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New Leaders Council

Des Moines 2011 Fellows

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Lynzey Tharp, Attorney, Iowa Finance Authority

Lynzey TharpLynzey Tharp is an attorney and currently works for the Iowa Finance Authority's State Revolving Fund. In that position, she assists cities with meeting the federal cross-cutting requirements of her division's low-interest loan program for clean and drinking water infrastructure. Lynzey previously worked in the office of Governor Tom Vilsack and the Iowa Senate. In law school, Lynzey clerked in the Polk County Attorney's office and volunteered for a variety of causes. As an intern for the Obama Campaign for Change in Iowa, Lynzey worked with the Voter Protection legal team to recruit attorneys and prepare election law materials, with the goal of resolving issues for voters on Election Day. Lynzey’s professional interests include advocating for fair and impartial courts through merit selection, student loan reform, and supporting organizations seeking to secure universal health care and equality for women and girls. Lynzey holds a B.A. from Drake University and earned a joint J.D./MPA in Government and Non-profit Management from Drake Law School. After a long legal career, Lynzey hopes to open a cupcake shop with her lady lawyers luncheon group. She was raised in Carlisle, Iowa and currently resides in Urbandale, Iowa with her Jack Russell Terrier, Pippa.

Alana Stamas, Student, Drake University Law School

Alana StamasAlana Stamas is a third year law student at Drake University. During her time at Drake, Alana has interned with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), the Iowa Attorney General's office, and been a member of the Law Review staff. This fall, Alana was a student intern in the Advanced Appellate Advocacy Clinic at Drake in coordination with the State Appellate Defenders Office. Alana has also clerked for Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. and Roxanne Conlin & Associates. Before law school, Alana spent one year working in Development and Alumni Relations at Des Moines University and four years working as a field organizer for U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). PIRG is a non-profit, public interest advocacy group. During her tenure, Alana spent two years in Los Angeles, CA and two years in Des Moines, IA working on legislative campaigns related to climate change, renewable energy, clean water, and other environmental issues. Alana graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 with a degree in Social Policy. While at Northwestern, Alana was a member of the Women's Soccer team. Alana was born and raised in Washington D.C.

Shannon Sanders, Researcher, Link Strategies

Shannon SandersShannon Sanders is a researcher with Link Strategies, LLC., a research, communications and government relations firm based in Des Moines, IA. A Des Moines native, Shannon attended Dowling Catholic High School and went on to double-major in Journalism and Political Science at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. During her time at Iowa State, Shannon was actively involved with and held leadership roles in her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and was involved in many campus groups including the student newspaper, the Iowa State Daily, Iowa State Democrats, Hall Council, and the St. Thomas Aquinas Church Outreach Committee. She also co-founded the Iowa State chapter of The ONE Campaign on campus. During her time at Iowa State, Shannon interned in Washington, D.C. as a Communications Intern for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and volunteered with the 2008 Obama campaign in Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State in May of 2009 Shannon spent the summer as an AmeriCorps Member serving with the ISU Live Green! initiative as a Marketing and Communications Associate. Shannon joined Link Strategies in August of 2009 and in her free time enjoys running, reading, cooking, her Tri-Delta Alumnae group and volunteering with Central Iowa Shelter Services.

Anthony Rodari, Recruiter, Nationwide Insurance

Anthony RodariAnthony Rodari has a BS in human development and family studies from Iowa State University, and began his career in human service management. Rodari transitioned into the corporate sector and has taken on roles in the Financial Industry. Currently he is finishing up his MPA at Drake University and is tentative to complete his program May of 2011. Rodari Works in the Human Resources capacity.Rodari had recently completed his 2 year term on the board of Young Professionals Connection, where he specializes in the topic of diversity. He also plays a role in the Greater Des Moines Partnership Diversity Council. Rodari was also member of Des Moines Youth Advisory Board, where he takes part in monthly discussions about schools. Rodari had also completed his term on the board of Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa. Rodari has recently joined the board for the Central Iowa Red Cross. Rodari’s efforts have been recognized in his Community as he had been selected as a recipient of the Des Moines Business Records’ Forty under 40 class of 2010, and in addition has been notified that he is top 5 finalists in the running for Juice Magazine’s YP of the year for 2010.

