Board of Directors

Cheri Matthews – Board President


Cheri Matthews, received a B.S. in Teaching Prekindergarten-Kindergarten Children and Early Childhood Special Education from Iowa State University in May 1994, and a M.S. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State College in May 2009.

She is currently employed as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Coordinator with Educational Service Unit #1.  Her job duties include providing special education services to children (birth through Preschool) and their families as well as being the supervisor for the Early Development Network.

Angela Abts

IMG_7627 (1)Angela Abts, received a B.S. in Human Resources and Family Sciences with a major in secondary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in May 1998, and a M.S. in Youth Development  from the Kansas State University in May 2006.

She is currently employed as an Extension Educator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Dakota County.  Her job roles as an educator are to develop, implement, and evaluate research-based youth development educational programs (i.e. school enrichment, after-school/out-of-school programs, etc.) for the county, district, and state.

Angela has also worked as an Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension in Pottawatomie and Sheridan counties and taught at the Ponca Public Schools as a Family and Consumer Science teacher.

Marian Burnett

Marian Burnett PicMarian graduated from Loras College with a degree in Sociology and a LBSW.

She has been working at the Crittenton Center for the past 38 years.  Marian is dedicated to helping families in need in all communities.  Marian believes that  Dakota County Connections is a great way to assist our neighbors in whatever their needs are because we are working together as a strong collaborative team.

Sarah Deck

Sarah Deck is the Dakota County Juvenile Diversion Coordinator. She graduated from University of South Dakota in 2008 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and went on to earn a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa in 2014. Sarah is passionate in her commitment to making Siouxland a safe and healthy community for all who call it home.

Dave Faldmo

David Faldmo has been working at the Siouxland Community Health Center in Sioux City, Iowa since 1992. He is passionate about the mission of community health centers and serving the underserved. As Quality Director, he enjoys working with others to improve clinical outcomes and in process improvement efforts.

In 2011, he completed the Community Health Center Executive Fellowship through the University of Kansas Medical Center. He loves attending Institute of Healthcare Improvement conferences and recently completed the University of Michigan’s LEAN Healthcare training course.

He obtained his Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Iowa in 1992, Bachelors of Science from Morningside College in 1990, and Associates of Arts from Dixie College in 1887. From 1984-1986, he lived in Samoa serving a church mission.

He was born and raised in Utah, but has lived in the Midwest since 1987. He has been happily married to his wife Robin for 29 years and they have 5 children. His hobbies include coaching his children’s youth basketball teams and watching and attending BYU sporting events. He resides in Jefferson, South Dakota.

Maria A. Gonzalez

Maria A. Gonzalez has been a recruiter for Northeast Community College for over 9 years. She covers the states of SD and IA and small part of Nebraska.
She is a native of Mexico but grew up here in the Siouxland area. She has a degree in Business Administration from Briar Cliff University. She worked formerly for Tyson Foods as a Corporate Recruiter.

Jennifer Jividen Jackson

Jennifer Jividen Jackson grew up in South Sioux City and graduated college from Briar Cliff in 1999. Jennifer completed graduate school at the University of Louisville in 2001 with her Masters in Art Therapy. Jennifer is an Independently Licensed Mental Health Practitioner and the Executive Director at Heartland Counseling Services, Inc., the community behavioral health center for 11 counties in northern Nebraska. Jennifer has served as president of both the Kentucky Art Therapy Association and the Iowa Art Therapy Association; chair of the Education Programs Approval Board; and most recently elected as Secretary for the American Art Therapy Association. At the local level, Jennifer serves as a South Sioux City chamber ambassador, board member for Siouxland Coalition for Homelessness, and committee member for Leadership Dakota County. Jennifer and husband Rory have three children, Lochlin, Ireland, and Magdelyn and reside in Sioux City.

Stephanie Pickinpaugh

IMG_7627 (1)Stephanie Pickinpaugh is with the Institute for Community Alliances and works as the Project Manager for Coordinated Entry for the Siouxland Coalition to End Homelessness Continuum of Care. Stephanie’s primary role is to manage the development of Coordinated Entry in compliance with HUD’s standards. Stephanie’s facilitation of meetings and discussions with stakeholders in the community play a vital role in the development of this new system change. In addition to facilitation of conversations, Stephanie is also the author of the policies and procedures that will guide how the community serves those experiencing homelessness. Stephanie’s earlier system experience include working with IDEA and EDN in the State of Nebraska. Stephanie received her undergraduate in Human Service Counseling from Wayne State College and obtained a Master’s of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.

Todd Strom

Todd Strom is the Superintendent of South Sioux City Schools and a South Sioux City Resident. He has been married for 27 years to his lovely wife, Jill Strom. They have 2 children, Elijah and Hannah. Both are attending South Sioux City High School. Todd has been in the education profession for 28 years serving as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent and now superintendent. He is passionate about serving others, education, and community. His hobbies include attending school activities, fishing, hunting and spending time with family.


*Meetings are the second Thursday of every month 9-10 am at the Cardinal Conference Center in South Sioux City, 4401 Dakota Ave.

*Click on the date below to view Growing Community Connections’ monthly meeting minutes.

Meeting Minutes

July 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019