The 712 Initiative has some amazing board members that help our organization run smoothly. We’d like to introduce you to some of the people who’s contributions and insights help make our nonprofit what it is today. Each board member has a unique perspective to bring to our nonprofit and we’re so grateful for their service.

Kristen Blum, Board Chair

Day job: Division Director for Virtual Care Operations with CHI Health

How long have you been involved with The 712 Initiative? 
I’ve been involved since June 2015. I joined the Board for Live Well Council Bluffs and soon discussions about merging with Pottawattamie County Development Corporation and Bluffs Downtown began. We merged in February 2016, and I was lucky enough to be selected to serve on the Board for the new organization.

What drew you to joining The 712 Initiative board? 
I joined the Live Well Council Bluffs Board because I was drawn to the mission to improve the quality of life for those that live in our community through active living, healthy eating and beautification. There was very similar motivation in accepting the opportunity to join The 712 Initiative Board as I believe the organization can have an even greater impact on improving our community with the added emphasis on physical infrastructure, housing, neighborhood engagement and social connectedness.

What is your favorite thing The 712 Initiative does? 
This is about as difficult as picking a favorite food. I get excited about so many of programs and events The 712 Initiative leads and supports through partnerships. I’m really excited about our work in revitalizing single family homes. There are so many layers to the impact of this program from aesthetic improvement to neighborhood and volunteer engagement to providing quality housing stock for single families in a price range that is affordable but hard to come by.

What do you love about Council Bluffs?
I love the sense of community. I grew up in a rural area where that comes pretty naturally. In larger towns and cities it can be a little more difficult to feel that same sense of community and connectedness, but Council Bluffs has it. I didn’t grow up here, but I found it to be an easy place to call home when I moved here 8 years ago.