ourteam

The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA) is a vibrant organization working to unite people and organizations to promote a society free from sexual violence and to meet the diverse needs of survivors. IowaCASA is a progressive organization, and works toward goals that will improve the well-being of survivors in many aspects of their lives. We support disenfranchised groups and actively work on anti-racist initiatives. IowaCASA is a small, statewide non-profit organization that provides a friendly, fast-paced work environment.

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Beth Barnhill

Executive Director

She/her/hers

director@iowacasa.org

515-850-1915

Beth has proudly held the Executive Director position for IowaCASA since 1990. She brings with her an extensive history of working in the anti-violence movement. She also serves many roles on a number of state boards and committees addressing violence against women. She is a founding member and past chair of the Iowa Board for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, and a founding board member of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

Elizabeth Balcarcel

Elizabeth Balcarcel
Director of Training & Technical Assistance

She/her/hers

elizabeth@iowacasa.org

515-850-1911

515-850-6570 (cell)

Elizabeth started working in the anti-violence movement in 2003 at IowaCASA's member program L.U.N.A. (Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer). At the coalition, she provides resources, support, and in-depth capacity building for member programs as she assists them with organizational sustainability. She directs the flow of technical assistance to member programs.

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Julie Wooden-Kean
Director of Finance & Grants

She/her/hers

finance@iowacasa.org

515-850-1902

Julie oversees the financial management of all coalition operations and funding for the coalition. She also manages and monitors the agency's sub-grant program to member programs and provides consultation regarding grant, financial, and administrative issues. She is a Certified Sexual Assault Victim Counselor, and holds a degree from Iowa State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She earned her master's degree from ISU in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies with areas of specialization in Women's Studies, Sociology and English.

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Alexis (Alex) Karumuna
Prevention & Outreach Coordinator

He/him/his

alex@iowacasa.org

515-217-8009

Alex is a devoted youth activist and advocate on promoting Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights, HIV Prevention, and Gender Based Violence. He previously worked as program director at Dream Village Organization, a nonprofit organization based in Rwanda focused on motivating and empowering marginalized young people to become social change agents. As a program director he was responsible for initiating programs, overseeing implementation, and conducting evaluation. Alex brings over 8 years of experience from his work in Rwanda to IowaCASA. He joined us in January of 2022 as the Prevention and Outreach Coordinator. Alex speaks English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda, and he can provide support around primary prevention, positive youth development, program design and evaluation, and community outreach.

Sonci Kingery

Sonci Kingery

Staff Attorney

She/her/hers

legal@iowacasa.org

515-850-1914​

515-850-8077 (cell)

Sonci assists survivors with navigating the administrative process in secondary and post-secondary educational settings, as well as certain civil legal processes. Sonci graduated from Wartburg College in 2007 with majors in psychology and sociology and a minor in Woman’s Studies. She graduated from Drake University Law School in 2012. She served as IowaCASA’s Rural SART coordinator in 2015 before spending time at a private practice in West Des Moines. Her areas of practice included family law (dissolutions, establishment of paternity, child support and visitation), residential landlord/tenant, consumer rights, employment, and guardianships.

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KellyMarie Z. Meek
Prevention & Public Health Initiatives Coordinator

She/her/hers

prevention@iowacasa.org

515-850-1906

KellyMarie started in the anti-violence movement as a volunteer in 1996. Since then, she has worked with a local rape crisis and domestic violence program, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Integrative Services Project, and the Iowa Victim Assistance Academy. She joined IowaCASA in 2008, where she focuses on prevention and training. Her many passions include sex workers' rights, LGBTQIA advocacy, and working with youth and families involved in the foster care system.

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Josh Opperman

Staff Attorney

He/him/his

attorney@iowacasa.org

515-850-8078

Josh graduated from William Penn University in Oskaloosa with a degree in Business Management and then obtained his Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School in 2015. He previously worked in contact center management, consulting, and human resources, and has practiced law in a variety of settings primarily in the areas of employment, family law, landlord/tenant, domestic violence, criminal law, and estate and probate. Additionally, Josh has taught classes in human resources topics, law, and information systems as an adjunct instructor at local universities and has served on a number of non-profit boards.

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Kelsi Roby
Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator

She/her/hers

kelsi@iowacasa.org

515-850-1920

515-850-8084 (cell)

Kelsi works with IowaCASA member programs by providing certification training for advocates around the state, support of the statewide database provided by the Iowa Crime Victim Assistance Division and technical assistance around technology use and confidentiality within our work. She has over 5 years of experience in IT, software support and customer service while earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Purdue University.

