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State System

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The Early Childhood Development State System

The state system is composed of the ECI State Board and the Stakeholders Alliance, with involvement and partnership from hundreds of private entities to strengthen the system. The State Board provides oversight of state and local efforts while serving as an advisory group to the Iowa legislature and the Governor’s Office upon request. TheStakeholders Alliance provides advice regarding the coordination of early childhood activities in the state and is made up of public and private stakeholders; the Alliance branches into several component groups and subgroups focused on a range of expertise. Both the State Board and the Stakeholders Alliance Work together to further the strategic plan and vision for early childhood development in the state of Iowa.

Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making (I2D2)

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In response to demands on public service systems to do more, do better, and cost less, attention is being drawn to the value of integrated data systems (IDS) for research to inform executive decision-making. In 2019 the IDS led to the development of the 2019 Statewide Needs Assessment and influenced our We Are ECI 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. As demonstrated through these efforts, the IDS continues to allow Iowa’s early childhood system to effectively and efficiently coordinate the work of health, social services, and education agencies to directly benefit families. 

ECI’s 2019 Statewide Needs Assessment reflects a legislatively prioritized statewide emphasis on collaborative, comprehensive approaches to supporting young children and their families. It builds on investments over the last several decades in quality early care and education systems and brings together relevant data from siloed systems of health, education, and child welfare to use for statewide strategic planning. 

View the 2019 Statewide Needs Assessment

Explore I2D2 for Iowa

Current State Board Members

Current members of the Early Childhood Iowa State Board include department directors for six state agencies, four legislators, and citizen membership. Citizen members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate.

Interested candidates must complete a gubernatorial appointment resume in addition to seeking a letter of recommendation from their local Early Childhood Iowa Area board. The gubernatorial appointment resume can be found at Open Up Iowa.


Board Members

  • Michael Bergen

    Michael Bergan

    Representative, Iowa House

    Bergan is a lifelong resident of Winneshiek County. Bergan serves on three state level boards and commissions: the Mental Health and Developmental Disability Commission, ECI State Board (former HAWC Director), and the Iowa Council for Early ACCESS.

  • Diane Campbell

    Diane Campbell

    Administrator, Mississippi Bend AEA

    Diane serves as an administrator with Mississippi Bend AEA. She has also served as a teacher and administrator in the Muscatine Community School District. Campbell’s past board participation includes United Way of Muscatine, MCSA, and others.

  • Rich Clewell

    Rich Clewell

    ECI State Board Chair

    Rich Clewell is a retired Wildlife Biologist with the Department of Army. Rich serves on the boards of the Putnam Museum and Science Center, Humility of Mary among others. Rich pursued graduate work in Animal Science at the University of Maryland.

  • Claire Celsi

    Claire Celsi

    Senator, District 21

    State Senator Claire Celsi represents Senate District 21. A Des Moines native, Claire is a graduate of Drake University and spent seven years owning and operating a family childcare business. Public education is a focus of her advocacy in the Senate.

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    Chris Cournoyer

    Senator, District 49

    Senator Cournoyer has served as a member of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Council, Quad City Engineering & Science Council, former president of the Pleasant Valley Community School Board, and reserve deputy for the Scott County Sheriff’s Department.

  • Kathryn Dorsey

    Kathryn Dorsey

  • Debi Durham

    Debi Durham

    Director, Economic Development Authority

    Durham is a longtime economic and community development professional. Durham has established successful public-private partnerships, landed billion-dollar economic development projects, and expanded trade and investment opportunities for Iowa.

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    Amy Edison

    Citizen, Vinton

    Amy resides in Vinton, Iowa with her family. As a stay at home mom, Amy serves on the Vinton Public Library board and the steering committee of the Benton County 100+ Who Care. She has a BS in Mathematics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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    Kelly Garcia

    Director, Iowa Dept. of Human Services, & Interim Director, Iowa Dept. of Public Health

    Throughout her career, Garcia led improvements in organizational structure, program management, and policy development for health care systems. Garcia has served in a series of executive positions at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

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    Wendy Greenman

    Director Designee, Iowa Workforce Development

    Wendy Greenman is a graduate of Iowa State University, and serves as a Bureau Chief at Iowa Workforce Development overseeing the WIOA Title I programs and the Trade program. She has worked within Iowa’s workforce delivery system for over 12 years.

