15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: Marshalltown – I am proud to be a fourth generation native!


Family: Although I come from a large family (four siblings), only my parents, Bill and Bette Etter, and a brother, Brad Etter, still live in town. In 2012, after a 20-year absence, I jumped at the opportunity to move back to Marshalltown to be closer to family and friends.

Pets: Two cats – Griffin and Buddy. Both are knuckle-heads and terribly spoiled.

Hobbies and interests: I am a silversmith, trained in classical jewelry design at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York City. I love working with different metals and making my own jewelry.


Occupation: Executive director, Marshalltown Central Business District Main Street program. I was hired in November, 2012. Regarding education, I graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1974. I am a graduate of Marshalltown Community College and Buena Vista College. I earned a graduate degree from Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vt.

What that means: I have an extensive job description. Generally, it means I work with the MCBD board and many fantastic volunteers to initiate and coordinate projects that promote the downtown revitalization effort.


Book: “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” by Philip Yancy.

Movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” directed by Robert Mulligan from the Harper Lee novel.

Food: Mexican


Best part of living here: Being back home with family and friends is the best! Marshalltown has always been a place where people get involved and are civic-minded. I am proud and impressed with developments I see taking place. I am pleased to be part of the continued improvements that are taking place. It is an exciting time to be living here.

Most influential persons: My parents, who taught me about being a community activist before that term was even used.

Advice: “If you aren’t involved in change, you can’t complain about the problem.” That advice is the best I’ve ever received and it was from my parents.

15 Minutes is a Saturday feature about central Iowans involved in their communities. The standard question and answer format lends itself to be answered in approximately 15 minutes. To submit a nomination, or to participate, contact Times-Republican Staff Writer Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com