Culver appoints board to hand out I-JOBS grants

Almost a decade ago former Governor Tom Vilsack appointed a high-profile, 13-member board — led by I-Cubs owner Michael Gartner — to negotiate with cities vying for "Vision Iowa" grants from the state.  (All the grants have been awarded.)

Last Friday, current Governor Chet Culver appointed a six-member board to hand out the I-JOBS grants from the state. (Board member Kate Gronstal is the daughter of Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal. Jeff Pomerantz is not the son of Marvin Pomerantz, the long-time Republican Party benefactor who died last summer. Pomerantz was the father of four daughters.)

Here is the list of I-JOBS Board members and their bios, as released by Culver's staff:

Jeff Pomeranz, Chair – Pomeranz has served as the City Manager for the City of West Des Moines since 1998. Prior to that he served as the City Manager in Port Angeles, Washington for eight years and as the City Manager in Del Rio, TX for five years. He is an executive board member of the Iowa League of Cities and is an Adjunct Professor at Drake University. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1980 and an M.P.A from the University of Alabama in 1982.

Pat Baird, Vice-Chair – Pat Baird began his career at AEGON USA in 1976. He has served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Tax and was appointed to his current position in March 2002.  Baird is a past Chair and now a member of the Kirkwood Community College Foundation, a Priority One Board Member, and a member of the Waypoint Board of Trustees.  He received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa in 1976 and became a CPA in 1978. 

Willard (Sandy) Boyd – Boyd is a Professor of Law and President Emeritus at the University of Iowa.  He served as the President of the University of Iowa from 1969 – 1981, and as interim president in 2002-2003.  Following his retirement he joined the U of I Law School Faculty, and in 2002, he founded the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center in Iowa City.   

Joni Dittmer – Dittmer has served as a Training Manager for Kraft Foods in Davenport since 2001. In addition, she is a licensed social worker and has run a private counseling practice since 2002. She serves on the Health and Human Services Committee of Scott County, the Condemnation Appraisal Jury, Scott County Jail Committee, and was elected to the North Scott School Board in 2005.  She received a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Iowa, and resides in Eldridge. 

Kate Gronstal – Gronstal is a Project Engineer for HNTB Corporation in Omaha, NE.  She also has experience as a bridge engineer with the Schemmer Associates Inc in Council Bluffs and the Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers in Omaha.  She is a member of the Iowa Humanities Board, the Generation Iowa Commission, the Iowa Engineering Society, the Bluffs Arts Council, and Leadership Council Bluffs.  She received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2000, and an M.P.A in Public Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2001.         

Toi Sullivan – Sullivan has worked as an Architect for FEH Associates in Sioux City since 1999.  She serves as a committee member on the Sioux City Design Standards Committee.  She has also served on the Leadership Siouxland Board since 2001 and recently became the Board President.  She received a B.S. in Architecture and Environmental Design from North Dakota State University in 1992. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Why not list that she is Sen. Gronstal’s daughter? How is that not relevant to her new post?

  2. If she had to report nepotism in Iowa politics every time it occurred she wouldn’t have any time to cover news.

  3. Kay, your blog is usually full of insight, and “connecting-the-dots” unlike any other reporter in the state. Informing your readers that she is the Majority Leader’s daughter, I believe, is something that you willingly overlooked and did not report on your blog. I’m just disappointed, that’s all. I will continue to read your nearly always unbiased blog.

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