Buena Vista University has announced that Tracee Dierenfield of MetaBank and Chris Rasmussen of Rasmussen Ford will be the co-chairs for its 2008 Community Campaign which kicks off on Sept. 24.
Dierenfield, who is vice president of mortgage and personal lending at MetaBank, was born and raised in Storm Lake, graduated from Alta High School and Iowa Central Community College.
She is active in community organizations - including the Rotary Club (past president and board member) and Faith Hope and Charity Board of Directors and Auxiliary. She also volunteers at Concordia Lutheran School and Middle School, and as a girls' basketball coach, worked on Project AWAYSIS and is active with "Get Smart" credit presentations at Storm Lake and St. Mary's high schools. She has worked on BVU's Community Campaign over the past 10 years.
Dierenfield and her husband, Russ - a graduate of BVU who is the plant operations manager at Sara Lee Foods - have two daughters, Grace, 11 and Holly, 5. They are active volunteers and members of Grace Lutheran Church.
"BVU is a key asset to Storm Lake and we are very proud of it," says Dierenfield. "New residents often tell me BVU is one of the reasons they chose to live in Storm Lake. In addition to being a significant employer in the area, the local revenue generated by BVU staff and students is extremely important to Storm Lake's success. Living here all my life, I have been privileged to watch BVU and our community develop over the years, and I want to see developments continue! I am honored to be a part of the Community Campaign."
Rasmussen, co-owner and general manager of Rasmussen Ford since 2005, was born and raised in Storm Lake. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of North Texas and a master's degree at the University of Kansas. Both degrees are in business administration. He returned to Storm Lake in 2004 to join the dealership his parents, Gene and Pam (a 1991 BV graduate), started in 1969.
He has been active on the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce (current board member and ambassadors), Storm Lake Rotary Club (current board member and past president) and the Partners in Excellence program at West Elementary School. He also worked on the BVU Community Campaign, and Project AWAYSIS. He attends, and is actively involved in, Summit Evangelical Free Church in Alta.
Rasmussen has a daughter, Riley, 7. He is engaged to be married on Oct. 10 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to Michelle Cox, who recently moved back to Storm Lake.
"Co-chairing the BVU Community Campaign provides an additional opportunity to support a university that brings a youthful atmosphere, academic and athletic energy and economic impact to the Storm Lake community, a community in which I was born and raised," says Rasmussen.
"BVU, the students and staff provide amazing electricity to the Storm Lake community. Through sporting events, including fall weekend football games or winter basketball double headers, alumni who now call Storm Lake home or professors and staff who are brought here for jobs, BVU has always contributed to the pulse of a thriving community."
Buena Vista University is an independent university, with primary income coming from student tuition and fees. Contributions to the Community Campaign help support the University's annual operating expenses, providing resources for scholarships, facilities maintenance and development of innovative academic and internship opportunities.
The BVU Community Campaign, which has a $130,000 goal this year, kicks off with a Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours reception and ribbon cutting for the new Social Science and Art Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 5 p.m. Reception will be in the Art Gallery. Tours of the new and updated facilities will be available. The event is open to the public, free of charge.
For additional information about BVU's 2008-09 Community Campaign, contact Christina Danielsen, assistant director of annual campaigns, at (712)749-2101.