Board Members

Our dedicated board drives forward our Center for Rural Affairs mission and values. Members meet quarterly and regularly provide support to staff.

About the Boards

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors consists of between 12 and 24 members that govern the Center. Members of the board serve staggered three-year terms. The board determines policy and overall direction of the organization at quarterly meetings.

An executive committee consisting of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and two members elected by the board meets in conjunction with regular board meetings. In addition, the board establishes oversight committees to counsel staff on the implementation of the Center’s various programs.

About one-half of the board is farmers or ranchers. Others are small town business and working people including a small number of urban members with a strong interest in rural improvement. The board is self-selecting, and has made it a policy to provide the organization with a broad leadership base. Accordingly, it has recruited men and women from all regions of the state and people with diverse occupational backgrounds and personal perspectives.

The board has been conscious of the need to provide both continuity and new insight, and thus the bylaws require at least one new director be added annually. Director Emeritus status was established in 1990. We have three Emeritus directors at present.

The board plays an active role in the development of Center programs. Each board member serves on one of three program advisory committees that provide quarterly oversight of program activities and guide the annual planning process. Directors also serve on at least one of the institutional committees that discuss finance, nominations, media and communications, development, engagement, and constituency building.

Advisory Board

Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Board members are recruited for their special backgrounds and insight into our program areas. They meet quarterly with the Board of Directors and Center staff. 

Rural Investment Corporation

The Rural Investment Corporation is a subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs. The Rural Investment Corporation is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, or CDFI, dedicated to serving low-income individuals and communities that lack access to financial services from mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs offer loans for small and micro-sized businesses and provide services such as business planning and one-on-one counseling.

The Rural Investment Corporation Board of Directors, all volunteers, are chosen by the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors. Thus, the Center has full authority over the Rural Investment Corporation.

Granary Foundation Board

The Granary Foundation was created by the Center for Rural Affairs to serve the financial needs of the Center. It is a "support corporation," with the sole purpose of benefiting the Center for Rural Affairs.

The Granary Board of Directors has fiduciary responsibility for the Granary Endowment Fund. The Board of Directors, all volunteers, are chosen by the Center for Rural Affairs' Board of Directors. Thus, the Center has full authority over the Granary Foundation.

Valparaiso, Nebraska
Krista Dittman is president of the Board of Directors and a member of the Rural Investment Corporation Board.
Ogallala, Nebraska
Dennis Demmel is vice president of the Board of Directors and vice president of the Granary Board.
Red Cloud, Nebraska
Jay Hall is secretary of the Board of the Directors and president of the Rural Investment Corporation.
Omaha, Nebraska
Chuck Karpf is treasurer of the Board of Directors, vice president of the Rural Investment Corporation Board, and member of the Granary Board.
Ceresco, Nebraska
Vern Barrett is on the executive committee of the Board of Directors and is a member of the Rural Investment Corporation Board.
Kearney, Nebraska
Melissa Florell is on the executive committee of the Board of Directors.
Shell Rock, Iowa
Barbara Dilly is a member of the Board of Directors.
Papillion, Nebraska
Greg Fripp is a member of the Board of Directors.
Wahoo, Nebraska
Ross Larson is a member of the Board of Directors, member of the Rural Investment Corporation, and member of the Granary Board.
Walthill, Nebraska
Keith Mahaney is a member of the Board of Directors.
Beatrice, Nebraska
Amanda McKinney is a member of the Board of Directors.
Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska
Nancy Meyer is a member of the Board of Directors.
Hastings, Nebraska
Paul Swanson is a member of the Board of Directors.
Bloomfield, Nebraska
Jane Yule is a member of the Board of Directors.
Pacific Grove, California
Gary Peterson is president of the Granary Board.
Mead, Nebraska
Mark Gustafson is secretary/treasurer of the Granary Board.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Becky Gould is a member of the Granary Board.
Omaha, Nebraska
Susan Baumert is treasurer of the Rural Investment Corporation Board.
Columbus, Nebraska
Karina Perez is a member of the Advisory Board.
Geneva, Nebraska
Jason Rippe is a member of the Advisory Board.
Wayne, Nebraska
Charles Shapiro is a member of the Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Board.
Fremont, Nebraska
Christine Torres is a member of the Advisory Board.
Milford, Nebraska
Dave Welsch is a member of the Advisory Board.
Oceanside, California
Bob Warrick is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors.
San Marcos, Texas
Clark Nichols is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors.
Oberlin, Ohio
Don Reeves is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors and is a member of the Granary Board.