At the beginning of 2022, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Directors elected new officers and welcomed two new members. The Community Foundation relies on a volunteer board to guide policies and practices that allow the organization to strengthen the community through philanthropy.
Okpara Rice, Chief Executive Officer at Tanager Place, will serve as Chair. Okpara is the first Black Board Chair in the Community Foundation’s history. Other Board Officers include Charlie Schimberg, President of Schimberg Companies as Past Chair; Diana Ledford, President and CEO at Fore Fold Ventures as Chair Elect; Jon Landon, Attorney and Vice President at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, PLC as Secretary; and Mike Sheeley, Vice President and Corporate Marketing Director at UFG Insurance, as Treasurer.
“I am overjoyed for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation,” said Okpara. “It truly is an honor to be able to shepherd the work that is so vital to the vibrancy and health of this community. As the next Chair, I am both eager and humbled to work alongside the tremendous team and the passionate, dedicated Board who are sincere and steadfast in their efforts to advance the mission of the Community Foundation.”
New board members Janice Kerkove and Mary Junge began their three-year terms on January 1.
Janice has been an attorney with Bradley & Riley PC since 1999. Her areas of practice include estate planning, probate, tax law, trusts and wills, and she has served on a number of local boards and committees. Mary retired in 2018 after selling Junge Control, an agriculture technology business she co-founded. She also worked as an estate planning and tax attorney and has served on the Community Foundation’s Linn County Grants Committee and Development Committee.
Janice and Mary fill the seats left by Kate Minette and Sue Olson, who both served on the Board for six years.
“I am very grateful that Kate and Sue shared their time and talents with the Community Foundation,” said Les Garner, President & CEO. “They have been exemplary board members and will be missed. Their commitment has helped position our organization and our community for success in the future.”
The Community Foundation relies on committed volunteer Board and committee members to fulfill its mission. A diverse pool of members with varying skills and demographics is desired. An Indication of Interest form can be found at www.gcrcf.org/about/board-and-committees for those in Linn County who are interested in serving in a volunteer leadership position.