I have lived places other than the south-side of Des Moines, like Iowa City, Omaha and Chicago; but I keep coming back here. That’s got to mean something.
Mom and I rode the Inter-urban trolley visiting many Aunts while my Dad and Uncles were overseas in the War. When Dad returned they bought an acreage on SE 5th just north of McKinley. That was when SE 5th was a dirt road that was impassable for a week or two every spring. Our next door neighbor was an 80- acre dairy farm and was one of only three houses you could see from our home.
My Mom organized the first water-district in the area. She also was the first PTA President at Barlow Granger when it was a new school. I suggest I come honestly by my desire to help make things better for my neighbors.
When I first started at Park Ave Elementary school, I remember it was an old three story wood framed building that sat almost right on the NE corner of SW 9th and Park Ave. They completed the first part of the replacement building in time for me to be in that new building for my fifth grade.
I was part of the first class to attend Nathan Weeks Junior High. I eventually graduated from Lincoln High in 1959 where I met my wife to be. We were married for over 50 years. We raised three daughters and became grandparents to seven grandsons and one granddaughter.
Parts of the history of south Des Moines are still very fresh in my mind. However, now I am most concerned with what we can all do together to help make our future history better than the past history.
James Buchholz (Buck)
Buck was born on the Southside and graduated from Valley High School. He moved back to the Southside in 1975. Along with his wife Robin, 3 daughters and a son they have lived in our neighborhood for 36 years.
After a 25-year career at the Meridith / R.R. Donnelly plant he managed and bartended at several Southside bars. The last 8-years he has worked for Menards at the SE 14th store in the millwork department.
When not working he enjoys fishing with his grandkids, riding his Harley, working in his shop, NASCAR racing and watching Hawkeye Football.
He is a founding member of the WHNA and as a 4th generation Southsider, he hopes the WHNA can help maintain and improve the quality of life for our neighborhood and for all his friends and neighbors.
Brad & Andrea Greer
Secretary & Board Member at-Large
Brad Greer grew up in West Des Moines graduating from Valley high school and has worked at Wells Fargo Bank for 15 years. Andrea went to Southeast Polk High School, and works for Venerable Annuity in downtown Des Moines. Together they own a custom apparel/decal business, Greer Racing.
In their spare time they love to ride/race 4 wheelers, hunt, fish, hike, and spend time with family and friends.
Their goal as board members is to help to improve the Watrous Heights neighborhood by ensuring a fun, clean, and safe environment for their family and neighbors.
Webmaster & Board Member at-Large
Curtis is originally from the Greater Kansas City area and has been a resident of Des Moines since 2008. He has been a truck driver for 21 years and he and his wife Kareena, have eight children and two grandchildren.
He is involved in party politics at the local, congressional district, and state levels, active in Iowa CCI, AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy), and is a member of St. Paul AME Church where he is on the Steward Board, active in the Lay Organization, and is St. Paul's Webmaster and Online Communications Director.
His favorite pastimes are reading, gardening, grilling and spending quality time with his friends and family.
Curtis' goals as a WHNA board member are to ensure that Watrous Heights is a clean, safe environment and to give WHNA members the ability to be informed of the various activities our neighhood association is involved with.
Board Member at Large
I have been a Southside resident for over 35 years. I grew up in Norwalk, graduating from Norwalk High School and attended Grand View University. I have one daughter who is a proud alumna of Lincoln High School and now resides in sunny Denver, Colorado.
For over 37 years, I have worked at the Polk County Assessor’s Office, where I am I currently the Administrative/Support Director, and lead the Support Team.
I have served as a board member of the Blank Children’s Festival of Trees and South Des Moines Girls Amateur Softball Association. I have also volunteered for the Build Lincoln Higher Club, Lutheran Social Services and Iowa Methodist Hospital. In my spare time, I enjoy fitness, baking and travelling
Board Member at Large
Becky grew up on the Southside of Des Moines graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1983 and has worked for Polk County Government for 33 years. She is married to Roger, and they have two adult children.
She has been a volunteer with various organizations since 1989 and is currently a board member with the ALHS Alumni Foundation.
Her goal as a WHNA board member is to keep improving the Watrous Heights neighborhood, and the Southside!
