Mary Ann Hanusa is a 5th generation Iowan and a native of Council Bluffs. Her career has included experience as a business owner, and in public education, in the White House, and in the Iowa House of Representatives, and work for children with mental health needs.
As a student of history, she was honored to work at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and as President of the Friends of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, a community group in Council Bluffs tasked with raising funds to restore the city’s Carnegie library for use as a unique museum.
From 1996 to 2001, Mary Ann served as Director of Senator Chuck Grassley’s congressional office in Council Bluffs.
Mary Ann served in the White House for the administrations of President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush. As the only Iowan working in the West Wing of the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, she remembers running for her life as well as other details of that harrowing day, followed by the massive outpouring of patriotism and many acts of bravery by our fellow citizens. This event inspired Mary Ann, like so many other Americans, to continue looking for ways to serve her country and community.
Mary Ann returned to Iowa and represented Council Bluffs in the Iowa House of Representatives for 10 years, from 2011- 2021. While in the Legislature, she helped balance the state budget, fund education to address inequities across our state, protect life, and support those with mental health needs.
As Chair of the Economic Growth Committee, Mary Ann worked with her colleagues to advance and enact initiatives and policies to promote economic growth across Iowa, enhance business opportunities and create jobs.
For several years, Mary Ann and her siblings co-owned Hanusa Hardware, an 85-year-old small family business begun by Mary Ann’s grandfather during the Depression. She understands the challenges and responsibilities business owners face each day.
Mary Ann is a teacher, has worked as a school administrator, and currently works at Children’s Square U.S.A., a 138-year-old non-profit organization in Council Bluffs that provides care, education, and treatment for children with mental and behavioral health needs.
She received her B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, and her Master’s degree in American History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Mary Ann is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs, and is married to Charlie Johnson. They enjoy being Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Charlie to many nieces and nephews and their children, who are the future of Iowa and our Nation.