Board of Directors

Tori Christie - President

Tori works at Iowa Western Community College where she currently serves as Vice President of Student Services. She received both her Bachelor's degree and her Master's degree from the University of South Dakota. In addition to being active in the Iowa Western campus community, Tori is a Commissioner on the Council Bluffs Civil Rights Commission. Tori and her husband, Jay Killion, reside in Council Bluffs.

Cara Trede- Vice President

Cara Trede is a 2005 graduate of St. Albert High School. Cara then earned her Associate’s Degree from Iowa Western, her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Iowa, and her Master’s Degree from Bellevue University. Cara has worked at Iowa Western for eight years and currently serves as the Dean of Enrollment Services for the college.

Chris LaFerla - Treasurer

Chris serves as Executive Director of the Council Bluffs Schools Foundation. Previously, Chris worked at Iowa Western Community College as Dean of Admissions and Records. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, he earned an Associate's degree from Iowa Western, Bachelor's degree from Simpson College, and Master's degree from Gonzaga University. In addition to serving on the SWIEF board of directors, Chris is also a member of the Council Bluffs Community School District Board of Education. Chris and his wife, Lea, have two daughters and reside in Council Bluffs.

Deb Goodman

Deb retired from the Council Bluffs School District after a 33 year career where she taught history,  journalism, business, was a school-to-career-coordinator, and the CTE curriculum specialist. Prior to teaching she spent 4 years in the finance and insurance industries. She is a Thomas Jefferson graduate with an education degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a business degree from Buena Vista University. Deb serves on the TJ Hall of Fame Committee and the Iowa Western Black Tie Committee. She also does consulting for Career and Technical Education. She resides in Council Bluffs.

Honorary Board Member Doug Goodman

Doug was a long-time board member of the Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation. He was serving in the treasurer role when he passed away in September of 2018. Survivors include his wife Deb (current SWIEF board member) and their daughter, Stacey. Deb and Stacey have established the Doug Goodman Memorial Scholarship in his honor. Doug graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1974, Iowa Western Community College in 1978, Buena Vista University in 1980, and Creighton University in 1983.

Gary Funkhouser

Gary is a retired teacher, principal and school superintendent, who served for 50 plus years in the Iowa communities of Gravity, College Springs, Klemme, Oakland, Carson-Macedonia, and Whiting. His last superintendent responsibility was at Treynor, where he and his wife Julie currently live. He received is B.S. degree from N.W. Mo. State, Maryville, M.A. from Colorado State, Greeley, and Specialist in Education degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In his initial years he taught vocal and instrument music, was a high school principal, athletic director and served the last 5 years of his career at Treynor. He is a member the Treynor Optimist Club, is an Iowa Western Ambassador member, and was a local school board member for 10 years. He volunteers because he feels service to others is his "rent" for living. He currently assists with the Treynor High School Quiz Bowl team and is a co-sponsor of the Junior Optimist Service Club at Treynor High School.

Nancy Hale

Nancy Hale earned her teaching degree from Northwest Missouri State University and her Masters in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Nebraska of Omaha. She worked 33 years for the Council Bluffs Community School District. During 25 years as high school counselor at Thomas Jefferson High School, she had the lead responsibility for information and assistance for Advanced Education opportunities, applications, financial aid and scholarship assistance including work with community members in developing new scholarships. She also worked 7 years as school counselor for Bellevue Public Schools and served as part of a district committee that designed and implemented district curriculum for secondary counselors. Nancy and her husband, Michael, reside in Council Bluffs.

Steve Irvin

Steve was involved in K-12 education for 38 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and school counselor. He served in the Mallard, South Page, and Treynor school districts and was a school counselor at South Page for four years and at Treynor for 11 years. Steve was also a past-president of the Iowa School Counselor Association. Currently, Steve is employed as a student success adviser for ICAN. ICAN is a non-profit organization that provides free college planning and financial aid services to students, families, and schools throughout Iowa.

Lou Jensen

Lou Jensen is an occupational therapist and associate professor at Creighton University. She attended high school in Sidney, Iowa and earned her Bachelor's degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa followed by her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from Creighton University. She and her husband Scott, along with their two daughters, reside in Council Bluffs.

