Lauris is married to Kerry Whisnant, a physics professor at Iowa State University. Their two cats, Bailey and Tut, allow the couple to share their home on Buchanan Drive in Ames.
Household membership often grows temporarily as they open their home (and hearts) to rescue animals in need of extra care and attention.
Lauris was born in Mason City, Iowa, raised in Mason City and West Des Moines, and has considered Ames her hometown since 2002, when the Des Moines Register asked her to become section editor of the Ames Life & Times. Lauris was self-employed 9 years, owning Iowa News Online, which formerly published Ames365.com, AmesNewsOnline.com and the Ames Bulletin Board.
Lauris reported on Story County government for a decade. She also has been a reporter, editor and radio news director in Alaska, Wisconsin and other newspapers in Iowa, spending a total of two decades covering local, state and tribal governments. Lauris also has a financial management background, ending that first career in the late 1980s as an assistant vice president and the Dallas/Fort Worth branch manager for a national mortgage company.
She was sworn in as a Supervisor on Jan 3. 2017. In keeping with her goals to expand transportation options and affordable housing availability in the county, she currently is Story County’s primary representative on the Central Iowa Region Housing Authority Board, the Story County Housing Trust Fund, the Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency, the Ames Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Committee, the Ames Assessor Mini Board, and the Central Iowa Regional Transportation Planning Alliance Transportation Policy Committee. She is also the county’s representative on the Boone/Story Co. ECI Area Board, aka BooST Together for Children and the Community and Family Resources Board, which offers substance abuse and mental health treatment in an eight-county area. She is the alternate representative on the Aging Resources of Central Iowa Board of Directors, the Ames Economic Development Commission, Central Iowa Community Services, Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Board, Cherokee Mental Health Advisory Council, and Prairie Rivers R.C & D. Board. Internally, she represents the supervisors on the Go Green, Safety and Wellness committees.
Outside of county government, Lauris’ current leadership and community involvement activities include the Iowa League of Women Voters Tax Incremental Financing Committee and the Ames Noon Kiwanis.