Every week, the Mt. Pleasant News will feature a Henry County resident in a profile snapshot. The questions will appear in bold.
This week’s friend is Jennifer Wharton, whom you may know as the vice president of Wayland State Bank.
Are you originally from Mt. Pleasant/Henry County? If not, what brought you here? I originally grew up in Washington County and graduated from Washington High School. After a lot of research of various towns in southeast Iowa, I decided to apply for a job here and was hired as Wayland State Bank’s vice president/loan officer.
What is your favorite part of living here? Since I started my job here, everyone has been super friendly and inviting. I’ve met so many great people in such a short amount of time, it’s amazing. Living in the Des Moines area for the past nine years made me miss the small town living where you know your neighbors and generally care for the people in your community.
What is your favorite local hangout? So far it would probably be East Lake as I like to visit there on my lunch breaks to enjoy the fresh air.
What do you like to do in your free time? Dancing — I have been country line dancing since I was about five years old and teach lessons on occasion. On Thursday nights or on the weekends, you can typically find me at a country dance hall or bar with live music. I like all variations of dancing, anywhere from line dancing to swing dancing.
What is your favorite spring activity? A new fun activity I recently took up is stand-up paddleboarding. I was introduced to the sport in Des Moines and just recently bought myself my own board. I also like to practice yoga and am looking forward to combining the two.
What is one thing you’ve not tried that you would like to? I like to travel and it would be a dream of mine to be able to visit Kenya. My favorite animal is elephants, and I have been sponsoring an orphaned elephant at a sanctuary located in Kenya for the past eight years. To be able to interact with my elephant would be a dream come true.
Is there something Mt. Pleasant doesn’t have that you’d like to see?
A dance hall — a barn with indoor/outdoor wooden dance floors. Dancing is for all ages and a great way to stay active and interact socially with others. It would also bring live bands to the area and spice up the night life here in town.
Tell us something interesting about you? I got to sing with Shania Twain at the Colosseum in Las Vegas. In 2014 during Shania’s residency there, Shania pulled my sister and me out in the aisle to sing “Honey, I’m Home” with us. Although my singing is horrendous, I didn’t miss a word and we were treated like celebrities with fans coming up to us after the show to say they saw us on the big screen.