Board Member at Large
Originally from a small town in northeast Iowa, Elizabeth has lived in Des Moines since 1996. She has three children and has worked at Iowa PBS since 2001. She also serves as a co-leader for her daughter's Girl Scout troop.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, taking walks, and meeting her neighbors.
She started attending WHNA meetings to learn more about what's going on in the community, and wants to help neighbors connect with each other and get to know each other better.
Ricardo and Maria Corona
Latino Community Outreach Coordinators
Maria was born and raised in Ecuador and moved to West New York, NJ at age 11. She moved to Iowa in 2008 to continue her education at Iowa State University. She is culminating her Doctoral Degree in December 2020. She is an immigrant rights advocate in Iowa and serves on the Board of Al Exito.
Ricardo was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Iowa in 2010. He attended Iowa State University and received his degree in Civil Engineering. He currently works as a Staff Engineer at McClure and is President of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He is also a member of the community programming committee for the Des Moines Water Works Park Foundation.
They are parent's to a beautiful boy and they have a wonderful dog named Drogo who loves to chase squirrels (IG: @drogothesheprador).
Their goals for WHNA is to help support the engagement of our Hispanic and Latino/a/x/ neighbors. As bilingual and bicultural individuals, they can connect neighbors that speak Spanish and have culturally specific needs.
I am from Webster City, Iowa and have lived in Iowa my whole life. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2019 with my Accounting Degree and then moved to the Des Moines area with my wife Jorden to start my job at Ernst and Young.
In our free time, my wife and I enjoy playing board games, tackling home improvement projects, photography (especially taking pictures of our cats and dogs!), and outdoor recreational things like hiking and fishing!
My goal as a WHNA board member is to get our neighbors involved in building an inclusive community that is clean, fun and safe for all!
The WHNA Board Members do a lot of work to make our neighborhood association successful. Those pictured above are the current Board Members. Those pictured below were WHNA Board Members in the past.
We want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU for the efforts put in by these previous Board Members. We would not be as successful as we have been without the outstanding efforts these previous WHNA Board Members made for the benefit of their neighbors.
Thank You for your efforts,
President, Watrous Heights Neighborhood Association.
Homeowner and resident of Watrous Heights neighborhood since 1995.
Estimating and selling building materials in south Des Moines since 2012.
Construction professional with thirty seven years experience estimating, scheduling and managing military, commercial and residential projects. Successfully completed projects valued up to $50 million dollars across ten different states. Local projects include the Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Visitor Center, the Blank Park Zoo Entrance and Discovery Center, and the five story Center Street Park and Ride Facility at Sixth and Center St.
Graduate of San Diego Mesa College, Architectural Drafting, Construction Management, Geology Minor.
Cold war veteran of the United States Navy Submarine Service, 1975 through 1979. Served as a Torpedoman on the USS Blueback SS-581, the first submarine designed to travel faster submerged than on the surface, and the last diesel powered attack submarine to be operated by the US Navy. Ports of call in twelve foreign countries.
Active member in United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., Placoderm and Chicago Bases.
Working with SSN-797 Iowa Commissioning Committee to ensure a successful launch of the US Navy’s Virginia Class submarine schedule for Commissioning in late 2019 or early 2020.
Member of US Navy League. Member of Central Iowa Paddlers. Twice completed Ragbrai Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Successfully summated Mount Whitney, tallest mountain in the lower forty-eight states.
PADI/NAUI Certified Scuba Diver with diving experience in Gulf, Pacific, Atlantic and five Midwestern states, including Iowa.
Jim & Sherri Morano
Board Members at-Large
Jim and Sherri Morano, Both are Lincoln alumni, born and raised on the southside.
Jim is a retired Pump Stations Supervisor for the City of Des Moines and Sherri works for the State of Iowa Treasurer's Office.
They have 3 children and 7 grandkids. We enjoy family and golfing in our free time.
Board Member at-Large
Tom Jarshaw graduated from Lincoln High School in 1967. He and his wife Beverly purchased their home located on SW 8th St in 1970. He served 6 years in the Army Reserve.
Tom has been in Real Estate Sales over 40 years. He currently works as a Broker Associate with Realty Xperts.
He is very familiar with the area within our Watrous Heights Neighborhood Association and will endeavor to contribute to benefit of all.
Charly & Morgan Conn
Board Members at-Large