Brad Hart, City of Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart has been a successful business lawyer for more than 35 years, first in Houston, Texas, and since 1990 in Cedar Rapids at the firm of Bradley & Riley PC. He works with his clients on a variety of business matters and business acquisitions. Brad’s professional recognition includes the highest rating from Martindale Hubbell, being listed in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers and being named the Lawyer of the Year in Iowa for Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Law.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Iowa State University, 1978; Juris Doctorate with honors, Houston College of Law, Houston, Texas, 1982
Community: Brad volunteers hundreds of hours each year and has been actively involved with more than a dozen community organizations and causes, including serving as board chair for the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Young Parents Network, Horizons and United Way of East Central Iowa.
His volunteer services have been recognized with the following awards:
- Northcott Award for outstanding service to United Way of East Central Iowa 2016
- Linn County Bar Association Citizenship Award 2016
- Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Citizenship Award 2013
- Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser (with Jade Hart and Gary and Susie Streit) from the Association of Fundraising Professionals for co-chairing the new Cedar Rapids Public Library Capital Campaign 2012
- Community Trustee Award for the Leadership for Five Seasons Program 2003
- Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Volunteer 1998
- Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association of Community Leadership 1997
Personal: Brad and his wife, Jade, have been active members of this community for more than a quarter century now. They are parents to son, Will, who lives in Denver, and daughter, Alison, who lives in Geneva, IL with her husband, Tom, and “Brad’s” two grandchildren, Jimmy and Grace.
Gene Neighbor, Farmers State Bank
Gene Neighbor was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and has always been an Eastern Iowa community advocate. Gene graduated from Alburnett Community High School in 1969. He went on to study at Iowa State University where he graduated in 1973 with a degree in Industrial Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
Gene has worked at Farmers State Bank ever since graduating college and has held many different positions at the bank. He gained banking and finance experience as a Teller, Assistant Office Manager, Office Manager, various lending positions including EVP of Lending/Chief Credit Officer, and currently serves as the President & CEO.
Gene is heavily involved in volunteering and helping others. He is currently Chair Elect for the St. Luke’s Foundation. He is a Deacon and the Finance Chairman at Alburnett Christian Church, a 40+ year member of the Alburnett Lions Club, and has given countless hours as a volunteer Little League baseball coach. Gene served on the Alburnett-Otter Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years. He has also been a part of many boards in the past including Hawkeye Area Boy Scouts of America, Alburnett Sports Booster Club, and the Cedar Rapids Metro Area YMCA.
When Gene is not at FSB or volunteering his time, he enjoys watching his 14 grandchildren’s activities, including anything from music to sports.
Jim Beardsworth, Transamerica
Jim is responsible for the coordination of Transamerica/Aegon’s Corporate Development Activities in North and South America. He joined Transamerica in August of 1995 in Corporate Accounting taking on several key financial roles, including statutory reporting, capital management and the accounting integration of acquisitions. He was named Vice President and Controller of Transamerica’s US Operations in August of 1997. In addition to coordinating all financial systems, the group was responsible for financial planning and reporting for all Transamerica companies. His other responsibilities were Treasurer, Corporate Risk Management, Rating Agency Relationships, Corporate Communications and the development of a new Leadership Development Program. His team has lead over a dozen transactions representing more than $35 billion in assets.
Before moving to Transamerica Jim received his Bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut, Jim joined the General Electric Company as a participant in the Financial Management Program. He spent the first 12 years of his career with General Electric, initially in various Corporate and Divisional financial roles in Power Generation, Nuclear Energy, Major Appliances and NBC. His last assignment was Manager, Finance (CFO) in GE Capital's Vendor leasing unit. During his time with GE Capital, Jim was involved in numerous acquisitions in both the United States and Europe.
Jim lives in Cedar Rapids, IA with his wife Bonnie. He is the father of four. In addition to school and athletic activities he has been on the board of United Way of East Central Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Science Center.
Jeff Pomeranz, City of Cedar Rapids
On September 20, 2010, Jeff Pomeranz became the new city manager for the City of Cedar Rapids. During his 25-year career, Mr. Pomeranz has served as city manager for three other cities, including the City of West Des Moines, Iowa from 1998 to 2010, the City of Port Angeles, Washington from 1990 to 1998 and the City of Del Rio, Texas from 1985 to 1990.
He has also served as an executive board member for the Iowa League of Cities and the Iowa City Management Association; chair of the State of Iowa's I-JOBS Board; and Adjunct Professor for the Master of Public Administration program at Drake University. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1980 and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Alabama in 1982.
Mr. Pomeranz serves as the second city manager for the City of Cedar Rapids. On June 14, 2005, the citizens of Cedar Rapids voted to adopt a Home Rule Charter, which changed the form of government to the Council-Manager form. Jim Prosser served as the first city manager from 2006 to 2010.
Randy Ramlo, United Fire Group
Randy A. Ramlo was named president and chief executive officer of United Fire Group in May 2007 and assumed the additional role of president of the life subsidiary, United Life Insurance Company, in May 2009. Prior to that, he was named chief operating officer of the company in 2006 and appointed executive vice president in 2004. In 2001, he was named vice president of fidelity and surety. From 1996 to 2001, he served as commercial underwriting manager after joining the company in 1984 as an underwriter.
In addition to holding a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, Mr. Ramlo has obtained the following professional insurance designations: Associate in Management (AIM), Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB), Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU). He is also a member of the CPCU Society and Surety Association of Iowa.
Mr. Ramlo serves on the board of directors for the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Iowa College Fund and The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. He also serves on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Trustees and the University of Northern Iowa's College of Business Executive Advisory Board.
Chris Skogman, Skogman Realty
Chris started his career working as a Project Manager for Skogman Homes. Chris assisted in the construction of close to 300 homes in the Cedar Rapids and Marion communities before deciding to change his career path and move over to Skogman Realty in 2006.
It was in 2008 that Chris took the reins from his father, Rick, who started the company in 1973. In that time Chris has grown the company from 150 to 220 agents and increased sales volume from $530 million to more than $815 million. In 2009 Skogman opened its first office in the Iowa City and Coralville real estate market and has quickly grown to more than 40 full time agents and is the 2nd largest company in the Iowa City area.
Along with Chris's business accomplishments he is also very passionate about giving back to the community and has served on a number of boards throughout his career and is currently sitting on 6 boards.
Dr. Lori Sundberg, Kirkwood Community College
Dr. Lori Sundberg is the 5th president of Kirkwood Community College and the first female to serve in that role. Sundberg holds a Doctor of Business Administration in Management from St. Ambrose University (2003) as well as a Master in Business Administration in Marketing from Western Illinois University (1998). She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Knox College with a double major in Economics and History (1995). Prior to coming to Kirkwood, Sundberg served for eight years as the President of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. Sundberg was the 6th president for Carl Sandburg College and the first graduate and female to lead the institution. She has more than 23 years in community college leadership.