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Board of Directors

James (Rusty) Stout, Founder and President

Rusty is a lifelong below-knee amputee and has used a prosthesis since 1953.  A pioneer in adaptive sporting, he learned to ice skate and developed water and alpine skiing techniques as a child.  He was Director of Development and Finance for Discovery Living, Inc., a residential service agency for cognitively impaired adults, later serving on its Board.  He was a tenured professor in the Department of Economics and Business, Cornell College of Iowa, retiring after 25 years. 

Since then he has devoted his energies to developing Vitality In Action Foundation.  Rusty holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wichita State University and an M.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Iowa, conducting his studies in the areas of Labor Productivity and Employment of People With Disabilities.

Rusty takes a few turns on the ice with 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill, at the 2017 World Figure and Fancy Skating Competition in Vail. To see a video of it click HERE.

Harvey Siegelman, Vice-President

Harvey Siegelman has been a friend of Vitality in Action from it's founding.  He is a research and academic economist. In 2001, he retired after spending the previous 20 years as the State Economist of Iowa and economic advisor to three Iowa governors. During that time he was also adjunct professor of economics at Drake University. His academic career includes positions at University of Missouri and Wisconsin, Findlay University and Wichita State University. His specialties include governmental, health care and economic development.  In 2001, he founded the consulting firm Strategic Economics Group.  In an earlier life he was an analyst in the Finance Ministry of the government of Israel.

In 2016, a broken femur, two years of surgery and a year of learning to walk again has given Harvey the perspective of the issues confronting anyone with a physical handicap.

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Nancy Grandquist Fields

Nancy is a community banker and nonprofit real estate developer.  She was on the Board of the Greater Des Moines Home Builder s Association.  She worked for federal government in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Department of Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development until her retirement in 2013.  She was also vice president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.  In that position her team managed the affordable housing grant and loan programs in a five state area.  During her tenure there, she was awarded the Department of Treasury President Clinton medal.

She was active in Rotary International and participated in their exchange programs in Sweden and England during which time she became a Paul Harris Fellow.  Her formal education includes a B.A. in Public Administration from Drake University and a Graduate School of Banking degree from the University of Wisconsin.  She lives in Alexandria, Louisiana and Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, federal administrative rules judge Kim Fields.

Gerald (Bill) Gugerty

Bill is a Certified Public Accountant registered in the state of Illinois.  He holds a Master of Professional Accountancy and a B.S. in Accounting from Illinois State University, and previously worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Bill draws on this background to assist Vitality in establishing financial controls and procedures to ensure thorough, ethical, and responsible financial reporting and oversight.  As a student of Mysore Ashtanga Yoga, Bill works to build his strength, flexibility, and balance through a daily practice.  It is this experience that draws him to Vitality’s mission of helping others maximize their vitality through recreational activities that inspire them.

Bill is employed as an accountant with the U.S. State Department currently stationed in the United States Embassy in Lima, Peru. 

Jessica Butala

Jessica teaches high school Spanish and coaches volleyball in Colorado Springs. She holds a B.A. in Economics & Business and Spanish from Cornell College.  Jessica brings professional experience in non-profit fundraising, coaching, and education.  Her past associations include the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

She was inspired to work with the dynamic connections between mobility and health after meeting members of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team, and is excited to bring that passion to Vitality.  In her spare time, Jessica plays volleyball and enjoys running and hiking.

Leonard Nelson

Leonard was best described in a 9news.com story as a "pilot, Vietnam vet, skier, farmer, husband, dad, jokester and pickelball fanatic - Leonard Nelson is a fascinating guy." In 1966 he returned from Vietnam to a career as a Delta Airlines pilot.  In 2003, a skiing accident left him with a spinal cord injury and "learning to adapt to a new challenge."  At the Arvada APEX center he was introduced to pickelball.  What started as rehab, soon became his passion.

His favorite response when asked how he his is "I'm a lot better now that you're here."

Aaron Beckerman

Aaron is a tax preparer based in West Des Moines, Iowa.  Aaron earned an accounting degree at Rider College (Trenton, NJ) and graduate MBA work at Fairleigh Dickerson University (Hackensack, NJ).  From 1977-81, he was an audit manager on telephone, gas and electric utility rate cases for the Minnesota Department of Public Service.  From 1981-2000, he worked for the Iowa Utility Board as supervisor of telecommunications section.  In that capacity he analyzed utility filings before the Board. In 2012, he retired as manager or rates and tariffs for a five state region of Iowa Network Services. 

For nearly fifty years has been an active member of the Des Moines Jewish community.  He is pictured with his wife Barbara.

Pawel Brzozka

Pawel is a certified prosthetist at Agile Orthopedics in Denver.  He previous held a similar position At Horizon Prosthetics and Denver Prosthetics and Orthotic Specialists (both in Denver) and MD Orthotic and Prosthetic Labs in Chicago.  He received his orthotist training at Northwestern University.  He also hold masters degrees in mechanical engineering (2004) and Electromechanical engineering (2006) from Bialystok University of Technology. He received his clinical education at Northwestern University.

When not working Pawel can be found in the mountains enjoying camping, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing with his wife and two kids, or in his garage brewing beer and building new woodworking projects. 

Copyright 2022, Vitality In Action Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation 

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