Barbara Codjoe – Chairperson Barb Codjoe is the Director of Human Resources at the City of Ottumwa. Barb holds a B.A in Business with a minor in Labor and Employee Relations and an MBA in business with a Human Resources emphasis. Barb is a native of Southeastern Iowa and has lived and worked in many different states in the US. Barb moved to Ottumwa in 2018 with her husband and two sons. Barb is involved in Little League and also works closely with the Sieda Head Start program.

Tom Lazio – Vice Chair Tom Lazio has spent his entire professional life working with children and families. He retired after 45 years as the Director of American Home Finding Association, a family service agency. Tom possesses extensive grant knowledge, having worked on a number of state and federal grants. He also brings forth a wealth of non-profit board experience and has served as both past President of the Ottumwa Regional Health Center Board and past President and member of the Ottumwa School Board, where he served for 13 years. In December of 2013, Tom was elected as Mayor of Ottumwa.  Other organizations of which Tom has been a part include the Coalition of Families and Children Services in Iowa and the Domestic Violence Board, among many others. Tom is a graduate of the University of Iowa. He and his wife Peg have 4 grown children.

Himar Hernandez – Secretary/Treasurer

Originally from the Canary Islands, Spain, Himar came to Iowa as an exchange student at the age of 15. He is the State Assistant Director for Community and Economic Development for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Prior to his current position Himar served as Field Specialist in the same unit for eight years. Before joining ISUEO, Himar was the Director of the New Iowan Center in South East Iowa.

Himar is co-author of several research papers and his work in small rural communities has been featured in CNN, Good Morning America, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal and NBC Today. He received the Passport to Prosperity Award in 2013 and was named one of 14 people to watch by the Des Moines Register. Himar is a graduate from the National Extension Leadership Program.

Himar, his wife Amy and two daughters, Belén and Noelia, live in Ottumwa.

Kelly Genners – Kelly is the President/CEO of the Ottumwa Legacy Foundation.  She brings over 20 years of expertise working in the not-for-profit sector in the community, health and education arenas. Kelly holds an AA Degree from Indian Hills Community College, a Business Administration Degree from Buena Vista University and a Master of Science Degree with a Community Development emphasis from Iowa State University. In addition to the RW Board, Kelly serves as a Director on the IHCC Regional Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board, Ottumwa Community Schools Career Campus Advisory Board and Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress Board.

John Helgerson

Zach Simonson – Zach Simonson grew up in Ottumwa and returned home to work in public service in 2017. As Community Development Director for the City of Ottumwa, Zach works directly on issues of housing, economic development and long-term planning. Zach has a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa. In addition to Rippling Waters, Zach sits on the Main Street Ottumwa Economic Vitality Committee and the Legacy Foundation Bright Ideas Committee.

Hannah Troxel