Our spotlight light Jump$tart member for July is Wells Fargo, represented by a very active member Erin Gjerde, Wells Fargo is The Des Moines Metro’s largest private employer with over 14,000 people working on their several Des Moines Area campuses. Wells Fargo is the third largest Financial institution in the US. Wells Fargo’s headquarters are located in San Francisco.
It is totally appropriate to greet Erin Gjerde with “Aloha!” She and her husband own a farm in Hawaii. Erin places high value on education, she was born and raised in Amery, Wisconsin by 2 teachers. Her mother taught 8th grade English and her father taught high school art. She has two brothers, one of which is also a teacher.
Erin attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and graduated in 1988. From there she began working in higher education at the University of St. Thomas Financial Aid office. In 1996, Norwest Bank needed a student loan manager for Iowa and Missouri, so she moved down to Des Moines to begin her career with Norwest, now Wells Fargo. Next month she will celebrate 20 years with the company.
Erin is married and has a grown stepson and stepdaughter. Her husband is a retired marine and has owned Bailey Roofing Contractors for 27 years. Her step son lives here in Des Moines and her stepdaughter lives in Oregon and is married with a daughter Claire and a son Reece. She is looking forward to taking them (they are 8 and 10) to the Iowa State Fair when they visit in August.
Erin and her husband live outside of Norwalk on 25 acres and have a rescue dog named Crystal.
As mentioned, In 2011, they purchased a 6 acre coffee and avocado farm in Kona, Hawaii. Her husband was stationed in Hawaii when he was in the marines and lived there after he got out for many years. Their farm is at about 1000 feet and a 5 minute drive from the shore. They have also added other fruits and crops to our farm such as papaya, mangos, white pineapples, tangelos, Tahitian limes, apple bananas and macadamia nuts. As you can imagine they absolutely love going there!
In her spare time she likes to garden, read, sing, golf, run and arrange flowers. She has run 5 half marathons, one was with my stepdaughter at the Princess Disney World half marathon – they wore Tutu’s and tiaras! She also had the honor to sing with a choir and orchestra at the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at the Lincoln Center in New York City she loves to travel and has visited 44 states.