Board Bios

 

Terese Grant, President 2019 - 2023. Terese joined the League of Women Voters to become more involved in the work the League was doing in her community. She is a member of the Grinnell LWV and served first as Voter Services Chair and then as President from 2014 to 2019. She has been on the LWVIA Board since 2014 as Director and as President since 2019. As President, she works with the Board, local League Presidents, and their members to accomplish the mission and goals of the League. Terese is a retired French Teacher who taught for over 30 years in schools in Iowa and in a private school in New Jersey.  She and her husband, Warren, also taught in international schools in China and Ukraine.  

Nancy Halvorson, Vice President 2020 - 2022. Nancy was a Director, appointed in 2018. She grew up in Omaha and in 1975 moved to Ames. She was employed by Iowa Department of Transportation for 26 years, beginning as a secretary and moving up to Manager of Relocation Assistance. She served the IRWA (International Right of Way Association) in several state, regional, and international offices. She retired in 2010. Nancy joined LWV because she wanted to be more visibly politically active. Before she knew it she was membership co-chair., then secretary, and has just completed a two-year term as co-president of Ames and Story County.

Polly Horton, Secretary 2019 - 2023. Polly was Vice President from 2015 - 2018, and was a LWVIA Director from 2014 - 2016. Polly joined the League in 2004, after being invited to a local League of Women Voters Johnson County event by a League member.  She was impressed with the knowledge of government issues and governmental process that the League members discussed.  She began attending forums, programs, and meetings, that the LWVJC sponsored.  In 2006, Polly was invited to serve a two year term on the LWVJC Board, and then elected to serve two terms as President (2008-2013).  Post-Presidency, she remained on the LWVJC Board as Membership, Leadership & Development (MLD) chairperson and volunteered as Finance Campaign chair this year.  Membership in League has been fulfilling in forming friendships and leadership skills.  As a LWVIA Board member, Polly will work to maintain the collaboration between Local Leagues that MLD has fostered.  The issues of Voting Rights and Water Quality are her priorities for advocacy.  

 

Linda Meloy, Treasurer 2020 - 2022. Linda was also Treasurer from 2016 - 2018. She is a long-time League member, having served as President more than once in Muscatine where she lived for more decades than she likes to count!  She now lives in Iowa City and belongs to the LWV of Johnson County. She is a retired Professor Emeritus, having trained teachers at the graduate level to work with children with learning and behavior problems due to her school psychologist credential. Linda is Nonna to three little boys who live in Marshalltown. Their parents (the Daddy is her son) are both engineers at Emerson.  Linda has two other children - a biological son who is a computer engineer in Scottsdale, AZ, and an adopted Korean daughter who is a chef-in-training (and poet) in Portland, OR. Linda has been part of a number of studies during her early days in LWV and was very involved in emergency medical services (EMS), helping move such a service from private providers to a fire department-based tax-supported service in Muscatine.  She also was part of the State League’s EMS study presented at the 2015 Convention. Linda credits her involvement in League at the beginning of her life in Iowa with providing her an avenue to not only know more about her new community and her new state, but in forging life-long friends of like minds and interests.  She has found similar benefits from her long-time involvement in Muscatine Sister Cities and more recent involvement in Project Green in Iowa City and her new League friends in Iowa City.

Mary Rae Bragg, Past President 2019 - 2023. Mary Rae was President from 2016 - 2019 (serving the second year of a two year term and then an elected two year term). Mary Rae previouslly served as Secretary on the LWVIA Board from 2013-2016. Mary Rae retired in June 2009 after 13 years as a political reporter for the Telegraph Herald, Dubuque.  As political reporter, she covered forums and legislative update sessions sponsored by Dubuque’s League of Women Voters.  Upon retirement she joined LWV because of a personal commitment to the League’s goal of an informed and involved electorate.  Through her League membership, she became active in the "50-50 in 2020" voter initiative and was named to that group’s board of directors early in 2012.  A native of Jefferson, Iowa and a 1964 graduate of Drake University, she lives in Dubuque, with her three sons and their families living in Troy, Michigan, Zimmerman, Minnesota, and Bluffton, South Carolina.

Teresa Bomhoff, Director 2021 - 2023. Teresa is the Chairperson of the Iowa Mental Health Planning Council and Past President and present Board member of MindSpring Mental Health Alliance (formerly NAMI of Greater Des Moines).  Additional volunteer positions include:

  • AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) mental health workgroup

  • Des Moines Metro League of Women Voters Board President

  • Community Planning team for Crisis Intervention Training for the Des Moines Police Department, Polk County Supervisors and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

  • Veterans Advisory Council member

  • Fifth Judicial District Board of Directors

  • Grandview Services Advisory Board Member

  • Iowa Rural Health Association Advisory Member

  • and others

 

Teresa has family members living with severe mental illness.  She is a trained educator in mental health programs and publishes the MindSpring Mental Health Alliance monthly newsletter.  She is also a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid.  Teresa has been a mental health advocate for 20 years.

 

Her education is a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Secondary teaching in English and History.  Teresa retired in 2011 after almost 39 years of service with USDA Rural Development.

Dr. Amy Degroot-Hammer, Director 2021 - 2023. Dr. Amy DeGroot-Hammer came to the League after many years of attending LWV Legislative Forums in Woodbury County in Sioux City.  Amy has devoted her career to advocating for others as a strong voice for social justice issues and public education. She has worked with educational stakeholders over the course of nearly three decades as a K–12 school counselor and classroom teacher. Elected to serve as a National Education Association (NEA) Director representing Iowa, Dr. DeGroot-Hammer lobbied in Washington D.C. and worked with members of Congress to support the needs of public education students. As President of the Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA), she successfully worked with a bipartisan group of elected legislators to bring positive changes to Iowa Code to protect students. 

