Kevin Techau | Executive Director
Kevin W. Techau is an attorney with Smith, Mills & Schrock with offices in Cedar Rapids & Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. He is chair of the firm’s Government Compliance, Internal Investigations/Municipal Defense practice. He previously served as the presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa 2014-2017. As chief federal law enforcement official for the District, he organized and led the Eastern Iowa Opioid Initiative. Kevin’s 30-year public/private career includes service as Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety and Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals in Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s cabinet and seven years as Associate General Counsel at American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. He retired as a Colonel with 27 years of total military service including seven years on active duty with the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate, and 20 years of service with the Iowa Air National Guard, upon retirement he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal. A graduate of the University of Iowa College of Business and College of Law, Kevin’s community service currently incudes Boards of Keep Iowa Beautiful and America’s Job Honor Award. Past service includes Boards of the Des Moines Public Library (Past President), Keep Iowa Beautiful (Past President), Des Moines Area Religious Council, Iowa National Guard Credit Union and Iowa National Guard Officer’s Association (Past President). He received the Iowa Public Health Heroes Award, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, 2016; Safe Kids Iowa Leadership Award, Blank Children’s Hospital, 2007; Government Leadership Award, Greater Des Moines Partnership, 2006.
Bill Jackson | Associate Director[email protected]
Bill Jackson has served as Associate Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful since 2000. Bill earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Drake University in Des Moines. He was administrative assistant to former Governor Robert D. Ray for more than nine years, and was Program Director and Station Manager of television station WHO in Des Moines. In 1986, Bill was named by Governor Terry E. Branstad to direct the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, one of the 23 newly reorganized state agencies. Its divisions included the Iowa Arts Council, which he also served as Executive Director, and the State Historical Society of Iowa. Bill is a member of the Des Moines Symphony Board of Directors, Arts Midwest Board, Des Moines Rotary Club and the Gold Star Museum. He is past president of the Salvation Army Board of Directors, treasurer of the Chinese Cultural Center of America and member of the Iowa Sister State Committee, the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, the Des Moines United Way Campaign Committee and the Iowa Broadcasters Association.
Beth Hicks | Development Consultant[email protected]
Beth is an environmental consultant with over 20 years experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. As owner of Urban Community Concepts, she provides project management and grant writing focused on sustainability, community development and urban agriculture. Most recently, Beth served as the KIB Hometown Pride community coach with Des Moines’ Capitol Neighborhoods. Previously, Beth was a Program Manager at 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. She also serves on the board of Trees Forever. Beth resides with her family in Des Moines.
Heather Staebell | Education Coordinator[email protected]
Heather brings 16 years of education experience to Keep Iowa Beautiful as the Education Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Professional Development for Teachers. Heather has worked as a classroom teacher in Waterloo, Iowa and Ankeny, Iowa. She currently holds the title of Paraeducator Program Administrator from Central Rivers AEA along with Education Coordinator from Keep Iowa Beautiful. Heather resides in Ankeny, Iowa with her husband and three children.
Francis O. Boggus | Clinton County Community Coach[email protected]
Francis Boggus is a planning professional with more than 12 years as a board-based community specialist at the local, state, and national level. He has experience in community development and engagement; grant writing and management; board development and training; community visioning, fundraising, project implementation; and heritage tourism development.
Jeff Davidson | Jasper County Community Coach[email protected]
Jeff Davidson has served as both an assistant director and director of planning and community development, as well as the economic development administrator for Iowa City. Additionally, he also served as the director of Johnson County Council of Governments.
He joins six other Hometown Pride community coaches as Keep Iowa Beautiful expands the program into more Iowa communities.
Lorin Ditzler | Warren County Community Coach[email protected]
Lorin brings over a decade of experience in community development and a passion for small-town Iowa to her role as the Warren County Hometown Pride Community Coach. She previously worked as a city planning consultant for communities throughout the Midwest, and supported small businesses working and volunteering for multiple Chambers of Commerce. She holds an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa and a BA in English from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. She is an AICP certified city planner and a trained facilitator. Lorin lives in Des Moines where she volunteers as a board member for the American Planning Association – Iowa Chapter, the Downtown Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and the City Sounds public piano project. She is also a musician and a freelance writer.
Kathy Evert | Sac County Community Coach[email protected]
Kathy Evert is a native of Nebraska but now resides in Des Moines. She serves as Sac County Hometown Pride Coach. Her experience in both community and economic development at the regional, state and local level for more than 30 years in Iowa and Nebraska lend well to this role with Keep Iowa Beautiful. She earned a B.A. in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University.
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). Kathy is a member of Women Entrepreneurs in Okoboji, Leadership Iowa Alumni, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Douglas A. Friedli | Fremont County Community Coach[email protected]
Doug has a passion for working to enhance the quality of life for residents of rural communities and to create sustainability for organizations and programs. He is experienced in working for and with non-profit and for-profit organizations, and understanding the nuances of both. As a community coach for Fremont County, Doug is results-oriented, hands-on professional, with accomplishments as a community development director, community banker and fundraiser.
David Heiar | Grant Wood Mississippi River Region Community Coach (GWMRR)[email protected]
David Heiar, a Jackson County native, was selected to serve as the Community Coach for the GWMRR counties. He has over 35-years of experience in city government in three Eastern Iowa cities of Bellevue, Manchester, and Dubuque. He joined the Jackson County Economic Alliance in July of 2013. His background includes downtown redevelopment, community development, rural, and urban economic development including workforce development, existing industry services, business attraction, and new business development.
Sherry Humphreys | Louisa County Contact[email protected]
Sherry has served as both Community Enhancement Director and Executive Director of the Louisa Development Group in Louisa County. She was chairperson of the Louisa County Hometown Pride Steering Committee and now is president of Hometown Pride Louisa County Inc., a newly formed non-profit serving the local Hometown Pride committees. She is also a board member of the Louisa County Conservation Board and the Community Foundation of Louisa County.
She has a BS in Industrial Administration from Iowa State University and was a field auditor for the Iowa Department of Revenue for 30 years.
Margo Underwood | Special Advisor / Pocahontas County Community Coach[email protected]
Margo Underwood is president of Underwood Consulting, a business that provides resource management and public relations services to communities, businesses and non-profit organizations. Margo has 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors working with communities to help them develop solid waste plans in Iowa and Minnesota. Margo serves as chair of the Iowa Natural Resource Commission and is a past president and current board member of Trees Forever. Margo grew up on an Iowa Century Farm in Scott County, received her B.S. and M.S. Degrees from ISU, and serves as the KIB Hometown Pride Community Coach in nine communities in Pocahontas County.