Iowa Advisory Council

ELPC’s Iowa Advisory Council members bring strategic wisdom, stature and connections to the state’s policymakers, business leaders, educational leaders and other influentials.

Laurie Belin

is an activist focused on preserving working farms and natural resources. She has particular interest in transportation policy that encourages alternatives to a car-dependent lifestyle. Ms. Belin serves on the Board of Directors of 1000 Friends of Iowa and the Iowa Environmental Council. She lives in Windsor Heights, where she grew up.

Liz Garst

is manager of a commercial farm and director of family-owned banks. Prior to this, she worked at the World Bank and served as business manager of the Garst Seed Company. Ms. Garst is also an oral historian who speaks of her family’s deep roots in the farming community in Coon Rapids. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Whiterock Conservancy and serves as an adviser for the Iowa Nature Conservancy.

Larry Grimstad

is former President and CEO of Decorah Bank and Trust Company. He developed Decorah Solar Field, LLC, which is a solar array used by Luther College, and Blowhard, LLC, a wind energy company. Mr. Grimstad serves on the Board of Directors of the Winnesheik Energy District and Seed Savers Exchange and is a member of the Decorah Downtown Betterment Association. He lives in Decorah.

Charlotte Hubbell

is an independent writer and editor and has been a lifelong activist for education and the environment around the globe. She and her husband Fred founded the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation. Ms. Hubbell has served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, overseeing the environmental protection activities of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She lives with her family in Des Moines.

Fred Hubbell

is a retired member of the Executive Board of ING Group of The Netherlands and former Chairman and CEO of Equitable of Iowa. He and his wife Charlotte founded the Fred and Charlotte Hubbell Foundation. Mr. Hubbell has served as the Interim Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, as Chairmen of the Iowa Power Fund Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. He lives in Des Moines, where he was born and raised.

Mary O'Keefe

is an entrepreneur and small business owner. She is the retired Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Principal Financial Group. For twenty-five years, Ms. O’Keefe was responsible for corporate marketing, branding, communications, corporate giving and community relations. During her tenure at The Principal, Ms. O'Keefe led the development and construction of the Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River. She is a long-time Des Moines area resident.

Sally Pederson

is a consultant and Director of the Northwest Area Foundation. She served as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa during 1999–2007 and is a past Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. Ms. Pederson is the Founder and Chair of the Advisory Board for REACH: Realizing Education and Career Hopes at the University of Iowa and Co-Chair of Justice Not Politics and serves on the advisory board of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy at Drake University and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Rob Sand

is an attorney and dedicated conservationist. Mr. Sand has researched Iowa farmers' views on conservation issues and has been involved in prairie and wetland restorations since his youth. He has persuaded Iowans from a variety of backgrounds to build solar installations. He lives in Des Moines and grew up in Decorah.

Barry Shear

is the President of Eagle Point Solar in Dubuque, Iowa. He was a business turnaround specialist for 17 years and was CEO and part owner of Help At Home, Inc., a large homecare provider which offers alternatives to nursing home placement. Barry is a founding Board member and Treasurer of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association.

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