From our talented and hardworking staff, to our dedicated board and passionate volunteers, the Iowa Environmental Council’s greatest asset is its people.
Board of Directors
IEC is grateful for the vision and passion our board members bring to IEC's work.
Angelisa Belden, Communications Director
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 210
Angelisa returned to Iowa to join the Council in 2018 from her most recent position in membership and marketing for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS station. Angelisa grew up along the Turkey River in Fayette County, Iowa, and earned her B.A. in Communications and Journalism from the University of Iowa.
She began her career as a broadcast producer with positions at KGAN and KCRG in Cedar Rapids. She then transitioned to work with non-profit professional membership organizations in Minnesota and Illinois, gaining a wide range of experience in communications, volunteer management, development, education, and membership.
Read blog posts by Angelisa.
Jordan Bles, Director of Fundraising and Development
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 203
Jordan Bles joins IEC from his most recent position as the Director of Development for the National Benevolent Association, supporting its mission to “create communities of compassion and care”.
Previously, Jordan has served as the Assistant Director of the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches in Washington, D.C., working on policy related to public land protection, clean water, and environmental justice. He also gained fundraising experience as campaign manager and finance director for a congressional race in Kentucky.
Jordan is a Des Moines resident and, when not working, can be found doing some kind of movement - lifting weights, running, cycling, yoga, and being outside as much as possible.
Read blog posts by Jordan.
Dr. Brian Campbell, Executive Director
Serving most recently as Director of Sustainability - Education and Partnerships at Central College in Pella, Brian worked for more than six years to integrate sustainability throughout the institution, including courses across all departments; student research and internships; the college’s energy and waste management; local food partnerships with area farmers; community environmental education programs; and public advocacy for environmental and climate justice.
Brian holds a BA from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; a Masters from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California; and a PhD from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Brian has served on a number of local, regional, and national boards, including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, and the RE-AMP Network. He has been an active member of the City of Des Moines Sustainability Task Force.
Brian grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Since 2014, he and his wife Gina and two sons, Ian and Elliot, have called Des Moines home. Brian enjoys baking bread, playing soccer, and exploring the lakes, rivers, and trails of Iowa and the Midwest.
Ingrid Gronstal, Water Program Director
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 205
Ingrid Gronstal is Water Program Director with the Iowa Environmental Council. She has many years of experience in water policy, most recently serving as the Compliance Specialist at the University of Iowa Utilities and Energy Management. She previously worked as a consultant with the the University of Iowa's Office of Sustainability and Iowa Learning Farms. Ingrid has a B.S. and a J.D. from the University of Iowa.
Read blog posts by Ingrid.
Steve Guyer, Energy and Climate Policy Specialist
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 213
Steve Guyer joins IEC as the Energy and Climate Policy Specialist, bringing years of experience and leadership in the energy field. Since 2008 Steve has owned and lead GWA International, a solar installation company based in Altoona that has designed and installed solar systems on the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa DNR facilities, and homes and businesses. Prior to operating his own company, Steve held several key environmental positions with Iowa utilities, analyzing environmental laws and impacts, providing counsel on environmental compliance, conducted due diligence, and other critical environmental duties.
Steve is an Iowa native and holds a J.D. from the University of Iowa, a B.A. in Physics from the University of Northern Iowa, and an A.A. in Electronics Engineering from Hawkeye Institute of Technology in Waterloo. He now resides in Altoona and in his spare time enjoys biking and traveling.
Read blog posts by Steve.
Kitty Jacobson, Finance and Operations Administrator
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 200
Kitty joined the Council in October 2016, and oversees the organization’s financial accounting and reporting, including budgets, grants and payroll. Her position also includes the management of human resource functions and processes, benefits administration, monthly analysis reports and board communication. Kitty assists the Director of Communication and Development with event planning.
Prior to joining the Council, Kitty was vice president of sales and administration at a book publishing company for 14 years.
Kerri Johannsen, Energy Program Director
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 208
Kerri Johannsen is Energy Program Director with the Iowa Environmental Council. She has over a decade of experience in energy policy, most recently serving as the Council’s Manager of Government Affairs, leading state-level legislative strategy. She previously developed energy policy with the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, administered the Iowa Power Fund for innovative clean energy projects, and worked as an analyst and Legislative Liaison with the Iowa Utilities Board before joining the Council in 2016. Johannsen has a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Read blog posts by Kerri.
