Able Up Iowa

Mark Edelman

Director: Professor Emeritus - Iowa State University

Mark Edelman

Mark Edelman grew up on a farm in a single parent family with one older brother in Northeast Kansas near Sabetha and he was active in 4-H, FFA, and Student Government. He met his wife in college, and she was the oldest of three hearing children in a family with deaf parents. Mark and his wife have been married for 48 years and have three grown children and two grandsons.

Mark received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kansas State University and Ph.D. from Purdue. He spent 40 years as an Economics Professor and Extension Economist, with 5 years at South Dakota State University and 35 years at Iowa State University. Mark organized educational programs on a wide variety of topics including agricultural policy, farm finance, public finance, economic development, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. He launched his professional career helping farmers to assess their financial status during the 1980s Farm Finance Crisis. He co-founded ISU’s Community Vitality Center (CVC) in 2000 and served as Director until 2020. As CVC Director, Mark coordinated over 200 community entrepreneurship and philanthropy development projects in communities across Iowa.

Mark currently serves on boards for three microfinance organizations with statewide missions, including Able Up Iowa, Iowa Microloan, and Iowa Community Capital. He is a board member for Ag Ventures Alliance Coop, an early-stage equity fund and angel investor network based in Mason City. Mark believes in providing a helping hand to those who have a strong desire to work hard and take steps to improve their own capacities and circumstances. 

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