Central College News

Central Welcomes Six New Board Members

Featured: Central Welcomes Six New Board Members

July 19, 2023

Central College announced changes to its Board of Trustees with the addition of six new members and the retirement of three individuals.

Joining the Central board are Lori Fegley, Kara Kohler Hoogensen, Shannan Mattiace, Marc Poortinga, Dave Smith and Kelly Vielmo.

“We welcome the diversity of experiences in the members joining the board,” says Central President Mark Putnam. “Our board members bring the perspectives of employers for our graduates, and as alumni, donors and community members. Our current board has done a fantastic job of cultivating the next generation of leaders and recruiting talented individuals. The college is fortunate to have such strong leadership from its board of trustees.”

A look at the new members:

Lori Fegley, a 1980 Central graduate, is a retired educator from Cedar Falls, Iowa. She previously served on Central’s Parent Advisory Council, National Advisory Council and a class reunion chair. She and her husband, Brian, a 1980 graduate, were selected as Mr. and Mrs. Alumni in 2009. They are past parents of Central alums Allison, a 2008 Central graduate, and Peter, a 2011 Central graduate.

Kara Kohler Hoogensen, a 1996 Central graduate, is a senior vice president of benefits and protection – head of workplace benefits, at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. She and her husband, Steve, have two children, Kate, Class of 2024 and Mallory.

Shannan Mattiace, a 1990 Central graduate, is a professor of political science and international studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. She received an honorary degree from Central in 2021. Her teaching and research focus on Latin American and Mexican politics, inspired by Central professors and study abroad experiences in Mérida and London. She is married to Tomas Nonnenmacher.

Marc Poortinga, a 1998 Central graduate, is a co-owner of Distinctive Custom Cabinetry in Phoenix, Arizona. He spent his early work career serving in various roles for Pella Corporation before starting Distinctive Custom Cabinetry in 2007. He is married to Ellen Gallinger Poortinga, a 2004 Central graduate. They have four daughters, Maree, Ellie, Audrey and Jolie.

Dave Smith is president and owner of Ridgeway Petroleum, Inc., a gas station, convenience store and car wash operation located in Lansing, Illinois. Dave and his wife, Kathy, are past parents of three Central alumni – Cal, a Class of 2018 graduate, Carter and Cody, both 2020 graduates.

Kelly Vielmo, a 1999 Central graduate, works at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the technology field, in the Washington, D.C. area. He and his husband, Jack, have three teenage children.

Three Board of Trustees members were granted trustee emeritus status in recognition of their years of service to the college.

Shayla From, West Des Moines, Iowa, served for 15 years with many leadership roles as board secretary, and a member of the executive committee and others. She was a guiding force behind the creation and development of the Central RED Society along with board colleague Donna Davisson Smith, Central Class of 1981.

Sophie Mathonnet-VanderWell, a retired pastor from Pella, Iowa, completed 21 years on the board. She served as the chair of the academic excellence committee and member of the executive committee, student development committee and others.

Bill Rankin, a 1969 Central graduate, from Seattle, Washington, was a board member for eight years since 2015. Through his years of service, he was on the executive committee, student development committee, enrollment committee and others.

“These committed and brilliant trustees provided excellent leadership throughout their time on the board. They are, and continue to be, devoted to Central students and their success,” says Tej Dhawan, Central Board of Trustee chair and 1991 graduate.