Matt Unger

Chief Executive Officer

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Matt Unger

Matt Unger has been involved in fighting food insecurity for over 10 years including more than 6 years at the Food Bank of Iowa, and the last 3+ as CEO at DMARC.  During his tenure at DMARC, Matt led the organization through the global pandemic, not closing their doors a single day due to COVID-19 while seeing incredible growth in the number of people experiencing food insecurity across greater Des Moines.  2022 ushered in the 70th anniversary of the organization and a $5.7 Million capital campaign to remodel and move to a new headquarters.  This move increased the capacity of the organization to meet the record-breaking number of individuals receiving assistance across the food pantry network and made it possible for DMARC to open their first on-site food pantry.

Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Matt spent more than a dozen years working in the world of political campaigns and management of state government. His political career spanned multiple Iowa Caucus campaigns, Iowa Gubernatorial campaigns, and a four year stint as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Patty Judge. Judge and Unger then partnered in a consulting firm, PJJ Solutions, where they would focus not just on political campaigns, but business and organizational strategy as well as public policy.

Originally from Wisconsin, Matt, a Drake grad, has called Des Moines home for over twenty years, and lives with his wife, Anita, in Beaverdale.

Leslie L. Garman, CFRE

Director of Development and Outreach

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Leslie Garman joined DMARC as the Director of Development and Outreach in May 2017 and brings a wealth of nonprofit, fund development, special event, volunteer organization and communications experience. Organizations with whom she has worked have included nonprofits healthcare, arts and culture, and human service sectors. Locally these have included, Employee & Family Resources (EFR), Junior League of Greater Des Moines, Spina Bifida Association of Iowa, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Chrysalis Foundation, House of Mercy, and the American Heart Association.

As a heart survivor herself, Leslie spent the majority of her career (nearly two decades) with the American Heart Association. While there, she conducted hundreds of special events, assisting communities as they worked to hold educational and advocacy events. Her most recognizable accomplishment in Des Moines include the creation and founding of the greater Des Moines Heart Ball and Go Red for Women (previously known as Nurturing Women’s Hearts).

Leslie is a graduate of Morningside University in Sioux City, Iowa and received her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation in 2013. Today she is active with several organizations, including the Central Iowa chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Mid-Iowa Planned Giving Council, the Windsor Heights Foundation, MOIsson , and the Affinity Breakfast Club.

Rebecca Whitlow

Food Pantry Network Director

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DMARC Food Pantry Network Director since 2012, Ms. Whitlow has over 20 years experience in product merchandising, warehouse operations and distribution of hard goods. She brings substantial skills in inventory and quality controls and expedited transportation and staffing methods that result in cost containment. An expert in building community collaborations and customer relationships, Becky has experience managing $500,000-$1.5 million in product inventory, purchasing, and redistribution operations, and has been instrumental in the design of the new warehouse facility.

With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Marketing and a Sociology minor, she oversees the daily operations of a 14-site food pantry network distribution system serving 54,000 consumers annually, and will be invaluable to the growth of the system. Becky is a gifted speaker and regularly presents to faith, civic and student groups about food access needs in Greater Des Moines, and the work of the food pantry network.

Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott

Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement

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The Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott joined DMARC in August 2017 as the Coordinator of Interfaith Engagement. Sarah works with the diverse faith communities of the greater Des Moines area to support the mission of DMARC, while also creating resources and opportunities to support faith communities in their work. Sarah also partners with The Comparison Project at Drake University in their efforts for interfaith awareness, dialogue, and scholarship.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA working for Northern New Mexico Legal Aid in Gallup, New Mexico, Sarah engaged community and faith leaders around the issue of Domestic Violence. As a hospital chaplain in Philadelphia and Chicago, Sarah supported patients and staff of all religious backgrounds. In parish ministry, first in rural Virginia and later in suburban Des Moines, it was her priority to build relationships beyond the church building and work together with interfaith partners.

Sarah holds a BA in History from the College of St. Scholastica, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and ordination through Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Daniel Beck

Data, Analytics, and Program Coordinator

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Daniel Beck is the Data, Analytics, and Program Coordinator at DMARC. Daniel joined DMARC during the spring/summer of 2010, initially as a volunteer assisting with some construction in the former warehouse, and was hired as staff later in the summer that same year. Daniel’s role within DMARC has been ever-evolving as the organization itself evolves and expands its reach and impact on the community.

Daniel has an educational background in nutrition and exercise science, and worked in this field as a nutrition advisor and personal trainer while attending Northwest Mississippi Community College and University of Mississippi. He began work with DMARC shortly after moving back to Iowa, leaving his position as a nutritionist soon after. Daniel is a passionate advocate for communities in need, particularly in the areas of nutrition equity, and medical/mental health access.

In his time away from work Daniel loves cooking (decently), reading, listening to podcasts, playing quite a few sports, exercising, storm watching/chasing, stargazing, and listening to music.