Megan McDowell, Communications Coordinator
Megan joined IEC in a Communications role in April 2020. Megan is a Navy veteran who, thanks to the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, returned to college to pursue a career change in 2018. She graduated from Drake University with a B.A. with a double major in Public Relations and Strategic Political Communications. Just before returning to school, Megan was working as a legal assistant on workers’ compensation and personal injury claims when she realized she had a passion to help others. She wanted to be more hands on and work to be a voice for those who are not able to advocate on their own behalf.
Megan is a southwest Iowa native, with a background in professional photography, who grew up canoeing rivers all over Iowa with her family and neighbors, and to this day still finds joy in canoeing and kayaking with her friends. She has written stories about Iowa water quality for Drake University publications to raise awareness about the situation in our state. This summer, she documented Iowa waterways for IEC while visiting different stretches of rivers and lakes, to support the communications and social media efforts of the Council, and to work on advocacy goals for the water program.
Read blog posts by Megan.
Jordan Oster, Energy Outreach and Advocacy Manager
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 209
Jordan Oster is the Energy Outreach and Advocacy Manager with the Iowa Environmental Council. He joined the council in 2019 after previously consulting for the organization. Jordan is an experienced issue advocate from Des Moines. He has worked with numerous state and national issue organizing efforts, political campaigns, nonprofit groups, and businesses and brands. As an outreach specialist, Jordan builds relationships on behalf of the council and connects clean energy businesses and customers with opportunities to advocate. Jordan holds B.A. and Master of Public Administration degrees from Drake University.
Read blog posts by Jordan.
Paige Penningroth, Energy Communications and Field Assistant
Paige joined IEC at the start of 2020 as a Clean Energy Field Organizer and now supports the project as the Energy Communications and Field Assistant. A Des Moines native and current Drake University student, she is working towards a B.A. in Environmental Sustainability and Resilience and a minor in Earth and Aquatic Sciences. Paige has experience working on political campaigns, serving at Dumpling Darling, and involvement in environmental advocacy groups where she began building relationships with the community. She is looking forward to engaging citizens and organizations alike in the transition towards 100% renewable energy for Iowa.
Raihan Amir Rashidi, Energy Campaign Coordinator
Raihan joined the council in December 2019 as a Clean Energy Field Organizer and has now taken on the role of Energy Campaign Coordinator. Raihan works on 100% Iowa, IEC’s grassroots initiative to expand on the state’s clean energy movement. She engages multiple stakeholders in communities across Iowa to help advance bold and equitable clean energy commitments. Her experiences include community and business outreach, sustainable transportation, food insecurity, state climate policy, and environmental justice. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy and a minor in Sustainability from the University of California, Berkeley.
Read posts by Raihan.
Michael Schmidt, Staff Attorney
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 211
Michael Schmidt returned to Iowa and joined the Council in 2019. He most recently worked as a staff attorney for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, where he focused on clean water and mining issues through enforcement, permitting, and rulemaking actions. He previously worked in the water program for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, a state-based nonprofit, where he engaged in legal and policy advocacy, including passage of the state’s Clean Water Accountability Act. He has a law degree from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in political science from the University of Iowa.
Read blog posts by Michael.
Sonita van der Leeuw, Clean Energy Field Organizer
Sonita is the Clean Energy Field Organizer for 100% Iowa and joined IEC in September 2021. She brings with her passions for learning herself and then educating others on clean energy solutions in the journey towards a cleaner future for the planet. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with 100% Iowa and help expand on the state’s clean energy movement through community engagement, outreach, and education. Sonita has experience in environmental education, environmental advocacy, and public outreach, along with a deep commitment to environmental justice. She holds a B.A in Environmental Sustainability and Resilience with a minor in Rhetoric Media and Social Change from Drake University. In her free time, you can find her rollerblading around Des Moines.
Alicia Vasto, Water Program Associate Director
Phone: 515-244-1194 x 206
Alicia joined the Council in 2019. She grew up in Adel, Iowa. She previously worked as the director of the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition, where she supported environmental educators and advanced environmental literacy. Alicia holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University with a focus on land conservation and management, and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, travel, and yoga.
Read blog posts by Alicia.
Kristen Weaverling, Energy Communications Coordinator
Kristen Weaverling joined the Iowa Environmental Council in 2020 as a Clean Energy Field Organizer and is now in the role of the Energy Communications Coordinator. In her prior role, she spent several years implementing energy efficiency programs for small business customers on behalf of utility companies here in Iowa. She also has a background in the nonprofit sector, having served as a volunteer manager for a reputable nonprofit as well as completing a term with AmeriCorps in eastern Iowa. Kristen holds a B.S. Geography from the University of Iowa, along with certificates in both Sustainability and Human Rights. In her free time, you can find her rehabilitating her 1890’s Victorian home or planning her next international trip.
Read blog posts by Kristen.
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