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Board & Staff 2017-10-18T20:25:54+00:00

Board of Directors of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation

CDAF board of directors

Pictured from left to right are: Julie Gosselink, Chad Ahrens, Susan Witt, Shannon Fitzgerald, and David Clay.

Julie Ahrens headshotJulie Gosselink – Julie is the president, CEO, and chair of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. In addition, she serves as assistant treasurer of the Ahrens Park Foundation and as a trustee of Grinnell College. She holds a M.A. in philanthropy and nonprofit development and B.A. in geography from the University of Northern Iowa. Julie has worked for the Foundation since 2001 and has served on many local task forces, committees and initiatives. Julie has served as a board of director for several other local organizations including the Galaxy Youth Center, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation, Iowa Council of Foundations, and Mayflower Community Foundation. In addition, Julie co-chaired the Drake Community Library capital campaign fundraising committee. She served as a selection committee member for the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Julie also serves on the Grinnell Sports Authority and as a managing partner for the Strand Theater, LLC and West Broad Investors, LLC. Julie is co-author of Nonprofit Collaboration in Grinnell: A Case Study. Julie is a granddaughter of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens.

Susan witt headshotSusan Witt – Susan serves as a board member for both the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and Ahrens Park Foundation.  Susan also serves as a board of director for the Mayflower Foundation, the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation and the Grinnell Regional Medical Center board of trustees.  Susan is co-owner of Miraco Company and the owner of a local farm.  Susan is a granddaughter of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens.

chad ahrens headshotChad Ahrens – Chad serves as a board of director for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and Ahrens Park Foundation.  Chad is the owner and operator of several local farms. Chad is a grandson of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens.

shannon fitzgerald headshotShannon Fitzgerald – Shannon is the CFO and controller for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.  In addition, she serves as the treasurer/secretary of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and the Ahrens Park Foundation.  Shannon has also served as a board of director for the Galaxy Youth Center and the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation.  Shannon is a certified public accountant and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in communications and human resources.  Shannon has worked for the foundation since 2005 with prior work experience in both the public and private accounting industries.  In addition to her position with the foundation, Shannon owns and operates her own CPA practice.

david clay headshotDavid Clay – David serves as a director of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and oversees the foundation’s management of investments. In addition, he has served as a director of the Ahrens Park Foundation. David joined Grinnell College in 1986 and was treasurer, chief financial officer and/or chief investment officer from 1990 through 2013. He continues to serve as an advisor to the College’s investment function.

Staff of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation

CDAF staff photo

Pictured from left to right are: Melissa Hull, Julie Gosselink, Shannon Fitzgerald, Michelle Gruhn, Vanessa Doty, and Lee Smith

melissa hull headshotMelissa Hull – Melissa is the director of community relations for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Melissa is a graduate of the Poweshiek Leadership program and has served as a board of director for the Grinnell Youth Baseball/Softball Association. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in communications.  Melissa has worked for the foundation since 2006 with prior work experience in the sales and customer service industries.

vanessa doty headshotVanessa Doty – Vanessa is the coordinator of organizational systems for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Vanessa has worked for the foundation since 2011. Vanessa graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Transportation & Logistics and Marketing, previously working for Cargill. Vanessa has volunteered her time with various community organizations and projects in the Grinnell area and has been an active leader for the Grinnell school’s PTO organizations over the past several years and is currently serving on the GRMC Auxiliary board.

michelle gruhn headshotMichelle Gruhn – Michelle is the accounting manager for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.  Michelle has an A.A. in accounting from Marshalltown Community College.  She has prior work experience in bookkeeping, office management, and worked for the Grinnell-Newburg School District in various capacities and the Ahrens Park Foundation for twelve years.  Michelle began working for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation in 2010 and is a graduate of the Poweshiek Leadership program.  Michelle is co-owner of Gruhn Brothers Farm in Kellogg.

lee smith headshotLee Smith – Lee is the administrative assistant for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and began working for the foundation in 2014. Lee has over twenty-five years combined experience in sales, accounting, information technology, business ownership and customer service. Lee has degrees from Drake University and Upper Iowa University. Lee volunteers her time with the Grinnell Community Theater by providing costume design and stage management for musical and drama productions and currently serves on the board of the Grinnell Area Arts Council.