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Our Management Team

Kathy Evert
Owner, KJ Signs, LLC; Consultant

Kathy Evert is owner of KJ Signs, LLC dba Signarama-Ankeny and YESCO Des Moines, located in Ankeny, Iowa. KJ Signs is a full-service and custom sign and graphics company and electric sign and lighting repair and maintenance company. Kathy is also the owner of KJE Solutions, LLC and provides technical assistance and direct services to non-profits and companies in the areas of talent recruitment, marketing, public relations and sales. She is the Community Coach for the Sac County Hometown Pride program through Keep Iowa Beautiful. She has worked in community and economic development at the regional, state and local level for more than 30 years in Iowa and Nebraska. She is a native of Ponca, Nebraska and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University. She resides in the Des Moines, Iowa metro area. She currently serves as Chair of Community Housing Initiatives (CHI), an Iowa non-profit, affordable housing developer. She also serves as a board member and chair of the company compensation committee for Ranco Fertiservice in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. She is a past president of the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) and of the Mid-America Economic Development Council, a 10-state regional economic development association; a former board member of the Historic Arnolds Park, Inc. and the Iowa DOT’s Freight Advisory Council (2012-14). She is a member Leadership Iowa Alumni, the Ankeny, Urbandale and Grimes Area Chambers of Commerce and a lifetime member of the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI).

Abbie Gaffey
Community and Economic Development Specialist, Iowa State University

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Curt Heidt

Beth Hicks
Community Coach, Keep Iowa Beautiful

Beth Hicks is an environmental consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Beth is a community coach with Keep Iowa Beautiful and serves on the project management team for the Viva East Bank! Coalition that is revitalizing three Des Moines neighborhoods, and she serves on the board of directors of Trees Forever. Beth founded Urban Community Concepts, a business venture that provides project management, grant writing and educational programming services to organizations and businesses. Previously, she was a program manager with Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines and the director of advancement services for Keep Iowa Beautiful. She has also worked in project and health/safety management positions for an environmental engineering firm; managed “Buy Recycled” and industrial waste audit programs for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; and served as board president and employee for a Wisconsin recycling nonprofit. Beth is a co-founder of Center on Sustainable Communities (COSC) and serves on its board of directors. Originally from the Chicago area, she graduated from Drake University with a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Public Administration. She received her Master Gardeners certification in Fall 2012. Beth and her husband, Lynn, live with their two teenage daughters in the historic North of Grand neighborhood in Des Moines where they enjoy raising their own fruit, veggies and backyard chickens. Beth joined Community Housing Initiatives, Inc. as a board member in August 2013.

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Michael Sadler
Assistant Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, CenturyLink

Michael Sadler has worked for CenturyLink and its predecessor companies, Qwest and US West since 1994. Michael has held positions in sales, customer service, regulatory and government affairs. He is currently Assistant Vice President — Public Policy & Government Affairs at CenturyLink. Michael is very active in the community and serves on the board of directors of numerous nonprofit agencies, including Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates, Youth Homes of Mid-America, YMCA Metro Board of Directors, The First Tee of Greater Des Moines and the Simpson College Board of Trustees. He is also President of the Iowa Alliance of Black Telecommunications Professionals. Michael is also very involved in several business groups, currently playing active roles on the boards of the Iowa Taxpayer’s Association, Better Business Bureau of Greater Iowa, Iowa Association of Business and Industry and the Technology Association of Iowa. Michael received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Simpson College and earned his Masters in Business Administration from Upper Iowa University.

Lee Schoenewe
Senior Credit Administration Officer, Northwest Financial Corp.

Lee Schoenewe is a banker and has been associated with Northwest Bank in Spencer and Northwest Financial Corporation since 1978. His current position is Senior Credit Administration Officer for Northwest Financial Corp. which owns First National Bank of Creston and Northwest Bank, which has offices throughout the western half of Iowa and Omaha. Lee is a local bird expert and is known in northwest Iowa for his birding activities and conservation work. He is former Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Iowa chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Chairman of the Clay County Conservation Board, field trip chair of the Prairie Lakes Audubon chapter, on the Board of Friends of Lakeside Laboratory, and a member of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union. The first experience Lee had with financing an affordable housing project was for Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. in the late 1980s prior to the creation of CHI. He has been aware of the mission and success of Community Housing Initiatives since its earliest existence. Lee joined Community Housing Initiatives, Inc. as a board member in October 2012.

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Tim Shanahan
Executive Director, Hawthorn Hill

Tim is the Executive Director of Hawthorn Hill and Bidwell Riverside Center and has served in that capacity since 2004. Before serving as Executive Director for Hawthorn Hill and Bidwell Riverside Center, Tim worked at United Way of Central Iowa and the Human Services Planning Alliance as a Senior Planner. Previous to working in the nonprofit field, Tim worked in local government for 12 years, including serving as city administrator in North Liberty, Iowa, and Hiawatha, Kansas. Tim has a Bachelor of General Studies and a Masters of Public Administration, both degrees from Wichita State University.

Linda Wells

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Barb Wilkerson
Executive Director, LOVE Takes Root

Barbara Wilkerson is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner retired from Child Health Specialty Clinic, Iowa’s Title V program for children with special health care needs. Barbara is also executive director of LOVE Takes Root, a public charity dedicated to “Cultivating the Future of Children World Wide.” Barbara also teaches Community Health Nursing for the Denver School of Nursing and has the clinical site in Jacmel, Haiti. . Barbara is married and has nine children. In working with families, Barbara is interested in not only health, but also the wellness of the whole family to including housing. Your wellness should not be determined by your zip code. Barbara joined Community Housing Initiatives, Inc. as a board member in May 2008

John Zulk
Partner, On Point Strategic Group, LLC

John Zulk is a partner with On Point Strategic Group, LLC, a management and private equity firm based in Spencer, Iowa. He has over 25 years of experience as a CPA and CFO working with and managing both, for-profit and non-profit businesses. John’s passion is the pursuit of solving unique business problems. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Dakota and Masters in Business Administration from Walden University. He has served on numerous church, community and non-profit boards. John and his wife, Susan, live in Spencer. They have three children.

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