Meet our Board of Directors who have a variety of experience, skills, and experience in climate action.

John Stender-Custer

Pronouns: He, Him, His
Board President


John is a 7th generation Iowan who lives with his husband and twins in Des Moines. He grew up on his family farm in Western Iowa and often returns to Cass County where they maintain a second home. He attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport where he received a B. A. in Theology and History. After college he spent an Americorps volunteer year with the Marist Brothers in Lawrence, Massachusetts before studying Law at Western Michigan University in Lansing.

He spent his professional career in higher education where he served in various capacities. From Director of Service Learning at St. Ambrose University to Associate Professor and Chair of the Social and Criminal Justice program at Ashford University in Clinton. John has maintained his commitment to teaching his students the value of civic engagement and social justice. He is now a stay-at-home father and hopes to instill those same values in his own children.

The Stender-Custers are members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Des Moines.

Robert Mulqueen

Pronouns: He, Him, His
Board Vice President


Currently a part of The Capitol Group/Sage Advice, a lobbying and public policy consulting concern, Bob is a bi-coastal Iowan whose father’s family has been in Council Bluffs since 1872 and whose mother’s family has been in Dubuque since before anyone can remember.

Since graduating from Creighton University (in the paleolithic era) with a B.A. in American History and from Iowa State University with a Master of Public Administration degree, Mulqueen has worn more hats than Bartholomew Cubbins. He served as a VISTA Volunteer in steel towns in the Pittsburgh area, as a night watchman at a demolition site, as a staffer in the Iowa Senate, as very junior staffer for a U.S. Senator, a slightly older staffer for a U.S. Representative, as an educational system’s fundraiser, as a lobbyist and policy staffer for the Iowa State Association of Counties, as lobbyist and energy policy staffer for the Iowa Environmental Council, and as policy director for the late, lamented Iowa Office of Energy Independence.

Bob lives in Des Moines and is married to a very patient woman.

Rod Stevens

Pronouns: He, Him, His


Rod is a registered architect, certified facility manager, and LEED AP (accredited professional). He formed Knowledge Consulting, a sustainability, architecture, and facility management consulting firm in 2014 after retiring from a 40-year career at DuPont Pioneer where Rod provided design, code compliance, accessibility, facility information and technology, sustainability, and project management consulting for the company.

Rod is a long time involved member of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Des Moines. His participation at an Iowa IPL Cool Congregations workshop in 2008 helped trigger the formation of Immanuel’s Green Team, which he has been an active participant in ever since. Rod has led a number of seminars and classes on sustainability-related topics both at the church and elsewhere and continues to be an advocate for sustainable design and care of creation.

Rev. Dr. Belinda Creighton-Smith

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


Belinda Creighton-Smith is the pastor of Faith Temple Baptist Church in Waterloo and an adjunct instructor in the social work department at the University of Northern Iowa. She attended Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City where she received her Master of Divinity. In 2019 she earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Northern Iowa and wrote her dissertation on Examining Linkages between Institutional Racism, Internalized Racial Oppression and Self-Efficacy in African American Youth.

Sister Ruth E. Westmoreland

Pronouns: She, Her, Hers


A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Sister Ruth E. Westmoreland entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1963. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, and a Master of Education degree from Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. She also holds a permanent professional teaching certificate in Iowa.

Sister Ruth E. served as Canonical Councilor of the congregation from 2012 to 2016. Previously, she served as director of Café on Vine in Davenport, Iowa. Other ministries include serving as a teacher; Academic Dean and Vice President of Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa; Special Assistant for Development for Boysville and the Ennis Center for Children in Michigan; and in childcare work, parish social ministry, and shelter work at Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois. She currently servers as Councilor on the Leadership Team of the Clinton Franciscans.

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