Bonnie Harris Joins Latham Seeds as Communications Manager
She took a leap of faith and landed in Iowa.
Bonnie Harris’ path to become communications manager at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds isn’t what you might expect. She grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the youngest of four kids. This blonde-haired beach girl ran barefoot on the beaches of Florida and went fishing with her dad.
A desire to major in Journalism took Bonnie to the University of Maryland in College Park. She interned for Congressional Quarterly and rode in the underground cars on Capitol Hill to record all the votes during session.
“I learned so much about politics as a young person,” says Bonnie. “But I also learned to appreciate the process, the total picture of our democracy – far more than I ever learned in a classroom.”
After graduating with a journalism degree and a minor in public relations, Bonnie accepted her first full-time newspaper job in Spokane, Washington. Four years later she was hired by the Los Angeles Times and moved to Southern California, where she covered cops, courts and crime. She also traveled for months with both presidential candidates in 2000, earning the nickname “Sunshine” from George W. Bush.
“As a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, I had to work with photographers to help cover my stories. I went to the Photo Desk in the newsroom and dealt with Don Tormey, a photo editor who was grumpy and literally annoying,” says Bonnie.
Opposites attract as they say, and Bonnie and Don were married.
“When we found out we were having twins, I quickly decided I did not want to raise them in Southern California,” says Bonnie. “I researched job opportunities for me and Don. The Des Moines Register jumped on his credentials and moved us to Iowa. Our boys were just 13 months old.”
Neither Bonnie nor Don had any ties to Iowa.
“We took a leap of faith in a state that was – to us coming from Southern California – more affordable, with better schools, an easy commute and GOOD PEOPLE. We endured many questions about our decision to transplant our family here, and that’s OK. We are honorary Iowans. Our boys, who are now almost 20 years old, have always called Iowa their home. And we do, too.”
Bonnie and Don’s son James just completed his first year at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He wants to become a fighter pilot. Their son Jackson will be a sophomore this fall at Iowa State University, where he is double-majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education. He wants to teach high school and coach varsity basketball.
Now that she is an empty-nester, Bonnie decided the time was right to again make a career change. She has worked the past five years in client relations, project management and PR with advertising and design firms in Greater Des Moines.
“I am most excited to work with the marketing and sales teams to promote the brand and share the Latham Seeds story. I know there is tremendous brand loyalty for this company and that speaks volumes about its leadership and commitment to customer service,” says Bonnie. “I am really looking forward to meeting our dealers this summer and celebrating their ongoing partnership with Latham Seeds. I’m also excited to learn how technology plays an important role in delivering the highest-quality products to Latham Seeds’ family of customers.”
Bonnie adds: “Latham Seeds is a family-owned company with a rich history that is appealing to me. While neither my husband nor I have an ag background, some of our dearest friends do – and we’ve grown to love the cyclical, beautiful life we see in farming. I’ve been fortunate to have worked in marketing for several ag companies, including a large animal feed business, and I’m always inspired by the hard-working, down-to-earth people I meet. Working for a company that helps farmers feed the world is a blessing by itself!”
In her spare time, Bonnie enjoys reading and cooking. She says her family enjoys traveling, golfing and playing ridiculously competitive board games. They also never miss a Cyclone tailgate. Today Bonnie is sharing with us one of her favorite recipes for Key Lime Pie.
Key Lime Pie
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees
- Beat egg yolks, key lime juice and both cans of condensed milk together in a bowl. Pour into pie crust
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until center is mostly set.
- Refrigerate overnight. Top with whipped cream and enjoy a true taste of Florida sunshine.