Iowans for Life Board of Directors
Maggie DeWitte has served as the Executive Director of Iowans for LIFE since 2010. Prior to her role as Executive Director, she served on the Board of Directors for IFL for two years. Previous work experience includes the Adoption Coordinator for Catholic Charities and Respect Life Contact for the Diocese of Des Moines from 2000-2010. DeWitte has worked as a family counselor for children at risk of being removed by the State, an Independent Living Counselor for teenagers aging out of the foster care system, taught Life Skills to court ordered adolescents, a specialized case manager for the foster care system in Illinois, and a counselor at a group home. DeWitte has 25 years of experience working in various social service positions throughout her career. The common thread is working on behalf of those most vulnerable.
Ms. DeWitte has been married for 24 years and has four children, aged 17, 15, 11, and 6. They attend Dowling Catholic High School and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School. She is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and serves on the Respect Life Committee, and the Adoration Committee.
Office Operations Director
Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, to Air Force parents, and then stationed in Taiwan, Texas, Turkey, and landing in Missouri at age 15, I learned to appreciate being an American. In Kansas City my family was active in an Assembly of God church where I met my husband, David. We married in 1982 and now have 4 grown children and 4 wonderful grandchildren. David has been Youth Pastor, Christian Radio Station Manager, Senior Pastor, Musician, Drama Director and Bible College Teacher, and I directed the Children’s Ministry everywhere we ministered. In college my studies were bookkeeping, accounting and secretarial, and those skills gave me employment at banks, churches, and colleges wherever we moved. I grew up naively ignorant of the abortion war, and when I first learned of it in my upper teens, I grew physically sick. When we moved to Iowa, praying weekly with the prayer group in the Iowa State Capitol set my course to be forever changed into an activist on religious, family issues, and life issues. It is with joy we do what God equips us to do, and it is my joy to work in the office of Iowans For Life with Maggie and advance the Life issue each working day.
Meet IFL Board of Directors
Thank you to our board members who actively give their lives in defense of the unborn and defenseless.
Tom has been married for 43 years to his wife Karen and have three grown children and two grandchildren. Together they own and operate Breakthrough Marketing. Tom converted to Catholicism in 1981 and attends Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Tom and Karen share two passions, their faith and the pro-life cause. They also have a ministry they call Evangelization through Entertainment and have produced ten musicals and shows.
Tom believes the pro-life cause is the preeminent issue of the day and the most powerful one for bringing people to Christ. It has been Tom's honor to serve on the board since 2015 and board president since 2018.
Fr. Chris Riesing
I was born and raised in Des Moines. I went to St. Augustin Grade School and Dowling High then Creighton and Drake. I have been married to my wife Linda for 38 years. We have 8 children and 2 grandchildren. I am retired but I worked in our family’s business for 40 years. We were in the wholesale beer trade. I was the president the last 20 years I was there. I have served on many parish and charity boards over the years. For fun I like to read history and listen to music.
I am a cradle Catholic and have been married to my husband Terry for over 40 years. We have three grown children and two grandchildren.
I am a retired Laboratory Supervisor for UnityPoint Hospital. I am a Medical Technologist and I have a Master’s degree in Leadership from Grandview University.
We are parishioners of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. I have been involved in many ministries including; Stephen’s Ministry, Christ Renews His Parish, Worship and Spirituality, Peace and Justice, Marriage Encounter, the Respect Life Committee and I taught Religious Education. I volunteer as a receptionist for Inner Visions Health Clinic. My husband and I have been involved in Christian Family Movement and were on the National Board.
I know that every child is created by God and is precious in His eyes. I became pro-life in high school and my convictions have been strengthened thoughout the years. I feel a call from God to work for His glory. It is an honor to work on the Iowans For LIFE board. “Rejoice in the Lord always” Phil 4:4
Whitney Smith McIntosh
Whitney is a transplant from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and moved to Iowa in 2005 with her three-year-old son Gabriel. Whitney has been married for 10 years to her husband Rick McIntosh and is a stepmother to Rachael (23) and Isaac (20) and son Gabriel (10).
Whitney has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology and has been working in various positions using her psychology of organizational leadership skills for the past 15 years. She is now working on a second master’s degree in Clinical mental health counseling.
