Megan Early Alter
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Megan moved to Iowa City in 1995 to finish doctoral work after living in New York City for 7 years. She has called Iowa City home ever since.
Megan has a B.A. in Dance and English Literature, and an M.A. in English Literature, both from New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature (emphasis in 19th century British Literature) from the University of Iowa. She has taught as a visiting professor in the English Department and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Iowa, and at Cornell College and Upper Iowa University.
She is currently a manager in Test Development at ACT, English Language Arts; is a member of Corporate Giving Committee and Volunteer Services Committee and on the steering comittee for United Way Fundraising Week at ACT.
Megan has been a “Big” with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Johnson County for the last four years. She volunteers with the Community Engagement Committee, Community Review Panel, and Advocacy sub-groups of IWF. She is on the planning committee for the Johnson County American Heart Association Go Red for Women annual luncheon.
A fun fact about Megan, she was an NCAA All-American in Springboard Diving and the 1 and 3 meter races.
Kathy relocated back to her home state of Iowa in 2018 to join the GreenState Credit Union (formerly University of Iowa Community Credit Union) as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In this capacity, she is responsible for leadership of core Operations including Retail Processing, Card and Deposit Services, Account Resolutions, General Counsel, and Location Strategy/Execution/Maintenance serving over 200,000 members with more than $5B in assets.
Prior to joining UICCU, Kathy spent nearly 12 years with Northern Trust (NTRS), an Asset Management and Asset Servicing organization serving the needs of Institutional and Wealth Management clients. Northern Trust operates across 21 countries with ~$10T in Assets Under Custody and ~$1B in Assets under Management. Kathy worked out of their Chicago, London, and Singapore offices serving various roles including CAO/Chief of Staff of Institutional Asset Management (sales and servicing), SVP and Regional Head of the Asia-Pacific Investment Manager Liaison Group (securities operations), and VP of Internal Product Management (program management/technology/CRM systems and BI).
Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2007, Kathy held senior level positions at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in San Francisco, California, and began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Management Consultant.
She has a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Kathy is passionate about giving back to the community including causes spanning economic empowerment, education, and women in leadership. She was the sponsor for Northern Trust’s Women in Asset Management and played an active role in the Women in Leadership (WIL) program. She is also a board member for Iowa Women’s Foundation.
A native of northeast Iowa, Laurie earned her B.A. in business administration and politcal science from Wartburg College. She holds a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law (with high distinction). She is an attorney and Senior Vice President at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll. Her legal work focuses on real estate and business law, banking, and mergers and aquisitions.
Laurie’s community and personal involvement focuses on issues impacting women, children and underserved populations. A few include: Prairie School Foundation Advisory Committee, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, Inc., Womens Leadership Initiative of United Way of East Central Iowa and Affordable Housing Network, Inc.
Crystal was born, raised and currently resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Project management from Kaplan University. Crystal is the Cedar Valley Market Leader for BerganKDV. She is the Vice President on the Cedar Falls Community Main Street Board of Directors, and is a liaison to the Main Street Waterloo and College Hill Partnership Organizations. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations including an appointment by Iowa’s governor to serve on the Iowa College Student Aid Commission as Vice Chair, President of the Cedar Valley Society of Human Resource managers, and President of the Visiting Nurse Association Board of Directors. In 2009, Crystal was one of the Cedar Valley “20 Under 40” award recipients. She enjoys being active in the community, traveling, and spending time with her partner, Eric, and son, Hayes.
Danette was born and raised in northern Iowa and has lived most of her life in central Iowa with short stints in Kyoto, Japan, Chicago, IL, and Iowa City, IA. Danette has a B.A. in Business Administration from Clarke University, Dubuque, and an MBA from the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. She is currently the Assistant Dean Graduate Programs in the College of Business and Public Administration at Drake University. She has worked in academic administration at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa.
Danette is married to Patrick and is mom to Bekah. When she is not busy with Bekah’s dance, she enjoys reading and spending time relaxing with family and friends.
Lori currently serves as Executive Director of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. Other professional positions include Director of Development for the Northeast Florida Easter Seals Society (Jacksonville), and jobs in development and program management with American Composers Forum (St. Paul) and Minnesota Center for Book Arts (Minneapolis). She is also a former teacher with Orchestra Iowa’s Symphony School and has done private client garden design/renovation.
Lori has been an active community volunteer in the Cedar Rapids Public Schools, with Iowa State Extension, and on various Boards in the ICR Corridor and in Sioux City. She has a Masters of Strategic Leadership from Mt. Mercy University, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (emphases in music, English and art) from University of Iowa.
Chelle is a native of Illinois and has lived in the Iowa City area for 30 years. She is the Public Relations Coordinator for the SE Iowa STEM Region. She is passionate about providing early exposure to STEM education and career opportunities for Iowa students. This passion is a direct result of her own lack of exposure to STEM careers as a young girl in a rural school district.
Chelle earned a B.A. in Biology and Elementary Education from the University of Iowa, and a M.S. degree in Biology from the University of Nebraska Kearney. She holds a K-12 Iowa teaching certification in elementary education, elementary science and secondary sciences.
