Skip to content
Our Beginning

LOVE Takes Root was started by Rick and Barb Wilkerson. Rick is an orthopedic surgeon who went to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to help. During that experience he was introduced to the Bastien Family, who had the untenable position of feeding housing and caring for more than 50 orphanage children in a debris-covered makeshift tent. They had very little food, water, clothing and medical care. Dr Wilkerson went to Haiti on a medical mission, but came home with a new mission in his heart.

Upon returning to Iowa, Rick and Barb, a pediatric nurse practitioner, gathered family and friends together to share concerns about the future of children in Haiti. This began the journey of love toward the children of the world.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
Our Valuable Board Members

Dr. Rick Wilkerson


- Orthopedic Surgeon
- Team Physician, BVU
- Medical Doctor
- Northwest Senior Partner, NWIA Bone & Joint Sports Surgeons
- Iowa International medical missions & educator
- Co-founder of Love Takes Root

Ted Skidmore

Vice President

- Marketing Consultant & Strategist
- USC Adjunct Professor
- Former VP/Department Head, Global Marketing
- Walt Disney Co.
- LTR Leadership Committee
- Based in Los Angeles

Joe Conover


- Bank Strategies Office, EVP for Northwest Bank
- Iowa native
- Cornell College Mt. Vernon, IA - Business & Finance
- Enjoys spending time with family and woodworking
- Three children: Paul, Nora, and Ada

Lawrence Harden


- CPA, CVA Willams & Company PC

David Alexander

Board Member

- Marketing Director F5
- Senior Vice President, Marketing & Development SAP/Concur
- Microsoft Corporation
- Business Administration Marketing Degree Texas A&M
- Married with children who all love baseball

Christopher Fuhrman

Board Member

- Edward Jones Spirit Lake
- Pelzer Law Firm - General Partner
- Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees
- Estherville Area Economic Development
- Estherville Rotary Club President
- J.D. William Michell College of Iowa
- BA University of Iowa, Accounting & Finance

Rose Fear

Board Member

- Retired kindergarten teacher
- ECSE Classroom Assistant, AEA
- Physical Therapy Assistant, AEA
- Teaching Endorsement, BVU
- BS Degree in Physical Education and Sociology from Dordt College

Michael Koenecke

Board Member

- HR Consultant, Ag1Source
- Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management
- Designated PHR/SHRM-CP
- President for local SHRM chapter, board member for local YMCA and board of elders for local church.

Dr. Stephen Nelson

Board Member

- Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine Physician
- Medical Staff Meritcare Fargo, Sanford Health Fargo
- Practice Fargo Clinic/St. Lukes Hospital
- Bush Foundation Medical Fellow
- Masters of Art Bioethics, Trinity International University
- Medical Degree University of Kansas
- Married with 5 children & 1 grandchild

Becca Stockdale

Board Member

- BS in Journalism University of Kansas
- Directed tutoring centers for SCORE! Educational Centers
- Directed Montessori Preschools for Step by Step Montessori Schools
- Volunteer for Girls on the Run and Junior League of Minneapolis
- Lives in Eden Prairie, MN with her husband, sons, and dog

Barbara Wilkerson

Executive Director

- Retired Pediatric Nurse Practitioner University of Iowa
- Adjunct Professor, Denver College of Nursing
- Middle School teacher First Congregational Church
- Past Board President YMCA Spencer, IA
- Certificate Non-profit Management ISU

Malyn Wrobel

Board Member

- Retired IT Leader after 27 years at Target
- Systems Engineer at IBM for 11.5 years
- Active leadership positions in school boards
- Parent School Organization
- Girl Scout Leader for 13 years
- Born in the Philippines
- High School exchange student in the Quad Cities

Our Valuable Advisory Board

Tennie Binzer

- Vice-President, Arts on Grand Board Member
- Spencer Community Theater Volunteer
- Art Aide, Sacred Heart School

Laura Ginsburg

- Partner and Principal, Apparatus public affairs
- Based in Minneapolis, MN with my husband, son, and two poorly behaved dogs
- Visited Haiti in 2018 and have been an LTR supporter ever since!

Jeffrey Lambert

- Chief Operating Officer of the Ventura Count Community Foundation
- Certified Planner by AICP and previous owner of a planning and government consulting firm
- Advisor to the Economic Development Collaborative's Small Business Development Center

Dr. Edward Wojtys

- Orthopedic Surgeon, University of Michigan
- Editor in Chief, Sports Health
- Co-Chair National Football League Musculoskeletal Research Committee
- Men's Lacrosse Team Physician, University of Michigan
- Married with 3 children