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Waukee Mayor Bill Peard recently announced that long-time resident and community advocate Erna Morain was selected from a pool of nominations as Waukee’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. The Citizen of the Year honor is given each year to an exemplary resident who represents the true spirit of community service.
As Citizen of the Year, Erna will be honored at a public open house reception on Wednesday, May 16 at Waukee City Hall from 6-8 p.m. City Hall is located at 230 W. Hickman Road. She will be presented with a proclamation and Key to the City by Mayor Peard. Erna will also have the honor of riding in Waukee’s Fourth of July parade.
Erna Morain likes to say she is an Iowan, but she is originally from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She moved to the U.S. in 1983 and to Waukee with her husband Steve in 2004. She has been an active member of the community ever since.
“I’ve known Erna for quite some time, and I’m always amazed at the energy and passion she has for everything she does,” said Waukee Mayor Bill Peard. “She is one of Waukee’s biggest cheerleaders, and I’m thrilled to name her as Citizen of the Year.”
Erna was a member of the inaugural class of the Waukee Leadership Institute; she also served on the board and helped develop the curriculum. She was one of the founders of the former Waukee Economic Development Corporation and served on its board. Erna also serves with the Waukee Betterment Foundation, which recently made the Waukee Railroad Pergola installment at Waukee’s Raccoon River Valley Trailhead a reality. Erna served as a Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and served on its board as well. She was named Ambassador of the Year in 2012 and also filled in as interim director.
One of Erna’s biggest passions is serving with the Rotary Club of Waukee. She has been a member since 2006, having served on its board including a year as President. She has served on Rotary district level committees, currently serves as an Assistant Governor and will soon become the Governor of District 6000. In this role, she will be responsible for the southern half of Iowa and will hold regional duties in the Upper Midwest.
Erna and her husband Steve share five children and two grandsons. They spend time biking, hiking, swimming, skiing, gardening, traveling and reading. Erna has long competed in running road races and Triathlons. She also completed 15 RAGBRAI bike rides across Iowa.