Relentless Advocate of the Year Award

Every year, IACP recognizes a professional who has boldly impacted the landscape of policy and practices across Iowa. 


2021Award Winner


With over 20 years of experience in management of community behavioral health, Rich currently serves as CEO of Vera French Mental Health Center in Davenport. He is also an active member of the IACP Board, sitting as the Behavioral Health Advisory Chair, is a commissioner for MHDS, resides on the board of Children's Mental Health, and was recently elected as the Region 7 Representative to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing Board. Click here to send a congratulatory note to Richard to thank him for his #RelentlessAdvocacy.

2020 Award Winner

IACP is proud to announce the "IACP Relentless Advocate of the Year 2020", Cheryl Plank. It is Cheryl's personal mission to use her ability to serve, support and sustain peace and understanding through compassionate action. Cheryl earned a Master of Public Administration from Drake University in Des Moines and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant. She has more than 30 years of experience working in Iowa’s human services industry by serving in a variety of leadership roles; including nearly 18 years in progressive positions with Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI); the last six years there as the vice president of programs and services. Chery joined Tenco, Inc. in October of 2016 as the Executive Director. In late 2019, she accepted the position of Executive Director of Muscatine Vision 20/20, a conglomeration of four organizations including Crossroads, Inc. Her experience leading a diverse range of programs and initiatives demonstrates a strong record of leadership, management, policy development, relationship building and a passion for service that has impacted the lives of countless Iowans. 

Cheryl has participated as a member with IACP for many years. She was nominated and elected to the board of directors as the Children’s Advisory Chair in 2015 and 2016, and then became a member of the IACP Membership Committee. In September of 2017, she was nominated and elected as an at-large member of the IACP board for a 3-year term. In October 2019, she was appointed as the Secretary of the Board and the Chair of the Membership Committee. Cheryl served on the Iowa Providers' Political Action Committee (PAC) and is a long standing champion of the legislative process.


2019 Award Winner

Jim Aberg

Jim Aberg received the 2019 Relentless Advocate Award during the Annual Conference and Trade Show. IACP is grateful to Jim for his tenacity, thought leadership, expertise, and relentless advocacy. 

2018 Recipients

Deb Johnson Rep. Dave Heaton