Email the Library Board of Trustees
Kevin W. Techau - President
Kevin W. Techau has served on the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustee since 1998. He served as President of the Board in 2000-02 and 2004-06 and Chair of the Building Committee for the “Creating New Destinations” project,
Kevin is Associate General Counsel at American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. He served in Governor Tom Vilsack's and Lt Governor Sally Pederson's Cabinet as Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, 1999-2002 and Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, 2002-07.
He is a graduate of the University of Iowa College Of Business and the University's College of Law. After graduation, he spent seven years on active duty with the United States Air Force including two tours in Europe. Since leaving active duty, Kevin has served with the Iowa Air National Guard where he is currently a Colonel assigned to the Iowa National Guard Joint Forces headquarters at Camp Dodge. His community affairs include serving as Chair of the Iowa Keep Iowa Beautiful Board and on the Civic Music Association Board. He lives in Des Moines with his wife Stephanie and their children Maxson and Grace.
Jason Grinstead - Vice President
Jason Grinstead brings a broad background in Information Technology and Marketing to the Library Board. A native of Des Moines, Jason spent fifteen years outside of Iowa, holding technical and marketing positions for companies including General Motors, ADP and Target Corporation. He is currently employed by the Iowa Department of Education in Data Warehousing.
Jason received his BBA for Iowa State University and MBA from the University of St Thomas
in St Paul, MN.
Serving concurrently on an ISU Alumni board, Jason is an advocate of childhood literacy through the Everybody Wins! program in conjunction with the Des Moines Public Schools.
Jule Thorsen has served on the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees since 2005. She is an instructor of Management and is the Instructional Technological Specialist for Simpson College in Indianola. Thorsen has twice received the Excellence in Adult Teaching award (in 2000 and 2005) from Alpha Lambda Sigma, an adult student honorary society, and served as building committee co-chair for Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines, the first school building project completely paid for with sales tax monies. She has also served on the Beaverdale Little League Board, Beaverdale Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, was treasurer for Central Iowa Aquatics and has been an active volunteer in Des Moines schools, the PTA, and Faith Lutheran Church.
Thorsen is a graduate of Drake University with a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Public Administration. She currently lives in Des Moines with husband Robert, and children Michael, Kelly, Eric, and Alan.
Ellen joined the Library Board in March 2011. She retired from Meredith Corporation in 2007, where she was employed as VP, Creative Services, an in-house creative agency that developed consumer-marketing campaigns for Meredith magazine titles. At Meredith she also took a leadership role in New Product Development. Prior to Meredith, she was employed by Southern Progress Corporation, a subsidiary of Time Warner. At SPC she was first hired as an editor for Southern Living Cookbooks and later became Creative Director in consumer marketing. Before Ellen migrated to the publishing world, she spent over a decade teaching high school English.
Ellen also serves as a Trustee on the Cultural Trust Board (appointed by Tom Vilsack) and as a layperson on the Supreme Court Grievance Commission. She has served on the non-profit boards: The Des Moines Public Library Foundation (Vice President 2009-2010), Chrysalis Foundation, Homestead Foundation (President, 2008-9) and EFR (Employee Family Resources). Ellen, whose father was a USAF Chaplain, lived all over the world while growing up: grade School in Tripoli, Libya and Roy, Utah; junior high in Blytheville, Arkansas; high school in Duluth, Minnesota; first year of college in Munich, Germany. She graduated from the University of Alabama, with graduate work at Samford University (Birmingham).
Ellen lives in Des Moines with her husband Jim. Together they're active in the affairs of the Des Moines Art Center and Drake University. They have a blended family of six children and three grandchildren and enjoy traveling, biking, gardening, books, and art.