Meet Our

Board of Directors

The ISS Board of Directors oversees our international programs and maintains the ethical and fiduciary responsibility of our organization to financial supporters, state government and Iowa's citizenry.

The Board is led by the Executive Committee, which is comprised of the President, President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary. This committee meets prior to all Board meetings (and other times as necessary) and acts with the authority of the Board between meetings.

Teresa Parmenter


Teresa joined the ISS Board in 2014 but has been a citizen diplomat for over three decades.  Teresa has played an integral part in the Yamanashi/Iowa Baseall Exchange and has been active in Iowa as the Athletic Director of Holy Trinity School and Governor of the Iowa Amateur Athletic Union for 16 years.

Paolo Bartesaghi


Paolo joined ISS in 1998. His term on our Board of Directors began in 2004 and since then he has been President of ISS and currently serves as Chair of the Iowa-Veneto partnership. Paolo was born in Lecco, Italy, and worked extensively in the fashion industry for many years. He moved to Des Moines in 1997 and was the owner of the retail stores A Touch of Italy and Accenti. He is now a travel consultant for his company Traveling Treasures. Paolo has served on numerous boards and committees including Drake Fine Arts and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He is currently the President of the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa.

Roger Nowadzky

Roger has been involved with ISS for over 21 years. Currently, he also sits on the ISS Board of Directors and has since 2014. Roger is an adjunct member of the Grand View University faculty. In the past, he has served as Legal Counsel for the Iowa Legislature, Deputy Executive Director and Counsel for the Iowa League of Cities, and City Attorney of Marshalltown.

Tom Rial


Tom has been involved with ISS in a number of roles, including President of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Stavropol Committee. Tom works for Vermeer as import-export Compliance and Logistics Manager.

Luca Berrone

Luca has been involved with ISS since the very beginning! He assisted in its formation in 1983 and has serve in various capacities since then, and has been on the Board of Directors since 2006. Luca was born and raised in Torino, Italy and built his ties to Iowa as a foreign exchange student at Hoover High School and then as an international student at Iowa State University. Luca is the President of SACMI, USA Ltd., a subsidiary of an Italian manufacturing company.

Rob Denson

Rob joined our Board of Directors in 2018. He is the president of the Des Monies Area Community College and has been there since 2003. In addition, Rob is active on nearly twenty community boards. Rob received his B.S. in Political Science and Economics and his M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University. He graduated from Law School at the University of Florida in 1979 and is a board certified civil trial lawyer. 

Grant Kimberley

Grant joined the ISS Board in 2014. He is the Director of Market Development for the Iowa Soybean Association, and has participated in overseas trade missions all around the world. Grant is a sixth-generation family farmer, and in February 2012, he and his family hosted then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping for a highly-publicized farm visit. Grant also met with Xi in Beijing the following month as a part of the Iowa Lt. Governor's trade delegation.

 Phyllis Van Gilst

Phyllis joined the Board in 2004, and she has traveled with ISS on an exchange to Yamanashi, Japan where she climbed Mt. Fuji. Her international travel experience is extensive, and she has hosted many international guests over the past two decades. Phyllis is the Director of International Trade Compliance for Emerson Process Management.

Will has been volunteering for ISS since 1998. He has also served as Chair of the Iowa-Hebei partnership since 2000. Will is our immediate past president, and has helped coordinate many exchange projects in Hebei and in its neighboring cities Tianjin and Beijing. Will teaches English and global study courses at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

Dr. Will Zhang

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© 2017, Iowa Sister States

Monty and his wife Lori are from Indianola, Iowa. They have 2 grown daughters, 2 sons-in law, and 3 granddaughters.

He retired from teaching in 2016 after 39 years. Monty is very active in his community. He has been a local 4H club leader, County Senior 4H leader, and a member of the County 4H youth committee and is now on the Warren County 4H Foundation Board. And he spends his summers at the Annett Nature Center conducting day camps for ages 4 to 13. Monty also volunteers at the nature center for public programs and has been on the Friends of Warren County Conservation Board since it was formed.

Monty has been involved with Iowa Sister States since 2001. He was involved in a three-year high school student exchange program with Cherkasy, Ukraine. He fell in love with the country and its people and has been the chairperson of the Ukraine committee since. Monty also served on the Planning and Action Committee of ISS, and the annual fund-raising committee in 2011. He has held the Board positions of Secretary, Vice President and President, and most recently served as the Interim Executive Director.

Last Updated: jULY 15, 2020