It is the role of the Board of Directors to determine The Arboretum’s mission and purpose as well as provide the proper financial oversight.  Members serve for a three-year term of office, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.

If you are interested in getting involved with The Arboretum, please email or call the office at (319) 226-4966.

Meet the Board!

Linda Allen, Hawkeye Liaison 


Dr. Linda Allen is president of Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo. Dr. Allen earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Iowa. Her scholarly research and publications are in the areas of medical anthropology, transcultural psychology, Asia-Pacific Rim relations, and gender studies.

Her community service includes serving on the Allen College Board of Trustees; Greater Cedar Valley Alliance Board of Directors; Northeast Iowa Food Bank Board of Directors; Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens; Waterloo Rotary; Winnebago Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Cedar Valley Arboretum Board of Directors; Waverly Education Roundtable; and Waverly Economic Development Commission.

Gary Blonigan


Gary is a lifetime Waterloo resident and East High graduate. He retired in 2001 as Senior Engineer in the John Deere Foundry with 41 years of service. Gary is a Lifetime member of the American Foundry Society. Gary is married to Karin and has four children and six grandchildren. He has been volunteering for Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity since 2001,and has served as a board member, site supervisor, and a construction team member. His Interests include: Hiking the National Parks, Reading: American History, gardening, and building things. 


Gary has been volunteering for the Arboretum since 2013 and has been a Master Gardener since 2013. He has a desire to see the Arboretum continue to improve and grow and to serve the needs and interests of the Cedar Valley.

Marisa Dolan


Being on the Arboretum board has given Marisa the opportunity to see how the arboretum has grown from the beginning.


The Arboretum is a beautiful place, the volunteers are wonderful.  Marisa is enjoying being on the board and being part of all the great things happening at the Arboretum.


Kathy Durham, Secretary


Kathy works part time at Hawkeye Community College as a dentist for the Dental Hygiene Program clinics.


Steve Eilers

Cyndie Franklin

Cyndie was born and raised in Iowa, and has lived here her whole life. Her first love of gardening came from her grandparents' huge garden. Half was veggies, but she always loved the flowers best. Her grandmother had quite the green thumb and grew all kinds of flowers. She was known for her roses and was generous in sharing them with family and friends. Cyndie aspires to be even half the gardener that her grandmother was! Professionally, Cyndie worked for almost 40 years as a social worker, the last 30 of them as a medical social worker.


Cyndie retired a year ago from the Northeast Iowa Family Medicine Residency. Cyndie has been married to Mark for 37 years and they have two grown daughters, both of whom are married and live out of state. Cyndie is having a lot of fun with two grandchildren and hopes for more!

Dan Gillen, Hawkeye Liaison

Bob Hoffman

Pat McGivern, Treasurer


Pat is a graduate of Waterloo Columbus High School, Iowa State University, and the University of Iowa College of Law.  She currently works as a judicial magistrate for the State of Iowa.  Pat enjoys nature, travel, wine, reading, knitting, and all things Irish.  In recent years, Pat has especially enjoyed her volunteer hours with friends at the Arboretum.

Autumn Miller


Autumn grew up on a farm in South Dakota with eight siblings. Agriculture and horticulture have always been an important aspect in her life. She attended college at SDSU in Brookings, SD with a major in Landscape Architecture and worked at a botanical garden for two summers while in college.  Autumn moved to Iowa last year for a landscape design position with Wapsie Pines Lawn Care and Landscaping in Cedar Falls.


Autumn loves the outdoors - gardening, hunting, fishing, hiking, and cooking are some of her favorite hobbies. She wanted to be involved with the Arboretum because she enjoys planning, community involvement, and public gardens. The CVABG is growing and she believes this is an exciting time to be a part of a place where people can learn, relax, contemplate, and maybe pull a few weeds and eat some strawberries J

George Pfalzgraf

Dianne Phelps


Dianne grew up on a farm in Sheffield, Ia.  She received her RN license from Allen School of Nursing in 1968.  she worked 30 years at Surgical and Orthopaedic Associates (now Cedar Valley Medical Center) and retired in 1999.  Dianne’s husband passed away in 2009, but she has three step children and 6 grandchildren, and a dog named Charlie. 


Dianne has many hobbies and interests, including gardening and other outdoor activities, crafting and movement classes, and also serves on the Cultural Arts and Commission Board at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. She just fulfilled her terms at the UNI Theatre Board and the Allen Foundation Board.


"I hope I can be a valuable member because it’s a wonderful organization that I am proud to have in my community.  I love going to the events here and hope to learn valuable “take home” information as well as contributing what I can to the board and the gardens. I love trees, plants, flowers and grasses and to be surrounded by such will be lovely.  I’m trying to do the same at home as well so we’ll see how I can fit two lovely spots into my life."

Matt Rolinger

Steve Schmitt

Heidi Tietz De Silva

Iann Veldhuizen


Iann was raised on a farm on E. Orange Road, 3/4 of a mile from the arboretum.  The farm is no longer there, but her interest in gardening, growing and developing things is still there.  When she retired in 2007 from being a floral designer and bookkeeper, she became a Master Gardener and did most of her volunteer hours at the arboretum.  A couple of years later, she and her husband donated the money for the pergola to be built in the Rose Garden in memory of her parents.  Her current project is being on the Master Gardner's Orchard Committee, working on the Orchard at the Arboretum.

Dick Yantis, Board President


Dick Yantis is the President, CFP of Yantis & Associates of Cedar Falls. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, he went to Iowa State University and graduated with a degree in farm operations and economics. Dick was very interested in farming during college, but decided to become a financial advisor in 1988. He began his work at IDS and then moved to Brecek and Young. As years passed, Dick's desire to maintain relationships became stronger, therefore an idea to become an Independent Financial Advisor took hold. Dick is married to Mary and they have two grown daughters, Emily and Alicia. He and his wife love to travel, Ireland being their favorite place to go. Dick is an avid reader, from fiction to non-fiction, adventure to historical, and he's a train enthusiast. He first became involved with the Arboretum on the finance committee and as they say-the rest is history.

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