Anti-Poverty Policy in Iowa - Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America Fall 2016 Series
Joe BolkcomIowa State Senator, Human Resources Committee and Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee vice-chair
Wendy RickmanAdministrator, Division of Adult, Children & Family Services, Iowa Department of Human Services
Wendy Rickman has been employed with DHS since 1987. Since beginning her employment with DHS, Wendy has served as an abuse assessor, ongoing case manager, service administrator for Scott County, and a service area manager for the Davenport and the Des Moines service areas. Wendy is currently serving as the Division Administrator for the Division of Adult Children and Family Services. This division is responsible for policy development in the areas of Medicaid eligibility, Child Care, FIP, Food Assistance and all of the Child Welfare and Dependent Adult abuse eligibility policies.
Wendy graduated from Carroll College in 1981 with a BA degree in sociology, from the University of Iowa in 1996 with a MSW, and is currently licensed at the independent social work level with the State of Iowa.
Maryann DennisHousing Fellowship
Maryann Dennis has been the Executive Director of The Housing Fellowship since January 1993. Ms. Dennis was the first employee hired by The Housing Fellowship and has facilitated its growth and reputation as one of the premier Community Housing Development Organizations in Iowa. She has extensive experience in working with low-income neighborhoods and families and the administration of federal and private funding sources. She currently oversees all operations and affordable housing developments in addition to The Housing Fellowship’s partnership agreements and contracts with public and private financing. Ms. Dennis is a certified Housing Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work Administration and Social Development from the University of Iowa. She is a co-founder and serves as ex-officio of the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County and is part of Iowa City’s Invest Health team. Ms. Dennis was appointed to the Iowa City Riverfront Crossings Inclusionary Housing Ad Hoc Committee, Johnson County Housing Task Force and the Equity Advisory Committee of the Iowa City Community School District, the Board of Directors of United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties. She is the Vice-Chair of the Affordable Housing Coalition of Johnson County.
Natalie VeldhouseFormer Community Food Security VISTA, The Crisis Center of Johnson County
Natalie Veldhouse is the Community Food Projects Coordinator at the Crisis Center of Johnson County. She works to open and coordinate school food pantries in middle and high schools. She is also currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Iowa. In her studies she focuses on macro-level social work including poverty, social policy, advocacy and community organizing.
Natalie recently completed an AmeriCorps VISTA year of service, in which she coordinated research efforts for the Johnson County Hunger Task Force. She received her Bachelor’s in Ethics and Public Policy in May of 2015 from the University of Iowa and minored in sociology and French. She worked as an undergraduate research assistant for professors in the departments of sociology and economics, and completed her honors thesis titled Prekindergarten Programs and Social Mobility: A Policy Analysis.
Brian LoringNeighborhood Centers of Johnson County
Brian Loring is the executive director of Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County in Iowa City. He has been in that position for 21 years. Prior to his work with Neighborhood Centers, Brian worked for the Public Interest Center on Long Term Care in Sacramento, the Center for Health Care Rights in Los Angeles, and Citizens for Community Improvement in Iowa.
Locally, he has served on the boards for Iowa City Housing Fellowship, Environmental Advocates, Johnson County Empowerment, Bicyclists of Iowa City, Johnson County Regional Trails Committee, Think Bicycles, and was the co-chair for the Iowa City Blue Zones Community Policy Committee. He is also the founder of the Iowa City Bike Library.
Brian has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa.