Center for Innovation & Leadership
Board of Advisers
Leandro Costa '26, a student-athlete from Brazil, is pursuing marketing, entrepreneurship and public relations degrees while involved in leadership positions at Northwestern. Raised in the corporate environment of his family business, founded in 1962, he strives to become a more effective communicator and to make a difference in the world.
Luke Francois is a process engineer with Pella Corporation in Sioux Center, Iowa. He also leads the continuous improvement department and is an industry 4.0 champion, building a culture of servant leadership and delivering innovative solutions to manufacturing processes. Previously, he worked at Cargill, supporting the deployment of continuous improvement as a change, communication and education leader. Francois has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa.
Julie Haverly ’12 is the senior manager for integration at Renewable Energy Group, Inc. in Ames, Iowa. Her department is responsible for transforming vision into reality. She works across the company to facilitate post-merger integrations and manages cross-functional expansion projects. She previously held roles at REG in marketing and strategy. Haverly completed her MBA at the University of Iowa, worked at a software startup company in Ames, and served on the Metro Women Connect steering committee for Iowa Women Lead Change.
Kari Hickman ’13 is the owner of Petals + Perks in Sioux Center, Iowa, a small business specializing in floral designs, weddings and home decor that also has an in-house coffeeshop. Hickman spearheads the operations, management, bookwork, marketing, and design work of the business. She purchased it in January 2021 after working at Petals + Perks under the previous owner for 12 years. She is a graduate of Northwestern, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Cindy Prewitt is a teacher and instructional coach with the Sheldon Community School District. In that role, she coaches individuals to improve curriculum, instruction and assessment; plans professional development activities for the district; and helps implement and manage systems within the schools. She also teaches the CAPS class for Sheldon High School. CAPS is the Center for Advanced Professional Studies and supports students’ growth in leadership, communication, purpose, innovation and professionalism. Previously, Prewitt taught gifted students and high school math. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Wayne State University.
Steve Roesner ’83 works for Vogel Traffic Services in Orange City as the vice president for strategic development. Roesner serves Orange City as an elected member of the city council, as well as a member of the Orange City Economic Development board and Prairie Winds Event Center board. He is also a member of the Iowa Economic Development Authority work group. Roesner earned an MBA from the University of South Dakota.
Jillian Simon ’24, a Northwestern student from Parkersburg, Iowa, is pursuing degrees in business administration, public relations, entrepreneurship and youth ministry. She hopes to eventually work for a non-profit organization and is currently spearheading the development of a diaper bank in the Sioux County area.
Drew Vogel ’72 is the chairman of Diamond Vogel Paint, Inc. and Iowa State Bank, both headquartered in Orange City. Vogel serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Iowa College Foundation, American Coatings Association, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and Luke Society. He was inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2017; was presented the Legends Manufacturing Award by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry in 2015, the Heckel Industry Award by the American Coatings Association in 2014 , and was honored, along with his wife, Jean, with the Distinguished Service to Northwestern College Award in 2009.