Board of Directors

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Sixteen residents of Black Hawk County make up the Black Hawk County Gaming Association Board of Directors. Together, they represent the broad interests of the Cedar Valley. Each board member serves a three year term, and can serve up to two terms. Potential members go through a nomination process and are subject to approval by the DCI and the full Board of Directors.

Here are the Board members, along with a short biography of each:

Scott Becker, Gilbertville

Scott Becker is a lifelong resident of Gilbertville with a degree in Business Management and Economics from Wartburg College and a former Vice President of Farmers State Bank.  He is interested in the continued development of the rural communities in Black Hawk and surrounding counties.  He is a current member of the Gilbertville City Council, Treasurer of Gilbertville Community Days, Director for the Battle of Waterloo Wrestling Tournament for the Waterloo Public Schools Vice Chair of Bosco Catholic Schools Foundation and Finance Committee. Scott enjoys sports of all kinds and brings a passion for strengthening smaller municipalities to the board.

1st term expires 6/30/2022

Debra J. Corson, Waterloo

Debra J. Corson is a “retired” educator who currently works as a consultant with K-12 schools and higher education organizations throughout the United States.  She makes numerous presentations at national and state conferences in the areas of leadership, instruction, and training. She is certified as a trainer for Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and co-author of  5 Toolkits designed to improve school climate.  In addition to her role in the BHCGA, DJ is an active volunteer in the Beyond Pink TEAM, Waterloo Elks, and the golf advisory committee at Hawkeye Community College.

2nd term expires 6/30/22

Mark Gallagher, Waterloo

Mark Gallagher is currently the Recreation Services Manager for the City of Waterloo. He is very active within the Cedar Valley Catholic School System, a member of the Build Our Ballpark Board of Directors, and a founding member of the Cedar Valley Sports Commission. and the Varsity Baseball Coach for Columbus High.  Mark is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and brings a great deal of leisure service and sports related knowledge to the full board of directors. 

1st term expires 6/30/2022

Eric Johnson, Waterloo

Eric Johnson is an attorney and has been with Beecher, Field, Walker, Morris, Hoffman & Johnson, P.C since 1991.  He also has experience as an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Iowa.  Johnson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and attended the University of Iowa College of Law.  In addition, he received his M.B.A. from the University of Iowa.  Johnson has served on the founding board of the Waterloo Schools Foundation, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, WIDA and the H.B.Allen Foundation.  He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, the Black Hawk County Bar Association, Kiwanis, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. 

2nd term expires 6/30/2023                                                                                                                        

Paul Lee, Cedar Falls                                                                                                                                

Paul Lee is a Quality Administrator for BDI-USA.  Lee is a graduate of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.  He also served as a graduate assistant in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at the University of Northern Iowa.  He serves on the Winnebago Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Knights of Columbus, Hartman Reserve Nature Center Friends Board  and Actions Without Borders/,and the National Student Advisory Board.  Lee also has experience as a fundraising consultant and event planner.

2nd term expires 6/30/2023

Ann Lyons, Cedar Falls

A graduate of Iowa State University with a BBA in Finance, Ann is a Broker/Owner at Oakridge Realtors. Her extensive background in support of important community organizations includes board roles at the Cedar Falls Public Library, Family and Children's Council, Cedar Valley Hospice, Sartori Memorial Hospital, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Hartman Reserve, Junior League, Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony, American Cancer Society, Iowa State University Black Hawk County Alumni Board and involvement in her church.  Ann brings a vast knowledge of the community as well as a solid business background to the board of directors.

1st term expires 6/30/3021

Richard McAllister, Cedar Falls

Born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa and upon graduation from high school attended Iowa State University.  He graduated with honors from Iowa State University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning. Upon graduation he was hired by the City of Cedar Falls as a City Planner, serving in that capacity from 1975-1987.  In 1987, Mr. McAlister was appointed as the City’s first Director of Administrative Services.  In 2014, he was appointed to be the City’s first City Administrator to oversee the operation of all departments.  Richard retired in January of 2016 after 40 years of services to the City of Cedar Falls.  He has served on numerous local and state boards such as the Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce, Community Main Street, MET Transit, Big Woods Lake Board, Lions Club and Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association.He has also served on UNI President Ben Allen’s Budget Review Taskforce and Governor Terry Branstad’s Property Tax Reform Taskforce.

2nd term expires 6/30/21                                                                                                                       

Carolyn Rafferty, Waterloo                                                                                                                      

Carolyn Rafferty is a Vice President at US Bank in Waterloo.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and her law degree from Marquette University Law School in Wisconsin.  A former appellate attorney, she now serves as a trust officer for the Private Client Group at US Bank.  She has been involved in the Black Hawk County Estate Planning Counsel, the Harbaugh-Williams Education Promise Fund Advisory Board, the Youth Art Team, Habitat for Humanity New Home Buyer Educator program dn previously served as a board member for the YWCA and Family and Children’s Council.

