Board of Directors

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




Steve Prater, Retired Architect, Facilities Planning and Management, Iowa State, Ames, Iowa  Steve is a retired architect having served his last twenty years with the Facilities Planning and Management group at Iowa State University. Along with providing design services, he also managed major capital projects for many of the university’s colleges and departments. He and his wife, Dorothy (Dot) are currently members of St. John’s Episcopal Parish in Ames where Steve is a Vestry member and the current Junior Warden. Steve and Dot have three grown children (with spouses) spread around the country and a delightful grandson. On the off-hours, Steve enjoys a good sail, a nicely made piece of pottery, a pencil sketch, and thoughtful words.



Melissa Muschick, Director of Partner and Business Development, Discover Ames, Ames, Iowa  Melissa and her family live in Nevada, IA, where she and her husband grew up. As a mother of two kids, she is actively involved in community and professional organizations in Nevada and Ames. Melissa is the Director of Partner & Business Development for Discover Ames where she works with local partners to bring in and support events and tourism in the Ames MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area). As the former President of FUEL Story County (Ames Chamber Young Professionals Group) and a current member of the Nevada Booster Board, she continues to be involved in organizations that contribute to the growth and development of the communities that surround her. Melissa has a passion to know people and is always willing to lend a hand to help. She can be described as a person that rarely says "No" when asked and takes great joy in seeing others grow around her.



Tom Mortice, Market President, South Story Bank & Trust, Ames, Iowa. Tom graduated from Iowa State University in 1996 and, after a 20 year career in banking spent primarily in the Des Moines area, returned to Ames in 2017. Tom is currently a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity of Central Iowa and the Ames Noon Lion’s Club while also enjoying participating in multiple events coordinated by the Ames Chamber of Commerce each year. Tom’s wife and five daughters are devoted Cyclone fans, although the three oldest daughters currently attend school in North Carolina.



Heather Botine, Director of Travel and Merchandise, ISU Alumni Association, Ames, Iowa. Heather has maintained an active role in the community through her volunteer service to Bethesda Lutheran Church, Hope Lutheran Church, Ames campus, Mary Greeley Medical Center Gift Shop, Ames Community School District, United Way, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Story County. Heather and her husband, Gary, raised a son and daughter in Ames and now enjoy their empty nest life in a townhome on Coldwater Golf Course. In her spare time she enjoys playing golf, travel, and visits to her children in Minneapolis and Chicago.



Haley Cook, Strategic Engagement Coordinator, Iowa State University Office of the President, Ames, Iowa  A forever true Cyclone, Haley graduated from Iowa State University in 2005 with a degree in journalism and mass communication and made Ames her home following graduation. She has served in roles with the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ames Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and ISU Conference Planning and Management. In her current position, she provides organization and support to the strategic events and initiatives of the Office of the President. Haley has served on the boards of the National Ag Alumni Development Association, YWCA Ames-ISU, Ames Chamber of Commerce and the executive board for FUEL of Ames (formerly Young Professionals of Ames). She grew up on a farm outside of Wall Lake, Iowa, where she currently co-manages a greenhouse with her mom and sister.  



Luke Jensen, President, RES Group, Inc., Ames, Iowa. Luke was raised in Ames. He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he studied finance and real estate. Luke currently serves as the President of RES Group, Inc., a full-service real estate investment company. Luke strives to build community in Ames and is dedicated to the city’s growth and development. He’s recently served as President of the Central Iowa Board of Realtors and Chairman of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Luke enjoys golfing, coaching his kids in sporting activities, and traveling with his wife and three children.




Jane Halliburton, '65 graduate of Iowa State University in Child Development, Retired Story County Supervisor, Ames, Iowa. 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.



Sheila Lundt, Retired Assistant City Manager, City of Ames, Ames, Iowa. Sheila was born in Gladbrook, Iowa and is a lifelong Iowan.  She has a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree from Iowa State University.  After leaving ISU, she worked as the Budget and Personnel Officer for the City of Webster City, Iowa, for four and a half years.  In 1984, she became the Budget Officer for the City of Ames, and in 1987 moved from the Finance Department to the City Manager's Office.  She retired from her Assistant City Manager position with the City of Ames in 2012.  During retirement she has served on the Ames Foundation Board in various capacities for 10 years and has become an avid gardener.  She is an ardent Cycolen fan, and a member of the Collegiate United Methodist Chursh.  She has one brother, Niles who resides in Tennessee with his wife Michelle, daughter Honor and son Brady.



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.





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.




Jennifer Ellis, Ogden, Iowa. Jennifer earned her B.S. in Child and Family Services from ISU. She joined Friendship Ark in 2014. She has worked in community based services for individuals with disabilities since 2001 and has held many different positions, working directly with individuals with disabilities as well as in administration. Jennifer and her husband, Paul, have two daughters and live in Ogden, IA. When Jennifer is not attending her daughters' many activities, she is active in her church, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and is passionate in her support of ISU athletic teams.



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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