Meet the Development Staff

Our team supports the needs and priorities of the University through annual, major and planned giving programs. We function as a close-knit team, working together to build strong relationships that will ultimately benefit Mount Mercy's dedicated and hard-working students.

Development Officers

Duff Ridgeway Duff Ridgeway
Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations
Warde 206
Serving higher education since 1996, Duff joined Mount Mercy in 2011 and leads the fundraising and alumni relations efforts for the university. He works with donors in Iowa, Texas, Florida, and Arizona and specializes in planned giving and leadership gifts. Duff received his BA from Wartburg College and his MA in Philanthropy at the University of Northern Iowa.
Danielle Rings 
Executive Director of Development
Warde 207

Danielle joined the Mount Mercy University Office of Development and Alumni Relations in August 2011. She spent her professional career in the pension and profit sharing world with lots of fundraising on a volunteer basis. As the Director of Development, Danielle helps secure philanthropic support for the university by overseeing all development and alumni activities within the department. Danielle also works with donors in Eastern Iowa and the Cedar Rapids area.

Lonna Drewelow

Lonna Drewelow
Assistant Vice President for Advancement
Warde 515

Lonna earned a B.S. in business administration from Mount Mercy in 1986. She joined the alumni and development staff in 1988 and connects with alumni and friends of the university to build support for Mount Mercy. She travels in Iowa, Wisconsin, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Debra Gardner Debra Gardner
Development Officer 
Warde 513
Debra has served Mount Mercy since '07 in the Development and Alumni Relations office. As a development officer for the university, Debra sees alumni and friends of Mount Mercy from Iowa, to Nebraska, Kansas, the Carolinas, and Minnesota. Debra continues to engage donors in support of Mount Mercy and its students.

Alumni Relations

Josie Takes
Alumni Relations Coordinator
Warde 204

Josie Takes joined Mount Mercy in 2013. As the alumni relations coordinator, Josie plans alumni events, manages alumni recognition and awards programs, serves on the alumni board, facilitates the Young Alumni Council, oversees the STAT (Students Today Alumni Tomorrow) program for current students, and maintains relationships with alumni. She previously served as the events and programs director at the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival, in which she planned and managed all festival events and programs. Josie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa.

Annual Fund

Ryan Phillips Ryan Phillips
Annual Giving Coordinator
Warde 204

While working with the Alumni and Development crew throughout his tenure as a student Mount Mercy. Ryan joined the staff full-time in June 2011. Ryan is responsible for the phonathon, e-mail and direct mail solicitations that fuel The Mount Mercy Fund. Ryan’s favorite thing about Mount Mercy is the care and passion that everyone possesses as they work towards fulfilling the mission of the institution.

Grants and Foundations

Walter Chien
Director of Grants Administration
Development and Alumni Relations
Warde 516

Walter has a degree in the Humanities and Fine Arts and a Masters in Studio Art/Painting from the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Oregon. He was an adjunct professor of art at Kirkwood Community College for 12 years, prior to starting at Mount Mercy. He has written grants professionally for non-profits in Cedar Falls, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids for 12 years. In addition, Walter serves as Mount Mercy’s prospect researcher.

Advancement Services

Katie Clime
Director of Communications and Reporting
Warde 519
Katie has worked for Mount Mercy University for 5 years where she previously served as Coordinator of Communications and Reporting in Mount Mercy’s Office of Admissions. She is responsible for information management, database processes, and project management for communications pieces. She works closely with the campus database to maintain and determine efficient system uses.
Mickey Northwehr Mickey Nothwehr 
Gift Processing Coordinator
Warde 206
319-363-1323 x1263
Mickey joined the Mount Mercy Development Office in 2002 and is responsible for processing all gifts to the University, working with the Phonathon and Scholarshare programs and supporting the Development Office.

Catherine Shafer
Director for Advancement Services
Warde 206
319-363-1323 x1828

Catherine joined Mount Mercy University in October 2012. She manages all special events for the department, coordinates the general office operations and serves as the point of contact for the department across campus. Catherine received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa in 2008 and has an extensive event management background.