Joe Dolack

Operations Manager

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Joe joined the DMARC team in April 2013, and as Operations Manager he oversees different programs within the DMARC Food Pantry Network. Joe helped build the Mobile Food Pantry Program from its infancy. The Mobile Food Pantry Program has more than double in size since 2016. Joe enjoys helping lead DMARC’s frontline programs.

Joe attended Westwood College and Lewis University studying Criminal Justice. Joe relocated to Des Moines in 2012. While never seeing himself as an Iowan in the past Joe is now a proud transplant, with deep roots in Iowa.

Joe enjoys being outside, wandering around the metro thrifting in his time off, along with cooking and watching documentary films.

Luke Elzinga

Policy & Advocacy Manager

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Luke Elzinga joined DMARC in April of 2014. As Policy & Advocacy Manager, he directs DMARC’s advocacy efforts around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other nutrition and anti-poverty programs on the local, state, and national level.

Luke earned his BA from Iowa State University in 2012. He previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Montana Legal Services Association in Helena, Montana. Luke is a 2017 fellow of the New Leaders Council Des Moines Chapter and is currently a HealthConnect Fellow with Mid-Iowa Health Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Iowa Hunger Coalition, and has previously served on the boards of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Des Moines and dsmHack.

In his free time, Luke enjoys cooking, reading, documentary films, board games, and spending time with his wife, daughter, two cats, and dog.

Kelly Erickson

Accounting & Office Manager

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Kelly joined DMARC in April 2023. As Accounting & Office Manager, Kelly is responsible for all accounting and finance administrative duties. Kelly is a lifelong Iowan that lives in Indianola, IA with her family. She has several years of experience in both the insurance industry and general accounting. In her free time, she is a fan of family time – especially enjoying games and movies with her kids.

Carl Evans

Grant Writing and Storytelling Manager

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Carl grew up in central Iowa farming with his family. After high school, he joined the Marine Corps and served with Echo Company right here in Des Moines when they were deployed to Desert Storm.

He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Juvenile Justice. Carl has over 20 years of experience in grant writing, fundraising, program development and management, nonprofit management, and board development in the nonprofit sector.

In his free time, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and being in the outdoors hunting, fishing, or riding his motorcycle.

Andrew Firestine

DMARC-ket Food Pantry Manager

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Andrew joined DMARC in November of 2018 as a facilitator of the Mobile Food Pantry program before becoming the DMARC-ket Southside Pantry Manager in Fall of 2022. Andrew graduated in 2022 from Simpson College with a bachelors in Business Management with plans to purse his education further.

In his free time Andrew enjoys cooking, gaming, 3D printing and spending time with his girlfriend, two dogs and five cats  (“yes I know that is a lot of pets”).

Sarah McCory

DMARC-ket Food Pantry Associate

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Sarah joined DMARC in February 2023 becoming the first DMARC-ket Food Pantry Associate. Sarah works with pantry visitors to ensure they receive quality service and support and ensures the DMARC-ket remains fully stocked and ready when patrons arrive.


Amanda Parkins

Volunteer & Outreach Manager

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Amanda Parkins joined DMARC as the Volunteer and Outreach Manger in September 2022. Previously, Amanda has worked in human service positions for 5 years with a variety of experience in family dynamics, dependent adult care, background history, volunteer recruitment, and involvement within the community. Amanda is always open to learning new things, taking on new opportunities and working effectively with diverse populations.

Amanda enjoys traveling to new places and experiencing new environments to make memories with her friends and family. She loves cooking to explore different tastes and to entertain guests over a meal. And she partakes in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking to enjoy natural environments.

Amanda is a graduate of Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology in 2018. Amanda is very enthusiastic to serve others in her community and enjoys taking initiative in helping others.


Monica Curl

Development & Outreach Associate

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Michelle Chumbley

Warehouse Associate

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Michelle Chumbley
Michelle Chumbley joined DMARC as a Warehouse Associate in September 2022. In her role, Michelle manages inventory, picks orders for DMARC’s partner food pantries, and unloads and loads trucks with food. Michelle graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Sociology and Environmental Studies. She is a proud lifelong resident of the south side. Michelle enjoys outdoor recreation (especially kayaking and paddle boarding), spending time with her Beagle, and is a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan.

Blake Willadsen

Marketing & Communications Manager

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(515) 277-6969 x 227

Blake Willadsen joined DMARC in January of 2023. As Marketing & Communications Manager, he directs DMARC’s communications efforts for all external audiences and ensures that DMARC is seen as the first call in the public conversation around food insecurity in the Des Moines Metro.

Blake graduated from Simpson College in 2017 with a degree in Marketing and has assisted in different capacities at the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department and most recently Iowa Homeless Youth Centers – A YSS Community Organization.

Blake is a lifelong Iowan and media nerd. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Hannah, dog Winston, and growing family. You might also spot Blake training year-round for his next marathon on the roads and trails of Des Moines.


Patrick Minor

Mobile Food Pantry Associate

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Max Douglas

Local Route Driver


Dennis Minarich

Warehouse Associate

Meronica Breedlove

Warehouse & Food Pantry Associate