Nicole Moriniere, Legislative clerk, Iowa Legislature

Nicole MoriniereIn the upcoming legislative session beginning in January 2011, Nicole will be working as a legislative clerk in the Iowa Legislature. Later in the year, she plans to begin law school with the entering class of fall 2011. She is looking forward to studying international and comparative law. Most recently, Nicole was a Deputy Field Organizer for the Iowa Democratic Party in the 2010 midterm elections, based in the Des Moines field office. Prior to that, she served a one-year term as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Des Moines Area Religious Council, which serves 11 food pantries in the Greater Des Moines area in addition to providing other essential human services. During this time, she also volunteered for Organizing for America, President Obama's grassroots organization. In 2008, Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Literature from McGill University, located in Montreal, Canada. She attended high school in a small town in France near the Swiss border. Nicole has also lived in Atlanta, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jen Goings, Pharmacist, Mercy.

Jennifer Goings I recently started working at Mercy as a staff pharmacist, where I spend some of my time working as part of a collaborative team of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes. I also spend time providing standard pharmacy services to our patients. I previously spent five years working as both an intern and full-time pharmacist with Hy-Vee Corporation in the community pharmacy setting. I also worked as an incoming freshmen orientation student adviser for the University of Iowa in 2005. I received both my undergraduate and professional pharmacy education from the University of Iowa, graduating with my Doctor of Pharmacy in 2008. I am also currently pursuing my Masters in Business Administration through the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. In the future, I hope to work as an advocate for healthcare related issues with state level government or organizations. I am a native of Waterloo, and have not lived outside of the state. In my free time, I enjoy getting together with my family and friends, cheering on the Hawkeyes, and playing with my puppy.

Andrea Diaz, Assistant County Attorney, Polk County Attorney's Office.

Andrea Diaz Andrea Diaz is an Assistant Polk County Attorney assigned to the Drug and Gang Bureau. Ms. Diaz prosecutes a wide range of drug offenses ranging from misdemeanor to felony offenses. She previously worked as a domestic violence prosecutor in the same office before transferring to her current assignment. Before becoming a prosecutor, Ms. Diaz worked as an immigration and family law attorney with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she provided free legal services to immigrant victims of violent crimes. She also participated in providing free legal services to those impacted by the Agriprocessors immigration raid that occurred in Postville, Iowa during the month of May, 2008. Ms. Diaz received her law degree in 2007 from Drake University Law School. She was admitted to the Iowa Bar in September of 2007. Ms Diaz studied international relations and spanish at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. She graduated from Simpson in December 2003. Following graduation, Ms. Diaz served as an assistant coordinator in Simpson's study-abroad program in Managua, Nicaragua. Ms. Diaz is a life-long resident of Des Moines and a proud graduate of Des Moines Lincoln High School.

Rachel Dakarian, Development Researcher, Iowa State University Foundation

Rachel DakarianRachel Dakarian is a Development Researcher at the Iowa State University Foundation, a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to securing and stewarding private gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University. Most recently, Rachel was the Social Media Director for Margaret Anderson Kelliher's gubernatorial campaign during the 2010 Minnesota DFL primary; after the election, she was honored to speak about the earned media strategy and grassroots philosophy behind the new media branding of Margaret's candidacy on a “Social Media & Public Engagement Panel” hosted by the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She supported pro-choice candidates for the Iowa House and Senate while helping to build a statewide grassroots network for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland as a Regional Organizer. She began her political career with a goal of helping to elect women candidates, staffing Becky Greenwald for Congress during the 2008 Democratic primary and interning for Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Iowa Caucus cycle. Originally from Marengo, IL, Rachel is the eldest of four and graduated in May of 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Politics from Drake University, where she participated in student organizations - Young Democrats, Drake University Voice for Choice (D.U.V.O.C.), Rainbow Union - and sat on the editorial board for Periphery, the undergraduate art and literary magazine.

Ryan Crane, Bilingual Regional Organizer, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Ryan CraneRyan Crane currently works as a Bilingual Regional Organizer at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, where he coordinates volunteers, serves as a liaison between constituents and state legislators, and acts as a public face for the organization at many events. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Ryan held a similar position at One Iowa, the largest non-profit in Iowa working to protect marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Working with the team at One Iowa, he was part of a very successful grassroots campaign that held legislators accountable on several votes on the issue. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, where he double-majored in Communication Studies and Spanish. He also taught Spanish as a graduate assistant while earning his Master's in Spanish. He was on the Dean's List for a total of seven semesters. Ryan enjoys staying healthy and fit in his spare time. When he's not being active, he likes to read and keep up on current events. He goes back to visit family in Council Bluffs, his hometown, as often as his busy schedule permits.
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