Board of Directors

Kirk Johnson | Waukee Leadership Institute

Terry Snyder

Executive Director, Class of 2012

Terry Snyder is a 2012 Waukee Leadership Institute graduate. Terry grew up in Atlanta, GA, and Memphis, TN. She graduated from Arkansas State University in 1973 and has lived in Waukee for the past 25 years with her husband, Rick. Terry and Rick have one son, Richie, a 1996 graduate of Waukee High School. She has had a photography business in Waukee for the past 24 years, Terry Snyder Photography on SE Alice’s Road. Terry has received many awards and accolades over the years including: 2014 Waukee Citizen of the Year, 2015 Graduate of the Waukee Citizen Police Academy, 2015 Waukee YMCA Adult Volunteer of the Year and 1992 Des Moines Metro YMCA Volunteer of the Year, 2015 Waukee Leadership Institute Alumni of the Year, 2012 Waukee Leadership Institute President’s Award, two-time Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year, two-time National Association of Professional Women as ‘”Woman of the Year,” and recently recognized by Women of Distinction Magazine as a “Distinguished Professional in Her Field.” Terry has served on many boards in Waukee including the Waukee Lions Club, Waukee Kiwanis Club, Waukee Crimestoppers, Waukee YMCA Board of Directors (12 years), Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce (2 years), and as Co-Founder and past President of the Waukee Area Historical Society. In her free time she takes care of her three grandchildren during the summer breaks.on, Ava, and Amiah.

Matt Klein

Past President, Class of 2011

Matt Klein is a 2011 Graduate of the Waukee Leadership Institute. He is the Vice President of Relationship Banking for Central Bank in Waukee. Matt Graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Economics and Business Administration. Matt served as the President of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and has volunteered on multiple civic and non-profit volunteer organizations. Matt is married with two children. His son attends South Middle School in Waukee.

Rick Kyser

President, Class of 2018 

Operations Manager at Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber in Waukee.

Rick was in the Waukee Leadership Class of 2017. He currently sits on the WLI Board as Vice President. Rick graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Agriculture Education/Animal Science.

Rick started working at Payless Cashways Lumber in Lincoln right out of college and continues that Lumberyard career today with Gilcrest/Jewett. Rick and his wife, Sue, have been married for 35 years now and they moved to Waukee six years ago from Nebraska. Rick and Sue are members of the Waukee United Methodist Church and they both enjoy golfing out at Sugar Creek. They have two married daughters and three grandchildren that keep them busy!


Ashton Ellis

Vice-President, Class of 2018

Ashton Ellis is 2018 graduate of the Waukee Leadership Institute. Originally from Alabama, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science from Auburn University. With over 11 years of experience in the retirement industry, she is currently a Consulting Analyst at Principal®. Ashton relocated to Waukee in 2014 after marrying her husband, Jon, an Iowa native. Ashton is active in the community volunteering with the Junior League of Des Moines and Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG).


Rachel Pfundstein


Rachel is originally from northeast Iowa, but has been in the Des Moines area for the past 9 years.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drake University with a B.S. in Management and an Insurance concentration.  She later earned her Master of Business Administration with an area of specialization in Executive Development.  Prior to her time at Drake, she spent two years at the University of Illinois – Springfield playing collegiate volleyball.

Rachel is a proud new resident of Waukee, both at home and at work.  She serves as a Senior Client Service Consultant for Holmes Murphy & Associates.  There she is responsible for developing and managing the scope of services for clients, including the overall healthcare strategy and financial budget; leading client strategy meetings and developing relationships with client partners; ensuring clients are kept abreast of new product offerings, capabilities and tools, and legal and compliance updates; and overseeing, negotiating, and analyzing insurance carrier proposals.  She has active Iowa insurance licenses in Life, Accident, and Health.

Rachel is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Community Leadership Program (Class of 2016), and a member of the Young Professionals Connection and the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.  She is a long-time volunteer for the United Way of Central Iowa Book Buddy program.  In her spare time, Rachel loves spending time with family and friends, playing recreational volleyball, attending music concerts, and enjoying weekends at the Lake!


Kathy Hull

Treasurer, Class of 2009


Mayor Bill Peard | Waukee Leadership Institute

Mayor Bill Peard

Co-Founder, Class of 2007

The Honorable Bill Peard is the Mayor of Waukee and a co-founder and graduate of the Waukee Leadership Institute. Bill is Executive Vice President of the Iowa Cable and Telecommunications Association (ICTA) where he works with local, state, federal and community leaders on issues related to the communications industry. He also serves on several boards and committees including the Iowa Public Information Board. Bill has been the Mayor of Waukee since 2006, and prior to that spent eight years on the City Council. Bill received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He and his wife Linda have two sons, Brady and Tanner, and live in Waukee.

Patrick Green

Board Member

Pat is a Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo Government Relations.  He coordinates Wells Fargo’s legislative and political agenda in the Midwest West Region, which includes five states: Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri..

Pat has been with the Wells Fargo Government Relations and Public Policy team since 2005, and has more than 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. He administers involvement in state bankers associations and other state trade groups, and manages Wells Fargo grassroots/grasstops initiatives in these markets.  In addition, he manages Wells Fargo Political Action Committee fundraising and disbursement activities in his service area.

Pat serves on various state bankers legislative committees in states that he covers.  He is also actively involved with the American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Council of State Governments, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pat has been a Waukee resident since 2003 and has previously served on the Waukee Board of Appeals and the Waukee Community and Economic Development Advisory Council.  In addition, Pat volunteers for the United Way of Central Iowa, Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, and the National Marrow Donor Program.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University and is a passionate fan of Cyclone Athletics.  Pat is married and has a daughter.

Chris McLinden

Board Member, Class of 2008

Chris McLinden is the President of Axis Human Capital, Inc., a national, full service, permanent search, and recruiting firm headquartered in Waukee, Iowa. Mr. McLinden has been in the human capital marketplace for over fifteen years and has presented at numerous national human capital symposiums including the Fast Company Talent Labs series ( He has been quoted in various publications including the New York Times,, The Des Moines Business Record, The Des Moines Register, and the Dallas County News on issues and trends in the labor markets in Iowa and nationwide. He has also been featured on Marketplace, a half-hour weekday program heard on almost 300 National Public Radio radio stations nationwide as well as on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. A graduate of St Ambrose University, Davenport Iowa, Mr. McLinden has also done post graduate work at Bradley University, Peoria, IL and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Des Moines AM Foundation, the Business Administration Advisory Board at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), the Waukee Community & Economic Development Board, and is the past President of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Des Moines AM.

Talia Farmer | Waukee Leadership Institute

Jenni Pierce

Board Member, Class of 2017

Jenni is a 2016-2017 graduate of the Waukee Leadership Institute.   After graduating with a BA in Finance from Iowa State University she started her career in banking in the DSM metro.  She naturally moved to management roles allowing her to exercise her leadership skills.  She currently leads State Savings Bank in West Des Moines on the business side of banking as their Commercial Cash Management Officer. She works directly with business clients building valuable relationships and enhancing their banking needs.  Her and her family reside in the Waukee School District.  If she’s not spending time with her family, working, or being involved in the community you can find her putting miles on her running shoes on the trails or treadmill.  Being a mother of 2 young children, wife of a business owner and meeting the demands of her career she finds running is the best way organize her day, keep a positive attitude and create harmony in her life.  Well, running & coffee.