Every once in awhile, you find your passion. Even if you weren’t looking for it. And that’s exactly what Eric Hanson did. A Roland-Story “speech geek” who found himself at the All-State Speech contest for radio. He was just a junior in high school at the time. He practiced speaking in 4-H and in his senior year had an opportunity to work with the KQWC radio station in Webster City. He liked it so much in fact, that KQWC asked him to fill in for them several more times.

After graduating from Roland-Story, Eric went on to double-major in Electronic Media and Public Relations at Wartburg College. He interned in Minneapolis and Waterloo before his first reporting job at WEAU-TV in Wisconsin. Later he reported for KWWL-TV in Waterloo while also serving as an adjunct professor at Wartburg for a year. In 2000 he joined KCCI and was named the morning anchor in 2014. His writing has been honored with three national Edward R. Murrow awards, two national Society for Professional Journalists awards, five Emmys and dozens of regional and statewide honors.

More impressive than Eric’s list of awards is his humility and approachability. It’s undoubtedly contributed to his success: we can relate with him. The only difference is that at 2:45 a.m. the alarm goes off and it’s time for him to get ready for work. At 3:30 he starts his day by reading his scripts and preparing for the news at 4:30. After 7, he’s off the air and on to other tasks. He writes stories, returns calls or shoots stories. Most days he has the afternoon off to spend time with kids when they get out of school. In his spare time he sings in a gospel quintet, and is on a quest to visit every Major League Baseball stadium in the nation.

At the Dessert and a Show, Eric Hanson will be telling a story about what “home” means. In his “This is Iowa” segments, he presents a piece of “home.” A piece of what makes Iowa great. He takes the heart-felt emotions of that story and presents them with those same feelings. “When I’m covering these stories, I feel those things, and I want to tell them in the same way that I experienced them.” Eric said in an interview.

Dessert and a Show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Story Theater and admission is $10. Eric Hanson will start the evening followed by stories of our featured storyteller Darrin Crow. During an intermission, there will be homemade goodies and many other desserts. Lastly, Tom Milligan will perform. Next week, I’ll be covering our featured storyteller, Darrin Crow.