  • Nicole Hansen

    Nicole Hansen

    Director Designee, Iowa Economic Development Authority

    Community Investments Team Leader. This team is responsible for the management of the state of Iowa’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), as well as several state tax credit programs.

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    Aaron Johnson

    VP of Marketing & Customer Strategy, Accumold

    A resident of Ankeny, Iowa, Aaron received his Bachelor’s in Communications from the Moody Bible Institute. Aaron is the Vice President of Marketing and Customer Strategy for Accumold. Aaron is currently a Director on the Ankeny Board of Education.

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    Nalo Johnson

    Director Designee, Iowa Dept. of Public Health

    Dr. Nalo Johnson serves as the Director’s designee for the Iowa Department of Public Health. Dr. Johnson, Division Director for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, received a BA from Williams College and PhD from the University of Minnesota.

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    Leslie Leager

    Director Designee, Iowa Economic Development Authority

    Leslie Leager serves as the Director’s Designee for the Iowa Economic Development Authority and works within the Community Development Division. Leslie has been working for the State of Iowa for over 20 years.

  • Angela Lensch

    Angela Lensch

    Academic Manager, Denison Job Corps.

    Angela is an experienced educator, having completed two Master’s of Education programs. She is certified and has taught all age levels including Pre-K through to Professionals. Currently, she is the Academic Manager at Denison Job Corps. acting as the Pri

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    Terry Harrmann

  • Dr. Ann Lebo

    Dr. Ann Lebo

    Director, Department of Education

    Dr. Ann Lebo serves as Director of the Iowa Department of Education. She previously served as Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Dr. Lebo holds an Ed.D. and Ed.S in Educational Administration.

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    Mayra Martinez

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    Mary Mascher

    Representative, Iowa House

    Representative Mascher is a retired teacher from Johnson county. She has served eleven years in the House. Mascher has been engaged in several commissions in Iowa City and serves on the State Reading Recovery Advisory Board and Executive Committee.

  • Barb Merrill

    Barb Merrill


    Barb Merrill served 10 years as Executive Director for the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children and held a variety of roles in early childhood throughout her career. Barb has a B.S. in Child Development and a M.S. in Adult Education.

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    Mary Peterson

    RN, Myrtue Medical Center

    Mary is a RN at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, IA where she primarily serves as the campus’ clinical nurse informaticist/analyst. She volunteers & serves on multiple local, state and national boards. She enjoys making sure that children in our communiti

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    Brook Rosenberg


    A member of the ECI Board since 2012, Mr. Rosenberg began in the insurance business in 1973 as a fourth generation insurance broker. Mr. Rosenberg holds a B.S. from the University of Northern Colorado and has served on multiple boards and associations.

  • Jean Stadtlander

    Jean Stadtlander

    Owner, Manning Insurance & Real Estate

    Jean Stadtlander was appointed to the Board in 2011 after serving seven years on the local Partnerships 4 Families ECI Board. She volunteers as a CASA Volunteer, Kids Hope Mentor, and UMC Youth Group leader. Jean owns Manning Insurance & Real Estate.

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    Zachary Stier

    Children’s Librarian, Ericson Public Library

    Zachary Stier currently works at Ericson Public Library in Boone. Stier is a doctoral candidate at Concordia University and serves as a director for the Iowa Library Association Executive Board.

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    Beth Townsend

    Director, Iowa Workforce Development

    Beth Townsend serves as the Director of Iowa Workforce Development and is a graduate of Kearney State College and the University of Nebraska Law School. Beth is the mother of one son and is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation.

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    Kimberly Villotti

    Director Designee, Iowa Department of Education

    Kimberly Villotti serves as the Director’s Designee for the Department of Education, where she is an Administrative Consultant for Early Childhood Programs and Services. She joined the ECI Steering Committee to support system collaboration.

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    San Wong

    Director, Department of Human Rights

    Director Wong has led efforts to safeguard basic rights and opportunities for underrepresented Iowans. This includes helping new immigrants find success and call Iowa home. Wong was recognized as a Women of Influence by the Business Record in 2009.

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    Gary Zittergruen


    Gary Zittergruen is a retired Superintendent of Schools with the Benton CSD. While employed at Benton, Gary also served on the IGHSAU Board of Directors and the IHSSA Executive Committee. Gary earned his BA at Wartburg College and MA at the University of

Preschool girl at table building with wooden blocks

State System Annual Reports, Policies & Procedures

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