Tonya Korkow 

Tonya has worked at Kirn Middle School teaching 7th grade science for the past 15 years. She attended South Dakota State University with a degree in Biology/ Secondary Education and is a loyal Jackrabbit fan. She continued her education at the University of Nebraska Omaha where she received master’s degree in Education Administration. Tonya and her husband reside in Council Bluffs, IA.

Nicole Lindquist

Nicole Lindquist is the Director of Communications for the Iowa West Foundation. She graduated from West Harrison High School in Mondamin, Iowa and earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism with a minor in Coaching from Iowa State University. She is currently finishing her master's degree in Communications from University of Nebraska Omaha. Lindquist also serves on the Council Bluffs Community School District's Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee and the International Baccalaureate Parent Board. She and her husband Rob, along with their three children, reside in Council Bluffs.

Jacque Mulholland

Jacque is a graduate of Exira High School and the State College of Iowa, completing a degree in Elementary Education and endorsements in Early Childhood and Reading.  She has served as a board member for preschool programs in the community and taught in the East Mills Community Schools for 25 years as an elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist and reading consultant.  Jacque and her husband, Ed, have three grown children, seven grandchildren and reside in Malvern, Iowa.  Jacque is active in church, community activities, the Malvern Area Betterment Association, volunteers in the elementary school and is an Ombudsman for the State of Iowa at On With Life.

Judy O'Brien

Judy retired from the Council Bluffs Community School District following an educational career as a teacher, counselor, building principal and secondary education director.  She is an Abraham Lincoln High School graduate and received a B.S degree from Colorado State University.  She received graduate degrees from Creighton University.  Currently, Judy volunteers in a variety of local and state organizations and is an active member of St. John’s Parish at Creighton.  Judy resides in Council Bluffs.

John Paul

John is President of Western Iowa Mutual Insurance in Council Bluffs and has worked there for over thirty years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economies, and Livestock Marketing from Morningside College. John serves on the Selective Service Board, People’s National Bank Governing Board, Chamber Agriculture Committee, East Mills Strategic Planning Committee, East Mills Stakeholder’s Committee, East Mills Scholarship Committee, NAMIC Group Insurance Trustee, and NAMIC PAC Board. He stays involved with national, state, county, and community activities as well. John and his wife Cathy live near Henderson.

Frank W. Pechacek, Jr.

In 1984, Frank was a co-founder of Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation, Inc. Frank is the managing partner of the law firm of Willson & Pechacek, P.L.C. He holds a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Northern Iowa and doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Iowa College of Law. Frank also serves as a director of the Iowa Law School Foundation, Loess Hills Chapter of American Red Cross, Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus Foundation, Investment Committee of the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and is a commissioner on the Pottawattamie County Civil Service Commission. Frank and his wife, Beth, live in Council Bluffs.

Gayle Strickland

Gayle spent forty years teaching either elementary or secondary students in Alaska, Washington, and Iowa. Most of those years were spent in the Oakland and Riverside Schools. Her final ten years included serving as K-12 curriculum coordinator and teaching Advanced Placement, Honors, Early Start, and gifted classes for the Harlan Community School District. Her undergraduate work was from NWMSU, with additional study at Buena Vista University; her graduate work was from the University of Iowa, Creighton University, and Drake University, where she earned a master's degree. Her family includes her husband, a retired teacher, a daughter, and two grandchildren. She is active in the Broadway United Methodist Church, P.E.O., and other community activities.

Warren K. Weber - Recording Secretary

Warren is a native of Iowa and during his career in education, he worked in a variety of positions, districts, and locations in the state. He is now fully retired and continues to stay active with his children, four grandchildren and a variety of community organization. He became a member of the SWIEF board in 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife Karen reside in Council Bluffs.

Shawne Zuber

Shawne Zuber is a native of Los Angeles, California. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Southern University in 2001. He worked for Technical Services at Georgia Southern University from 2001 until 2012; first for the Mathematics and Computer Science Dept, and then for the new College of IT. In April of 2012, Shawne accepted a position at Google's data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa as a Hardware Operations Manager.