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.




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.





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.




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.




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.




Jim Black, Manufacturing Consultant CIRAS/Iowa State University, retired, Ames, Iowa. Jim's career also includes operations management positions for manufacturers. He retired from ISU in 2010 and continues his consulting practice in lean enterprise and strategic planning. Jim serves on the YSS Board of Directors and chaired the YSS Foundation Board of Trustees. He served the Executive Board of Mid-Iowa Council-BSA, Boards of Directors for Rotary Club of Ames, Ames Foundation, Story County Community Foundation, Mainstream Living (chair) and Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa (chair). Jim co-chaired the Ames 150 Celebration steering committee and the YSS CEO search committee. Jim earned BS/MS degrees in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Mary Ann, returned to Ames in 1987. Their son, Bob, is married and works in Atlanta, GA.




Sarah Buck, Retired, ISU Foundation, Ames, Iowa. 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.






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.






Jane Halliburton, '65 graduate of Iowa State University in Child Development, Retired Story County Supervisor. During her 24-year career in county government, she worked to improve the lives of countless individuals, particularly at-risk children and adults with special needs. Working closely with others, Halliburton led the transformation of Story County Human Services from facility-based to community-based. She was a founding member of the Story County Dental Clinic Advisory Committee to help low-income families access dental services. She advocated for statewide improvements as a longtime member of the Iowa MHMRDDBI Commission and helped organize the first-ever National Special Olympic Games. Halliburton retired at the end of 2010 and continued her service as a volunteer. She served on the board of Raising Readers, was a board member and president of Heartland Senior Services, and chaired the Community Vitality Center Governance Board. She continues to be active in the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County and the Rotary Club of Ames.




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 Pape, Security and Contracts Counsel, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames, Iowa. Nicole is originally from Northwest Iowa, attended Iowa State University for a BS in Marketing and Michigan State University for her Juris Doctorate. She is licensed to practice law in Iowa and in Texas, where she lived for 10 years which only encouraged her love of queso and tacos. Nicole returned to Ames 3 years ago to join MGMC as the Information Security Officer and now serves as their Security and Contracts Counsel. As a new member of the board in 2019, she looks forward to gaining more knowledge and contributing to the Friendship Ark Community. Nicole attends St. Thomas Aquinas and lives in Ames with her dog Barkley.




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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