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.”
Anne RiersonChair Elect
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 is the Director of Communications & Marketing at CRST The Transportation Solutions, Inc. in Cedar Rapids. Anne has a vast knowledge of marketing and communications in several different industries – serving in communications at Cedar Ridge, Frontier Co-op and Rockwell Collins.
Anne has served on the Iowa Children’s Museum Board and has been active with the Iowa Women’s Foundation as a Community Review Panelist, Chair of the Grants Committee, the Marketing Committee and is now Chair Elect for the Board of Directors. She loves traveling, participating in anything fitness-related, and spending time with her husband Jeff and their fur-baby Norman.
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.
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 is the former owner of 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.
Barb Baker is a West Union, IA native who lives in Grinnell with her husband Mike. She holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Iowa, and a CPCU designation.
A former news reporter and journalism student, Barb has a lifelong interest in communications. Now an insurance specialist for over 30 years, she is the Advertising and Community Relations Director for Grinnell Mutual.
In her time outside of work, she serves on the Governor’s Task Force for Empowering Rural Iowa Communities, the Iowa Sports Foundation, and the Grinnell Community Task Force. She is also a member of the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association, the American Advertising Federation, the CPCU Society, and the Leadership Iowa Alumni Society.
When she’s not volunteering her time, Barb likes to stay active any way she can—whether it’s running, biking, or playing with her three grandsons.
Joy Briscoe is an avid supporter of the arts and all things multi-cultural. As the Talent Acquisition & Outreach Specialist for Waterloo Schools and the Executive Director for the 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium, her mission is to elevate and inspire young leaders. She is the recipient of the John Levitow Award, the highest award presented by Airman Leadership School, a Toast for Change Award, and was recognized as one of the Waterloo Courier’s 20 Under 40.
Joy received her B.A. in Graphic Design with a minor in Marketing from Upper Iowa University. She also served as a member of the United States Air Force for 15+ years. Outside of work, she is a Board Member for Experience Waterloo, The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, and House of Hope, where she serves on the Executive Board.
Erin is the Vice President of Wealth Management at US Bank. She has an undergraduate degree in Government and Math from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. Erin has a diverse background as a practicing attorney, having served as a state and federal prosecutor, Assistant General Counsel for a global financial services firm, Senior Counsel for Athene Companies in West Des Moines, and an executive leader for a privately-held investment company.
Erin has volunteer experience with an arts-focused board, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Junior Achievement, education fund-raising and youth leadership groups. Her hobbies include alpine skiing, wilderness backpacking, mountain biking, reding and starting a small hobby orchard. Erin is a native Iowan. She and her husband are parents of two active teenagers, and have lived in the Corridor for 20 years.
Nicole Crain is a native of Blockton, a small community in Southern Iowa. She currently lives in Windsor Heights, where she serves on numerous boards, including: Simpson College Board of Trustees, Windsor Heights Foundation, IWF’s Business and Child Care Coalition, the Governor’s Health and Safety Council, and the Healthiest State Initiative.
Nicole received her B.A. in Political Science from Simpson College. She serves as the Executive Vice President for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). Prior to this role, she represented Iowa employers as Vice President of Public Policy for ABI, where she focused on workforce policy issues.
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.
Mandy Engle-Cartie is a Sioux City girl, through and through. A Siouxland Native, she attended school in Ames, where she got her B.A. in English/Secondary Education from Iowa State University. She later attended the University of Wyoming, where she received her master’s degree in Public Administration before moving back to Sioux City in 2001.
Mandy is the Executive Director of Girls, Inc. of Sioux City, a role she has held since 2002. She is a member of the Iowa Task Force for Young Women, the Iowa Cancer Consortium Advisory Board, and the Siouxland Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Mandy is the proud mom to one college student, a high school sophomore, and three rescue dogs. Outside of work, she loves to travel and e-bike with her husband.
Lori is the Community Outreach Director for the Franciscan Peace Center in Clinton. She graduated from Marycrest College with a BA in merchandising, minor in Public Relations and Marketing, and has co-owned a vending company with her husband, was the Financial Development Director, and then the Executive Director of the Clinton YWCA.
Lori has served or is currently serving on the boards of Eastern Iowa Community College, First Central State Bank, The Clinton Herald Editorial Board and the Iowa network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery.
