JoAnna Louise Anderson

Honored by:R. Dale Anderson, Robert D. Love, Roy Park and Harry Theile
Brick location:F:10  map

JoAnna Louise Henderson Anderson was born on March 8, 1937, in Central City, Iowa. She graduated from Coggon High School in 1955, and attended Iowa Wesleyan College and Iowa State University. She met her husband, R. Dale Anderson, while they were working for Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They were married on September 2, 1956, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and moved to Ames, Iowa, where Jo accepted employment at Iowa State University.

JoAnna Anderson served the University for over twenty-five years in a variety of positions in the Personnel Office. Her contributions involved a broad spectrum of administrative and support activities related to the initial implementation of a University personnel program. She was responsible for the research and writing of staff handbooks to document personnel policies and procedures, the implementation of certification and selection procedures, and the development of performance, appraisal, discipline, and grievance programs. Her activities also included the interviewing and referring of non- exempt and exempt job applicants, the analyzing and classifying of jobs, and the implementation of a wage and salary program.

In July of 1976, JoAnna assumed the position of Assistant Personnel Director, in charge of the University staff training and development program, and served in that position until moving to California in the Spring of 1983. While in this position, she administered and directed training programs for the University non-exempt professional and supervisory staff. Her activities involved analysis of the need for specific training programs, determination of the training approach and program design research and generation of training materials, instruction of courses, and recruitment of program presenters.

Her human resources expertise and communication skills led to extensive consultation with staff members concerning life and career planning, and with managers and staff concerning job-performance problems and techniques for achieving improvements. JoAnna recognized the possibility of increasing the University employees’ job satisfaction and contribution through the use of group and organizational development strategies. It was through her vision and persistence that the Quality Circle program was started at ISU. She led a small group in the development of an implementation plan, recruited and trained a core group of operating managers in whose areas the circles could be installed, and assisted in the program evaluation and general program management. In 1983, after Joanna and Dale moved to California, she held Human Resources positions in Scotts Valley, continuing her career with Victor Technologies, NNA Corporation, and Phoenix Technologies.

Aside from her career, JoAnna enjoyed being with her husband Dale and their two children, Kim and Scott. Together, they spent time building their house in Iowa and going on family vacations, which included fishing in Northern Manitoba and canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. In 1981, JoAnna and Dale took a 5,000 mile motorcycle camping trip through the Maritime Provinces of Canada. JoAnna's wish to explore new areas and to travel to foreign countries was fulfilled when she and Dale were able to travel to Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, France, Mexico, and Canada. She also enjoyed spending time gardening in the natural surroundings of her home in Soquel, California where she died on April 9, 1994 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

JoAnna's pioneering efforts in the staff training and development function of the Personnel Department have been of lasting benefit to Iowa State University. She took the responsibility for making that function important to the University and paved the way for others to follow. JoAnna did so much to help the faculty and staff at the University understand the need for life-long learning. She was not only a great supporter of education, but also a great supporter and friend of people. 4/17/95