2nd term expires 6/30/2023                                                                                                                         

Betsy Ratchford, Cedar Falls

Betsy Ratchford is an Instructor of Management Information Systems at the University of Northern Iowa. She has been employed at the university for over 12 years and also serves as the Webmaster for the College of Business Administration.  Betsy has served on the Board of Directors at Beaver Hills Country Club and was an active member of Junior League for seven years where she served on the Board for two years.

2nd term expires 6/30/21                                 

Dave Richter, Waterloo

Dave Richter is a Partner/CPA with Bergan KDV in Waterloo.  He has significant experience working with nonprofits as well as serving on several nonprofit boards during his career. Dave is a board member of the West High Athletic Foundation and recently completed a two-year term with the Waterloo Schools Foundation. He also is a past member of the Waterloo Community Playhouse, Waterloo Downtown Council, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa and Waterloo Youth Hockey Association.  Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois he attended the University of Kentucky receiving a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  Dave brings 30+ years of serving as the leader of the nonprofit industry group in the Iowa market for Bergan KDV.

1st term expires 6/30/2022

Jim Schaefer, Waterloo

Jim Schaefer is Director of investor Relations for Grow Cedar Valley and invested in the mission of partnering with members to increase the economic vitality of the greater Cedar Valley.  Jim is a native of Waterloo and continues to believe in the promise and potential of the Cedar Valley.  After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa, he served at VGM as the Director of Service, VP o Homecare Provides Co-op and Vice President of Nationwide Respiratory before joining Professional Office Services as Regional Territory Manager in 2005.  Jim is Past President of Friends of Cedar Valley Hospice and current president of Easy Riders Kiwanis Club.  Additionally, Schaefer has served on the St Edwards Parish Council and as a member of the My Waterloo Days Steering Committee and has volunteered for several other civic organizaitions.  Jim and his wife Kristin have three grown children.

2nd term expires 6/30/21

Alice Shirey, Waterloo 

Alice Shirey grew up in Waterloo and is a proud graduate of East High School.  She then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and majored in Human Development and Social Policy, and also has a Master’s Degree  in Counseling Psychology.  For the last 20 years she has been a teaching pastor at Orchard Hill Church in Cedar Falls. Both she and her husband Chuck are deeply devoted to the common good and the flourishing and thriving of all of their neighbors.  They have three grown children, all graduate of the Waterloo School District: Hannah is a lawyer, Tracy is a medical student and Will is in law school.  They also have a chocolate lab named Stella, who brings them joy every day.

1st term expires 6/30/21

Jane Whittlesey, La Porte City

Jane Whittlesey is the City Clerk and Zoning Administrator for the City of La Porte City.  She serves as an advisor to the City's Board of Adjustment, Planning & Zoning Commission and the Economic Development Commission.  Jane also serves on the Education Committee for the Iowa League of Cities as well as a mentor to other City Clerks in Iowa.  She is a member of the La Porte City Chamber of Commerce and the Festival of Trails Parade Committee and previously served on the La Porte City RAGBRAI committee and the Family Aquatic Center Fundraising Committee.  In her free time, Jane volunteers at Cedar Bend Humane Society and as a photographer for the Cedar Valley Honor Flights.

1st term expires 6/30/23

Kate Wyatt, Hudson

Kate Wyatt serves as an elected council member for the City of Hudson ans as an appointed member of the Hudson Mayor’s Task Force for Economic Development and Public Safety Committee.  She is an active member of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and has been an active member of the Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber in Waterloo.  Kate has an extensive background of volunteerism serving as Chair of Hudson RAGBRAI committee, a board member on the Hudson Days Committee and as a volunteer for the Back to School project. Kate is a marketing specialist for a local insurance agency.

2nd term expires 6-30-22

Beth Knipp, Waterloo. 

Although not a member of the Board, Beth Knipp is an important element of Black Hawk County Gaming Association, serving as the Executive Director for the corporation.  She has served as Director of Planning for Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Iowa Region, was the Director of Planning, Public Relations and Marketing for Covenant Health System and Director of Development for Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health Center.  Knipp has also been a member of many local boards and committees, including Cedar Valley United Way, Family & Children’s Council, Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Valley Hospice and My Waterloo Days. She serves as past president for the Iowa Council of Foundations, and is on the Black Hawk County Board of Health.  She is also a member of Metro Funders as well as Women In Philanthropy.

Sarah Craft, Project Coordinator

Sarah Craft is the part time Project Coordinator for Black Hawk County Gaming Association. Sarah is a former BHCGA board member and served two terms on the La Porte City Council.  She has served on several boards including the La Porte City Economic Development Committee, Aquatic Center Fundraising Committee, and Black Hawk Solid Waste Funds Allocation Committee.  She is President of La Porte City Preschool Board and head swim coach for the La Porte City Waves Swim Team.