Staff spotlight: Erin’s journey brought her from the Sunshine State to small-town living

Many Nebraskans long for a break from the harsh, Plains winters, and travel to warm, sunny climates to find it. Erin Mockler, however, did the opposite.

“I grew up in a small town in Florida,” said Mockler. “My entire childhood, I had a desire to move to a climate with more seasonal changes, so when I became an adult, I moved to Nebraska.”

And, we’re glad she did.

One of the newest members of the Center for Rural Affairs team, Mockler is a staff accountant. She lives in Lyons and works from the Center’s main office, and is happy about her new, more rural, home.

“I love the small-town community,” said Mockler. “I believe it’s in rural areas where the important work is being done, quietly and without fanfare; it is up to all of us to preserve the land and lifestyle here for future generations.”

Mockler began her new role by shadowing the accounting staff to learn the ropes on payables, payroll, and bank reconciliations. She has also been tasked with projects such as researching Employee Assistance Programs and expense reporting software, updating a couple procedures, and learning more about grants. She says she plans to work on even more projects in the future.  

“I’d like to streamline the expense reporting process and help simplify some of the accounting and grants budgeting processes,” said Mockler.

Mockler is no stranger to the accounting field. Previously, she was an office manager with the City of Omaha, where she managed her division’s operating budget and assisted her manager in tracking and managing his capital improvement budget, which used bond money. While there, she learned about budgeting for a nonprofit/government entity, which she says differs vastly from budgeting in the for-profit world.

Though she’s experienced in this field, Mockler says she’s looking forward to learning more about working in a rural capacity.

“I’m excited to learn new things, have new experiences, and meet new people,” said Mockler. “In my 19 years in Nebraska, I have appreciated the agrarian lifestyle and the down-to-earth nature of the people. I take great pride in assisting the staff of the Center in their endeavors to be the change they want to see in the world.”

In her free time, Mockler enjoys gardening, hiking, and riding her motorcycle. Also, she and her fiancé, Mike Cain, work on a project house in Lyons together.

Mockler can be reached at 402.687.2100 ext. 1007 or erinm@cfra.org.