Name: Ernie Hain
Occupation: Video production senior manager
Where we found him: Garden concert
We met at a backyard concert. Are you a music lover? I like music. Generally, I listen to classic rock. That’s my era. I’m always pleased when I hear my daughters listen to it. It shows I raised them right.
Tell me about your family? My wife, Janeane, and I have three lovely daughters. One lives nearby and is married with two kids. Our middle daughter’s in Florida, and our other daughter is in North Dakota—so they’re scattered.
Are you from Rochester? I grew up in Rochester, graduated from JM in 1974. After my wife and I got married, we moved to Iowa for a job for a short time. We ended up moving back, to Chatfield, later. It was a nice place to raise our three girls. Now that they’re gone, the house was too big, the yard was too big—so we decided to downsize and move back to Rochester about a year ago.
How did you meet your wife? Dancing. It was at a dance hall in Mantorville called the Relay Station. It always had a live band, and you brought your own bottle and they served set ups. It burned down some time ago. My group hung out a lot there. I asked Janeane to dance. Then I asked her out. She said no. She said I should call her. We got married [three years later]. In October it was 37 years.
Highlight, so far? The kids—our three girls. They were evenly spaced, four and three years apart, so for a lot of years we had a child in the house. As people always say, it goes way too fast. Suddenly they’re grown up and gone. But I do not mind the empty nest.
Challenge? In some respects, raising the three girls. That was a challenge in itself. I wasn’t always watching over them—I kind of let them try to do what they wanted to do—but I held the line on behaving. I was a little strict. My girls like to tell me now what they got away with. Sometimes I say, “Yeah, I knew, but I didn’t tell you.”
What did you do after high school? I didn’t go to [college] right away. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I worked at Rochester Golf and Country Club on the grounds crew.
Are you a golfer? No! I never was. I have swung a club, but I wouldn’t call it golfing!
What’s your dream job? I have worked at Mayo Clinic for 25 years, and I really enjoy my job. But a dream job? I think it would probably have been a baseball player. I like to play ball—I played on a softball team for years, until I was in my mid 50s.
Did you play in school? In my younger days, I wasn’t necessarily really athletic. I was a 90-pound twerp, but I enjoyed playing. I was too small to be on the school team, so I was in band. I was a drummer. The instructor when I first got to JM was Mr. Hamilton. He was really good. I still have my drumsticks in a box somewhere.
What does a video production senior manager do? I have a dozen people on my team—producers, directors, editors, director of photography—and we create all kinds of video programming for Mayo Clinic, patient’s stories and staff stories. Amazing things happen at Mayo Clinic, and … when I step back and think about the stories we get to hear and tell and create in our department, it’s really neat.
Tell me about an adventure? We walked the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. You can walk on top of the girders over the bridge. My daughter did a student exchange in Australia for a semester, and we picked her up, made sure she came home. That wasn’t necessarily my biggest adventure, though. I worked in the news media locally at KTTC, and that was an adventure. I was a reporter/anchor from 1983-1991. It was different then than it is now. Now there’s so much promotion. There wasn’t as much when I was there, but you still were a recognizable figure, and I don’t think I handled that very well. I’m an introvert. I was always somewhat taken aback by people who recognized me. I never figured out how to handle that too well. But I enjoyed my work.
Why did you leave? Similar to my Mayo work, you’re hearing and creating stories. The challenge I had with being a television reporter is that they’re not always good stories, and quite often they’re sad stories. I felt like I was intruding in people’s lives sometimes, when you had to go up to someone who had a tragedy happen and ask them how they feel. I did a hard look at what I was doing, and even though it was interesting, it wasn’t always fun. Ultimately that’s why I left. … The stories I get to tell now are generally positive and uplifting.
Best advice? Don’t make excuses. Do it right the first time.