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Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation Board of Directors:
Julie Gosselink, Chair

Susan Witt, Vice-President

Shannon Fitzgerald, Treasurer & Secretary

Chad Ahrens

David Clay

Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation Staff:
Julie Gosselink, President & CEO

Shannon Fitzgerald, CFO & Controller

Melissa Hull, Director of Community Relations

Michelle Gruhn, Accounting Manager

Vanessa Doty, Administrative Manager

Emily Kriegel, Project Assistant

Lee Smith, Administrative Assistant

Inara Tareque, Grinnell College Student Service Learning Fellow




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Claude W. & Dolly Ahrens Foundation Ahrens Park Foundation Logo
Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation
P.O. Box 284
1510 Penrose Street
Grinnell, IA 50112
Phone: 641-236-5518
Fax: 641-236-5590
Email: info@ahrensfamilyfoundation.org
Ahrens Park Foundation
P.O. Box 679
1510 Penrose Street
Grinnell, IA 50112
Phone: 641-236-5518
Fax: 641-236-5590
Email: park@ahrensfamilyfoundation.org

Leadership and Staff of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahens Foundation

CDAF Board Members
Board of Directors of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Pictured from left to right are: Julie Gosselink, Chad Ahrens, Susan Witt, Shannon Fitzgerald, and David Clay.

CDAF Staff
Staff of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Pictured from left to right are: Melissa Hull, Julie Gosselink, Shannon Fitzgerald, Michelle Gruhn, Vanessa Doty, and Lee Smith

Julie Gosselink - Julie is the president, CEO, and chair of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. In addition, she serves on the board of the Ahrens Park Foundation. She holds a M.A. in philanthropy and nonprofit development and B.A. in geography from the University of Northern Iowa. Julie has worked for the Foundation since 2001 and has been involved with other local organizations at the board level including the Galaxy Youth Center, Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation, Iowa Council of Foundations, and Mayflower Community Foundation. Julie is a selection committee member for the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. She also serves as a managing partner for the Strand Theater, L.L.C. and West Broad Investors, L.L.C. Julie is co-author of Nonprofit Collaboration in Grinnell: A Case Study. Julie is a granddaughter of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens..

Susan Witt - Susan serves as the vice-president of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and as board of director of the Ahrens Park Foundation.  Susan serves as a board of director for the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation and as past chair of the Grinnell Regional Medical Center board of trustees.  Susan is co-owner of Miraco Company and the owner of a local farm.  Susan is a granddaughter of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens.

Shannon Fitzgerald - Shannon is the CFO and controller for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.  In addition, she serves as the treasurer/secretary of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and the Ahrens Park Foundation.  Shannon has also served as a board of director for the Galaxy Youth Center and the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation.  Shannon is a certified public accountant and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in communications and human resources.  Shannon has worked for the foundation since July of 2005 with prior work experience in both the public and private accounting industries.  In addition to her position with the foundation, Shannon owns and operates her own CPA practice. 

Chad Ahrens - Chad serves as a board of director for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and Ahrens Park Foundation.  Chad is a grandson of the late Claude and Dolly Ahrens.

David Clay - David serves as a director of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and oversees the foundation's management of investments. In addition, he serves as a director of the Ahrens Park Foundation. David joined Grinnell College in 1986 and was treasurer, chief financial officer and/or chief investment officer from 1990 through 2013. He continues to serve as an advisor to the College's investment function.

Melissa Hull - Melissa is the director of community relations for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Melissa is a graduate of the Poweshiek Leadership program and has served as a board of director of Grinnell Little League. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in communications.  Melissa has worked for the foundation since 2006 with prior work experience in the sales and customer service industries.

Michelle Gruhn - Michelle is the accounting manager for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.  Michelle has an A.A. in accounting from Marshalltown Community College.  She has prior work experience in bookkeeping, office management, and worked for the Grinnell-Newburg School District in various capacities and the Ahrens Park Foundation for twelve years.  Michelle began working for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation in 2010 and is a recent graduate of the Poweshiek Leadership program.  Michelle is co-owner of Gruhn Brothers Farm in Kellogg. 

Vanessa Doty - Vanessa is the administrative manager for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Vanessa has worked for the foundation since 2011. Vanessa graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Transportation & Logistics and Marketing, previously working for Cargill. Vanessa has volunteered her time with various community organizations and projects in the Grinnell area and has been an active leader for the Grinnell school's PTO organizations over the past several years and is currently serving on the GRMC Auxiliary board.

Emily Kriegel - Emily is a project assistant for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Emily is a senior at the University of Northern Iowa from Grinnell, Iowa. She is working toward a degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing and a certificate in Nonprofit Management and American Humanics. She hopes to pursue a career with a nonprofit organization. During her time at UNI, Emily has also been an active member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She currently holds an officer position.

Lee Smith – Lee is the administrative assistant for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. Lee has over twenty-five years combined experience in sales, accounting, information technology, business ownership and customer service. Lee has degrees from Drake University and Upper Iowa University. Lee volunteers her time with the Grinnell Community Theater by providing costume design and stage management for musical and drama productions and currently serves on the board of the Grinnell Area Arts Council.

Grinnell College Student Service Learning Fellow Program - Grinnell College students interested in careers in service learning now have a new professional development experience available to them through the College's student Service Learning Fellow program. Each year a student fellow works closely with our staff assisting us in our charitable programs, marketing projects, grants management, and research. We are one of six local nonprofit organizations involved in the program partnering with Grinnell College.

Inara Tareque, a junior from Grinnell College, pursuing Economics and General Science-Mathematics majors and a concentration in Global Development Studies, is the 2014 – 2015 Service Learning Fellow at the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. She is from Bangladesh, and completed high school from Hong Kong. Inara is extremely interested in working for nonprofits/ development oriented organizations which aim towards uplifting people's quality of life. Hence, she believes that this fellowship is an excellent opportunity for her to develop her skills further.

Inara has already worked for various nonprofit/ development oriented organizations such as Crossroads (Hong Kong), AFESIP (Cambodia) and BRAC (Bangladesh). This year, she will also be working remotely with BRAC, Bangladesh, and conduct her own research and pilot projects to develop programs that can reduce the dropout rates of its microfinance clients. In summer 2012, she won the "Davis Projects for Peace Prize", and utilized the grant to build a well-equipped library, computer room and playground for a rural school located in a remote part of Bangladesh.


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Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation
1510 Penrose Street, P.O. Box 284, Grinnell, IA 50112 • (641)-236-5518 phone • (641)-236-5590 fax • info@ahrensfamilyfoundation.org

Office Hours Open to the Public - Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We have an after hours mail box for your convenience.
© 2014 Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation

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