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.”
Mark RuggebergVice Chair
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ramon is the Executive Director of Centro Latino of Iowa in Council Bluffs. He has a BA in History/International Relations from Creighton University and an M.A. in Social Ethics/Human Development from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile.
Ramon was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and moved to the mainland to attend college in the Midwest. He has over 25 years of experience managing social projects and teaching at educational institutions in the United States and Latin America. He is a member of the board of directors for the Children’s Square, All Care Health Center and New Visions Homeless Services.
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.
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.
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.
Senator Carrie Koelker
Senator Carrier Koelker currently serves as Iowa Legislator for Iowa Senate District 29 in Dubuque. She is also the Executive Director at Eastern Iowa Tourism.
Among her many professional and personal accomplishments, Carrie has been the recipient of the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award and was name Dyersville Woman of the Year in 2012. She has been a board member and Past President of the Iowa Destination Marketing Alliance and the Past President of Iowa Travel Group.
Carrie is married to her husband Barry and is mother to a tribe of four. A lifelong Iowan and advocate for rural development, she resides in Dyersville, where she is active in her community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.