Board of Directors Profiles
Dr. Norm Nielsen, Chairman
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 holds advanced degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. He has served on the Aspire Resources Inc. board since 2006.
Ken Haynie, Vice Chairman
Retired Attorney, Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
Ken Haynie of Des Moines served as an attorney with Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., and its predecessor firms since he received his law degree with distinction, Order of the Coif, from University of Michigan Law School in 1957 until his retirement in 2002. He also holds a degree from DePauw University in Indiana and serves on the board of directors for Casey's General Stores. Haynie has served on the Aspire board since 2006.
Dr. John Hartung
Before taking on his current role as consultant on job coaching, placement and fundraising for not-for-profits in 2008, Dr. John Hartung was president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities 1984 through 2007. He previously served as vice president for college relations and associate professor of education at Simpson College in Iowa and as vice president for academic affairs, professor of education/psychology and coach at Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota. Hartung has also taught and coached at the high school level. He received his doctorate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1973 and currently serves on the boards of the Iowa Sports Foundation, Iowa Higher Education Loan Authority, Dakota Wesleyan University and Iowa Senior Olympics. Hartung has served on the Aspire board since 2009.
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.
Chairman of the Board, Fidelity Bancorp
Dolph Leytze serves as chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer for Fidelity Bancorp and as chairman of the board for BankIowa in Independence, Iowa. From 1980 to 2005, Dolph Leytze served as president and CEO of BankIowa, which he joined in 1974 after working at Merchants National Bank in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Leytze has served on many boards over his career and still serves on an advisory board for Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has a degree from the University of Iowa and has served on the Aspire board since 2009.
Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Iowa Student Loan
Walter Witthoff began his career with Iowa Student Loan in 1990, and he currently directs and oversees its corporate regulatory and legal compliance efforts. Witthoff received his bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University and his master's degree from Drake University. He is active in the consumer credit industry and co-chairs the National Council of Higher Education Loan Program private loan committee. Witthoff has earned the Institute of Certified Bankers' Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager designation, a recognized standard of knowledge and competence for regulatory compliance professionals working in the financial services industry. Witthoff has served on the Aspire board since 2001.