Chad Nath served as LINK Grinnell’s Executive Director for two years before accepting the position as CEO of the Ahrens Park Foundation. Prior to his role with LINK, Chad spent 16 years with UnityPoint Health – GRMC; seven as Director of Wellness, Fitness, and Integrated Health, nine as Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness and all 16 as Director of the Summer DayCamp. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park, Imagine Grinnell, Kids Against Hunger, and the UnityPoint Health – GRMC Foundation. Chad has over 25 years of experience in child education and development, and community health and wellness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Coaching from Buena Vista University.
The Ahrens Park Foundation (APF) was established in 1997 as a private operating foundation for the purpose of owning and operating the Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park. The APF’s mission is to provide first class recreational and athletic facilities while collaborating with wellness, educational and recreational programs and organizations for the greater good of the community of Grinnell. Its partners include the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, Grinnell Community Early Learning Center, City of Grinnell’s Parks & Recreation, Grinnell Youth Baseball/Softball Association, Grinnell-Newburg Schools, Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, LINK, and Mid-Iowa Futbol Club now Global Premier Soccer.
The Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park opened in 1994 and is named after Claude and Dolly’s son, Paul W. Ahrens, who passed away in 1989 at the age of fifty, and his friend, Jim Paschall, who also passed away at a fairly young age. Building a recreational park had always been a life-long dream for both Claude and his son, Paul.
The park is home to eight youth softball and baseball fields, outdoor basketball courts, a tennis court, four pickleball courts, a sand volleyball court, three youth soccer fields, a golf driving range, several playground areas, three shelter houses, a sledding hill, community gardens, green spaces, and a one and a half mile outdoor walking path. An outdoor ice-skating rink is open during the cold winter months
As CEO, Chad will be responsible for managing, leading, and promoting the APF and the Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park complex. He will work with the APF Board of Directors to develop strategies focused on carrying out the APF’s mission and vision. As well as provide fiscal oversight and oversee community, partner and user relationships. Chad will also partner with the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF) to help promote CDAF’s vision and strategies.
When asked about his new role as CEO, Chad stated, “I am excited to be part of an organization focused on the health and wellness of our community. Throughout my life, it has been my mission to help others grow and make the world a better place. I believe my experience and involvement in a wide range of fields, from teaching, athletics, wellness, social determinacy of health, safety, security, project management, and gardening will be important assets in helping to better position the APF in meeting the future needs of the greater Grinnell community. I look forward to helping continue the legacy of those that came before me.”
According to Jon Pettlon, President of the APF Board of Directors, the APF’s focus for 2022 will be to gain a deeper understanding of the wellness and educational needs within the Grinnell community and identify and create a plan around the opportunities that align with the APF mission.
“Chad has developed a strong network in the wellness/educational space at the local, state, and national levels,” stated Pettlon. “Having a leader like Chad will give us access to new progressive trends and funding opportunities. We believe that Chad, in this role will not only maintain the beauty of the park but grow it into a transformational experience hub for our community.”
For more information about Ahrens Park Foundation or The Ahrens/Paschall Memorial Park, please visit ahrensfamilyfoundation.org