mike hensch

Mike Hensch

Executive Director

Mike provides administrative guidance to and coordination for the Board. He was Johnson County’s Medical Examiner Administrator from 2005 to 2017, and was a Supervisor and Medical Examiner Investigator with the County from 2002 to 2005. From 1999 to 2005, Mike served as Director of Pastoral Care for Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. Prior to that position, he was the manager of safety and security for the hospital. In the early 1990s, Mike served as executive assistant to the Warren County, Iowa, Board of Supervisors. He served in the United States Navy from 1977 to 1983, working as a medical laboratory technologist.

Kelli Andresen

Kelli Andresen

Communications Coordinator

Kelli coordinates County communications efforts and provides support to all departments and offices. This includes media relations, social media management, community engagement and outreach, and serving as the County's lead Public Information Officer. Prior to joining Johnson County, she worked as a communications professional at the City of Iowa City, as well as the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, Office of Strategic Communications, and International Programs.

Photo of Cassidy Beamer

Cassidy Beamer

Local Foods Intern

Cassidy assists the Local Foods Coordinator with initiatives that build the capacity of our community-based food system. She also provides staff support for the Johnson County Food Policy Council and assists with planning for the council’s annual public forum. Cassidy is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa, where she studied Environmental Policy & Planning and Sustainability. In addition to her internship at the County, she works as a Research Assistant at the University of Iowa’s Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences.

James Bechtel

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).

Donna Brooks

Donna Brooks

Grants Manager

Donna researches, writes, and administers grants to support Johnson County’s various departments, initiatives, and programs. She holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Prior to her position as Grants Assistant with the Board of Supervisors, Donna worked for the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the Sioux City Public Library, and Western Iowa Tech Community College as a communications specialist and writing instructor.

Krista Burich

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.

Photo of Ilsa DeWald

Ilsa DeWald

Local Foods Coordinator

Ilsa provides resources, collaboration assistance, and other support to farmers, processers, marketers, educators, distributers, and other members of our community food system. She assists the Johnson County Food Policy Council with their recommendations and annual public forums. Before joining Johnson County in May 2018, Ilsa worked at North Liberty Community Pantry as the Garden and Operations Coordinator. 

Photo of Sean Donaldson

Sean Donaldson

Program Compliance 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.

Ray Forsythe

Ray Forsythe

Special Projects Manager

Ray performs project management and coordinates special initiatives and vertical infrastructure capital projects for Johnson County. He also manages the public bidding process and contract development and administration for projects initiated in the Board of Supervisors Office with the goal of incorporating quality improvement, customer service and sustainability principles. Ray holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University in Community and Regional Planning and a Master of Public Administration from Drake University. Forsythe has spent over 30 years in public service with Planning, Economic Development and Administration positions throughout Iowa and Illinois. Most recently he spent 14 years as Planning and Development Director for the City of Moline, IL, and two years as City Administrator in Washington, IL.

Paola Jaramillo Guayara, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

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.

JJ Johnson, Media Production & Technology Assistant

JJ Johnson

Media Production & Technology Assistant

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.

Giovanni Lobo

Giovanni Lobo

Media Production and Technology Specialist

Giovanni joined the Board of Supervisors Office in December 2020. He provides support for the County in all media production needs, as well as technology for the boardroom. Prior to joining Johnson County he was a lead installer and programmer for Reference Audio, specializing in audio and video deployments for different counties and corporations in Iowa. During this time, he led many installations in conference and meeting rooms, as well as churches, football fields and gyms. He holds a degree in audio recording technologies, is passionate about technology and is always eager to expand his knowledge in the audio and video production world.

Allison Wells

Allison Wells

Grants Assistant

Allison provides support for the grants team, researching, writing and administering grants for Johnson County departments. Prior to joining the Board Office, Allison worked in Elections at the Johnson County Auditor’s Office. She holds a PhD in History and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies from the University of Iowa and worked as a Graduate Instructor and Writing Center Tutor at the University of Iowa History Department.

Jill Wenger

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.