The title for this article is certainly appropriate to recognize an individual that has given a great deal of leadership, time and effort to the success of Keep Iowa Beautiful.

Miriam Erickson Brown served as a Board member of Keep Iowa Beautiful from its inception twenty years ago.  She has been active in various committees and events as well as Vice-Chair of the organization for two years and Chair for two years.

Not just “Chair” but an exceptional Chair and leader – the same kind of leadership that she has and continues to provide as the CEO of Anderson Erickson Dairy.  Now you understand why I used the phrase “cream of the crop” to reflect on her history of leadership with this prominent Iowa dairy, a business known for its product quality.

No one is sure where the phrase originated but it may have come from the French phrase “la crème de la crème,” or the cream of the cream, the best of the best.  The “cream of the crop” refers to the person who is at the top of his or her profession, class, or skill.  Its literal meaning refers to the best produce of the harvest, and this meaning is still frequently used.

People like Miriam are extremely busy so the fact that she took the time to lead Keep Iowa Beautiful reflects another phrase – it is busy people that get things done.  Miriam’s commitment to Iowa is obvious with her role with AE Dairy and support of Keep Iowa Beautiful.

Miriam and her predecessors – including the most recent past chair, Mike Richardson, Vice President of Marketing for Casey’s General Stores – the founders and those Chairs of Keep Iowa Beautiful before them, share the commitment of their Iowa companies and Iowa.  Most of us don’t understand or fully appreciate the time and effort required out of their life to lead an organization.

People like Miriam serve as excellent role models for today’s younger generations.  They are proud of the organization and want others to share in its mission for empowering and enhancing communities throughout the state and in securing its long-term success.  Friends and business associates are often asked to share in the effort.

Join with Miriam, Mike and other board members in making Iowa the best that it can be. Take leadership of your own community and become a sponsor of Keep Iowa Beautiful today.

By Gerald F. Schnepf, Executive Director