Chelle currently serves as the President of the IWF Board and plays an active role on several committees including the Grants Committee. She has served on the steering committee for the STEM Goes Red event for young women, and as Vice Chair for the University of Iowa Council on the Status of Women, and as a member of the Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women Committee at the University. Chelle has also served on the Iowa Governor’s STEM Council STEM Equity Workgroup. She is a Yoga in the Schools teacher for Challenge to Change, and enjoys biking, yoga, stained glass, photography, traveling with her husband and doting on her two grandchildren.
Sarah Jean Leonard
Originally from Nashua, Iowa, Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa in Art History and Religious Studies, and a JD from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Sarah was one of the founding members of the William Mitchell Veterans Assistance Organization, and was an Elder Justice Scholar, with research focusing on felony-level neglect of vulnerable adults.
As an attorney, Sarah practiced estate planning and probate law. She currently serves as a Trust Officer at US Bank.
Sarah is currently a board member of the Altrusa International of Iowa City and Mercy Foundation. She is a certified facilitator for Honoring Your Wishes, and volunteers with the Ladies’ Football Academy.
Originally from Kansas but a long-time resident of Johnson County (via Long Island, New York, and Bloomington, Indiana), Stan is a retired CPA, Partner and Assurance Director with McGladrey & Pullen (now RSM US), whose clients included many nonprofit organizations and foundations in Iowa and beyond. He currently assists nonprofit organizations in improving their financial management and oversight and serves as IWF’s Treasurer.
Stan is a long-time board member of Elder Services, Inc. and a volunteer for medical transportation with them. He also volunteers with Compeer of Johnson County and Goodwill. He is a current or past board or finance committee member of Summer for the Arts, Downtown Association, Big Brothers- Big Sisters, Iowa City Public Library Foundation, and Housing Fellowship. In his free time, Stan is an avid hiker, biker, diver and frequent traveler.
Rachel was born and raised in Yorkshire, England and moved to Iowa City in 2008 to work for the University of Iowa Health Care. She holds a B.S. in Government from the London School of Economics, UK. She is currently employed by the University of Iowa as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Her professional background includes knowledge in organizational change, human resource leadership and strategic communications. Early in her career, she taught English in Greece, Ecuador and Mexico.
Rachel’s community involvement includes IWF Grants Review Committee and Community Outreach Committee member. She is a board member at Little Angels Learning Center daycare, a luncheon co-chair for Go Red for Women, and a mentor for the University of Iowa Tippie Women in Business Student Mentorship Program.
Rachel is married to Jason and they have two sons. She enjoys playing piano and violin, running, and travelling.
Jen NeumannVice President
Originally from the Quad Cities, Jen is the owner of de Novo Marketing – a full service creative firm located in the NewBo District in Cedar Rapids and founded in 1997. Prior to this, she served as VP of Communications for Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois.
Jen is the immediate Past-Chair (current trustee) of the Cedar Rapids Community Schools Foundation, a member of the NewBo District Board, Mentor in Residence at Iowa Startup Accelerator, and Past-President and Past-Sustaining-Chair of Junior League of Cedar Rapids. She is a past board member of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
A self-described political junkie and amateur bird watcher, Jen is “mother to two young women, wife to a pretty cool guy, and feeder of two lousy cats.”
Cindy is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and has always lived and worked in the beautiful state of Iowa. She received her bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Northern Iowa, and upon graduation started her career in the financial services industry at Principal Financial Group where she worked in the pension business unit and later as human resources manager.
Cindy joined Transamerica in 2000 and currently leads Inclusion and Diversity. Prior to her current role, she held positions in human resources, corporate communications and talent development. Cindy started Transamerica’s first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including the Women’s Impact Network, and today there are 20 ERG’s spanning the companies major U.S. locations.
Cindy is active in the community and currently serves on the Inclusive Cedar Rapids Advisory Board, Women Lead Change EPIC Advisory Board and the University of Iowa REACH Workforce Advisory Board. She loves to travel to visit her grown and growing family who live on the west coast, doing yoga and road trips with her spouse, Denny.
Jill OlsenPast President
Originally from Mount Vernon, Iowa, Jill was a member of IWF’s Leadership Circle for two years prior to her membership on the Board of Directors. She currently serves as board president. Jill received her BA from Rutgers University in New Jersey and her MA from Winthrop University in Rockhill, South Carolina. On her return to Iowa, she earned both her Ed.S. and Ed.D. degrees from Drake University in Des Moines. Jill taught at the high school level in New Jersey, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Iowa, later becoming Principal of Emerson Elementary School in Marion, Iowa.
She is a retired school administrator and Graceland University Graduate Program Instructor. Jill was the recipient of many awards and unique opportunities as an educator. She was named a Christa MacAullife Fellow for Iowa and was named Iowa Teacher of the Year. She was a Fulbright Memorial Scholar to Japan, a Teacher of Excellence Delegate to Russia, and a Scottish Rite Doctoral Fellow. She originated the idea of Silver Cords for Service for high school seniors.
