Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of eleven individuals representing all walks of life from primarily Palo Alto County.

Requirements include:
The Board's role is to:

Kevin Banwart

Kevin works as the CFO for Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company and lives in Algona. His wife is Sandy, and they have three children: Emily, Ryan, and Maria. His son Ryan lives at a Horizons group home and works in the community with job coaching supports.


Erika Siefken

Erika Jane Siefken works for the Emmetsburg Community School District as an MS Special Education teacher. She earned her AA at Iowa Central Community College, a double BA in teaching and psychology from Grand View University, and her Master's degree in Special Education from Buena Vista University. She is a member of METS, for which she also gave International and Iowa Transition Conference presentations. Her interests include crafts, conversation, coffee, and cooking. Erika is excited to work with Horizons to provide opportunities for people, help educate the public on current issues/concerns/legislation, and to make personal/family connections with the Horizons family.


Aaron Steffen - Vice President

Aaron and his wife Lindsay live in Emmetsburg where he is a police officer, and serves as the Emmetsburg Police Department Reserve Officer Supervisor. Aaron volunteers with Pheasants Forever and the Palo Alto County Peace Officers Association, and is active in hunting and fishing. Aaron is involved with Horizons because of the positive impact we provide to members of our community.


Amy Frields

Amy L. Frields, APRN is a nurse practitioner of family medicine on staff at the Palo Alto County Hospital. She received her certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has been on the Horizons Board of Directors since 2016.


Kathy Merrill

Kathy and her husband Craig live in Emmetsburg, Iowa. They have one son, Brian, who is currently pursuing an engineering degree at University of Iowa. Kathy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing at Illinois State University. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys spending time with family, volunteering with various organizations, travel, movies, art and reading.


Michelle Kogel

Michelle Kogel lives in Emmetsburg with her husband, Shayne, and children Kinsey, Kyle, Courtney, and Kysen. She works at Iowa Lakes Community College as the SAVE Coordinator. Michelle received her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and her Master of Arts degree from University of Nebraska at Kearny. Michelle joined the Horizons Unlimited Board of Directors in the Fall of 2017.


Dr. Robert Cozine

Bob was born and raised in Lewiston, IL. He received his undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, then went to medical school at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed an internship at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He served in the U.S. Navy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and practiced medicine for a short period of time in Virginia, then in Oklahoma for ten years, and finally came to Emmetsburg in 1969. He joined the Emmetsburg Medical Clinic, P.C. and practiced with Dr. Coffey for twenty-three years. He enjoyed a three year Emergency Room practice at Prairie du Chien, WI, followed by nineteen years in the ER at Spencer Municipal Hospital. He has served in the past on the Palo Alto County Board of Health, and is currently enjoying retirement.

Bob and his wife Nancy have five children and fourteen grandchildren. Bob was a private pilot for many years, but now has shifted his focus to trains and 1/8 scale locomotives. He is also an avid reader.

His incentive for joining the Horizons Board results from his granddaughter Emily who suffered from a brain tumor at age 7, and has been left with special needs that require her to live in a group home in the Twin Cities. She is twenty-nine now, and participates in a group called "Interact", the only group of its kind in the country. The clients write and produce plays and also produce fine art for display and sale.


Karen Brown - Secretary/Treasurer

Karen Brown graduated from Iowa Westleyan College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and Elementary.  Karen has retired from the Emmetsburg School system after 20 years of teaching Special Education and 13 years teaching Reading Recovery and Title One Reading.  Karen and her late husband Mike have 4 children.  She is a co-worker for a family run business and a Real Estate Salesperson for Farmers National Company. Karen's favorite pastime is reading and is in a Book Club.  She also plays piano and has been involved with acting in Main Street Theatre productions in the past.  She has been involved in FIRST Club, Then Feed Just One and Special Olympics.  Karen says she has always been interested in quality services for children and adults with disabilities.  ”I believe that Horizons Unlimited is a huge asset and a vital resource for our community.  It serves many people, and has been very successful in assisting its members in achieving the highest level of independence possible. I believe that it delivers quality services and opportunities that enable members to live, work, and enjoy full, productive lives.  I am excited to become a part of this by serving as a Board member.”

 

 


Cindy Chapman

Cindy Chapman re-joined our Board in early 2015. Having served on the Board previously, she brings a wealth of experience and passion for Horizons Unlimited and our mission. She and her husband, Tom, live in Emmetsburg. They have five children: Laura, James, Melissa, Jacob, and Anna. Cindy is a retired nurse who received education from Iowa Lakes Community College. In her free time, Cindy enjoys artistic projects and doing volunteer work with the elderly.


Mary Cooper - President

Mary Cooper lives in Emmetsburg with her husband, Dan Cooper. Mary and Dan have four grown children (Janelle, Justin, Brandon, and Breanne), as well as five grandchildren. Mary attended the Medical Academy in Minneapolis. Mary and her husband Dan operate the Emmetsburg-based construction firm, Dan Cooper Builders. Mary is a member of Grace Baptist Church. She has a brother who is a Horizons member, and has served multiple times on the Horizons Unlimited board of directors, as well as serving as a board member for the Palo Alto County Hospital.


Amy VerMulm

Amy VerMulm lives in Emmetsburg with her husband, Dean, and children Lane and Blake. She is a professor of human services at Iowa Lakes Community College on the Estherville campus. Amy attended Northwestern College (where she earned her B.A.) and Southwest Minnesota State University (where she earned her M.S.E.). She is active in the United Methodist Church (including the outreach church committee), and helping with sports events, team meals, etc. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, reading, and activities with the family. Amy cares about Horizons Unlimited's mission of promoting independence and community involvement of consumers, as well as providing awareness and education to community members. She joined the Horizons Unlimited Board of Directors in the Fall of 2017.