To be employed at one place for a long period of time takes more than a good paycheck. When you have fun people to work with and a job that provides a sense of accomplishment and purpose, time flies. Carol Hein has been Secretary to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Cherokee Soil and Water Conservation District for the last 21 years.
The time has come where Hein has decided to retire. A retirement open house is being held in her honor on Monday, July 22 at the Cherokee Community Center beginning at 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Hein has served the two entities in a wide variety of ways, from administering the state cost share and federal watershed cost share programs. Along with the administration of terrace, dam, and waterway construction projects. She has coordinated and participated in district programs, fair booths, soil stewardship programs, poster contests and scholarship programs.
Hein remembers the day she interviewed for the job. She didn't realize that the interview staff, board, and many others would be conducting the interview. When she walked into the room she turned around and walked out because she thought she had accidentally walked into a meeting. She was nervous about the interview because she grew up in Davenport and her agriculture background was limited, but not her secretarial background. She remembers they asked her if she knew the difference between straw and hay. To this day she doesn't know if it was kidding around question or a real question.
Since then, she has worked with around 14 commissioners, three supervisors, and 25 to 30 staff members including part-time and summer help. She says she has learned how important it is to stay committed to soil conservation. Hein also gives credit to the commissioners who have served lengthy terms (often 20 plus years) without pay.
When asked what she will miss the most, she said she was going to miss working with the staff the most. She feels they had the best team and they had fun times over the years. Her job has given her a great sense of accomplishment.
Hein's retirement days are going to bring her more time with her husband Jim, who owns Golf, Etc. in Cherokee. They have already taken a couple cruises and are planning a road trip to Alaska. They will probably take time to visit their three grown children and eight grandchildren who live out of state. She is also volunteering her secretarial skills at the First Church of Christ, where she is a member. She also likes to read, work outside, and be involved in her church's activities.