Age 32  |  Director of community investment and initiatives, ?Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

As a high school student, Angela Dethlefs-Trettin was walking through the halls of her school when she was intrigued by a sign that read, “What would you do with $10,000?”

The sign was promoting Teen Trust, an offshoot of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa that allowed high-school students to grant funding to community groups and organizations. Dethlefs-Trettin joined and was soon helping make grants to food banks and homeless shelters. She said the group taught her the true meaning of philanthropy: “It’s something that everyone can do.”

Since her grant-writing days in high school, she’s worked at the Iowa Council of Foundations and the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Last August, she began working at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines as the director of community investment and initiatives.

“Angela is a known and respected leader in her field,” wrote Andrew Allen, assistant director of community relations for Principal Financial Group Inc. “She’s been an advocate providing statewide leadership on legislative issues, including the very successful Endow Iowa Tax Credits.”

Dethlefs-Trettin dedicates her time and energy to the nonprofit sector outside work as well. She is an active member of St. Mark Lutheran Church, where she chairs the St. Mark Foundation, helped create ministry programming for those in their 20s and 30s and helps coordinate FEAST, a social event that allows young professionals to meet over a meal.

“It’s a great way to be involved and get to know people,” she said.

She also sits on the grant-making committees for the Chrysalis Foundation, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Iowa affiliate and the Iowa Women’s Foundation. “It just helps me learn even more about nonprofits and how things work,” she said.

When not writing grants or working with other nonprofit organizations, Dethlefs-Trettin said her attention is focused on her 4- year-old son, Henry, and her husband, Matt Trettin.


Five reasons she’s a 40:

• Oversees the Community Foundation’s BoardLaunch program, which provides training to board members and staff at nonprofit organizations.

• Co-presented the Iowa Nonprofit Awards at the Iowa Nonprofit Summit with Gov. Terry Branstad.

• Member of the grant-making committee of the Chrysalis Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Iowa affiliate.

• Invited to serve on committees related to the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

• Current chair of the St. Mark Foundation.

Mentor: Kristi Knous, president, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Fun fact: Although she is planner who loves making spreadsheets as well as pre- and post-trip itineraries, Dethlefs-Trettin said her favorite vacation is holing up in a cabin and doing nothing but fishing. “I can even clean them,” she said.