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Kathy Sullivan
Assistant Director of Finance & Benefits

She/her/hers

fiscal@iowacasa.org

515-850-1917

Kathy assists with the financial management of the coalition operations and funding for the coalition with her main emphasis on the Resource Sharing Project.  She also provides technical assistance to financial personnel at state coalitions and programs regarding grants, fiscal duties, budgeting, and human resources issues.  She has over 20 years’ experience in non-profit fiscal management and several years in benefits administration.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Simpson College and a Human Resource Management Certificate from Des Moines Area Community College.  

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Laura Velazquez
Legal Services Coordinator

She/her/hers

advocate@iowacasa.org

515-850-1922

515-850-6188 (cell)

Laura works with the coalition's legal team to provide legal support and resources to survivors of sexual assault. Before joining IowaCASA, Laura started as a volunteer in 2013 with L.U.N.A. (Latinas Unidas por Un Nuevo Amanecer), a culturally specific program in Des Moines, where she later became a full-time Sexual Assault Coordinator. Laura is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Human Services with a minor in physiology. She speaks and writes Spanish fluently. 

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Nicole Stepleton Hardin
Communications Coordinator 

She/her/hers

communications@iowacasa.org

515-850-8080 (cell)

Nicole works with IowaCASA to provide communications support and content creation. Before joining IowaCASA, Nicole worked in higher education often serving historically marginalized and vulnerable populations.  She also lead efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion professionally and within the community. Nicole holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and master's degree in Educational leadership and Policy Studies. 

resource

sharing

project

The Resource Sharing Project is part of a national movement of sexual violence-related services and resources. Led by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Resource Sharing Project was created to help sexual assault coalitions across the country access the resources they need in order to thrive as they work to support survivors and end sexual assault. 

 
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Cat Fribley
Director of the Resource Sharing Project

She/her/hers

rsp@iowacasa.org

319-339-0899​

Cat has been with the coalition since 2001 managing the National Sexual Assault Coalition's Resource Sharing Project for the coalition. She provides capacity-building training and technical assistance to state and territorial sexual assault coalitions. In addition, she coordinates all national activities and events for the project. Cat has worked in the anti-violence movement since 1995 at national, state, and local advocacy organizations.

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Kris Bein
Assistant Director of the Resource Sharing Project

She/her/hers

kris@iowacasa.org

515-401-8722

Kris has been an active part of the anti-violence movement since 1995. Before joining IowaCASA's team in 2009, she provided medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual violence, institutional advocacy, and training through a dual domestic violence and sexual assault agency in rural Illinois. Kris holds a master's degree in Human Services from the University of Illinois, with specialization in Social Services Administration.

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Valerie Davis
Program Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project

She/her/hers

valerie@iowacasa.org

515-330-6175​

Valerie provides training and technical assistance to state coalitions and rural dual-service programs on enhancing and building comprehensive sexual assault services. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in domestic violence, from the University of Colorado Denver. She has been part of the anti-violence movement since 1995.

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Leah Green
Rural Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project

She/her/hers

leah@iowacasa.org

515-444-7381

Leah is originally from Eastern Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Studio Art from Cornell College. She has been involved in the anti-violence movement since 2010 working for several centers across Iowa as an advocate and prevention educator. At the Resource Sharing Project, she provides training and technical assistance to state coalitions and rural dual-service programs across the country on issues related to creating sustainable sexual assault services.

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LaShae Lopez 
Rural Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project

She/her/hers

lashae@iowacasa.org

515-401-8984

LaShae Lopez is driven by her passion to promote healing and accountability and center the needs of communities that have been pushed to the margins. She began her work as a crisis responder in Flagstaff, Arizona, and has been committed to advocating for survivors and anti-violence work since then. LaShae has experience in direct sexual and domestic violence advocacy and providing training and technical assistance for sexual violence services, responses, advocacy, and prevention.  LaShae is happiest when reading a new book, dancing, playing mini-golf, and being an active member of her adopted community.

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Norio Umezu Hall
Publications Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project

He/him/his

norio@iowacasa.org

515-505-2729

Norio loves finding resilience and wisdom in the written word. As publications specialist, he gets to combine three loves: the anti-violence movement, systems change, and art. Before coming to Iowa, he worked with low-income LGBTQ survivors of color. He’s worked at the statewide coalition level in Iowa for almost three years now. When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found learning about culturally based healing and community organizing. 

 

Board of Directors

Michael Shaw, President
Iowa City Community School District

Leah Vejzovic, President-Elect
Johnson County Attorney’s Office

Jon Buse, Secretary
Kirkwood Community College

Kathi Koenig, Treasurer
McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

Kristin Clayton

McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

Dawn Collins
Edward Jones

Wm. Michael Fleming

University of Northern Iowa

Jasmin Higgins
Mental Health Therapist

Sara Siebert
Beyond Borders

Tiffany Stoner-Harris
Counselor Educator

Anasia C. Sturdivant

Community Member

 

Yoshida Thomas
Friends of the Family

Lindsey Rawson Van Wyk

Community Member

 

Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors?