Board Members

Marty Ryan, President
Marty is a native west-central Iowan. Born in Carroll, he was raised in the small community of Vail, a town founded in 1867 by his great-grandfather, Thomas Ryan. The elder Ryan emigrated from Tipperary County, Ireland, and became a section boss for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad.

Like most Irish-Catholics from western Iowa, Marty spent 12 years in private parochial school. He graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll with a thirst for social justice.

He has been a heavy equipment operator, a land surveyor’s assistant, retail and wholesale meat cutter, dislocated worker grant administrator, a union business agent and official. For the past 25 years, Marty has been a legal assistant who transformed his skills as a former Labor negotiator & organizer (UFCW Locals 440 & 271) into defending constitutional rights of all Iowans as a lobbyist at the Iowa Capitol.

He has received a 1989 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. In 2007 he was honored with the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor’s Political Activist Award, and in 2009 he was presented the Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment Award by the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. In 2012, he was presented with the Iowans Against the Death Penalty’s Governor Harold E. Hughes Award in recognition of his many years of advocacy to prevent reinstatement of the death penalty in Iowa. He continues that advocacy today and will as long as he is able.

Patti Brown, Secretary
Patti has worked for more than 25 years as a medical, mental health and hospice social worker. She has an MSW from the University of Iowa and a Master’s of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State. She has been a newspaper reporter and columnist and is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric at Iowa State University.

As a Catholic, she embraces a consistent ethic of life, often called “the seamless garment,” which was a guiding teaching of Chicago’s late Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin and of Pope John Paul II in his encyclical The Gospel of Life. Patti has been a long-time IADP volunteer and activist. She and her husband, Bill, have five children and three grandchildren, They live in rural Dallas County.

Dennis Steele, Treasurer
Dennis lives in Des Moines and works in Johnston. He has over twenty years of experience working with children with multiple disabilities. Dennis has been an activist within Amnesty International USA filling various volunteer roles on the local, statewide, regional and national levels. He also has been involved as a volunteer in prison ministry for nearly twenty-five years.

Dennis’ commitment to opposing the death penalty comes from his sense of Catholic social justice teaching and personal relationships with both murder victims and death row inmates.

Lori Baux, Communication and Public Education
Lori Baux is principal of a grassroots public affairs and public relations consulting firm based in Ames. A native of Marion County and graduate of Iowa State University, Lori began her professional career working as a political organizer in Iowa. She moved to Washington, D.C., serving in the Carter Administration’s office of Presidential Personnel. Lori continued to be active on the political front, while working in the private sector as a grassroots, strategic communications specialist on a broad range of non-partisan issues.

After years in Washington, Lori returned home to Iowa, continuing her work as a strategic communications and grassroots consultant. A long-time supporter of abolishing the death penalty, Lori began working with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2005 and currently serves as a senior consultant to the organization.

Jeffery Weiss, Education
Jeffrey has been a long time peace and social justice advocate and has been involved with Iowans Against the Death Penalty for more than 20 years. Jeffery was active during his university days in the anti-apartheid movement. He has offered workshops and lectures on several topics over the years, including U.S. foreign policy, the history of non-violence, political violence, the U.N. and many other global issues.

Jeffery is the Peace Education Director at Catholic Peace Ministry and also is an adjunct instructor in Sociology at Des Moines Area Community College-Urban Campus.

Steve Bolie, Membership
Steve lives in Clive with his wife of 45 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. In 2014, Steve retired from a career in non-profit financial management and administration. His most recent work was as the Transit Manager of the Southern Iowa Trolley in Creston. Steve is an ordained lay minister and Sunday school teacher in the Northwest congregation of the Community of Christ. In the past, Steve was involved in the Des Moines Area Religious Council and the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike.

Steve’s involvement in IADP is an expression in a long-term and ever-growing commitment to peace, justice and non-violence.

Wendy Wittrock, Membership
Wendy has lived in Des Moines Iowa with her daughter for the past 10 years. She has a diverse background in education. She attended Xenon International in Omaha Nebraska and assumed the profession of Master Cosmetologist. After a few years, she graduated from College of Coastal Georgia in Saint Marys, Georgia. She started working for Nationwide Insurance in 2008. Since her employment with Nationwide, she has obtained her Paralegal degree from Kaplan University and a Bachelor of Science in Justice and Human Relations from the University of Iowa. At Nationwide she is currently a Claims Specialist and is also enrolled to start school again to obtain a Criminal Justice Degree.

Wendy is an advocate for human rights. She is involved with several advocacy groups involving prisoner rights and rehabilitation. She is the secretary for Iowa Coalition for Juvenile Justice, board member for Iowa C.U.R.E, member of Voices to be Heard, and is actively involved with Friends of Iowa Women Prisoners. In her spare time, she loves to camp and research her family genealogy. She is the leader of her daughter's troop with the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa.

Her favorite quote is “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax


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