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WesleyLife and Foundation add to boards of directors accent

March 14, 2024 | By

WesleyLife, the region’s largest non-profit provider of well-being services for older adults, has announced the addition of notable Metro business and philanthropic leaders to its boards of directors on the organizational and philanthropic sides of the house.

New board member photos Joining the WesleyLife Board of Directors are Rich Willis and Laura Jackson (bottom), while Gayle Poortinga and Suzie Glazer Burt (top) have joined WesleyLife Foundation’s board.

Longtime Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield leader Jackson, based in Des Moines, now serves as that organization’s executive vice president of health equity, access, and improvement; Willis is chairman of the board of Willis Automotive in Clive. WesleyLife board president Chad Rasmussen, vice president of development for Christensen Development in Des Moines, praised the addition of both members.

“Laura and Rich bring passion and a demonstrated commitment to our bold and innovative organizational vision,” Rasmussen said. “We are pleased to welcome them and look forward to their leadership as we broaden our reach in doing all the good we can for the older adults and veterans we serve throughout Iowa and beyond.”

Philanthropic leaders

Philanthropist Glazer Burt of Des Moines provided the lead gift for the WesleyLife More than Meals campaign to fund the organization’s new Meals on Wheels campus. She also co-chaired the Drake University The Ones campaign and — with her late husband, Gregory Burt — made a lead gift to establish the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club in Des Moines. She serves as a member of the Drake University Board of Trustees and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa Board of Trustees.

Pella-based Poortinga and her husband, Stan, co-chaired the Transforming Home campaign to create The Cottages, a campus of Hearthstone, a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living in Pella. Her leadership and support continued in 2020 when she and Stan served as honorary co-chairs of Continuing the Transformation, a campaign to expand The Cottages.

Travis Simpson, regional bank president of West Des Moines-based Northwest Bank and president of WesleyLife Foundation’s board, said the board is honored to welcome its newest members.

“Both have demonstrated a lasting commitment to our mission to provide the needed resources to support the health and well-being of older adults,” Simpson said of Glazer Burt and Poortinga. “They join our strong roster of community leaders who will drive the way we revolutionize the experience of aging.”

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