Guillermo Morales

Executive Director

Guillermo is originally from El Paso, Texas.  He has experience in labor relations, regulatory administration, policy advocacy, strategic planning, and executive level management.  Guillermo moved to Iowa by way of San Jose, California where he served as Executive Manager of the California School Employees Association (CSEA).  He also served concurrently, while in that role, as Interim Director of Communications.  He started at CSEA as a Labor Relations Representative before being promoted to the Executive Manager role.  Upon moving to Iowa, Guillermo joined University of Iowa Labor Center as a Labor Educator.  He was also granted a complementary appointment as an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Iowa College of Law.  Guillermo earned a BA in political science with a minor in history from the University of Texas at El Paso and a JD from Texas Tech University School of Law.  In his spare time, Guillermo enjoys spending time outside with his family, playing bass guitar, cycling, and mountain biking.

Jill Wenger

Administrative Assistant

Jill provides administrative support for the Board Office. Prior to this position she worked for Johnson County Livable Community, freelanced graphic design and administrative services, and worked for the City of Iowa City, in Document Services (now Communications) department.

Allison Wells

Grants Manager

Allison leads the grants team administering the annual Economic Development and Quality of Life grant programs, overseeing the administration of state and federal dollars, assisting other departments in proposal development and grant administration, and managing grant-funded projects. Prior to becoming Grants Manager, Allison worked as the Grants Assistant for two years and in Elections at the Auditor’s Office before that. Allison holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in History and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies from the University of Iowa as well as a B.A. in History and Political Science from Beloit College. In her free time, Allison enjoys running, baking, and reality television.

Sean Donaldson

Grants Specialist

Sean ensures that Johnson County’s grant-funded programs and projects maintain consistent and uniform compliance with all rules and regulations. He holds a B.A. in History from Coe College and worked in area nonprofits prior to joining the Board of Supervisors Office. Most recently, Sean worked with the Catherine McAuley Center after several years with the African American Museum of Iowa.

Peter Fegley

Program Compliance Specialist

Peter provides oversight and assistance to departments and offices as well as external recipients of grant funds to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations. He also establishes, implements, and maintains internal policies and procedures related to program funding initiatives. Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from Mount Mercy University and a B.A. in Psychology from Central College. Before becoming the Program Compliance Specialist, Peter spent many years fundraising, most recently as the Senior Assistant-Development for the Iowa City Public Library. Outside of work, Peter enjoys spending time with his family, biking, playing music, and supporting the Iowa Hawkeyes and St. Louis Cardinals.


Melissa Robert

Special Projects Manager

Melissa manages a broad variety of projects, including special initiatives and vertical infrastructure capital improvements, while incorporating quality improvement and sustainability principles. She manages public bidding and contracts and coordinates stakeholder communication. Before joining Johnson County, Melissa managed conservation programs and initiatives at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She also served as a representative on the Equity and Inclusion Committee. Beyond project management, she has experience in data analytics, process improvements, and contract administration. She has also worked in the energy efficiency, food, and customer service industries. She holds and M.S. in Environmental Conservation and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of work, she enjoys sampling local foods and spending time with her family at Iowa City parks and festivals.

James Bechtel

Project and Systems Analyst

James provides support for strategic development and implementation of improvement projects, programs, and special county initiatives. He provides coordination for improving the County’s core functions and evaluating the impact systems improvements have on the County’s growth. Before joining the Board Office, James worked at Johnson County Public Health supporting performance improvement in department operations, workforce development, and community insights, as well as serving as the Accreditation Coordinator for the department. James holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and a M.S. in Urban & Regional Planning from the School of Planning and Public Affairs (University of Iowa).

Ilsa DeWald

Local Food and Farm Manager

Ilsa oversees the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm, a 160 acre farm that provides a public space for connecting to the land and local history through inclusive, community-led opportunities. The Historic Poor Farm hosts land access and shared infrastructure for farmers and gardeners, historic tours of buildings and barns, publicly accessible natural areas, and is soon to have a shared-use kitchen onsite. Ilsa provides community and resource connections, collaboration assistance, and other support to farmers, processors, marketers, educators, distributers, and other members of our community-based food system. She supports the Johnson County Food Policy Council with their policy and funding recommendations, public forums, and strategic planning. Before joining Johnson County in May 2018, Ilsa worked at North Liberty Community Pantry as the Garden and Volunteer Coordinator. Ilsa received a B.A. in Environmental Science and a Sustainability Certificate from the University of Iowa.

Cassidy Beamer

Local Food Assistant

Cassidy assists in the development of policies and resources that promote local food production, food chain resiliency, and food security. She also provides staff support for the Johnson County Food Policy Council and assists with 10-year Master Plan implementation and event coordination at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm. Prior to this position, Cassidy worked as the Local Foods Intern for the Board Office. Cassidy holds a B.A. in Environmental Policy & Planning and a certificate in Sustainability from the University of Iowa.

Julie Watkins

Event and Program Assistant

Julie supports the planning, production, and marketing of events and programming at Johnson County’s Historic Poor Farm.

She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Geography and minors in Gender Studies, Spanish, and GIS. Julie served as the Events and Admin Coordinator at the Iowa City Downtown District before entering her current role with Johnson County. Beyond work, she spends her time biking, singing, and drawing.


Paola Jaramillo Guayara

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

Paola leads the county’s effort to promote and enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as they permeate through local county government and the greater Johnson County community. Through programs, trainings, and services, she promotes an inclusive and diverse employee community, in partnership with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Ambassadors to embody the strategic plan. Paola holds a B.S. from the University of Iowa in Human Physiology with interest in mass communication and a minor in Dance. Prior to joining the Board of Supervisors Office, Paola worked at the Coralville Community Food Pantry as the Programs and Communications Coordinator.


Nikole Molina

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Intern

Nikole supports the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator in the development and implementation of Johnson County’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement initiatives. She assists in policy research and data collection, along with supporting the Diversity & Inclusion (D & I) Committee. Nikole holds a B.B.A. in Business Analytics & Information Systems and a certificate in International Business from the University of Iowa.

Krista Burich

Communications Assistant

Krista provides support and coordination for County communications efforts, including media relations, social media, and community outreach. Prior to her position as Communications Assistant for the Board of Supervisors, she worked in Elections for the Auditor's Office. Before joining Johnson County, Krista provided freelance social media and design work to businesses in Iowa City and worked as a communications specialist in the nonprofit sector in Maryland and Washington D.C.

Marc Bauer

Media Production & Technology Assistant

Marc works with the communications team on various video and media projects and assists the Board of Supervisors with their technology needs. He has a background in news videography, filming and editing stories for KCRG and KGAN in Cedar Rapids. Marc graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Cinema. Outside of work, he enjoys producing short films and writing scripts.

JJ Johnson

Media Production & Technology Specialist

JJ assists the Johnson County Communications team and Board of Supervisors with their media and technology needs. He has experience as a videographer and editor for a non-profit organization and university, as well as news writing experience. He has a B.A. in Journalism. Prior to joining Johnson County, he spent five years as a stay-at-home dad to his three kids.