Iowa Environmental Council board welcomes new officers, members

With the new year, change has come to the Iowa Environmental Council’s board of directors, which welcomes a new slate of officers beginning this month:

Margi Weiss will now serve as president of the board.  Weiss is a consultant to non-profit organizations, specializing in development, marketing and communication, advocacy and project management.  Her professional experience includes executive positions with the Sioux City Journal, the Kansas City Star, Sioux City River-Cade Association, Iowa Democratic Party, State Historical Society of Iowa, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa and several political campaigns.

Lorraine May is vice president of the board.  May has been a partner with the Hopkins and Huebner, P.C., law firm since 1998.  Prior to that, she practiced law for 22 years with the firm that came to be known as Finley, Alt, Smith, Scharnberg, May and Craig, P.C.  May has served on numerous professional boards and committees including for the United Way and the Iowa State Bar Association.

Sarah Lohmeier has assumed the role of board secretary.  Trained as a nurse and currently a full-time mother of three living in Des Moines, Iowa, Lohmeier the environmental challenges Iowa faces are too urgent to ignore.  Faced with the reality of leaving “a world stricken with poor air and water quality and the unsettling unknowns of global warming” to her children, Lohmeier joined the Iowa Environmental Council’s board to help build a healthy Iowa environment for generations to come.

Cyril Mandelbaum now serves as board treasurer.  Mandelbaum is the owner of an independent accounting firm specializing in taxation, business valuation, litigation support and financial forensics.  Mandelbaum’s history of board and leadership service includes roles for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Des Moines Library Foundation and the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center.

In addition, three new board members representing Council member organizations also begin terms of service this month:

Liz Garst is the Garst Family Business Manager and director of family businesses including community banks headquartered in Audubon, Jefferson, Perry, and Slater, Iowa, and family farm businesses.  Garst represents the Whiterock Conservancy, an Iowa Environmental Council member organization.  She recently completed a six year term on the Iowa Natural Resources Commission.

Chris Henning owns and manages the Henning Cooklin Farms near Cooper, Iowa, as well as Prairie Skye Productions which advocates for sustainable community and resource development.  Henning represents the Raccoon River Watershed Association on the Council’s board, and has worked with many of its member organizations, including the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Trees Forever, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.

Gregg Heide operates a row crop farm near Pomeroy, Iowa.  Heide is an aspiring wind farmer—meaning he sees farmer-owned wind turbines as a good way to diversify farms like his while also building Iowa’s renewable energy capacity.  Heide has also installed a 10 kilowatt solar array on his farm.  He also serves as vice president of the Iowa Farmers Union and represents that organization on the Council’s board.

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