DMARC Names New Board Members and Leadership

Outgoing President John Whalin receives a plaque from incoming President Emily Webb.

On March 12, 2019, DMARC held its annual spring delegate assembly and named three new board members and new board leadership for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Denise Bubeck, Rev. Rachel Mithelman, and Stuart Oxer were all named to DMARC’s Board of Directors. You can find a short bio on each of them below.

Emily Webb was named DMARC’s new President, and is the youngest person (we think!) to hold the position of President in DMARC’s 67-year history. You can also learn more about Emily below.

DMARC would also like to thank the following board members who completed their terms of service: Rabbi David Kaufman (six years), Doug Ventling (six years), and John Whalin (six years). Your leadership and guidance has been an incredible asset to our organization.

DMARC Board of Directors, FY 2019-2020

Emily Webb, President
Matt Durham, President-elect
Catherine Swoboda, Vice President
Ihsan Yaseen, Secretary
Thomas Cross, Treasurer
Jodi Mead, Past President
Dale Bentlage
Denise Bubeck
Tom Chapman
Joy Esposito
Julie McMillin
Rev. Rachel Mithelman
Christ Naumann
Stuart Oxer
Matt Strawn
Ron Beane (advisory)

Denise Bubeck

Denise Bubeck had the privilege of growing up in a minister’s home where she developed her passion for connecting with people. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Early Childhood from Crown College. She spent several years teaching as she and her husband raised their two sons. Denise has and continues to volunteer in a variety of capacities including political endeavors, the local food pantry, a refugee organization, an advisory board member for Iowans Supporting Israel, and her church. As a recent cancer survivor Denise now partners with cancer patients on their journey through a local non-profit organization. Currently, Denise is employed with a non-profit as part of a Church Ambassador Network where she provides opportunities for pastors and clergy to build intentional relationships with elected officials at the state and federal level. She and her husband live near Grimes.

Rev. Rachel Mithelman

Pastor Mithelman has served both rural and urban congregations in Minnesota, California, Wisconsin and now serves St. John’s Lutheran in downtown Des Moines. Her passions in ministry have always included preaching and worship and holding the needs of the community before the eyes of those she is called to serve. Board activities have been related to ELCA hunger ministries as well as local food shelf ministries, along with the issues of domestic violence, full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the church and access for all to the arts.

Stuart Oxer

Stuart Oxer is a local CPA and businessman with 30 years of experience working in accounting and manufacturing. Mr. Oxer earned his B.A in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his MBA from the University of Arizona. Stuart and his wife Wendi live in Clive and have two grown children and a golden retriever. Stuart has been active in the Jewish community since moving to Iowa in 1999.

Get to Know DMARC’s New President Emily Webb

Emily Webb is an attorney for Businessolver in Des Moines and was recently appointed to serve as DMARC’s President. She enjoys spending time with her husband Nick and their three cats. She is an avid runner and will be racing the Boston Marathon in 2020. She aspires to use her time and talents to ensure that all people have fair and equal opportunities to thrive in Central Iowa.

When did you first hear about DMARC, and how did you get involved with the organization?
I got involved with DMARC originally through my workplace at the time. We were doing a food drive and I was interested in donating and then seeing if I could volunteer more. I was new to the Des Moines area and I was looking for places that I could support that focused on meeting the needs of the community. DMARC was a perfect fit as it aligned with my values and provided multiple avenues to get involved at various levels.

Aside from serving on the board, how else have you been involved with DMARC?
I have had the opportunity to serve DMARC in many ways ranging from volunteering at the warehouse to sitting on the Development Committee to fund-raise and broaden our donor base. Perhaps one of the most significant and unique ways I have gotten involved at DMARC outside of sitting on the Board has been to create and establish a group called Young & Hungry – a network for younger people to get involved in DMARC’s work. Through Young & Hungry, DMARC has been able to reach a broader audience and host events that are more targeted at a different generation of supporters than its norm. I also have served on multiple committees including the new committee for the inaugural event, Spring Greens – it’s on May 23 and please join us!

Why are you passionate about addressing food insecurity in our community?
I see food as a basic human right and necessary not only for survival, but for a leading a productive life where people are encouraged to thrive. Hunger is both a violation of human dignity and an obstacle to social and economic progress. Addressing this issue, along with other basic human needs, will encourage equality and opportunities for everyone in our community.

What role do you see DMARC as having in our community?
Practically, DMARC’s role in the community is obvious – it is a distribution network for Central Iowa food pantries. But I see DMARC’s role in the community more broadly – as a network of people who are advocates for change. As such, DMARC sees the need for systemic change in our community. The organization engages in advocacy work with local leaders to raise the issue of food insecurity, affordable housing, the rising costs of childcare, and the increasing costs of healthcare. DMARC realizes none of these issues exist in a vacuum but instead all work together to create systemic poverty. We work to seek solutions through policy and advocacy action.

What has been your favorite experience serving with DMARC?
For me, the best experiences at DMARC occur when I am learning more about food insecurity and poverty in Central Iowa and how DMARC is working and partnering with other organizations to address these same issues. Specifically, DMARC has been a leader in developing technology to capture data about clients utilizing the food pantries. Because of this, DMARC is able to educate community leaders about who is utilizing the pantries and why, which helps us all understand what potential solutions could be. Every time I get the opportunity to be a part of these meetings, I am impressed and proud to be part of an organization that is truly fighting for solutions that will systemically work our clients.

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