Names & Notes

Upah joins United Bank & Trust staff

United Bank & Trust recently announced Sam Upah has joined its staff as a Commercial Loan Officer.

Upah has experience in the financial services industry, most recently employed with Lincoln Savings Bank as a Credit Analyst and Portfolio Manager. Prior to banking, he was a Grain Origination and Elevator Manager for Agvantage FS. In his new role at United Bank & Trust, Upah is managing a commercial and agriculture loan portfolio and building relationships with customers and community members.

“Sam’s prior experience as a Credit Analyst adds value to his position in lending. His understanding of business financials serve as an asset in helping businesses achieve their financial goals,” Robert Thomas, senior vice president and senior loan officer said. “His background in agriculture allows him to help our farm customers through understanding their operations.”

Upah, a native of Marshalltown received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (concentration in Finance), along with a minor in Leadership from Wartburg College. While in college, Upah was a NCAA Scholar All-American in wrestling for three consecutive years.

Sam and his wife, Haley, reside in Marshalltown.

Duree receives IACCT Diversity Award

Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree received the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees 2018 Iowa Outstanding Diversity/Equity Award at the annual IACCT conference held in Mason City last month. Because of the July 19 tornado, he and two others left the conference and returned to Marshalltown and he was not present when the award was given. As a result, IVCCD Board President Larry Johnson, of Iowa Falls, presented the award to Duree at the Aug. 8 Board meeting in Marshalltown.

Duree was nominated for the 2018 Iowa Outstanding Diversity/Equity Award by the IVCCD Board of Directors. His nomination noted that since assuming his leadership role in 2009, Duree has consistently supported advancing education initiatives, programs and projects to assist Iowa’s underrepresented populations. He was the first Caucasian community college president to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Community College Hispanic Council and he has presented on expanding Latino access, choice and completion at the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education national conference, the American Association of Community College national conference, and the IACCT summer conference. Additionally, Duree served on a panel of community college leaders discussing how men promote female leadership at the Way Up Conference and served on a president’s panel growing Latinos in leadership roles at the National Community College Hispanic Council Leadership Symposium. He was the only community college president on the Iowa Latina/o Education Initiatives Steering Committee each of the six years the conference was held in partnership with Iowa State University.

Under Duree’s leadership and Board support, the following programs have been initiated: ECC and MCC International Student Programs including inbound and outboard student exchanges; focus group meetings with Burmese community members; Latino and Southeast Asian college family planning nights; LGBTQ club; Veterans organization and IVCE staff have assisted Tama County Conservation with translating materials and signage into Spanish. Duree also partnered with a Hispanic community leader to form a League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapter in the Marshalltown area and raised $8,000 in scholarship funds this past spring. Since last February, the Marshalltown (LULAC) Council scholarship drive has resulted in more than $11,000 in scholarship funding for low income minority students.

“In addition to his national, state and local service above, Dr. Duree and his wife started an annual $1,000 scholarship for underrepresented/minority students in 2011,” the nomination read. “He is fully committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent our growing Iowa minority and underrepresented populations from gaining equal access to educational opportunities. As a result, IVCCD has experienced a 30 percent increase in minority credit enrollment, as well as increased scholarship opportunities for high school credit students and non-credit students in the Adult Literacy program.”

Several Iowa Valley programs and services that cater to diverse populations have flourished under Duree’s leadership for the past decade, including the Iowa Valley Education & Training Center (ETC), the Tama County Education & Training Center and the JBS Scholarship program initiated by the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance, of which Duree is also a member.

“I view this award not for me, but for the college district and our team,” Duree said. “This kind of thing only happens when we all have commitment to and passion for the mission statement that hangs on our walls. I am blessed to have such a supportive team and Board … we should all be proud.”

Rasmussen joins Bergman CPA Tax and Accounting

Jeff Rasmussen recently joined Bergman CPA Tax and Accounting as a CPA and partner. Rasmussen brings 15 years of experience in the accounting and audit field, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of Marshalltown Company. This addition positions Bergman CPA Tax and Accounting to grow and serve its clients for many years in the future.

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