About us

2023 Iowa CareGivers (IC) Direct Care Council

Your Peers at Work for You!

As members of the council, we serve as part of Iowa CareGivers' (IC) governance and represent the voice of those in direct care. We offer valuable insight into first-hand experience and knowledge that guides the activities and decisions of the IC Board. We share concerns, identify solutions, and take steps to change the way that people think and talk about direct care. Our voices and your voices matter! Our role on the Council has given us many opportunities to make a difference in our personal and professional lives. Some of those opportunities include:

  • Share information about direct care and Iowa CareGivers with co-workers, employers, friends, and your community
  • Plan and help with our statewide IC conference 
  • Participate in IC programs and events
  • Participate in and promote “Caregiver Conversations” on social media
  • Serve on discussion panels
  • Speak and participate at public forums
  • Educate legislators and others about direct care
  • Give a presentation on direct care issues
  • Plan local small group discussions on direct care
  • Share the “Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” video
  • Serve on committees related to direct care
  • Speak to newspapers and share issues in direct care
  • Submit a letter to the editor of a local newspaper
  • Contribute articles, poems, or letters to the IC HUB newsletter 
  • Attend a Day at the State Capitol
  • Staff an exhibit table at an event
  • Volunteer at the IC Office
  • And many others…


Can You Say Revivification? 😊 We can’t either!  But That’s What We Did.

20 Current, Former, New, and Potential Direct Care Council Members Participated in a Retreat to Revivify from the Past Two Years!!

Board member, Scott Hartsook, donated the lovely Thoreau Center http://www.thethoreaucenter.com/ to hold the meeting and board member, Deb Madison-Levi, donated the funds from her recent Facebook “National Ice Cream Day” fundraiser to help cover the costs of the retreat.  It was a wonderful day of sharing caregiving thoughts and experiences… some joyful and some sad but all extremely meaningful!!  Speakers, Ellen Folkers Jenkins and Julie Spicer, UCS Healthcare, shared information about mental health services sometimes needed to deal with the stress and grief associated with direct care.   Participants then enjoyed a fun but informative presentation by Erik J. Dominguez, Motivational Speaker, Speak Up Stories.  The takeaway from his presentation was the power in their caregiving stories.  Special thanks to all who helped made this day possible, including Iowa CareGivers staff members Pam Biklen and Jerri Adkins.  And with great gratitude to the 20 unbelievably strong, dedicated, and caring individuals who were able to attend.


We're there for you, our peers and IC and IC is there for all of us!

Council Members

Taking Applications

Iowa CareGivers is currently looking for those working in direct care from across the state and a variety of settings to serve on the council. If you or someone you know has a passion for the profession of direct care and a commitment to developing your leadership skills and taking on new roles, this opportunity may be for you! If you are interested in a position on the council, please complete the application below and return to Iowa CareGivers.

Click here for more information on joining the IC Direct Care Council.

Click here to complete the online application form.

If you have questions, contact pam.biklen@iowacaregivers.org.


2023 IC Direct Care Council

Brenda Bowen 
Reinbeck, IA
Northeast Region  
Ann Brighton 

Maynard, IA
Northeast Region

Sally Chapman 
Murray, IA
Southwest Region  
Donna Cheers 
Arispe, IA 
Southwest Region
Connie Cochran 

Leighton, IA
Southeast Region

Mabaene Kolotsane-Wren

Des Moines, IA
Central Region

Karen Kubura 

Urbandale, IA
Central Region

Paula Luther 

State Center, IA
Central Region

Fran Mancl
Hazel Green, WI
Northeast Region

Mary Perez 

Cedar Rapids, IA
Northeast Region  

Cindy Ramer 
Denver, IA
Northeast Region  
Derek Smith 

Oelwein, IA
Northeast Region

Katie Tenney 

Cedar Rapids, IA
Northeast Region


2023 IC Council Advisors

Renee Bernier
Hartley, IA
Northwest Region

Vicky Garske
Montour, IA
Central Region

Leslie Hayenga-Adams 
Terril, IA 
Northwest Region
Michael Owens 
Waterloo, IA 
Northeast Region
Laura Stein 
Webster City, IA 
Northwest Region
Jeff Weinstock
Pella, IA
Central Region

Anthony Wells
Hartley, IA
Northwest Region

If you are interested in serving on the Leadership Council, please contact Pam Biklen 515-729-9729or pam.biklen@iowacaregivers.org