Vinton Unlimited

A merged chamber of commerce and economic development group.

Board of Directors

Ashley Hesson (’21), President
Ashley is the owner and operator of Vinton Trophy & Awards. Ashley and her husband, Nathan, have two children. Ashley coaches the high school girls swim team, co-leads the girl scouts and is active in other groups around town. As small business owners in town, Ashley & Nathan appreciate the strong support of community found in Vinton. We treasure the opportunity to show the young people of Vinton how much there is to be proud of in their hometown. Ashley enjoys the opportunity to serve on the VU Board because of the role it plays in shaping the future of the community we all know and love!

Mona Garwood (’20), Vice President
Mona is the General Manager of the Vinton Livewire, Vinton Newspapers (The Vinton Eagle & Cedar Valley Times) and Vinton Comp Center.  Mona and her husband Gary have three adult children and four wonderful grandchildren. She is past president and current board member of the Midwest Free Community Papers Association serving a ten state area of the Midwest. Mona is happy to serve the VU members for the benefit of our community, hometown businesses and the people who love it here.

Robin Martin (’22), Secretary
Robin is Foundation Director at Virginia Gay Hospital. Robin, her husband, Matt and 3 sons moved to Vinton in 2000. She is active with Lions Club, PEO and volunteers regularly at the Palace Theatre. She is happy to be a serve on Vinton Unlimited and the Vinton community.

Bob Koenigsfeld (’22)
Bob is President and Co-owner of Custom Millwork & Finishing. Bob has 3 children and is involved with the Business Opportunity Group (BOG) committee as well as the Black Hawk 4H Fair Board. Bob is excited about Vinton Unlimited and the opportunity to help impact the community in a positive manner.

Teresa Meyer (’21)
Teresa is the owner at Farm Bureau Financial Services in Vinton. Her and husband Steve have 2 grown children. Teresa is involved in the Garrison Lions Club and the Vinton-Shellsburg School Foundation. Teresa is happy to be part of Vinton Unlimited as she believes it is a vital organization for the community

Tony Islas (’20)

Emily Cashman (’22)
Emily has been the owner of Nature’s Corner since 2016, working there since 2013. Emily is a Vinton native and is also part of the “Just US” women’s group in town. Emily loves Vinton and wants to do whatever she can to help it grow and thrive.

Leah Edwards (’21)

Molly Noren (’20)
Molly was born and raised in rural Nebraska and moved to Vinton in 2006.  She is currently the Student Services Coordinator for the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District.  Her and her husband, Bob, have three children.  Jessie is a junior at UNI, Grant is a sophomore at Iowa and Katie is a junior at Vinton-Shellsburg high school.  They have enjoyed living in a small town and all of the benefits it has to offer.  Molly looks forward to being involved with VU and the community of Vinton.

Karilea Ries (’21)
Karilea is a lifelong resident of Vinton. Karilea and her husband, Paul, have 2 boys, Riley a senior at Washington and Lee University and Grant is a senior at Vinton-Shellsburg High School. Karilea & Paul have owned Cameron Clothing for 28 years. In 2003, they purchased the former Simon’s business and opened Henkle Creek Mercantile. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve on the VU board to help to continue to promote and develop the Vinton community that she had had the privilege of growing up and raising her family in.

Brian Parr
Brian is an ‘at large’ member of Vinton’s City Council and serves as the city’s representative to Vinton Unlimited.

Melissa Schwan, Executive Director
Melissa has served as the Director of Vinton Unlimited since October 2014. Melissa and her husband Michael have two children. While not a Vinton native, Melissa and her husband have quickly fallen in love with the community and look forward to raising their children here. Outside of her position, Melissa serves on the Happy Time Child Development Center board and is a member of the Vinton Off Road Cyclist (VORC) club.

Past Presidents

Morris Echkart, 1984
Dave Vermedahl, 1985
Kay Dowd, 1986
James Russell, 1987
Jim Kirk, 1988
John Ketchen, 1989
Don Weideman, 1990
J.C. Fraker, 1991
Wayne Siela, 1992-1993

Jon Clingman, 1994
Jon Kremer, 1995
Kathy Root, 1996
Michael Barron, 1997
Todd Wiley, 1998
Jeff Akers, 1999
John Yundt, 2000-2001
Jon Clingman, 2002
Sandy Lyons, 2003-2004

Lori Smith, 2005
Kathy Tranel, 2006
Lisa Vogt, 2007-2008
Rick Zimpfer, 2009
Dan Engledow, 2010-2012
Tim Bird, 2013
Jon Clingman, 2013-2014
Kristi Storey, 2015-2016
Teresa Meyer, 2016-2019
Ashley Hesson, 2020



Vinton Unlimited
310 A Ave
Vinton, Iowa 52349