Board of Directors Profiles
Dr. Norm Nielsen, Chair
President Emeritus, Kirkwood Community College
Dr. Norm Nielsen serves as president emeritus of Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was president of Kirkwood from 1985 until he retired in 2005. Nielsen joined Kirkwood in 1979 as a vice president after working as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent of schools in the Iowa public school system. After retiring from Kirkwood, Nielsen served as interim chancellor of Houston Community College in 2006 – 2007. He is past president of the League for Innovation in the Community College and has been awarded Iowa State University's Distinguished Achievement Citation and Laureate Award for prestigious service, educational leadership and personal commitment to the teaching profession, as well as the Marie Y. Martin award for community college leadership from the Association of Community College Trustees. Nielsen also received the Distinguished Alumnus award from both University of Iowa and Buena Vista University where he now serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He also served as Interim President of Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Nielsen holds advanced degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. He has served on the Aspire Resources Inc. board since 2006.
Dr. John Hartung, Vice Chair
Before his current role as a consultant on job coaching, placement and fundraising for not-for-profits, Hartung was president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities. A graduate of Grinnell College, he earned his Master's from the University of South Dakota and PhD from SIU - Carbondale. Hartung previously served as vice president for college relations and associate professor at Simpson College and as vice president for academic affairs, professor and coach at Dakota Wesleyan University. He currently serves on the boards of the Iowa Sports Foundation, Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority, and the Drake Relays Executive Committee. He and his wife, Joan, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Catherine "Kay" E. Beyerink
Retired Chief Executive Officer, Telco Triad Community Credit Union
Kay Beyerink retired in 2013 after serving as CEO of Telco Triad Community Credit Union in Sioux City. She has served in many officer positions with the Northwest Iowa Chapter of Credit Unions. She is a past director and has served on numerous committees with the Iowa Credit Union League. Beyerink is a member of the Noon Sertoma Club and the T.T.T. Chapter AC, and she has worked for many years at the community level for the Children's Miracle Network, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce. She is past president of the Better Business Bureau of Siouxland. Beyerink was elected to the Aspire board in July 2013.
Shareholder, Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
Before joining Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., in 1994, John Hintze was senior vice president and general counsel for Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Des Moines. After receiving his law degree with distinction, Order of the Coif, from the University of Iowa in 1973, Hintze was a partner at Davis, Hockenberg, Wine, Brown, Koehn & Shors in Des Moines and a founder and shareholder at Sheerer, Hintze and Templer, P.C. He has served on the boards for the Blank Park Zoo Foundation, the Iowa Association of Business & Industry, the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the West Des Moines Development Corporation, among many others. Hintze has served on the Aspire board since 2001.
President and CEO, Midwest Heritage Bank
Tony Kaska joined Midwest Heritage in 1992. He was promoted to president and chief executive officer in 2009. Tony currently lives in Chariton, IA. He is a past board member of the Lucas County Development Corp. and currently serves on the board of Chariton Arts and Recreation, current board member on Shazam, serves on the Greater Des Moines Partnership Regional Workforce Development/Education Committee and a member of the Iowa Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. Tony is a native of Mount Pleasant. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Northeast Missouri State and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Boulder.