Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center announces the hiring of Nathan Vander Plaats as its next executive director.
His selection culminates an extensive four-month search process to replace Promise’s founding executive director, Nancy Dykstra. She plans to retire at the end of the year after serving as the guiding hand of the health center since it opened in July 2008.
Vander Plaats, who currently serves as the director of retail for Goodwill of the Great Plains based in Sioux City, will assume the leadership role on Monday, Dec. 11. Dykstra will assist Vander Plaats as Promise makes the leadership transition.
Vander Plaats said one word sums up why he was interested in leading Promise into its next chapter: “People.”
“Thousands of people from all walks of life rely on Promise every year for their health needs, and Promise’s amazing staff is responsible for meeting those health needs,” he said. “When I first interviewed with Promise for this position, I was struck by the authentic care with which they approached their work for those who come to Promise. The board and employees’ passionate care for others is what really attracted me to Promise.”
Vander Plaats and his wife, Shawna, also look forward to returning to their hometown. She spent her entire youth in Sioux Center, and his family moved to Sioux Center when he was in middle school. He graduated from Unity Christian High School in Orange City in 1999 and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Dordt College in Sioux Center in 2003.
Vander Plaats has steadily progressed in leadership roles throughout his career.
He served as a caseworker for former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin in his state offices in Sioux City and later Davenport for six years, 2003-09. He then was promoted to the position of regional director for the senator’s Sioux City office, where he oversaw all operations for the western third of Iowa for three years, 2009-12.
Shortly after earning his master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University of Ames in 2012, Vander Plaats accepted the position of director of mission services for Iowa and Nebraska for Goodwill of the Great Plains. In that role, he oversaw the development and operation of various mission-focused programs. In January 2017, he was promoted to the position of director of retail for Goodwill of the Great Plains, leading 350 retail team members, including 21 store managers and five sales territory managers.
He now anticipates his new career challenge.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the board and employees at Promise to take the organization to the next level in its second decade,” Vander Plaats said. “Nancy and her team have done such great work over the last nine years that it’s hard to know how much further Promise can go, but we know that as the needs of the communities we serve change, there are more people to serve in more ways.”
Dykstra is pleased Promise will be in capable hands in the future as it turns the page to new leadership.
“We feel confident that Nathan is a good fit for the mission, work and staff of Promise,” she said. “We feel Nathan is a visionary leader whose commitment to the community, organizational culture and lifelong learning will propel Promise forward to a continued bright and thriving future.”
MORE ABOUT NATHAN:
Nathan Vander Plaats and his wife, Shawna, have an 8-year-old son, Keegan. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing and cooking, especially wild game.
Promise Community Health Center’s founding executive director Nancy Dykstra plans to retire at the end of the year. To learn more about her contributions to Promise since it opened in 2008, read this feature story on her at: promisechcnews.blogspot.com/2017/10/dykstra-awarded-prestigious-carl.html.