John Shierholz, Co-Chair

John has retired after having practiced radiology at the McFarland Clinic and Mary Greeley Medical Center for 35 years. Prior to that, he spent two years in Family Practice in the W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He also interned in Highland General Hospital in Oakland, California.

Cheryl Langston, Co-Chair

Cheryl is a retired, formerly working at Iowa State University as the Director of Customer Services in Information Technology Services. She is currently a co-chair of Healthiest Ames as well as a DMACC Trustee. Cheryl is also a board member of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees as well as a community volunteer.

Andrea Cardenas, Treasurer

Andrea is a Health Educator, Health Promotion Coordinator with the City of Ames. She previously worked at Georgia Southern University as a Public Health Faculty Member. Additionally, Andrea was an OneAthens Community Partnership Board Member as part of a Physical and Mental Health Committee in Athens, Georgia. She has been a Healthiest Ames Executive Committee Member from 2014 through the present.

Susan Gwiasda, Secretary

Susan is the Public Information Officer for the City of Ames where she focuses on sharing City of Ames programs, services, and news with citizens using a variety of communication tools. Previously, Susan worked as the Public Information Officer for the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and before that spent five years as a health reporter for the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

Stephanie Downs, Executive Committee

Stephanie is the ISU WellBeing Coordinator at Iowa State University where she is responsible for creating and leading the employee wellbeing strategies for over 6,500 employees. Stephanie has served in the worksite wellness field for over 25 years, including employment with the City of Ames, Pioneer HiBred Int’l, and the WDM Community Schools. She is a member of Iowa’s Healthiest State Conference planning team and a frequent presenter on worksite wellbeing topics. Recently, she was recognized as one of WELCOA’s Top 25 Health Promotion Professionals for 2016.

Bonnie Beer, Health Care Representative

Bonnie is currently an obstetrician/gynecologist at McFarland Clinic. She has also been the Chair of Department of Perinatology at Mary Greeley Medical Center as well as a medical missionary Mother/Well Child Clinic in Nigeria West Africa. Additionally, Bonnie is a past board member and officer of ACCESS.

Gail Johnston, Ames Schools Representative

Gail is currently a senior lecturer at Iowa State University in the Department of Mathematics. Previously, she served as a board member on the Ames School Board from 2004 to 2009. Gail also is a graduate of the IASB Leadership Academy.

Neal Loes, Health Care Representative

Neal is a Registered Nurse and Chief Nursing Officer for Mary Greeley Medical Center. He is on the Iowa Hospital Association’s Advocacy & Representation Board as well as the DMACC Nursing Advisory Board. Neal also is a past Board Member & Officer of the Ames Chamber of Commerce.

Peter Martin, ISU Representative

Peter is currently a professor of Gerontology and Human Development and Family Studies. He has done research on exceptional longevity and healthy aging, as well as teaching experience related to health and human development. Peter has also done public presentations on healthy longevity and successful aging.

Brent Thomas, Faith Based Representative

Brent is currently the Pastor of Missional Opportunities at Christ Community Church of Ames. He also spends some time working as the Director of Reach Students Central District at the Evangelical Free Church of America. His work as a ‘missions pastor’ is to help mobilize his congregation toward serving our world and community. He believes well-being extends to the whole person; body, soul, and spirit. Brent is ready to share his knowledge with Healthiest Ames to help improve the community’s well-being.

Ann Thompson, Ames Schools Representative

Ann is currently a university professor emerita at Iowa State University. She is the former director for the Center for Technology in Learning. Additionally, Ann was a Department Chair for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a former professor in the area of instructional technology, all at Iowa State University.

Brian Vanderheyden, ISU Representative

Brian is currently the Tobacco Control Coordinator with the American Lung Association. His background includes work as a Prevention Specialist at Iowa State University and HIV Prevention Intern at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. He also has experience working in a variety of settings from health clinics, to schools, to non-profits in public health and prevention. He enjoys getting involved with groups that work towards improving the health and safety of people in the community.

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