Jones County Community Foundation Welcomes Laetare, VonBehren, Wilcox
The Jones County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, welcomes new members Trish Laetare, Mindy Wilcox and Rachel VonBehren to its advisory board. Laetare, Wilcox and VonBehren follow in the footsteps of departing members Leann Herman, Dan Lambertsen and Patty Manuel, the latter of whom served as board president.
“We thank LeAnn, Dan and Patty for their service to the Jones County Community Foundation,” says Sherri Hunt, foundation coordinator. “Under Patty’s leadership, the community foundation continued its ongoing, impactful grantmaking, began to add endowment funds and started to look at opportunities to improve the well-being of children in the community through Vision to Learn and youth education.”
Olin native Laetare has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Through her career as a teacher and marriage to a member of the United States Navy, Laetare has had the opportunity to live across the country.
“We knew Olin was the place we wanted to live and raise our two children — surrounded by family and friends, and with the unique opportunities a small school and community can offer,” says Laetare. Upon returning to Olin in 2002, she taught part-time for six years. She is currently a service associate at Farm Bureau Financial Services, with offices in Olin and Oxford Junction.
Laetare is eager to learn about the Jones County Community Foundation and use her skill set to make the most of the opportunity. “I would like to give back to my community by being an advocate, as well as work to strengthen other communities in Jones County,” she says. “I want to be part of something making a positive difference in my lifetime and beyond.”
Wilcox has been a resident of Martelle for over three decades. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa. Currently, she works as a high school math teacher.
“Because my background is in education and we believe in giving back to our community, my husband and I have been very active with community, school, and church activities,” says Wilcox, citing her service to the Martelle Parks and Recreation board, coordination of the Martelle library’s summer reading program, Sunday school teaching, and involvement with the Anamosa Athletic Boosters and Anamosa music program. “These experiences have highlighted for me the outstanding quality of life we have in Jones County and the importance of sustaining the many positive aspects of our communities.”
Wilcox hopes her background in education, experience working with youth and families, and enthusiasm will be assets to the board in moving Jones County communities forward. “I want to be a positive, contributing member of Jones County,” she says. “My children grew up in Jones County and received so many amazing opportunities to learn and grow. I would like to give back and assist others to have opportunities so they may grow.”
In her new role at the community foundation, Wilcox looks forward to learning about the programs and organizations making a difference in Jones County and finding ways to assist in their growth. “Sharing information about the Jones County Community Foundation will also be important in sustaining community support for needed programs and services,” says Wilcox.
VonBehren, of Olin, serves as the director of support services at Jones Regional Medical Center, where she has worked for over 20 years.
“My husband and I own and operate a farm and excavating business. I have been very involved with 4-H and FFA activities with my three children,” she says. “I am hopeful that experiencing these different aspects of our community will be helpful in continuing to support Jones County while holding up the integrity and intent of our donors.”
VonBehren’s decision to join the Community Foundation board was both personal and professional. “As a leader at Jones Regional, we encourage community involvement. From a personal standpoint, I welcome the opportunity to be involved and continue to learn about my community and the foundation,” VonBehren explains.
She is excited about her new role with the Jones County Community Foundation and takes it very seriously. “I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience to make a difference in Jones County,” she says.
“Trish, Mindy and Rachel have already been helpful additions to the board,” says coordinator Hunt. “We look forward to working with them to serve donors, make grants, and provide community leadership through convening and collaboration over the next several years.”