 

Amy is employed with the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) as a UniServ Director working where she works with 38 school districts in NW Iowa.  Amy also serves as a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) trainer and an adjunct professor of school counseling at Buena Vista University.  Dr. DeGroot-Hammer holds a doctorate in PK–12 school administration and educational leadership and a master’s degree in PK–12 professional school counseling from the University of South Dakota. Her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and political science was awarded by Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. 

 

In addition to her daily "work" - Amy enjoys spending time with her family and following the many activities of her two amazing teenagers.  She works hard to raise them to be independent, intelligent, open, affirming, and kind humans - who she nurtures with the hopes that they will grow up to use their voices to make positive change in the world.  They are the two biggest blessings in her life.

Doris Kelley, Director 2019 - 2023. Doris Kelley, previously a Director 2017-2019 and a member of Black Hawk-Bremer Counties League of Women Voters, has an extensive professional background in community economic development, marketing and public relations. As the Director of Consulting Services for DesignLiNC, Inc. a consulting and design company based in Lawrence, Kansas, Kelley lead the company’s telecommunications consulting efforts throughout the United States. Kelley served as the Director of the Cedar Falls Main Street Program from 1993 to 1995. She served as Cedar Falls Utilities chief spokesperson and marketing director from 1995 thru 2000. Kelley also served as the Utilities legislative liaison, playing a key role in securing legislators’ support for amending Iowa’s open meetings and open records laws. From April of 2003 thru January 2004, she served as the Telecommunications Coordinator for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. Kelley served as an elected legislator in the Iowa House of Representatives (2007-2011). During 2012-2014, she served as Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Parole. In 1998 she was inducted into International WHO’S WHO of Information Technology and in 2010 the Cedar Falls Business and Professional Women recognized Kelley as the Cedar Valley Woman of the Year. Besides Board membership to League of Women Voters of Iowa, Doris is a board member of 50-50 in 2020, and chairs the 19th Amendment Centennial Commemoration Project. Doris was married to the late Ralph Kelley, a longtime employee of John Deere. Together they have one child, Dr. Eric Kelley, Ph.D. who is an Associate Professor, University of West Virginia’s School of Medicine. Since 2010, she has been married to Dr. Steve Corbin, Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the University of Northern Iowa.

Jean McMenimen, Director 2020 - 2022.

Bonnie Pitz, Director 2019 - 2023.

Holly Oppelt, Director 2021 - 2023. Holly Oppelt is the newly-elected president of the League of Women Voters of Muscatine County.  She was born and raised in Muscatine, graduated from the University of Iowa, and returned to Muscatine.  Holly was employed at Central State Bank (name recently changed to CBI Bank and Trust) for 29 years, retiring as Vice President and Trust Officer in 2013.

 

Holly is actively involved in her community.  In the past she has served as President of the Community YMCA/YWCA during our $9 million capital building campaign.  She also served 12 years on the Board of Trustees for her local hospital – UnityHealthcare - Trinity Muscatine.  Holly is now finishing her second four year term on the Board of Directors of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities, and her third year as President of her local P.E.O. chapter.

 

Holly’s biggest accomplishment was working her way through the offices of Business and Professional Women of Iowa (BPW/IA) serving as State President in 1996.  She also served on the Board of Directors of BPW/USA and the BPW/USA Finance Committee, chairing in 2003.  During these years she and other leaders went to in Washington, D.C. each February to lobby for Women’s Rights on the Hill.  She loved it!

Nancy Porter, Director 2020 - 2022. Nancy previously served as Director from 2016 - 2018. Nancy currently serves on several executive boards including the Iowa City and Iowa State Education Associations, the East Central Uniserve Unit, the Johnson County League of Women Voters, the Altrusa International Club, United Nations Association of Iowa and the National Education Association Peace and Justice Caucus. She enjoys activities with the Retired Educators of Iowa and the University of Iowa Club. Nancy substitutes in the educational psychology ward of the University of Iowa Hospital. She volunteers with the free lunch program, Peace Iowa and Hancher Auditorium Guild. With a Master in science education and a reading endorsement, she continues mentoring student teachers. Nancy taught for more than 40 years in the Iowa City Community School District before retiring in 2010. She has written curriculum and taught for the University of Iowa and Viterbo University. She was recognized last spring by her HS with an induction to the Hall of Fame. In her spare time, she enjoys her five grandchildren. She has seen all of them perform on stage. They entertain her through their activities such as class officers, athletics, singers, dancers, playing musical instruments, frisbee golf and lacrosse. They live in the state of NY. Porter has traveled to all 50 states and three foreign continents. She also enjoys dancing and many forms of music. She has always been proud to say she is from Iowa and grew up with Midwest corn in her blood. She has a life long love of education. Her mother always said, “Work to the best of your ability and get a good education. They can’t take an education away from you!” Nancy has been active with the Johnson County LWV in some capacity since Jean Loyd Jones was acting president.

Sue Wilson, Director 2019 - 2023. Sue previously served as Director from 2017 - 2019. Sue received her BSN from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980, practiced community health nursing in Omaha, earned an MSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center two years later.  When she moved to Milwaukee to join the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee she taught nursing students and conducted independent nursing research.  When moving to Iowa to teach at the University of Iowa College of Nursing she studied issues related to health care through the Iowa Nurses Association Legislative Committee.  She became more politically active first by participating in the Iowa Caucuses and then by working for local and state candidates.  After moving to Dubuque she was happy to find an active chapter of the League of Women Voters which worked hard to inform the public and encourage participation in our democracy.  She continues to serve as a Dubuque League's Recording Secretary since 2001.