In December, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors thanked four exiting members for their years of service. Lydia Brown, Karl Cassell, Greg Dunn and Maureen Kenney all joined the board in 2012 and have since played vital roles in Community Foundation governance. “We’re lucky to have so many people who are enthusiastic about serving their community,” said Les Garner, President & CEO. “These four individuals have worked hard to better our organization and community, and while we’re sad to see them go, we’re happy to welcome four new board members who have the same commitment to service.”
Those new board members include local leaders in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. As the Community Foundation enters a year of reflection, the board is pleased with maintaining diversity of experience. The incoming members have backgrounds in law, finance, education and health and human services. It is with great enthusiasm that we introduce the Community Foundation’s newest directors.
President & CEO—Eastern Iowa Health Center
Joe comes to the Community Foundation with a wealth of experience. He is currently active on an astonishing nine boards of directors and is a State of Iowa Library Commissioner. After earning a graduate degree, Joe worked in the for-profit sector for 15 years before moving into nonprofit work. For the last fifteen years, he has held executive roles at three local nonprofit organizations, and is currently the President and CEO of the Eastern Iowa Health Center.
Besides an array of professional experience, Joe also has a passion for leveraging his skills to create community impact. “When my family moved here in 2002, it was evident what an impact the Community Foundation has not only on the nonprofit community, but the for-profit as well,” Joe says. “I realized how important philanthropy is to both the nonprofits and the donors. The Community Foundation has always been a leader in that respect.”
President & CEO—ForeFold Ventures
With years of experience in finance and wealth management, Diana is a valuable asset for the Community Foundation. Diana earned an MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University and has held leadership roles at Northern Trust, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, and SCI Financial Group. In her current role, Diana oversees investments, trust and estate planning, tax and accounting, and also philanthropy and next generation education.
After 20 years away, Diana is back where she grew up and is excited about playing a role in strengthening Cedar Rapids. “I moved back in 2016, and I’m so impressed with how philanthropic the people here are,” she says. “You see it through the strength of the community. The Community Foundation does a phenomenal job working with donors and nonprofits to contribute to that strength.” No stranger to public service, Diana is a trustee at Waypoint and serves on Mercy Medical Center’s Investment Committee.
Chief Executive Officer—Tanager Place
Okpara brings with him years of nonprofit leadership experience. He joined Tanager Place in 2013 as Executive Director and became the CEO in 2015. Prior to this, Okpara served as Executive Director of Starr Columbus (Ohio), a child and family services organization. He has served as president of the national board for the Association of Children’s Residential Centers, and on numerous community boards throughout Marion and Cedar Rapids.
A passion for collaboration with other community leaders makes Okpara a valuable addition to the Board of Directors. “One of the things I’m most excited about is the current strategic planning and helping to guide the Community Foundation into the future,” Okpara says. “I’m also excited about the committee work—especially the Nonprofit Network Advisory Council—it’s important work that has real impact.”
Attorney and Vice President—Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C.
As an attorney, Jonathan is a valuable resource for local businesses, nonprofits and individuals. After graduating with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, Jonathan earned an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and worked for two years in the U.S. Tax Court in Washington, D.C.
In his service at the Community Foundation, Jonathan is excited to continue his advocacy for the area’s nonprofits and the donors that support them. “I do a lot of work with nonprofits in the community and I have seen firsthand the leading role the Community Foundation plays in providing expertise and meeting essential needs of those organizations,” he explains. “In addition, the creative and helpful work done for donors who want to make an impact in the community is very impressive. I am honored to be a member of this team.”