A resident of Jefferson for the past 36 years, Beth Vander Wilt was named executive director for Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community on Monday, March 28.  PHOTO SUBMITTED

Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community names Vander Wilt exec. director

Special to the Jefferson Herald

Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community announced Monday, March 28 that interim executive director Beth Vander Wilt has been hired as the executive director.
Vander Wilt has lived in Jefferson for 36 years. She taught high school Spanish until her retirement in 2018. In the summer of 2018, she worked as a tour guide at Thomas Jefferson Gardens. In 2019, Vander was hired as the office coordinator for the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce. When the Chamber merged with Jefferson Matters: Main Street in 2020, she continued to work as the office coordinator, then events and tourism coordinator and interim executive director.

Vander Wilt is a graduate of Iowa State University with degrees in Spanish, English and secondary education. During her teaching career, she received several state and national awards such as National Board Certification in 2002 and 2012, Iowa World Language Teacher of the Year in 2005, I.S.U. Alumni Educational Achievement Award in 2006, and the Iowa World Language Association Distinguished Service Award in 2018. She has traveled extensively, organizing many student group tours to Spanish-speaking countries. Vander Wilt has a passion for the community and the work that JM:MS&CC is doing.

“I am excited to step into the role as executive director,” Vander Wilt said. “I’ve seen firsthand the progress of the newly merged organization and the energy our community has. We have an amazing board, volunteers and leaders that have a vision for growth. It is thrilling to be a part of this momentum.”  

President Jamie Daubendiek said, “Over the past years, Beth has been instrumental for the success of our program as the Tourism and Events Coordinator. We are excited for her as she transitions into the executive director role and know that her passion for Jefferson will shine through in all that she does. We are excited and look forward to all of the great projects ahead for Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community.”

Jefferson Matters: A Main Street & Chamber Community is a 501(c)3 located at 201 E. Lincoln Way. It’s “purpose is to support, promote, and preserve the historic downtown of Jefferson, Iowa, while contributing to the greater community’s continued vitality”.

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