board of directors
Tori Christie - President
Tori has served on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation, Inc. since 2009. She currently works at the University of Nebraska Omaha. With many years of experience in a multitude of roles in higher education, she brings a relevant and important perspective to the board. She also brings a passion for not only increasing access to a college education but also for improving success in students’ educational pursuits, which includes providing financial support for the young people of southwest Iowa. She received both her Bachelor's degree and her Master's degree from the University of South Dakota. Tori and her husband, Jay Killion, reside in Council Bluffs.
Cara trede - vice President
Cara currently serves as the Executive Director of Career EdVantage SWI. Cara received her bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, and master's degree from Bellevue University. Cara also serves on the Impact CB Board of Directors. Cara and her family reside in Council Bluffs.
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 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.
frank w. pechacek, Jr.
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.
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.
John is President of Western Iowa Mutual Insurance in Council Bluffs and has worked there for more than 30 years. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business, Economies, and Livestock Marketing from Morningside College. John serves on the Children's Square Foundation Board, Jennie Edmundson Foundation Board, People's National Bank
Molly Noon serves as Iowa Western Community College's Vice President of Institutional Advancement, which includes operations of the Iowa Western Foundation along with alumni relations, scholarships, grants, capital campaigns, donor relations, planned giving, and fundraising. She previously served as the Director of the Arts Center at Iowa Western for seven years. Past service includes: the Bluffs Arts Council, Bluffs Downtown, St. Albert Strategic Planning, and the Council Bluffs Guild of the Omaha Symphony. Molly received her Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Iowa and her MPA from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She and her husband Matt Noon are the proud parents to daughter Elizabeth.
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 completed her master's in Communications from University of Nebraska Omaha in 2019. Mrs. 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.
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.
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.