.

Family: Husband - Rob Kreitzinger, Sons - Zach, Chris Beam, Ben Kreitzinger, Daughters - Hayli, Rachael & Hannah Kreitzinger. Hometown: Council Bluffs What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? Keep learning - insurance changes daily. Respect your customers and treat them like you would want to be treated. Pay attention to the needs of the customer and bring up suggestions of what they may need for protection. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) You need to pay attention to detail. How are you personally handling the current economic situation at home, work or school? Are there tips you’d like to share? Current economic situations at home make you evaluate your costs and spending. Being more aware for sure. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? I do good keeping separate - work is work and home is home. But if someone has questions while being out always welcome to answer. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? If not in insurance I would be a math teacher - algebra in particular. How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? I enjoy what I do! There’s always a challenge and I like to take care of people and business. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? Mentor would have to be Jay Malone. He’s my boss but has taught me to think about everything and be very thorough. Another would be Derek Davis, enjoyed watching him handle his customers and people. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? Being at Smith Davis for 30 years. It’s been exciting, challenging and fun all at the same time. Having grandchildren with 2 more on the way. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? This doesn’t sound professional, but Mighty Mouse has always been my theme song: “Here I come to save the Day!”

Hometown: Council Bluffs What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? Stay up to date with all the resources. Insurance is always changing every day. There is always something new to learn. What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? Share the story! Being in Insurance has helped me to see all the disasters that are around us on any given day and that we should enjoy every moment given. There isn’t a day in the world without a flood, fire, tornado, landslide, hurricane or something going on. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) Getting along with each others around us. Keeping a positive attitude helps keep each other positive. Always be willing to help others and keep an open mind. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? I believe that God and family should be first, and if you can be happy in that work will be a good place too. I also think you should treat people the way you would like to be treated. And never bring your work home because the stress of some days doesn’t need to be brought home with you. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? I would love to be a PE teacher and coach. Making a difference in children’s lives and being a positive role model. How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? I look at my children. I watch them grow up and they keep me going. They are what keeps me on the path and pushes me to keep going every day. I feel like God can also help me through anything. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? My mother, she raised my sister and I after my father passed away. Even when times are hard and things don’t go how you plan she has pushed through. I don’t think she even knows how strong she is. But she has made me what I am today. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? My family. I feel very blessed to have a great husband and 2 wonderful children. Also a good career. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? When you judge another, you don’t define them, you define yourself.

Family: Spouse of 25 years - Tom, Son Sean, 22, Daughter Megan 17

Family: Molly, Brandon, Jamie & 2 grandchildren Gavin & Cade. Son-inLaw Matthew Ross.

Hometown: Council Bluffs

Hometown: Wall Lake, IA

What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? Like any job, being an agent is very challenging. Not only do you work for each client, you also work for the companies you represent. Being in this occupation for 28 years, I’ve met a lot of people. I have seen the lives of clients change & grow. By knowing them personally, I can make suggestions of the policies needed for their protection.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your specific career? I would first recommend talking with a certified mastectomy fitter to get an idea of how they got started and what work experiences she has.

What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? Share the story! Not everyone is alike. What may fit for one client with insurance coverage may not be what the next one needs or wants. One needs to listen to the client about their lifestyle & to have patience. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) Organization is important in my occupation. How are you personally handling the current economic situation at home, work or school? Are there tips you’d like to share? I take one day at a time. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? I have learned that work needs to stay at work as my second job (being a mom) kicks in when I walk out the door going home. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? I think I would have been an elementary school teacher. I love children & how excited they are with the little things in life. I wouldn’t mind having the summers off either. How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? I personally work out 5-6 times weekly at Peak Fitness. Not only is working out good for me, it also is a good stress reliever & it motivates me physically & mentally. I also enjoy watching my son play college level baseball & my daughter dance at her sporting events. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? I believe my father would have to be my mentor in my life. He taught me to stand up, fight for what I think was right & not to be pushed around. I have learned that I have a voice to speak out. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? Juggling my occupation & being a mom. Both are full time jobs. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. - Ralph Emeroon Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...it is about learning how to dance in the rain. - Vivian Greene

