Get to know our staff below and who is truly behind Green Iowa AmeriCorps.
MEET OUR TEAM
Ashley Craft, CNP | Program Director
Ashley has been with Green Iowa and served as the Program Director since 2010. Her role mainly focuses on large scale program funding projects, grants, member training, and future planning of GIA.
One of Ashley's favorite memories is the 10 Year Anniversary, "To see members and alumni, program partners, and staff all come together to celebrate what a decade of service to Iowa has been felt really incredible. It was a great representation of how far the program has come and the impact it has made." Another gratifying part of Green Iowa for Ashley is seeing members transition into professional careers within this sector. Those moments always make her feel like Green Iowa is making a difference that is exponential.
Ashley became involved with AmeriCorps through serving as a VISTA and VISTA leader in Wyoming and Texas. She wanted to bring her take-a-ways back to her Iowa roots and make that same impact at home. The opportunity for this program to evolve, grow, and work alongside incredible staff has kept Ashley in Iowa for the last 9 years. She believes her role with Green Iowa truly is a dream job.
Carmen Finken | Sustainable Schools
As the Sustainable Schools Program Director, Carmen works closely with members who are serving in the Sustainable Schools branch, as well as interested K-12 Iowa School Districts who are enthusiastic about adopting more environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices.
Her favorite experience with GIA was the ability to work with kids one-on-one and see their passions and interests in environmental stewardship grow. Throughout her time as a member, young children were very responsive to connecting with the outdoors and protecting our natural environment. Carmen wanted to follow that passion by placing AmeriCorps members directly into school districts. She is "so thankful to be able to offer this service to districts here in Iowa, as well as people who are passionate about environmental education."
Carmen first got involved with Green Iowa as a member over 5 years ago, and has states that "it was meant to be."
Leah Baethke | Land & Water Stewards
As the Land & Water Steward Manager, Leah works with our Land & Water Stewards to promote sustainable practices related to urban and rural stormwater issues, conservation, and land management.
She began her journey with Green Iowa in January of 2019 and served two AmeriCorps service terms before joining the program staff in 2020.
Her favorite experience with Green Iowa so far was partnering with The River Network to host a rain barrel event for her community in Iowa City. The opportunity to spread awareness of sustainable water practices and engage with community members fueled her passion for conservation.
Shawn Fluckey | Energy & Community
Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Shawn has been with Green Iowa since May 2018. He completed a summer term, followed by two full-time terms, before joining program staff in August 2020. When Shawn first applied to the program, he had no idea what an energy audit was or what one was used for. Two and a half years later, and being inside more than one hundred homes, Shawn now realizes what a great utility an energy audit can be to a homeowner.
One of his favorite experiences was an energy audit in the summer of 2019. His team spent five and a half hours weatherizing a home, and reduced air infiltration by 25%, saving the homeowner almost $300 in utility bills per year. While $25 a month saved might not seem like a whole lot, for the community members Green Iowa primarily targets, that is a huge difference. That is the benefit of getting an energy audit.
Shawn says, "This experience showed me that, with a little bit of time and effort, you can completely change someone's life."
Brandy Case Haub | Member Support Coordinator
Brandy first became involved with GIA as a Sustainable Schools member, but has extensive experiences with AmeriCorps as a whole.
In her role with GIA staff, Brandy will help with trainings and civic engagement discussions, site visits, reviewing monthly reports and logs, and supporting members throughout their service terms.
Brandy's favorite experiences with Green Iowa were guest teaching in a high school level wildlife ecology class, and hosting goats for a targeted grazing project around the school pond.
She believes that "the work members do at GIA is so valuable for Iowa communities and ecosystems" and can't wait to see what our members accomplish next!
Hannah Luce | GIA Program Assistant
Hannah is an undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa studying Leisure, Youth, and Human Services. As an assistant, Hannah helps around the office with whatever our program staff needs. Her role ranges from maintaining social media presence, organizing member paperwork, aiding with orientations or retreats, and compiling summer steward logistics.
She first became involved with Green Iowa AmeriCorps by serving as a Land and Water Steward at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education in the summer of 2019. During her service term, Hannah's favorite memory was planning the 10-Year Anniversary and seeing the impact of the event on members, agencies, and communities across the state.
She loves coming to work every day "being surrounded by strong, passionate, and encouraging individuals who are invested in our Earth, our members, and our community."