Meet IFL Board of Directors
Interviews By Cheyanne Kofmehl
Thank you to our board members who actively give their lives in defense of the unborn and defenseless.
President Father Chris Reising
Vice President Tom Quiner
Treasurer Fred Nesbit
Secretary Jean Smith
Board Member Wendy Solawetz
Board Member Garland Dahlke
Board Member Martha Stout
Board Member Jeff Pierick
Board Member Dr. James Becker
Board Member Steve Tatz
Board Member Kim Lehman
Board Member Sue Greenwood
Board Member Cheyanne Kofmehl
Board Member Senator David Johnson
Board Member Deacon Mike Mano
Board Member Duy Huynh
When was it you first realized you were pro-life? Any inspiring moments that have strengthened your pro-life convictions?
I have always been pro-life. I grew up in a remote hamlet in Viet Nam, and even in our backwards, ancient, and undeveloped region in one of the poorest countries in the world, we knew that human lives were something much more valuable than anything in the world. Death was a reality too often experienced because of the lack of medical care, and we saw the gravity in it. We could never have fathomed the idea that one can willingly kill an unborn child in the womb – yes, we all in our uneducated and ignorant realities somehow understood that what is in the womb is a child and not some group of cells that has no life and no value. Needless to say, I’ve always respected life and always saw a kind of sacredness to life that surpasses anything else in the world.
How did you find out about Iowans for Life and what inspired you to support them?
I came across Iowans for Life inadvertently by helping chaperone the Dowling Catholic High School March for Life group. Since Iowans for Life was helping coordinate the trip, I got to know them a little better through the years. And since Iowans for Life works also within the teachings of the Catholic Tradition, I found myself supporting them given my Catholic identity and our shared values and outlook.
How does your faith influence your pro-life work and are there any special devotions, prayers, saints, or reflections that inspire you in your activism?
The heart of Christianity is God’s love for us as human beings created in His image and likeness and for our return to Him. My faithful convictions drive me to both speak and work out the reality that human lives are sacred, that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, that human beings are loved by God, that each human person is a steward of his/her own body, but not an autonomous author of it where s/he can do whatever with it s/he wants. With this conviction, Mary is the person I pray to often in the battle against the culture of death. Where Eve hid her body from God in shame, Mary told God: this is my body but it is yours, God, and so be it done to me as You will it.
What has been your most rewarding experience working in the pro-life movement and as a member of the Iowans for Life Board?
I’m a very new member to the Board so I can’t speak to much of this. I can say with certainty though that I have enjoyed working with the other members of the Board and their insights and experiences have been gratefully received by me in our meetings.
If there is anything you could say to someone who's thinking about supporting Iowans for Life in any way; whether through time, talent, or treasure, what would you tell them?
Ultimately this is about love – St. Thomas Aquinas tells us saliently that what (or whom) we love tells us who we are. So what or whom do we love? If we love God and God loves humanity – to the point of dying in order to redeem it – then we also need to love humanity. And loving humanity begins by fighting for and protecting the most fundamental reality required for human flourishing: life. So if you’re thinking about supporting Iowans for Life then you are indeed thinking about extending your love of God to love of neighbor as self. So in whatever way you can help, please do so!
Anything else you'd like to add?
The Packers rule all!