Summer 2014


George Lorber ’40, Charles City, Iowa, was inducted into the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation Hall of Fame. He was recognized at its annual fundraiser.



Lloyd Dill ’52, Paradise Valley, Ariz., has joined the Arizona Christian University’s football staff as senior recruiting coordinator. For more than 30 years, Dill has been a college football scout all over the United States.

Howard Vernon ’57, Coralville, Iowa, has been honored by City High School, Iowa City, IA, where he served as principal for 16 years (1979–95). The unveiling of the sculpture, named “Flight of the Little Hawk,” is now located inside the school’s foyer in recognition of his service and leadership. His peers say he is considered “the gold standard of being a high school principal.”



Robert (Bob) Klieman ’61, Cape Coral, Fla., is a coaching role model for his son Chris, who was recently named head coach of North Dakota State football team. Bob is an Upper Iowa University Hall of Famer for Peacock baseball and football. He had a successful coaching career at Columbus Catholic High School, where he served as head football coach and was on the coaching staff for golf, baseball and wrestling.

Gene Klinge ’62, Harpers Ferry, Iowa, retires after 11 seasons as head coach of the Waukon High School girls’ basketball program. Coach Klinge is the state of Iowa’s winningest girls’ basketball coach, with over 1,000 victories. Fewer than 10 coaches in the nation share that accomplishment. Klinge coached for a total of 51 years.

Patrick Nefzger ’63, Iowa City, Iowa, continues his sixth year of weekly photo slide shows at the Iowa City Senior Center. To date, he has shown 36,000 slides with no repeats. Nefzger circulates his shows to five retirement homes each week.

Scott Lebin ’64, and wife, Bobbi Lebin ’65 (left), Geneva, Ill., travelled to China in March 2014 as part of a global tour that included nine other countries and 20 cities. They are shown holding an issue of The Bridge along the Xian City Wall, known to be one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

Joe Peluso ’67, and Judi
(McElhinney) Peluso ’69 (below), Land O’ Lakes, Fla., retired and moved to Land O’ Lakes in 2008 after living in Glen Ellyn and Naperville, IL. Their daughter Anne teaches fifth grade in Tampa, Fla. Pictured with The Bridge are Joe and Judi visiting Venice, Fla.



Wanda Gruis ’70 (below), Rudd, Iowa, celebrates Easter each year by using her talent to make 2,500 intricate ceramic eggs for youngsters in her area and also ships them all over the country. Gruis says she doesn’t do it for money, but because, “I like to see [children’s] little faces when they get their eggs.” Gruis learned about ceramics at Upper Iowa, where she minored in art.

Lawrence J. Carle ’71, Des Plaines, Ill., founding conductor and music director of the Des Plaines Park District Community Concert Band, retired after 30 years with the organization. Carle’s last performance was held Dec. 15, 2013.

Jonathan Stull ’72, Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a featured poet as part of the 25th Anniversary James Hearst Lecture Series that runs April through October 2014 at the Mae Latta Hall in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Stull kicked off the event on April 3, 2014, with his lecture titled “James Hearst: A ‘Thought of Bluebells.’” Stull has also taught creative-writing classes at Upper Iowa University-Waterloo Center, Wartburg College, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa and Waterloo Community Schools.

Bill Roths ’74 (below), Cedar Falls, Iowa, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Iowa Chapter, as the recipient of the Lifetime Service Award. Roths began officiating in 1974 and retired from the mat in 2012. In January, he was promoted to chief development officer at State Bank, serving Waverly, IA, and surrounding communities.

Deloris Ryan ’74, Le Grand, Iowa, received her second Excellence in Education Award nomination from the Iowa State Education Association. She was one of 50
finalists chosen based on applications sent in by parents, administrators and teaching peers. Ryan is in her 37th year of teaching at South Tama Elementary, Tama, Iowa.

Dr. Charles “Chuck” Klink ’75, Cedar Falls, Iowa, retired July 1 after working most recently as associate minister at the Cedar Falls First United Methodist Church.

John Stavnes ’75 , Bettendorf, Iowa, retired from Wells Fargo Bank after 33 years with the company. Stavnes served his last 16 years as regional president and eastern territory manager for Iowa and Illinois, based in Davenport, IA. He also volunteered with the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Quad Cities First and Greater Davenport Redevelopment Corp. Stavnes (below), was the 2014 UIU commencement speaker.

