Meet Our
Mighty Team

Able Up Iowa is team made of all types. We’ve got the “movers and shakers” who keep our office alive and humming, the introspective ones who are always willing to lend a listening ear, the precisionists who never miss a detail, and the visionaries who keep us aspiring. We are a team of travelers, bookworms, foodies, animal lovers, and so much more! We strive each day to create a culture full of open discussion, collaborative problem-solving, and appreciation for each others’ uniqueness. We are united by the conviction that all people, of all abilities, deserve the opportunity to thrive in theirs homes, workplaces, and communities.

Financial Empowerment Director

Lynette Plander

GDG Services

Kara Knight

Loan Officer

Rebecca Hedlund

Resource Counselor

Jamie Gurganus

Cindy Demeter
Loan Officer

Cindy Demeter

Interim Director

Jeff Williams

Financial Empowerment Director

Lynette Plander

“I love hearing how our members gain freedom, confidence, and independence through their efforts.  It’s important to me that my children and grandchildren see me working in a role that helps our community.”

Prior to joining Able Up Iowa, Lynette spent most of her career helping individuals with disabilities develop and achieve their career goals. As Financial Empowerment Director, Lynette continues to assist people in achieving their goals, now in a much broader range. Lynette has also rediscovered how much she enjoys working with those who are aging, having worked as a nurse’s aide in high school. 

Lynette believes everyone deserves to have their basic needs met and to have a path to move beyond the basics. She enjoys her position at Able Up Iowa because she feels the mission aligns with her values.

GDG Services

Kara Knight

Able Up Iowa is proud to work with Kara, owner of GDG Services.

GDG Services provides complete, cost-effective payroll services, help their clients dig deeper into their financial situation and find opportunities for tax savings, provide meaningful and practical solutions to address the issues facing businesses, and provide comprehensive tax planning and preparation of all tax returns.

In addition to covering Able Up Iowa’s payroll and accounting services, Kara has donated much of her own time to support Able Up Iowa. She is always willing to lend her expertise; whether it be data collection, budget planning, or grant writing, we can always count on her.

Loan Officer

Rebecca Hedlund

"I'm so excited to be part of the coaching family at Able Up Iowa!  The team is dedicated to helping anyone and everyone in Iowa needing or wanting assistance.”

Rebecca has been a Realtor for over 15 years and has worked with Able Up Iowa for the past few years as we've expanded our lending and coaching programs. Rebecca cared for her father in the last 6 years of his life as he dealt with many health issues. She has a lot of empathy and compassion for people facing challenges personally or in their families.

Rebecca knows now more than ever there is great need for financial resources, planning, education, and general support. She believes that the newly expanded programs of Able Up Iowa will help Iowans pull out of the devastating financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is happy to be a part of this effort as she lends her expertise as an Able Up Iowa coach.

Resource Counselor

Jamie Gurganus

“I am excited to be working for Able Up Iowa, since I am passionate about helping people and feel very enthusiastic about sharing resources that can help someone move forward in their life.”

Jamie lives in Ames with her two children, guide dog and two cats. Jamie earned my Bachelor of Social Work degree from Penn State University and then her Master’s in Counseling from Iowa State University.  She has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of fields that includes the elderly, low-income individuals, college students with disabilities and families with children with special needs.

To Jamie, being a social worker isn’t just a profession, but a part of who she is. Jamie believes in working in partnership with clients, utilizing their strengths to help them sort out their challenges and achieve their goals

Loan Officer

Cindy Demeter

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Interim Director

Jeff Williams

“I am honored to have a role in fulfilling the mission of Able Up Iowa. Every day, Iowans contact our organization seeking assistance to remove the financial barriers that prevent them from working, playing, and living in our communities. The best days of my job are when we can successfully connect our applicants to the programs, people, and resources that improve their lives.”

Anna was adopted from Seoul, Korea and grew up in Iowa. She went to high school in Des Moines and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa

Following her days at the University of Iowa, she worked for Opera Carolina, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Kids Voting. She also worked in the Advancement department and earned her master’s degree in Public Administration at Wright State University. She lived in England for over three years before returning to her home state in 2018. Her most recent position is with Able Up Iowa serving as the Executive Director.

Anna Magnusson has served on several community and regional boards, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, A Special Wish Foundation, Children’s Defense Fund, League of Women Voters Dayton, and Youth in Philanthropy Council. Anna was nominated and selected to participate in the 2003 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Emerging Leadership Institute in New York City.  She was also nominated and selected as one of the 2006 Dayton Business Journal 40 Under 40 award recipients and most recently was selected to be a member of the 33rd class of Leadership Ames.

Join Our Team!

We’re always looking for people who are eager to make the world a better place.

Ways to Get Involved

Nothing caught your eye? Create your own project full of your own passion!

Please note we have recently changed our name from Iowa Able Foundation to Able Up Iowa.