New Leadership for a Bright Future
(OTTUMWA) – World-renowned car builder, Cherielynn Westrich announced today she will be seeking election to the Iowa House in District 81 which includes Ottumwa and rural parts of Wapello County.
Westrich was born in Missouri and grew up in a small town outside of St. Louis. She has made a career out of building and restoring cars and is one of the most well-known female car builders in the world. For the better part of 10 years Westrich worked on Overhaulin’ an American automotive reality television series filmed in California, where work is done on cars, unbeknown to the owners who are often deserving people such as veterans or people who have inspired and or helped others. However, she has held many different jobs including work as a janitor, waitress, and nanny to make ends meet. She also has experience working in marketing and as a bookkeeper.
Following her desire to return to the Midwest, she moved to Ottumwa five years ago. Since then, Westrich has been working as a correspondent for Rev’n TV an all automotive channel where she hosts their news program and reports on car shows around the world. Most recently, Westrich started a small business in Ottumwa, MalWood USA LLC where she manufactures hydraulic clutch pedals, which she is manufacturing locally at DeJong Manufacturing Company, Inc. in New Sharon, Iowa.
As a small business owner with a diverse background in many different fields, Westrich will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Legislature. “Having built over 65 cars and worked in many shops, my experience in building cars has helped me develop a skill set of working together as a team towards a common goal,” said Westrich. “I will view working with the citizens of Ottumwa and rural Wapello County as a team and strive to create good government that serves them. I will work to grow our local economy and invest in a skilled and competitive workforce by bringing back trades in high school. When I moved from California, I could have moved anywhere and I chose to live here. I love this part of the state and want to do my part to better the lives of everyday hardworking Iowans.”
During her time in California, Westrich played in many bands. She played the bass, keyboard, and sang vocals. Madonna signed her band The Rentals to a record deal with Maverick Records. She toured all of the United States and Europe. Their videos were in the top spots on MTV and she guest hosted as a VJ for MTV. She has lived in several states from California to New York, has traveled to nearly every state, and over 20 countries.
Iowans are frugal, they hate waste and they want their leaders to be good stewards of their money. As a fellow Iowan I feel the same way. When it comes to our budget that means "living within our means," "keeping our fiscal house in order," "not spending money we don't have on things we don't need." As your representative I will put these principals into action.
I am proud of my skill as a welder, fabricator and car builder. My Grandfather, Father, and Brother were all Union Sheet Metal Workers, so I know how a great career like this can provide for a family. Its important to me to help encourage a new generation of skilled laborers and teach kids who are adept to hands on jobs and want to pursue these careers. Good qualified trades people are always in high demand here in Ottumwa, and throughout Wapello County. Construction plays a vital role in shaping the built environment and our modern economy. I will work with local high schools our community colleges like Indian Hills, and organizations like SkillsUSA, MikeRoweWorks to educate the men and women who thrive in these roles and to bring these highly skilled workers back to Iowa. the starting salary, fresh out of community college, for these jobs is very high. Construction Workers in Iowa earn a median salary of $33,950 per year. Salaries typically start from $23,640 and go up to $52,250. Lets mentor these kids and give them our support.
I will be vigilant at monitoring and working to update our tax codes. As our country moves forward under the new federal tax plan, I will ensure in Iowa we stay ahead of the game; making sure Iowans are getting the most from their tax dollars and keeping more of their hard earned money.