Marshall Richards ’75, Phoenix, Ariz., was named Supplier of the Year by Arizona Food Industry Journal, December 2013. Richards’ professional career includes 39 years of sales experience. Currently he works as director of sales for Frito-Lay. His history with the company goes back to 1986.

Ezekiel Morris ’76, Willowbrook, Ill., was appointed to the board of directors for Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., an organization that assists those with disabilities or other limiting conditions to find paths leading to healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. Morris will serve a three-year term. He also is managing broker/principal of Keller Williams Realty, CCG of Hyde Park, Ill.

Jeanie (Kunkle) Vaudt ’76, West Des Moines, Iowa, was appointed judge to the 5C Judicial District by Governor Terry Branstad. Vaudt received her bachelor’s of arts in business administration from Upper Iowa University and earned her law degree at Drake University, Des Moines.



Kent Schultz ’80, Waseca, Minn., received two Waseca community awards at a Jan. 25, 2014, banquet. The “Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds” recognizes a volunteer who gives endless hours of time and talent with the hope of making the community a better place to live. Schultz was also honored with the “Service Above Self” award, which is presented to an individual who has made a lasting contribution to the community.

Lori Meyer ’82, Mankato, Minn., head coach of Minnesota State University Mavericks softball team, surpassed her 1,000-career-win mark this season, an accomplishment achieved by only 26 other coaches across the NCAA.

Gary Weber ’82, Clear Lake, Iowa, earned his 400th dual victory as head coach for  the Clear Lake High School wrestling team on Jan. 21, 2014, in Mason City, Iowa.

Catherine Timmerman ’84, Fairbank, Iowa, is a finalist for the 2014 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year award. Timmerman has served as principal at West Central of Maynard since 2001 and previously was a kindergarten teacher for 14 years. She will be
recognized at the School Administrators of Iowa banquet on August 6.

Julie (Scott) Soat ’87 (below), Galena, Ill., is working as a massage therapist in the physical therapy department at Midwest Medical Center, Galena. She and her husband, Marty are pictured holding an issue of The Bridge in Captiva Island, Fla.

Randy Clausen ’87, St. Charles, Ill., has been named vice president of global human resources for Brake Parts Inc., McHenry, Ill.

Gary Baumgartner ’87, Waterloo, Iowa, directed the production of “Clue,” based on the popular board game, at the Cedar Falls Community Theatre. Baumgartner worked closely with a set designer and engineer to create a unique three-dimensional stage set.

David Herold ’88, Waukon, Iowa, is a new member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Board of Control. The board has supervision over all athletic contests of association schools and interprets the association rules. Herold represents the northeast district. He is the district superintendent of Allamakee Community School District in Waukon.

Dan Fox ’89, Rowley, Iowa, is a new member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Representative Council. The council formulates the policies of the association and has the power to initiate amendments and suggest new rules to the IHSAA executive director. Fox will serve a five-year term as a rep for the northeast district. He is the superintendent at East Buchanan Community Schools in Winthrop.



Carol Jensen ’92, West Union, Iowa, published “College Financial Aid: Highlighting the Small Print of Student Loans,” on January 1, 2014. This book is intended to guide students and families through the sometimes confusing financial aid process. She addresses private and federal loans and outlines steps to pay for higher education. Jensen holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and a master’s degree in business administration.

Tricia Schares ’92, Jesup, Iowa, has joined Homelink, VGM Group Inc. as an outbound patient care coordinator for the managed care division.

Jackie Bridges ’93, Carrolton, Texas, joined the coaching staff of the Dallas Anarchy minor league football team, serving as the wide receiver coach for the 2014 season. In 2012, Bridges was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame.

Shane Knoche ’94, Donahue, Iowa, is a new member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Representative Council. The council formulates the policies of the association and has the power to initiate amendments and suggest new rules to the IHSAA executive director. Knoche will serve a five-year term as a rep for the southeast
district. He is principal at North Scott Community Schools in Eldridge, IA.

Sam Barber ’95, Palmer Lake, Colo., has been named head coach of the Air Force wrestling team. Barber has been part of the coaching staff for the Falcons since 2008, first as a volunteer assistant and then as assistant coach for the last five seasons. With more than 18 years of coaching experience, Barber also served as head assistant coach for UIU wrestling from 1995 through 1999, before being named head coach in 1999.

Mathew (Mat) Jacobsen ’96, Eden Prairie, Minn., was named chief ranger for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Previously, Jacobsen served with the U.S. Forest Service in Duluth as the patrol captain for the Minnesota and Wisconsin national forests.