Lori is a native of Clinton. She and her husband currently reside on the Mississippi River. They are parents to two grown children and grandparents of one.
Abbey Furlong is an Attorney at Lane & Waterman LLP in Davenport, Iowa, where she practices primarily civil defense work in the areas of medical malpractice and employment law. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, and has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in the field of professional liability defense since 2014. She has also been on the Iowa State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Honor Role many times.
In addition to her work at Lane & Waterman, Abbey currently serves as a Board Member for the Vera French Housing Corporation. Abbey’s previous Board and volunteer engagement includes the Child Abuse Council (past president), Executive Council for the Scott County Bar Association, Chair of the SCBA’s Barrister’s Ball and Mock Trial Committees, as well as preparing meals for guests of the King’s Harvest emergency winter homeless shelter.
Abbey lives in Bettendorf with her husband, two daughters, and husky, Kona.
Julie is Vice President Treasury Management and Commercial Deposits at West Bank. She oversees complex banking relationships throughout the Eastern Iowa Corridor. She started her banking career as a part-time teller when she came to Iowa City to begin studies at the University of Iowa.
Julie is a native of Waterloo. She has served on the boards for Goodwill of the Heartland and The Bird House. She is a leader for her church youth group and enjoys being involved in non-profits and local political events. She and her husband have three active sons and a dog Josie. If there is ever free time, her hobbies include reading and traveling.
Jaimie Miller is a resident of West Des Moines, where she lives with her husband and two children. She has been recognized as a Forty under 40 Leader by the Des Moines Business Record and was a finalist for the Des Moines Young Professional of the Year Award in 2016/2017.
Jaimie received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa and her MPA from Drake University, where she studied constitutional law, public administration, and public policy. She is the current Vice President of the Iowa Credit Union League and the former Executive Director of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation. She has also previously served as the Director of Culture and Impact for Affiliates Management Company.
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 on IWF’s Finance Committee.
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.
Brenda is the Marketing Director for Hills Bank. Most of her career has been spent in public relations/marketing or fund development for nonprofit organizations including Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids.
Brenda graduated from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas with a degree in Mass Communications. She has been active on the IWF Marketing and Luncheon Committees, and volunteers with United Way of East Central Iowa.
Brenda grew up in the small town of Tonganoxie, Kansas, then moved to Jefferson City, Missouri after getting married. She and her husband have two children in their twenties, and moved to Cedar Rapids in 2016 due to her spouse’s job change. A fun fact about Brenda, she was a baton twirler from age 4 through her sophomore year in college.
Andi was born and raised in Cedar Rapids and currently resides there with her husband and three young children. After graduating high school, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a juris Doctor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Magna Cum Laude). She is currently the Director of Human Resources at New Leader Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids.
Andi has a strong passion for helping others in need and removing barriers. After high school she spent three months in Guatemala teaching English to children with special needs. During law school she interned with the Coalition for Battered Women, advocating for legislation and drafting amicus curiae briefs in Minnesota Supreme Court cases.
Andi and her husband believe in giving back to the community. They financially support several organizations, and Andi is on the board of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor.
She is most passionate about the barriers of employment, child care and education as they are interwoven. Without child care, women cannot pursue employment and training and education is difficult, if not impossible.
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.
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 include kayaking, golfing, exercise groups, book club and gardening.
Senator Zach Wahls
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.
Shekinah currently serves as a Global Inclusion Consultant at Principal in Des Moines. In this role she works to empower communities through financial security. She was previously at the Principal Foundation in Community Relations. Shekinak began her career with the Des Moines Water Works Office of the CEO. She moved on to the City of Des Moines as Communications Fellow launching city social media, revamping publications and establishing a more engaging budget process “Speak Up DSM”.
Shekinah holds a BA from Drake University, and a Masters of Strategic Communication from the University of Iowa. Along with receiving several awards from Des Moines area programs, she is cofounder and Vice Chair of Back 2 School Iowa, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering underprivileged youth in Des Moines. To date they have served more then 10,000 students giving scholarships, backpacks, hair styling, physicals, talent showcases and more.
Skekinah serves on the executive board of the John R Grubb YMCA, and is the Chair of Drake University Community Engagement Advancement Committee. Her most prized title is community advocate.