New Executive Director on Board at Upper Des Moines Opportunity

Upper Des Moines Opportunity has a new Executive Director.

Julie Edwards took over the position in April. Edwards has 27 years of experience as a progressive leader, which started as the UDMO Early Childhood Programs Coordinator in the Spencer Early Childhood Center, and most recently as the UDMO Early Childhood Programs Director.

“I started my career as an elementary school teacher, then transitioned into working with an Area Education Agency and then Seasons Center prior to my 27-year tenure with UDMO.” She shares, “A commonality in my career has been helping others transform their lives by achieving their goals. When I started working for UDMO Head Start I found my passion in the fact that education, social service and overall wellness of an individual and family are combined in our work. This is true for all UDMO programs. Our work is about helping build stronger communities by addressing the effects of poverty on individuals and families.”

As the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Executive Director, Edwards is responsible for the overall administration of the programs and goals of Community Action, and reporting directly to the UDMO Board of Directors. Her goals for the organization include increasing UDMO’s internal and external collaborations, expand the services that the existing programs are providing, and access new funding streams to increase services that are provided.

Edwards grew up in Pocahontas, and currently resides in Spencer.

Upper Des Moines Opportunity serves 12 counties, including Buena Vista, Clay, Pocahontas, Palo Alto, and O’Brien.