Amy Bible ’96, Baraboo, Wis., and LeVerda Pence ’98, North Freedom, Wis., have Upper Iowa to thank for their successful business partnership. In January, 2014, the
two celebrated the 20-year anniversary of their start-up business, Confidential Tax & Accounting, Prairie du Sac, Wis. Bible and Pence became great friends, even carpool buddies, while attending classes at Upper Iowa University-Madison. They specialize in small-business accounting and payroll.

Janni Jensen ’98, Ames, Iowa, was named national retail sales and marketing executive by TSDC LLC. TSDC is the parent company of Fight Like a Girl™, a global cancer- support product line featuring inspiring messages to empower women. Jensen works from the Ames office to develop brick-and-mortar retail stores and gift shops throughout the country.

Dan Livengood ’98, Chaska, Minn., is the new vice president of sales and marketing at St. Croix Promotions, a Minnesota-based promotional products agency. Livengood has 20 years of experience in promotional marketing and has earned numerous awards, including the Promotional Products Association International Pyramid Award and the American Marketing Association NOVA Award.

Neil Wilkinson ’99, Oelwein, Iowa,  achieved membership in the Million Dollar Round Table, an association of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals. Wilkinson is an adviser for Financial Decisions Group of Waterloo.

Michelle Bales ’99, West Des Moines, IA, traveled to Kenya, Africa, in October and November 2013 to see the solar eclipse (November 3.) Unfortunately, clouds rolled in 20 minutes before totality, and Bales did not get to see the eclipse. She went on a safari during the trip and saw a wide variety of local wildlife. Shown at the equator with a copy of The Bridge are Michelle and her friends.

Shawna Buckley ’01, Waterloo, Iowa, was selected as one of the Waterloo Courier’s annual “20 Under 40” award recipients in honor of her leadership in the local banking industry and commitment to the community. She is vice president for retail banking at Community Bank & Trust, Waterloo.

Ryan Meredith ’01, Ankeny, Iowa, is sales manager for Arysta LifeScience North America, a leading agrochemical company. Meredith will represent the new Midwest territory sales region.

Scott Andrews ’02, Anamosa, Iowa, joined the accounting staff at Corporate Farmer, a Mason City-based accounting firm for farmers.

Greg Erie ’02, Waterloo, Iowa, has been named the Waterloo Police Department’s 2013 Officer of the Year. Erie began working for the department in 1995 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years.

Jon McKowen ’02, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, took his team, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, to the Class 4A Iowa High School Athletic Association State Tournament in March. The team battled to the quarterfinals, where they were defeated by Sioux City North, 75-65.

Martin Hamel ’03, Lincoln, Neb., earned his doctorate in natural resources sciences specializing in aquatic ecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2013. Hamel is a research assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives in Lincoln with his wife, Erin (Foster) ’03, who is a lecturer in the College of Education and Human Sciences. The couple has a 2-year old daughter, Amelia.

Jason Guyer ’04, Manchester, Iowa, was honored as an A+ Educator by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, on March 25, 2014. Guyer teaches automotive technology and other technical classes at West Delaware High School in Manchester.

Jesse Montalto ’04, Iowa Falls, Iowa, is head football coach at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. Montalto had been quarterback coach for UIU football since 2005. Prior to that he was a receiver for the Peacocks from 2001 through 2004.

Michael Sadler, MA ’04, Urbandale, Iowa, was named “Forty
Under 40 Alumnus of the Year” by Business Record for his outstanding contributions as assistant vice president of public policy and government affairs for CenturyLink Inc.

William Noland ’08, Dallas, Texas, was named vice president of business strategy by CPSG Partners, a national information security consulting firm. With more than 25 years of experience, Noland will lead CPSG’s cloud services division and market expansion strategy.

Chelsea Petersen ’08, Pella, Iowa, is head coach of Central College women’s basketball team in Pella. Petersen was a team captain and four-year letter winner for the Peacocks basketball team and began her coaching career after graduation as assistant coach at Anderson University in Indiana. As interim women’s basketball coach at Central College, she led the team to its highest victory total in the past decade.

Mirayra Bell ’09, Harshaw, Wis., has been named executive director of Colonial Center, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation community in Colby, Wis. Bell is a certified social worker and certified nursing home administrator. She received her bachelor’s of science in human services.

Craig Burns ’09, ’11, and Alyse (Eddy) Burns ’09, Casper, Wyo., welcomed a baby boy on March 29, 2013. Dallas Vincent Burns weighed 7 lbs., 7 oz. Burns was hired as a police officer for the city of Casper in December 2012.