What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? Share the story! Being compassionate and listening to each patient; may not be the most interesting lesson I have learned, but surely the most important lesson. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) In the health care field, reasonable reimbursement for the services we provide. How are you personally handling the current economic situation at home, work or school? Are there tips you’d like to share? Our current economic situation surely provides a challenging and interesting situation. Budgeting and watching expenses are very important. Our current economic situation surely provides us with our “ups and downs” along the way. Being able to adapt to these changes is important and provides challenges in itself. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? Budgeting! You have to learn to budget your time between the two (work & home) and be organized. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? I wouldn’t trade my job - yes, at times it can be very stressful - but it is also very rewarding! How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? Knowing that I am helping someone. Working closely with each patient to find the right size and style breast prosthesis and bra that will restore a natural look and project a positive body image. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? My husband, Jim. We have worked together many years and have a lot of respect for each other & what we do. He has taught me a lot about the orthotics/prosthetics field. Learn as much as you can. Never stop learning. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? Raising our children to be responsible and caring young adults. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? “I think I began learning long ago that those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.” - Booker T. Washington “You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones

What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? Share the story! There is not one lesson there, there are so many! Mostly, simply the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would like to be treated. That we are all connected and need to take care of each other. That she or he is most likely going through something in their personal lives, so be nice. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) Work ethic. Go to work to work. Be a team player, work hard. Always strive for perfection. Try your very hardest to get along with others. It makes the environment at work a place where you enjoy spending your time. How are you personally handling the current economic situation at home, work or school? Are there tips you’d like to share? My husband and I both work hard. We play as we go and try our very hardest to live within our means. Together we have 4 children so we implement the lesson of value of money to our children. They work to earn money at home and they SAVE for what they want. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? My secret is that I love my job. So, for me, it is my time. I work a few evenings a week and Sunday is family day. My home isn’t immaculate, it’s clean. The laundry isn’t always folded and put away and I never iron. I am ok with that that. The secret is learning what ball to drop & knowing what ball you can’t. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? Exactly what I am. A mom, wife, friend, nurse, esthetician. One day I would like to add small business owner - but I am many moons away from that. How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? I do not find the times to be so challenging. I love my life. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? I have so many strong, brilliant women in my life. They all provide guidance in some capacity. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? My family. All of us. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid. - Albert Einstein

What is the most interesting lesson you have learned in your career? Share the story! There are so many lessons to be learned in the world of hair. I’ve been fortunate to have many clients that have allowed me to try new things. In your opinion, what are the most important issues in the workplace (or in the U.S./world today?) I think it’s always important to work on improving your business, from customer service and skill set to staff teamwork. How are you personally handling the current economic situation at home, work or school? Are there tips you’d like to share? With any kind of situation whether at home or work, you can only focus on one thing at a time & one day at a time. Each day can bring new challenges but focus on what’s important and things will fall into place. As the workplace becomes busier in these challenging times, how do you balance work and home life? What’s your secret? My family is always my number one priority because they are the ones that are there to support me in my career. I love my career and all my staff and clients and try to give it 110% while I’m there and when I’m home I leave my work at work. It’s important to separate the two to be the most successful. We know you love your job, but if you could be anything (poet, president, activist, etc.), what would you be? I don’t think I would be anything else unless I stayed at home with my kids, although watching “Cakeboss” does make cake decorating look fun, but I would probably eat more than decorate. How do you stay motivated in these challenging times? Getting education helps keep me motivated & also learning to encourage my staff has helped me realize my own personal goals & things I can do to grow. Who was your mentor in the workplace or life and how did they help you? I got a lot of my work ethic from my parents because they were always self employed and worked hard & earned everything they had. First starting out in my career, Dennis Nice taught me a lot and I attribute a lot of my early success to him. What are you most proud of having accomplished at this point in your life? I’m proud of my kids and my family. I’m proud of my team at work and them helping us to continue to grow our business. I attribute my success to everyone in my life. What is your favorite adage or words of wisdom (please include author if possible)? Never be predictable, always keep people guessing.

Southwest Iowa Women 2013