About Us

Our Mission

Lead a business-education partnership to develop the leadership skills of Cedar Valley students.

Our Vision

Our students will be prepared to contribute to the success of the Cedar Valley community and its employers.

Our Core Values

Servant Leadership- We believe leadership is for everyone. Through modeling leadership, focusing on strengths, and creating opportunities for others, we empower people who will empower others.
Human Connection- We believe in the power of diverse relationships. Through fostering trust and being a resource for others, we develop sustainable partnerships.
Integrity- We believe authenticity is best and character matters. Through responsible use of community investments and leading by example, we build a reputation of positive impact.
Lifelong Learning- We believe education is an ongoing journey. Through investing in individual and community development, we equip people to change their own lives.
Facilitate Change- We believe challenges are opportunities to improve. Through a flexible response to change, we create better results that ripple into the community.

Leader Valley Staff

Nicole Hackman
Director of Fundraising and Communications


Hailee Merryman
Special Projects Assistant


Shantavia Parker


Melissa Reade
Executive Director


Leader Valley Executive Committee

Katie Hillyer
Wayne Communications

Gina Weekley
Waterloo Community School District

Gretchen Ogden
US Bank

Aaron Jarnagin
Pixel Labs

Jamekia Sanders
Women’s Center for Change

Kendra Richman
UnityPoint Health

Past Chair
Bryan Earnest
AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

Leader Valley Council

Rachel Breuer
Cardinal Construction

Kim Cross
Retired Cedar Falls Principal

Rob Green
City of Cedar Falls

Shanlee McNally
RJ McElroy Trust

Dr. Andy Pattee
Cedar Falls Community Schools

Nia Wilder
Waterloo City Council

Kelsey Burke

Liz DeJoode
PDCM Insurance

Emily Knutson
Hawkeye Community College

Tom Novotney
Cedar Valley Catholic Schools

Jay Schmitz
Viking Pump

Olivia Surma
Columbus Catholic High School

Robert Wright
Waterloo Community Schools

Carolina Coronado-Park
UNI International Studies

Stephanie Detweiler
Grow Cedar Valley

Kathryn Malek
Columbus Catholic High School


Selvedina Nuhanovic
Vine Valley Real Estate

Dr. Jared Smith
Waterloo Community School

Juan Villa
Veridian Credit Union