Matt Norton ’09, and Erin (Bennek) Norton ’11, Waverly, IA, announced the birth of their son, Jase Edwin Norton, born Feb. 27, 2014.

Shelly Penn ’09, Parkersburg, Iowa, published “The Geoma Tree,” a children’s book that uses geometric shapes to teach life lessons about individuality, acceptance of others and self-esteem. Penn graduated from Upper Iowa with a degree in elementary education, is a mother of three and opened a home-based childcare program, Stay and Play Daycare, in 2004.

Travis Kakuske ’09, Middleton, Wis., has been assigned to third-shift patrol for the Middleton Police Department, where he has served for eight years. He is a school resource officer and detective.



Brandon Clarke ’10, Green Bay, Wis., returns to the Green Bay Blizzard as defensive back for the 2014 season. After his 2011 departure from the Blizzard, Clarke was a starter for other Indoor Football League teams, including the Cedar Rapids Titans and Erie Explosion, where he was twice named defensive player of the week and battled with the team to earn the 2013 CIFL Championship.

Sarah Taylor ’10, ’12, Waterloo, Iowa, has joined Homelink, VGM Group Inc. as an outbound patient care coordinator for the managed care division.

Jimmy Holford ’10, Janesville, Wis., was promoted to lieutenant for the Janesville Police and Fire Commission. Holford is a 27-year veteran of the department, where he assisted in various capacities, including street crimes and
S.W.A.T. units.

Meegan Hofmeister ’11, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is co-owner of The Blonde & the Brunette,  in the New Bohemia district of Cedar Rapids. Hofmeister’s shop features women’s casual and professional clothing and accessories. Hofmeister started writing her business plan for the store while completing her business administration degree at UIU.

Bill Atkins ’12, Reinbeck, Iowa, has been promoted to director of infrastructure and tech support at CBE Cos., a global company based in Cedar Falls. Atkins has worked  for the company for six years.

Toni Babcock, MBA ’12, Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been promoted to director of human resources at CBE Cos., a global company based in Cedar Falls. She has been with the company for seven years.

Alisha Kilburg ’12, Strawberry Point, Iowa, will leave her teaching position at Starmont Community School District, Arlington, Iowa, and begin at Eagle Heights Elementary, Clinton, IA, as a kindergarten level II, moderate (special education) classroom teacher in August 2014.

Allyssa Joseph ’12, Fayette, Iowa, was promoted to major gifts officer and director of UIU annual giving. As a student, Allyssa was a fundraising intern for the UIU Alumni and Advancement Office. She has been director of annual giving/alumni relations for two years.

Heidi (McKean) Wlezien ’12, Carpentersville, Ill., is head athletic trainer for the Chicago Sky, Chicago’s WNBA team. Previously, she was a graduate assistant at Eastern Illinois University for women’s rugby and men’s and women’s swimming and was later recruited to assistant athletic trainer for men’s soccer and women’s basketball.

Joshua Beebe ’12, Independence, Iowa, will be participating in The World Race, an 11-month mission trip conducted by the Christian ministry, Adventures in Missions. Beebe will travel to 11 countries throughout Africa, Europe, Asia, and Central America. While living in each country for one month, Beebe and other world racers will serve in a variety of ways, including teaching English, working in orphanages and supporting the work of anti-human-trafficking organizations. Visit for more information.

Daniel Hess ’13, Rhinelander, Wis., has been named chief deputy for the Oneida County Sherriff’s Office. He earned his public administration degree from UIU and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a lifelong resident of Oneida County and resides in Rhinelander with his wife, Jodie, and three children.

Lazelle Thomas-Conners ’13, Milwaukee, Iowa, was promoted to executive assistant at C.H. Coakley & Co., a business-management solutions firm  in Milwaukee.

Lindsey Sivetts-Herteen ’13, Cincinnati, Iowa, accepted a fourth- grade teaching position at Putnam County R-1 School District in Unionville, Mo.

Brian McGraw ’13, Norwalk, Iowa, was hired as director of information technology for DSi, a litigation support services company in Des Moines, Iowa.

Terri Gallery ’13,  Quasqueton, Iowa, is the special-education teacher for grades K-5 at North Linn Community School District, Troy Mills, Iowa.

Emily Simon ’13, Waterloo, Iowa, joined the corporate accounting department at VGM Group Inc., Waterloo.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: