CHI Board Member Abbie Gaffey is a Community Development Program Specialist for Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. She works on a variety of statewide projects in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development and facilitation. Prior to joining Extension, she spent 12 years as the City of Sioux City’s Community & Economic Development Project Coordinator administering U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development housing, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development programs. She serves on the boards of Iowa Community Development (a Community Development Financial Institution-CDFI), the Area Agency on Aging Housing Board (Sioux City), the Sioux City Farmer’s Market Board of Directors, the Historic Iowa State Penitentiary Board of Directors (Fort Madison) and is secretary of the national Community Development Society. She received a B.S. in journalism and political science from Wayne State College in 1989 and an M.S. in Community Development from Iowa State University in 2013.
Since retiring as Vice President of External Relations for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Curt Heidt has dedicated his time to service on several boards and commissions. In addition to our board, Curt sits on the board for the National Trust Community Investment Corporation and several of its committees. He is a member of the Iowa Main Street Advisory Council and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Rural Advisory Council. While he was previously with the Federal Home Loan Bank, Curt directed or assisted in the development of a variety of grant and lending programs including the development of a Rural Leadership Development Program, the Rural Capital Advance Program, grant programs for Native American housing, supportive housing, redevelopment of USDA 515 properties, micro-lending strategies as well as communications strategies for both public and private activities. Notably, Curt also assisted in the founding of the Neighborhood Finance Corporation in Des Moines, later serving as its Executive Director. He holds a BS from Iowa State University in History and Political Science.
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.
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.
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.