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 her husband Matt and three children George, Audrey, and Morgan.
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.
Director of Donor Relations and Communications
Katie grew up in in Hudsonville, MI and moved to Chicago to attend college. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Sociology from DePaul University as well as a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy. Katie has over a decade of nonprofit experience and has a passion for supporting the community. Katie is a member of Rotary and a Leadership Council Bluffs Alumni. In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, finding the newest taco joints, and spending time with her husband Andrew and their twin boys, Will and Trey.
Construction Project Manager
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 to 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 a member of the Gibraltar Neighborhood Association and ImpactCB.
Director of Programming and Events
Amber’s bio is coming soon!
Cieandra was born and raised in Council Bluffs where she graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. She then continued her education at Iowa State University graduating with a Communication Studies degree. She returned to Council Bluffs and did all the things you do in your 20’s… bartended, skydived, traveled a bit, played intermural sports, bought a new car, became a homeowner and got married to Jared. Jared came along with his son, Gaige (who is attending ISU) and they now have two girls, Adlee and Lyric. Cieandra recently graduated from Leadership Council Bluffs. These days, Cieandra keeps herself busy with Council Bluffs Noon Rotary, coaching and watching youth sports, gardening, community volunteering, alumni events, crafting, and being a Girl Scout Leader.
Join Our Team
We are hiring! We have two exciting job opportunities to contribute to the overall success of the Council Bluffs community.
Farmers Market Council Bluffs Manager
The Farmers Market Council Bluffs Manager is a part-time seasonal position requiring approximately 6-8 hours per week (primarily on market day held every Thursday from 4:30 – 7:30 pm) May through September. Learn more about the position here.