Bobbi Earles joins Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque as vice president of development
For Immediate release
DUBUQUE, Iowa — Throughout her 32-year career, Bobbi Earles’ knack for storytelling and commitment to community betterment have helped her make major impacts across Eastern Iowa, whether through fundraising at Loras College or news reporting at KWWL-TV.
Now, she brings her experience and skills to the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque as vice president of development. In the role — a new position at the Foundation — she leads the effort to grow the Greater Dubuque Forever Fund, an endowment that enables the Community Foundation to fund efforts that address a broad range of emerging needs and opportunities in the Dubuque region.
“Our community is like an extended family, and as with any family, it can experience challenges,” Earles says. “If we approach these challenges as individuals, we can get a few things done, but when we work together, we are stronger. I believe our community looks at philanthropy and helping people not as something only people of means can do but rather as something we can all do together.”
Growing up on a farm in Maquoketa, Earles was immersed in the Midwestern values of pitching in and giving back — values that have inspired her to stay in and contribute to her community in Eastern Iowa. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, she served in senior development and communications roles at Loras College, her alma mater, most recently as interim vice president of strategic communications and marketing. She served as executive director of alumni and communications from 2005 to 2020 and senior development officer from 2002 to 2005.
During her tenure at Loras, she was part of several campaigns, the most recent of which, Inspiring Lives and Leadership, raised more than $100 million for scholarships, the college’s endowment and facility upgrades.
“We are thrilled that Bobbi is bringing her talents and commitment to the community to our team,” says Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Her background in philanthropy, communications and journalism make for a winning combination and great skill set for someone who will be working closely with our partners across the region.”
Many Eastern Iowans know Earles as a TV news reporter and anchor for KWWL in Waterloo/Cedar Rapids, where she worked from 1988 to 2002. As a reporter, she covered government and health news, as well as features. Her favorite stories to cover were those that embodied the spirit and strength of Iowans.
“People in Iowa — especially in the Dubuque region — are resilient, and their work ethic is strong,” Earles says. “Those qualities go a long way toward solving problems. The community can relate to and connect with a cause or a need, and maybe we also can appreciate the blessings in our lives.”
She also has held numerous volunteer and board roles throughout her career, including for organizations like Two By Two, the American Red Cross and Opening Doors.
For her, the opportunity to give back has been the greatest reward of her professional career and volunteer work: “The best part of my job — every job I've had, actually — is how it makes you stop and appreciate what you’ve gone through, learned and, as my grandfather would say, worked to leave a place better than you found it.”
Earles and her husband live in Dubuque, and they have two adult daughters. She’s an outdoor enthusiast and particularly enjoys hiking and biking. She also loves to cook, especially for others.
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The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque envisions a vibrant and inclusive Dubuque region where everyone can thrive. Since 2002, we have inspired people to give back to their community, and we turn this generosity into lasting change across our region, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help all people succeed.
Visit dbqfoundation.org to learn about the many ways we are building a strong, thriving Greater Dubuque for all—and how you can donate your time, talents, and dollars to transform our region.