Board of Directors

Friendship Ark Homes is led by a volunteer Board of Directors with many years of experience in business, law, human services, religion, and education.




Sarah Buck, Retired, ISU Foundation, Ames, IA. Sarah is very active in the community, serving on the Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Board of Trustees, as well as its Foundation. She also is a member of the Rotary Club of Ames, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, and the United Way’s Women with Initiative.







Dr. Lou Scallon, Physician/Ophthalmologist, Wolfe Eye Clinic, Ames, Iowa. Dr. Scallon has been part of the International Health Partners, as well as Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Scallon currently is a member of the AMA, Story County Medical Society and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.







Kyle Briese, CPA, Academic Fiscal Officer, Iowa State University, College of Human Sciences, Ames, Iowa. Kyle previously worked for Mary Greeley Medical Center, most recently as Executive Director of Home Care/Hospice and Local Public Health. He has over 10 years of experience in healthcare and non-profit financial management. 

Kyle currently serves on the Ames Public Library Board of Trustees, Story County Human Services Council (co-chair), Story County Quality of Life Alliance, as well as helping lead the Upward youth sports program at Christ Community Church (where he is also a member). 

Kyle earned a B.S. in Accounting from Iowa State University, and an M.S. in Analytics from Texas A&M University. He lives with his wife and 4 kids in the Campustown neighborhood.




Amber Deardorff, Vice President of Clinical and Support Services, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames, Iowa. Amber has a bachelor degree in Exercise Science and in Nursing. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration. Amber is currently a board member of the United Way’s Young Leader Society and has had active roles on the Ames Community Preschool Board and the United Way’s Day of Caring Committee. She is a member of St. Thomas Aquinas church and lives in Ames with her husband and 3 children.





Al Carver, Farm Management and Real Estate Professional, Ames, Iowa. Al owns and operates a Farm Management and Real Estate business. He has been involved with Big Brothers, has been on the Board of Ames Racquet and Fitness Club and various church committees, as well as Rotary. Al is a member of Collegiate United Methodist Church.







Lisa Downs, Realtor, Hunziker & Associates Realty, Ames, Iowa. Lisa is a life-long Iowan who has resided in Ames for 28 years raising 4 children: Kelsey, Kayley, Matt and Emiley. She has a background in Event Planning and Coordinating Membership Sales.


Lisa serves on the United Way of Story County Food Drive Committee, the Ames Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee, the Friendship Ark Development and Planning Committee, the Board of Trustees for the Octagon Center for the Arts, the Friendship Ark Board of Directors, is an ambassador for the Ames Chamber of Commerce, is Chair of the Development Committee for Habitat for Humanity and is co-chair of the Membership Committee for The Octagon Center for the Arts. She is a member of the Iowa Business Connection Group, and Startup Ames. She attends St. Andrews Lutheran Church and is involved with the choir and small groups. She enjoys time with family, friends, biking, cooking, and baking. She has a passion for building trust and relationships with businesses and members of the community. Lisa looks forward to making a positive impact for Community Support in an organization such as Friendship Ark.




Deb Fennelly, Ames, Iowa. Deb is very active in the Ames Community. She currently serves on the Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. She also enjoys delivering meals for Heartland Senior Services and volunteering with ACCESS Shelter. She is a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church. She and her husband, Bill, raised two sons in the Ames area and now enjoy spending time with their grandson, Will.






Lee Griffin, CEO, Griffin Consulting Group, Ames, Iowa. Lee has a background in Finance and Marketing. From 1970 to 1980, he worked in various Sales and Marketing management positions for Land O’ Lakes in Minneapolis, MN. In 1980, Lee became the Vice President of Retail Banking for First American Bank in Ft. Dodge, IA. From 1980-2014, Lee held several positions in various financial institutions including: Vice President of Retail Banking for American Federal Bank in Des Moines, Executive Vice President of Sales and President of AmerUS Home Lending for AmerUS Bank in Des Moines, President of M & I Home Lending for M & I Bank of Milwaukee, WI, and Senior Manager for BMO-Harris Bank in Chicago, IL. In 2014, Lee retired from BMO-Harris Bank and formed Griffin Consulting Group, where he is currently the CEO.




Dr. Pauline Miller, Retired Physician, ISU Thielen Student Health Center, Ames, Iowa. Dr. Miller practiced medicine at the ISU Thielen Student Health Center from 1979 until her retirement. Dr. Miller has been involved in several campus committees and has enjoyed being a Wilderness Canoe Base guide. She is a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and lives with her husband outside of Ames.





Nicole Rasmussen, Vice President and Marketing Director, Ames National Corporation (a multi-bank holding company), Ames, Iowa. Nicole's main responsibilities at Ames National Corporation include overseeing marketing and public relations efforts for the company as well as assisting each bank with strategic marketing planning and implementation. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Nicole is a 2002 graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing in Colorado and completed Graduate School of Banking in 2014. She currently serves as an ISU Alumni Association board associate, as a committee member for United Way of Story County Women with Initiative and is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ames. She is a past president of the Young Professionals of Ames, a past member of Ames Chamber of Commerce board and was recognized by Young Professionals of Ames with a “4 under 40” leadership award in 2007.




Jon Sargent, President, Todd & Sargent, Ames, Iowa. Jon grew up in Ames and attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 2005 with a Finance major and a Classics minor. After spending 5 years in the finance world in Chicago and getting his MBA from the University of Chicago, Jon moved back to Ames in 2010 to start at Todd & Sargent, an engineering and construction company founded by his grandfather Warren Sargent in 1958. Todd & Sargent serves the industrial agriculture markets, designing and building feed mills, flour mills, pet food plants, grain elevators, and other bulk material storage and handling facilities.




Fr. Jim Secora, Pastor, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Ames, Iowa. Fr. Jim earned his BA from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa in 1971. He then studied at St. Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland and was ordained a priest on May 31, 1975. Since ordination Father Jim has served in parish ministry, full-time high school teaching, service to the Archdiocese of Dubuque on the Worship Commission, Catholic School Board, Permanent Diaconate Instructor, and Liturgical Master of Ceremonies to Archbishop Emeritus, Daniel Kucera, OSB. Father Jim has served as pastor of: St. Catherine, Dubuque; Immaculate Conception, Gilbertville; St. Patrick, Cedar Falls, and is currently pastor of St. Cecilia. His interests include classical music, literature, travel, walking, biking, and anything connected with railroads and trains.





Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Ames, Iowa. Beth is currently serving in the State Legislature as a Representative in the House. Beth also works as an Events Coordinator at Reiman Gardens. She earned her BA from the University of Northern Iowa and her MPA from Iowa State University. Beth has also served with St. Andrews Lutheran Church, ACCESS, Story County Democratic Central Committee, Planned Parenthood Community Council, and ERA of Story County.





Jennifer Ellis, Ogden, Iowa. Jennifer earned her B.S. in Child and Family Services from ISU. Before joining Friendship Ark Homes she worked at Genesis Development in Boone for 13 years.


Friendship Ark Homes and Community Services provides a variety of supports that allow individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive.

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