Reaching Higher Iowa Announces Addition to Board of Directors

View the press release below regarding Chairman of CBE, Tom Penaluna and him being appointed to Reaching Higher Iowa’s Board of Directors.

Reaching Higher Iowa Announces Addition to Board of Directors

Urbandale, IA – Today, Reaching Higher Iowa (RHI) announced that Tom Penaluna has been appointed to its Board of Directors. Tom is the founder and Chairman of CBE Companies, headquartered in Cedar Falls. He previously served as Chairman of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber and as a Waterloo City Council Member. Penaluna has been instrumental in the founding and growth of the Leader Valley Council, an education and business partnership in the Cedar Valley.

Reaching Higher Iowa founder and President Mark Jacobs said, “We are thrilled with the addition of Tom to our board. He is a well-respected business leader who has made a strong commitment to improving educational outcomes in Iowa. He will be an asset to our board and organization.”

The full slate of directors consists of statewide business and community leaders committed to improving educational outcomes for all of Iowa’s K-12 students. The Reaching Higher Iowa Board now includes:

  • John Butler, Executive Chairman, Cottingham & Butler and past chair of Iowa Association of Business and Industry; Dubuque
  • Allison Fleming, former Chair, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and child advocate; Des Moines
  • N. Brian Gentry, Senior Counsel, Consumer Lending and Corporate Regulatory Division, Wells Fargo and former member of the Iowa State Board of Education; Des Moines
  • Kelli Grubbs, founder, Victory Enterprises, Inc. and Chair of Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce; Davenport
  • Dan Houston, President and CEO, Principal Financial Group and member, Iowa Business Council; Des Moines
  • Mark Jacobs, founder and President, Reaching Higher Iowa & retired CEO, Reliant Energy;West Des Moines
  • Sheila Laing, Executive Vice President, Hy-Vee and former Chariton CSD board member; Chariton
  • Ben McLean, President and CEO, Ruan Transportation and Vice Chair, Iowa Business Council; Des Moines
  • Dave Miles, Chairman and principal owner, Miles Capital Inc. and former Chair of the Iowa Board of Regents; Dallas Center
  • Tom Penaluna, Chairman of CBE Companies and past Chairman of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber; Cedar Falls
  • Daryl Schraad, President of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health- North America; Des Moines
  • Connie Wimer, Chairwoman, Business Publications Corp.; Des Moines
  • Charese Yanney, Managing Partner, Guarantee Roofing, Siding and Insulation Co. and past chair of Iowa Association of Business and Industry; Sioux City

About Reaching Higher Iowa
Reaching Higher Iowa is a 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 2013. RHI is committed to improving the effectiveness of our educational system to provide opportunities for every child and family. Reaching Higher Iowa is focused on raising public awareness and advocating on four key areas of policy change: effectively measuring and reporting student progress data, providing access to high quality non-profit public charter schools, supporting educators with professional development at all levels, and attracting and retaining high quality people to the education field.


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