15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: Marshalltown


Family: Spouse is Francis Strand, a wonderful woman and a great teacher at Marshalltown’s Woodbury Elementary School. We have two children, Kevin, 9, and Jason, 7.

Pets: One cat, one hamster and zero live fish.

Hobbies and interests: Family, tennis and woodworking.


Occupation: Father and husband, Marshall County Paint Commissioner (re-elected in November) and paint department manager at Strand’s.

What that means: The paint commissioner job is difficult to explain. At Strand’s, I manage the paint department and work closely with industrial paint customers who paint their manufactured products or have special industrial paint applications.

Tenure: I started working at Strand’s at age five. My job was to pick up all the cigarette butts in the parking lot for a nickel. Eventually, smoking decreased in popularity. Someone discovered that it kills people. Fortunately, I knew the owner so I was able to get a job inside the store. It’s been fun, so I’m still at Strands.

Best part of job: First, I enjoy working with and working for good people. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by many good, honest, and optimistic people. I hope that I can encourage and support other people as we work together at Strand’s, or in life. Two, I get a discount on roller covers and caulk.


Book: The Bible (Check into it sometime. It’s written by a great author).

Movies: “The Jerk,” directed by Carl Reiner and “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,”directed by the late John Hughes.

Foods: Fresh Iowa corn on the cob and ribs from Haley’s Grocery of Marshalltown.

Sports: The National Football League’s Washington Redskins and any team my kids are playing on.


Best part of living here: I’ve heard there is a great paint and carpet store in town. (Hint: Strand’s). I also am happy to live in the town where the best trowels and tools in the world are manufactured. (Another hint: Marshalltown Company).

Most influential person: My grandfather, Russell Ralston. He always did what was right, regardless of the consequences. His life wasn’t easy, because easy wasn’t the goal.

Local involvement: Jonathan’s House for Orphans, the Gideons International, Marshalltown’s First Presbyterian Church and Jelly-of-the-Month club member.

Advice: Get off the couch. Then do your best at whatever you are supposed to be doing.