The Iowa FFA Foundation last week announced that Brett Ridge will assume the duties of executive director on Jan. 1, 2011. He will be taking over from Wayne Nattress who is retiring. Nattress has been the executive director since the Iowa FFA Foundation was formed in 1986.
Nattress' career in ag education started over 50 years ago as an ag instructor at Palmer in northwest Iowa for three years. After 16 years at Buffalo Center, he took a job with the Iowa Department of Education as an ag education consultant and served as the Iowa FFA adviser. Nattress was responsible for starting the Iowa FFA Foundation in 1986 and soon left his post as Iowa FFA adviser to be the full-time executive director.
"Wayne has dedicated 50 plus years to FFA and Iowa's agricultural education system and we would not be where we are today without Wayne and his endless devotion," says Kevin Butt, president of the Iowa FFA Foundation Board. "We are closing a very long and established chapter in the foundation's history and I'm looking forward to starting another successful chapter with the addition of Brett Ridge as the new executive director."
New executive director has extensive experience in fund raising
In honor of the Iowa FFA Foundation's 25th Anniversary, Nattress says "I retire with great appreciation for all the cooperation and financial support received from business and industry, local FFA chapters, FFA alumni and individuals who have been partners by investing in Iowa's young people and agriculture. We are most thankful for sponsorships towards leadership programs, career development events, ag proficiency awards and the FFA Enrichment Center. Best wishes to Brett Ridge as he creates new, successful fund-raising initiatives that continue to strengthen Team Ag Ed throughout Iowa."
Ridge comes to the FFA Foundation after six years as executive director with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Iowa and four years with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Iowa. Under his leadership, both organizations took significant leaps forward in amounts of dollars raised and Iowans served. Ridge is a native of Cedar Rapids and a University of Iowa graduate.
Iowa FFA Foundation raises funds to support ag education efforts
"It's going to be a challenge to step in for a man like Wayne, who has literally built this Foundation from the ground up," says Ridge. "However, I'm confident we are going to continue to grow and evolve which will allow us to do some incredible things for the agricultural students of Iowa."