Cedar Falls Community Foundation elects Board Members

May 3, 2021

The nationally accredited Cedar Falls Community Foundation (CFCF) has served Cedar Falls since 1977, led by a Board composed of Cedar Falls residents who understand community needs and the benefits of building a philanthropic spirit in the community.

One new board member and four returning board members were elected at the April 30, 2021 Annual Meeting. Dee Vandeventer will join the Board and Janelle Darst, John Lehman, Jennifer Rodenbeck and Brian Sanderman will return for another term.

Dee Vandeventer’s passion is fundraising. On her 50th birthday she challenged her family and friends to contribute $50,000 more that year to nonprofit organizations than they had during the previous year. On the eve of her 51st birthday, increased giving totaled more than $1.1 million to 177 organizations around the world. As a founding partner and past president of ME&V, an integrated marketing communications and fundraising company, Dee has worked with hundreds of nonprofits throughout the country. In 2015, she moved from consultant into practitioner, serving as the chief development officer for the Allen Foundation, part of a 30,000 employee multi-state health system. Dee’s public relations and fundraising career spans more than three decades and includes numerous presentations and workshops for professional organizations and state associations. She has led or served on a number of boards locally, regionally, and statewide. Her service has been recognized by many awards from a wide variety of organizations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northeast Iowa.

Janelle Darst has served on the Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board since 2018, most recently chairing the Public Relations Committee and serving on the Executive Committee. Janelle is employed by the Cedar Falls Community Schools as Director of Communications & Community Relations.

John Lehman is a third generation Cedar Falls resident and retired CEO/CIO of Foster’s Inc. He is active at Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church where he currently serves on the Finance and Blessed Beginnings Childcare committees, and previously served on a Childcare Task Force, Nominating Committee, a capital campaign and a student education task force. John has served on the Board of the Cedar Falls Community Foundation since 2004, as chair of the Finance Committee, and most recently as President of the Board.

Jennifer Rodenbeck has served on the Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board since 2008, most recently as a member of the Executive Committee. Jennifer is employed by the City of Cedar Falls as Director of Finance and Business.

Brian Sanderman is Principal Architect at InVision Architecture where he is currently involved in the design and development of the new Cedar Falls High School campus. Brian has served on the Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board since 2018, most recently on the Community Engagement Committee, focused on raising funds to make a positive impact on Cedar Falls children and families.

Officers were elected for the 2021-22 year, with John Lehman, President; Dave Deaver, Vice President; Susan Card, Secretary; and Tom Paulsen, Treasurer. Past- President Russ Curtis will continue to serve on the CFCF Board and Executive Committee.

Long time board member Judith Harrington was elected to the CFCF Emeritus Board, joining Jan Andersen, Robert Beach, Judith Cutler, Robert Dieter, and Miller Roskamp. Judith Harrington joined the CFCF Board in 2012 and during her time on the Board served as Secretary and as chair of the Public Relations Committee, among other responsibilities. Judith was instrumental in developing processes for the Melendy Spirit Award and the Community Builder Celebration, during which grant awards and the Melendy Spirit Award are presented. Board members are eligible to become Emeritus Board members after completing at least two three-year terms on the CFCF Board.

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is a nationally accredited community foundation serving Cedar Falls and vicinity. The CFCF partners with many non-profits, investing and managing their resources for maximum return. Among the organizations with funds at the Cedar Falls Community Foundation are the Cedar Falls Community Theatre, Cedar Bend Humane Society, Cedar Falls Woman’s Club, Cedar Falls Public Art Committee, Cedar Falls Bible Conference, Community Main Street, Veterans Memorial Park, The James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, City of Cedar Falls Recreation facilities, Cedar Falls Public Library, and Friends of Clay Street Park among others. Donations to these funds are welcome.

In addition to serving area non-profits, the CFCF annually makes grants from its competitive funds. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation grant application portal is open until June 30, accepting applications to the Rownd Trust (capital projects), the Diamond Arts & History Fund, and the Cedar Falls Enhancement Fund. Applicants must be non-profit organizations and must submit through the CFCF portal at https://www.cf-communityfoundation.org/.

Perhaps most importantly, the Foundation serves individuals wishing to leave a legacy. Individuals with passion for a particular cause or organization are invited to connect with the Cedar Falls Community Foundation at CFCF@cfu.net.

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is located inside Farmers State Bank, corner of 6th and Main Street, Cedar Falls, and is available by appointment. Contact the Foundation at: 319.243.9170, email: CFCF@cfu.net, or visit the website at www.cf-communityfoundation.org or find us on Facebook.