Whitney is a cradle Catholic and has always been pro-life but didn't become a full-blown pro-life advocate until the pregnancy and birth of her son. She especially advocates for those people in an unplanned pregnancy with little support.
Jeff has been married to his wife Karen for 33 years. They have 7 children and two grandchildren. They are active members of St. Augustin Catholic Church.
Jeff is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus and the Advocate for the St. Augustin Council. He is also a member of the Serra Club, Lawyers for Life, and several other Catholic groups. Jeff and Karen are a sponsor couple for marriage prep.
He and several of his children have attended the March for Life in D.C. for the last 11 years. Jeff attends various pro-life events in the DSM area.
Jeff has been an attorney for 32 years working for various financial services companies as an in-house counsel.
Stephen Tatz lives in Urbandale with his wife, Lisa. They were married in 1993 and have four children. He has a master’s degree in healthcare administration and extensive not-for-profit experience. An active member of the Catholic Church, he serves as a coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul of Des Moines and is scheduled to be ordained a Permanent Deacon in July 2022. Steve joined Iowans for life in 2001 and served as president 2009 - 2011. He states, “our cause is love for every single person, period.”
A member of Iowans for Life Board of directors since 2004
It all started in central Wisconsin as an 8 year old with the realization that abortion is murder followed by a debate prior to the 1976 presidential election with the neighbor kids regarding why a presidential candidate and a political party that would support abortion is not in the best interest of the country. Fast forward 40+ years and many more confrontations, Garland now lives in Ames, Iowa with his wife Bethany and when not doing the normal day job is an advisor to the Iowa State University Students for Life group at Iowa State University.
Ryan Parlee is local business owner and father of 8. His oldest son just graduated high school and his youngest son is about to start kindergarten. He likes to read books, ride bikes, play games, and otherwise run around after his kids. He attends Saylorville Church and has been a life long pro-life supporter.
John Huynh is Director of Faith Journey for the Diocese of Des Moines. John is an alumnus of Dowling Catholic High School and Loras College. John has been involved with the pro-life movement since his student years at Loras College when he attended the March for Life. Later, with his teaching post at Dowling Catholic High School, John was the Students for Life club moderator, helping to facilitate various pro-life events for DCHS students and leading them also to the March for Life. John is married with three children. John’s family celebrates the Sacraments at St. Francis of Assisi and St. Peter’s.
Connie has been married to Matt for 23 years and they have 5 grown children. There is one left in high school and he is 17. She has her bachelors degree in Sociology from Iowa State. She managed a group home in St. Helena, CA. She worked at Sterling Vineyards in hospitality and direct marketing before she married Matt. She now lives in Manson near her parents and family. She enjoys being with family and helping them learn about the Catholic faith.
Kim Grzywacz works alongside her husband at their company, CIT Signature Transportation. She began this role in 2012 after 18 years as an elementary teacher. You never know where life is going to lead you, and this path is a blessing she would not have predicted. Kim has served/is serving on the following boards: Motorcoach Marketing Council, Women in Buses Council (currently past chair), American Bus Association, FIRE Foundation for Northeast Iowa (secretary), and Iowa Group Travel Association (treasurer). Together, John and Kim have 5 children ages 26 to 10 years old. Kim is a lector at St. Thomas Aquinas church in Ames, Iowa, and feels blessed by the Holy Spirit when she proclaims God's word.
Jennifer and her husband Tom have been married 28 years, have four children and live in rural Van Meter. They have been St. Francis of Assisi parishioners for 25 years. Jennifer was raised in several Protestant faith traditions and holds dear the Christian roots planted early in her life at a small country Quaker/Society of Friends church. She was later baptized into the Baptist church at age 16, attended Lutheran services while a student at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and later joined St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Iowa City.
Strengthened by the religious roots God planted in her as a child, she now embraces and leans upon the traditions of the Catholic faith. She feels it her calling to share the common message of Christ’s love.
She is a busy mother to Jase (age 10), Ellie (age 13), Serena (age 21), and Holly (age 26, married to Steven). She is also a grandmother to Holly and Steven’s precious babies.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from ISU and has been employed for 25 years as a writer and change management leader at a financial services company in WDM. She is a children’s book author, a clarinetist, and a supporter of multiple pro-life organizations. She is honored and excited to be joining the IFL board and looks forward to helping share the message and broaden the support for the life-affirming work of Iowans for LIFE.