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CFNEIA Welcomes Ras Smith as Director of Community Impact

July 20, 2022

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA) has announced that Ras Smith is joining the organization as the director of community impact beginning August 1. Ras will serve as CFNEIA’s first director of community impact, a new position that will work to advance the organization’s community impact model by connecting generous people to grantmaking activities of the Foundation.

Smith, a Waterloo native, is currently the founder and principal consultant of RISE Advocacy Services, specializing in grant writing, community engagement and resource development for organizations in the Cedar Valley and across Iowa. He also currently serves as a consultant for community engagement and fund development for Communities in Schools of Mid-America, a national organization dedicated to empowering underserved students. Smith is also a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, representing House District 62, which includes Waterloo, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights and Raymond. Elected in 2017, Smith is not seeking re-election.

“Ras is a proven community leader and has worked closely with the nonprofit community,” said Kaye Englin, president and CEO of CFNEIA. “Ras not only brings a wealth of experience and community knowledge, but his energy and passion for making a positive and impactful difference in people’s lives is an incredible asset to the Foundation and makes our team even stronger.”

Smith is an active member of the Cedar Valley, serving as a board member of the Black Hawk County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and executive board member of the Helen Miller Urban Agriculture Institute. Smith was also a 2017 recipient of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Cedar Valley 20 under 40 award.

“Service to the community isn’t just something you do on the weekends, it’s a lifestyle and that’s why I’m excited to be joining CFNEIA as the director of community impact,” said Smith. “As an active community member of the Cedar Valley, it has been great to see CFNEIA be open to tackling today's challenges head-on and to lead in ensuring equity and inclusion. I look forward to doing my part to help our team broaden relationships across the region, innovate philanthropic giving and create a community that is welcoming for all.”

Smith holds a master’s degree in youth and human services and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, both from the University of Northern Iowa.

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