Sheryl leads the team in overseeing the economic vitality in redevelopment areas (specifically the Downtown), activating public spaces and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Garst holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and is AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) certified. Prior to this she was the Director of Redevelopment for the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce where she managed the day to day operations of the Pottawattamie County Development Corporation (a parent organization for The 712 Initiative). She has past experience in the planning and implementation of redevelopment projects, developing and managing the Council Bluffs Downtown Revitalization Fund, and regional planning. In her career she’s served on numerous boards, commissions and professional organizations including the American Planning Association, Daily Nonpareil Difference Maker, Lincoln Fairview Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, Council Bluffs Historic Preservation Alliance Board of Directors, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation Board of Directors, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency Citizen’s Advisory Council. She also was appointed to the City of Council Bluffs City Council in 2011 to serve a 9-month vacancy. In her spare time Garst spends time with husband Matt and three children George, Audrey and Morgan.
Director of Events & Programming
Creating a strong emotional connection to our community and a true sense of belonging is the primary goal for Jeff Snow, our Director of Events & Programming. Jeff holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Pittsburg State University and adds a ‘big picture’ mindset to the 712 team. Prior to The 712 Initiative, Jeff spent the majority of his career in collegiate athletics cultivating community experiences for athletes, fans, and donors. Snow has spent 10 years in the metro area and is excited to target is efforts on fostering community engagement right here in Council Bluffs. Jeff serves on the Board of Trustees for the Public Library, the Parks Commission, and contributes to the efforts of the Council Bluffs Image Campaign. Outside of the office Jeff enjoys family time with his wife Kayla and two kids (Asher & Rowan). As a family the Snows prefer to be outside, enjoying one of our public parks, hiking at Hitchcock Nature Center or kayaking around Lake Manawa.
Director of Redevelopment
Lynn grew up on a farm outside of Remsen, IA and attended Iowa State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning. Lynn is very excited to be with The 712 Initiative as she is passionate about the region in which she lives. For Lynn, building on the momentum already here and encouraging new economic opportunities for this community is meaningful work. Her previous work with Omaha/Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency and JEO Consulting provided her with experience in grant writing and administration, strategic planning, as well as facilitation. When not working on redevelopment projects or attending Farmers Market Council Bluffs, Lynn keeps busy in the garden, biking with the family, chasing the kids around, or cheering on the Cyclones.
Turner is a lifelong resident of Council Bluffs and a firm believer in the power of collaboration. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Creighton University and came to The 712 Initiative with 8 years of nonprofit experience with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. Turner is grateful for the opportunity work in his hometown, bringing neighbors and stakeholders together to find solutions to problems and help creative projects materialize. On his days off, you can find Turner tending to his backyard flock of chickens, or plopped on the front porch with his wife Abby and son J.J. Murphy. Turner is the current president of the Gibraltar Neighborhood Association and an active board member for ImpactCB.
Director of Marketing & PR
Rachel wears many hats at The 712 Initiative, including marketing, communications, design and public relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has her CNP (Certified Nonprofit Professional) credential. Rachel came to The 712 Initiative straight out of college, with 4 years of experience in social media, communications and media relations. She loves being able to help the public understand what The 712 Initiative is doing through her work. Rachel is the current communications co-chair for ynpnGO and is an active member of ImpactCB. She is an AmeriCorps NCCC alum and has been awarded a Silver Congressional Award and Silver Presidential Award for her service. In her spare time Rachel enjoys spending time with family, fostering cats, traveling and going to concerts.