George Davis, President
I have been a Southside resident my entire life, graduating from Lincoln High School and Drake University where I also received my Master's degree many years ago. My wife, Sandi and have three grown children, Toby, Mike and Heather. Toby, Heather and their families are also homeowners in our Southwestern Hills Neighborhood. I retired as a school teacher from East High School, where I was also the head girls’ basketball and track coach, with 38 years of employment in Des Moines Public Schools. I also retired from the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, where I coordinated youth and adult athletic programs. I truly enjoyed both careers. I feel honored to serve on the Southwestern Hills Neighborhood Board with very dedicated people. The entire board has very special feelings, and a true passion about our neighborhood and our deep Southside roots.
Nick Van Patten, Vice President
Picture/bio in progress
Heather Carman, Treasurer
Heather Carman has lived on the south side of Des Moines most of her life. She graduated from Dowling High School in 1996, Simpson College in 2001, and received her Master's Degree in Education in 2007. After traveling all over the world and teaching for two years in Japan, Heather has moved back into the Southwestern Hills Neighborhood, and is currently teaching individuals with disabilities through the Des Moines Public Schools’ Mercy Medical Center Project SEARCH program. She is very excited to work with the other members of the board. Heather is most interested in making sure the neighborhood continues to be a safe and friendly environment, and will work hard to create events that will bring everyone together.
Ginny Renda, Secretary
Ginny grew up on the Southwest Side of Des Moines. She graduated from St. Josephs Academy and went on to Drake University where she earned several degrees. Ginny taught and was a school counselor at May Goodrell Middle School. After 19 years at Goodrell, she went to North High School where she worked for 17 years in the position of Vice-Principal. Ginny retired from the Des Moines School District in 2004. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling and reading for fun.
Darlene Blake, Board Member
Darlene Blake is a life-long gardener, community activist, internationally recognized public speaker, and world traveler. She is a retired Career Transition Consultant and now substitute teaches. Darlene is Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the Greater Des Moines Sister Cities. Darlene has a Master's Degree in Education from Mankato State University and leads her own diversified corporation. She holds a US Patent and is in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World. After exploring the wonders around the globe, Darlene knows firsthand that the best people, the most beautiful landscape, and the finest quality of life are right here in the Southwestern Hills Neighborhood. Her son and his family have also chosen to make the Southside their home.
Steve Utterson, Board Member
Steve has been a resident of the Southside for 44 years. He and his wife, Teresa, have a 22-year-old daughter, a 12-year-old daughter attending Brody Middle School and a 14-year-old daughter at Lincoln. Steve has been active for 10 years as Support Manager for Belin Law Firm and has his own construction company, Steve’s Contracting Services. His interests are boating, camping, and snowmobiling. They spend time with friends and family. Steve’s goal, in his own words, is to “help people”. He continues his presence on the Board and can be counted on to help out in any of the SWHNA's activities.
Steve Sarcone, Board Member
Steve grew up on the southside, attended St Anthony grade school and Dowling HS. He graduated from Rockhurst College with a degree in Marketing and Management. Steve currently owns the Dairy Queen on Army Post Road and is part owner of the Indianola Dairy Queen. He has five children who have been raised in their southside home on Thornton Ave. He has children attending college, high school, and grade school. Steve's wife, Stephanie, is an attorney with Well Fargo Bank. Steve and his family enjoy numerous activities with friends living within Southwestern Hills Neighborhood and would not want to live any other place.
Jon Shelness, Board Member
Jon Shelness owns and operates a national mail-order security business named MyPropertyID. Jon knows the value of a strong neighborhood association and is dedicated to maintaining Southwestern Hills at the highest level. Jon grew up in the suburbs of New York City and attended high school in Davis, California. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in psychology and has completed graduate coursework through Simpson College in criminal justice. He has lived in central Iowa since 1990 and the Southwestern Hills neighborhood since 2009.
Penny Harrison, Board Member
Penny Harrison was born in England and has lived in the Southern Hills area since 1988. She is a realtor based on the southwest side. She was previously the vice-president of the Southwestern Hills Neighborhood Association. Her husband, Scott, is a teacher and the head girls basketball coach at Lincoln High School. They have a daughter living in Seattle and two sons living in Des Moines. Penny spends time donating to the betterment of the homeless community in Des Moines.
Joe Harrison, Board Member
I grew up on the south side, graduated from Lincoln High School and the University of Northern Iowa. For the past 28 years, I’ve worked for the Polk County Bar Association. I am stationed at the Polk County Justice Center, and coordinate mediation of civil suits in the 5th Judicial District of Iowa. I live on Thornton Ave. with my wife, Kim and our two cats and two dogs. I’m blessed to have my parents as my next door neighbors. I’ve lived here for 10 years, love it, and want to preserve what we have in Southwestern Hills.