Leadership

Bridget Cravens-Neely, MBA – Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]  (515) 215-9974
Bridget joined BBBSCI as the CEO in June 2022. Having worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, Bridget most recently served as a Farm Underwriting Manager at Nationwide. Bridget also co-owns with her husband Bottle & Bottega Des Moines, a wine and art party business located in Downtown Des Moines. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University and a Masters of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Throughout her career, Bridget has held various roles from formal people leadership to individual contributor. Her experience includes positions in administration, operations, sales, service, project management, and organizational leadership. These roles have established her brand as a thought leader who is collaborative, entrepreneurial, and innovative.

Bridget has made an impact through her professional and civic work in the Des Moines community. In 2017, Bridget received the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s 2017 Alumni Volunteer Award. She currently serves in organizations like the Iowa Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; the Des Moines Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute; Women Lead Change (Central Iowa Conference); Many Shades of Colour Conference; the Willkie House; the YMCA MLK Prayer Breakfast Steering Committee; and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS). She also serves on the Business Record’s Racial Equity Advisory Board and the Chrysalis Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Tony Leo, Director of Programs
[email protected]
  (515) 217-4013
Tony joined BBBSCI in 2005 as a Match Support Specialist and in 2017 became Director of Programs. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a Master’s in Social Work. Tony has lived in Des Moines most of his life with his wife, Kate, 3 sons – Jake, Alex, and Luke, and dog Lucky. In his free time, Tony coaches basketball and Odyssey of the Mind and enjoys doing yard work and watching sports – especially the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Emily Kriegel, Fund Development Officer
[email protected]
  (515) 215-9975
Emily joined BBBSCI as the Events and Volunteer Management Coordinator in March 2020 and was promoted to Fund Development Officer in July 2021. She grew up in Grinnell, Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, and attending concerts and sporting events.


Carol Millar, Operations Manager
[email protected]  (515) 215-9976
Carol joined BBBSCI in August 2021. After 30+ years originating commercial real estate loans for financial services companies in Des Moines, she embarked on a new path to use her skills to impact the lives of young people in the community. Carol graduated from Iowa State University (ISU) with a BS in Economics and has a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Colorado State University. She served on the Board of Everybody Wins IA! for 5 years and has also served as a mentor/volunteer for more than 15 years. In addition, Carol also serves as an adviser to Alpha Omicron PI sorority at ISU. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending theatre performances, reading, and cheering on the ISU Cyclones and the Chicago Cubs.

TEAM

Jada Alexander, Substance Abuse Prevention Mentoring Coordinator
[email protected] 
(515) 661-4244
Jada graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently working towards a Master of Social Work degree at Grandview University. Previously, Jada worked as a Sexual Assault Campus Outreach and Prevention Advocate at ACCESS, a victim services agency located in Ames, IA. She has volunteered with numerous youth centered agencies and programs in the Des Moines area. Growing up in Des Moines, Jada brings connections and longstanding partnerships to her role at BBBSCI. In her free time she loves to read romance novels and spend time with her loved ones.

Sara Bishop, Marketing & Communications Specialist
[email protected]
  (515) 215-9973
Sara has been with BBBSCI since October 2011. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Art & Design. Originally from northeast Iowa, Sara now calls Des Moines home and enjoys exploring the city’s local shops and cafes.


Grace Breiholz, Community-Based Match Support Specialist & Child Enrollment Coordinator

[email protected]  (515) 717-0747
Grace graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Grace volunteered with numerous youth organizations throughout college, including Boys and Girls Club, Girls on the Run, and Dance Marathon. Grace is originally from the Des Moines area, and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, trying new activities throughout the community, and watching football and baseball.


Nathan Brooks, Community-Based Match Support Specialist & Child Enrollment Coordinator

[email protected]  (515) 218-7266
Nathan comes to BBBSCI with experience in a variety of roles including time spent at Employee and Family Resources, Central Iowa Employment & Training Consortium, Better Business Bureau, and serving on the Polk County Board of Supervisors as an elected official.  He also has participated in a number of civic activities including the Bridges Mentoring Program, serving as a board member for six different organizations, and enjoys coaching youth track and football. He is a prior "40 Under 40" recipient from the Business Record and brings a great deal of passion for our mission.


Tristan Hines, School-Based & Workplace Mentoring Coordinator
[email protected]  (515) 329-0341
Tristan joined BBBSCI in September 2021. He was born near Washington DC and grew up in Van Meter, Iowa. Tristan earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish from Coe College in 2018. In college, he participated in various extracurricular activities and organizations like Coe Human Rights Activists, Linn County Central Committee, and Justice for our Neighbors. He brings his experience in education and training from working abroad. In his free time, Tristan enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, going to concerts, and watching superhero movies.


Emma Kolpek, Program Support Specialist
[email protected]  (515) 207-2762
Emma interned with BBBSCI during summer 2021 and joined the team officially in August 2021. She graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, a minor in Social Justice, and a certificate in Resilience and Trauma Informed Perspectives. During college, Emma volunteered at CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank with their crisis intervention services, and she was a member of the 2020-21 Student Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct. She is originally from the Des Moines area, and enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her dog, Yoda.

Danielle Moss, Volunteer & Recruitment Coordinator
[email protected]
  (515) 217-4014
Danielle joined BBBSCI as the Volunteer and Recruitment Coordinator in January 2019. She grew up in Des Moines and has spent much of her life volunteering at church and a variety of health and human services organizations while maintaining a career in the finance and insurance industry. Danielle enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, hiking and other outdoor activities when the temps are warm. She also volunteers at BBBSCI as a Big Duo with her husband.


Lauryn Nystrom, Fund Development Manager
[email protected]
  (515) 217-4012
Lauryn has been with BBBSCI since March 2018. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Leisure, Youth & Human Services. Lauryn also obtained a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential. Lauryn was born and raised in Ackley, IA. In her free time, Lauryn enjoys spending time outdoors, baking, and attending festivals and the farmers market with friends.


Kristin Pierce, School-Based & Workplace Mentoring Coordinator
[email protected]  (515) 259-3138
Kristin joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters team in February 2021. Kristin brings with her a passion for helping youth and great communication skills. Born and raised in Southeast Iowa, Kristin now resides in the Des Moines metro with her husband and their dog, Luie. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Luther College in 2018. In college, she volunteered with a number of campus organizations that worked with youth and was an intern with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County. Kristin enjoys being outside, exploring Des Moines and the bike trails, and spending time with family and friends.