A graduate of the Leadership for the Five Seasons leadership program in Cedar Rapids, Jill has served as member and former Chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, Chair of the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board, and Governor of Rotary District 5970 (northern half of Iowa). She also served two terms on the Iowa Commission for Volunteer Service. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Rotarian Action Group4Clubfoot & Iowa’s Gift to the World (Poneti Method), the Vice-General Chair of NCPETS (training for incoming Rotary Club presidents) and is a delegate to Rotary International Council on Legislation. Jill is a recipient of Rotary’s highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. Jill resides in Mount Vernon.
A native of Wisconsin, Anne has called Iowa home for the past 12 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington D.C. where she worked for several non-profits and lobbying organizations after graduation. Currently, she leads the Marketing Engagement for Aura Cacia, a brand of Frontier Co-op based in Norway, Iowa. Anne developed the brand’s social giving program Positive Change Project, which has granted more than a half million dollars in two years. Prior to this role, Anne spent eight years at Rockwell Collins in various corporate communications positions.
Anne has served on the Iowa Children’s Museum Board and has been active with IWF Grants Review for the past several years. She loves traveling, participating in anything fitness-related, and spending time with her husband Jeff and their fur-baby Norman.
Mark is a native of Dewitt, Iowa and moved to Iowa City in 1981 to attend the University of Iowa where he received his BBA in Accounting in 1985. He is the CFO/COO of Brooks & Ruggeberg LLC, and owns Brown Street Inn Bed & Breakfast. He is a passionate Rotarian and currently serves as President of the Rotary Club of Iowa City Downtown. He is the Board Chair of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and volunteers with a wide range of activities including Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Emma Goldman, the Iowa Children’s Museum and the Free Medical Clinic. Mark is married to Bob Brooks, a retired UI Facilities Management Administrator.
A long-time IWF supporter, David is the past Chair of the Board of Directors for TRAIL, a nonprofit organization that aims to help older residents live and age safely and comfortably in their own homes. He also serves as a Volunteer Counselor with the Senior Health Insurance Information Program and is a singer with the Chamber Singers of Iowa City. He is retired, with experience that includes teaching, social work, mediation, ethics consultation, and nonprofit board membership.
David enjoys travel, the outdoors, good food, cooking, reading, live music and theater.
Dr. Elizabeth Swanson
Liz is originally from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, a Master of Science degree in Nursing, and a Doctorate (PhD) in Student Development and Personnel, all from the University of Iowa. She served as the Board’s Vice President before serving as President in 2013-2015.
Dr. Swanson has over 40 years of service in various capacities to the University of Iowa including staff nurse, instructor, tenured faculty member, Chair, Associate Vice President for Health Professions Education, and Associate Dean for International Programs. She recently retired as Associate Professor and Director, External Relations at the University of Iowa College of Nursing.
She also has a record of scholarship with the publication of 39 peer reviewed papers, 11 edited books, 15 book chapters, 6 commentaries, 60 international, national and local presentations, and external and internal grants.
Liz is a member of a number of boards and committees, including being a manuscript reviewer for Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Nursing Languages and Classification, Geriatric Nursing and Midwest Nursing Research Journal and has served as chair or member of 48 student Theses or Dissertation committees.
Dick is a lifelong resident of Iowa City attending elementary and junior and senior high schools here. he has a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Iowa. He has practiced law in Iowa City since 1975 and is partner in Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, walker, Tucker & Gelman, LLP. He is married to Buffie Tucker and they have two adult daughters, Jessica and Ashley, both of whom live in Iowa City.
When Dick isn’t working, he enjoys sports, gardening, travelling, art and art museums, and spending time with family and friends. He is a long time supporter of IWF.
Shanell has served as the Administrator of Early Childhood Iowa, Iowa’s early childhood systems building initiative, since 2004. She has experience in government policy creation, program implementation and building community supports. She holds an associates degree in Business Administration from the American Institute of Business, and studied at Simpson College.
Shanell is a member of Iowa’s State Child Care Advisory Committee and was recently selected by Governor Reynolds to serve on the Children’s Mental Health Board. Shanell provides extensive leadership in supporting the state’s quality rating system for child care environments, offering first-hand experience to strengthen partnerships that promote quality programming. She serves as a high school youth group leader, president of her church women’s group, and coordinates various community ad hoc groups including an annual golf tournament fund raiser to promote Tori’s Angels – a community-level foundation to support children with life-threatening illnesses.
Shanell is a lifelong Iowan as she grew up in Audubon and currently lives in Panora with her husband Dave. They have two adult children, Madellyn and Mitchell. Her interests includ kayaking, golfing, exercise groups, book club and gardening.
Zach is a proud graduate of the University of Iowa. He is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, and co-founder of Scouts for Equality which led the national campaign to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America. His testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about growing up with gay parents was You Tube’s most watched political video of 2011.
Zach is the author of best-selling book My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family. Along with his sister Zeb, he created The Woman Cards – a line of playing cards featuring original, hand-drawn portraits of women who changed the world even though the deck was stacked against them.
Zach holds a masters degree in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is a senator in the Iowa state legislature, representing District 37 at the state capitol in Des Moines. He resides in Coralville, Iowa.