Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, doing business as ISL Education Lending, is a nonprofit corporation offering private student loans for students and families who have exhausted other sources of aid. In addition, we provide scholarships and programs for families and reinvest funds in programs to benefit students and borrowers.
Established in 1979, we are based in West Des Moines, self-funded and self-capitalized. For 40 years, we have worked to support the local economy by maintaining and growing jobs and providing competitive salaries and benefits. Along with our subsidiary, we employ more than 150 people and manage $2.6 billion in student loans. We do not have shareholders nor do we receive state appropriations.
Operating as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, we are subject to strict regulation of our exempt purpose and use of funds.
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Our mission is to help Iowa students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education.
See how we put our mission into practice.
Aspire Resources Inc. was originally created as ISL Service Corp. in 2001 as a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation. Its purpose is to perform functions not specifically included in our original tax-exempt designation. Aspire disburses private student loans on behalf of its partnering lenders, transmits student loan data among postsecondary institutions and lenders, and provides customer service on behalf of its external business partners and to borrowers with federal and private student loans.
Aspire employees perform customer service for borrowers under the name Aspire Servicing Center. Aspire employees also provide private loan services and facilitate student loan data transfers for postsecondary educational institutions and lenders through the iLink Service Center.
Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, the parent company and sole owner of Aspire, annually appoints the Aspire board of directors. All revenues beyond operating expenses and reserves are returned to the parent company to fulfill its nonprofit purpose.
Visit www.AspireResourcesInc.com to learn more about Aspire, or visit www.AspireServicingCenter.com to learn more about Aspire Servicing Center.
The Iowa Student Loan board of directors is appointed by the governor of Iowa. Board members represent education, banking and the general public. The board provides extensive levels of oversight and checks and balances ensuring the corporation adheres to its mission and meets its obligations.
Christine HensleyChair, Des MoinesRepresents: Banking Institutions
Scott SchneidermannVice chair, Rock RapidsRepresents: Iowa Banking Institutions
Dan CluteUrbandaleRepresents: General Public
Rob DensonAnkenyRepresents: Community Colleges
Nancy DunkelDyersvilleRepresents: Regents Institutions
Juan GarciaWaukeeRepresents: General Public
Julie PingelFort DodgeRepresents: Credit Unions
Suzette RadkeStorm LakeRepresents: General Public
Marcia RogersCedar RapidsRepresents: General Public
Jim SchipperAnkenyRepresents: Banking Institutions
Adam VoigtsIndianolaRepresents: Private Colleges and Universities
Pursuant to Iowa Student Loan policy, board meetings are open to the public. Listed are the dates, times, locations and details of the Iowa Student Loan Board meetings, along with links to meeting minutes.
Steven W. McCulloughPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Erin LaceyExecutive Vice President and Corporate Treasurer
Cindy BartzSenior Vice President of Project Management, Chief Information Officer and Corporate Secretary
Joe BirdSenior Vice President of Business Development and Client Relations
Chris HammerstromVice President of Operations
Jen HempelVice President of Compliance and Communications
Ron ForesmanVice President of Accounting and Risk Management
Steven W. McCullough joined the company in 1989 as the director of fiscal operations, and he became chief executive officer in 1993. In his current role, McCullough is responsible for carrying out strategic plans and policies as established by the board of directors. He has ultimate management authority for the corporation and appoints the management team of the organization. He became a certified public accountant in 1986 and is a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. McCullough also served on the board of directors of the Education Finance Council; the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity; and the board of the Iowa College Access Network. He holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Iowa. Steve helped create the corporation's responsible borrowing tools which help families plan for their higher education, figure out how to pay for it, and learn how to create good outcomes.
Erin Lacey, with direction and oversight from the CEO and board of directors, oversees the corporation's operations, compliance and accounting functions and leads the finance teams. She is responsible for ensuring the corporation has funding available for its lending operations via bond issuance and other financing vehicles. Since 2011, she has led the issuance of eight rated bond transactions and six bank financings. She is responsible for post issuance bond compliance. While an accounting major at Iowa State University, Lacey began her career with Iowa Student Loan in 1992 as an accounting intern and was later promoted to several positions within the department. Lacey, who holds a bachelor's degree in financial management from Upper Iowa University, became CFO in 2009 and was named executive vice president in 2013. She is involved in her community serving as the treasurer of the Mary Bump Memorial Foundation board and on the finance council of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
As a member of the executive team, Cindy Bartz oversees all program and project management activities for the corporation's products and services, including corporate programs and initiatives, software development projects, system requirements and contingency planning. She also administers the system development lifecycle process and business impact analysis for contingency planning. As chief information officer, Bartz is responsible for information security, network, Internet services, databases, programming, commercial software and communication services. Bartz joined the company in 1990 as a loan operations assistant and became vice president of project management in early 2010. She holds an associate degree from the American Institute of Business and a bachelor's degree from Upper Iowa University.
Joe Bird, with direction and oversight from the CEO and board of directors, provides leadership in working with colleges and universities, banks and credit unions, professional associations, and other organizations that use the corporation's products and services. Bird joined the company as director of business development in 2010 with nearly 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the higher education industry, and he was promoted to his current position in 2011. His work experience includes management-level positions at a guaranty agency, secondary market, loan servicer and college access organization. Bird earned a bachelor's degree in education at Morningside College and a master's degree in higher education administration at Iowa State University.
As a member of the executive team, Chris Hammerstrom oversees the majority of loan origination, loan onboarding and loan servicing functions, including loan application processing, underwriting, loan purchases, portfolio conversions, customer engagement, inbound/outbound mail, and loan processing. Hammerstrom joined the corporation in 2005 as a loan counselor, before holding multiple other positions including product development director. In this role, he oversaw all development projects for the corporation, including the loan origination system and multiple systems that support the servicing center. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
As a member of the executive team, Jen Hempel oversees the majority of the compliance and corporate communication functions, including the compliance management program, which includes federal and state consumer laws, subcontractor management, consumer privacy, corporate licensing, contract management, corporate communications and publications. Hempel joined the corporation in 1999 as a loan counselor, and has held other positions within the corporation, prior to joining the compliance team in 2011. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Dakota and is a member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International). Through ACA, she holds the designation of a Credit and Collection Compliance Officer.
Ron Foresman oversees all aspects of accounting operations, financial reporting, corporate tax, internal auditing and controls, and other audit support services for the company and its wholly owned subsidiary Aspire Resources Inc. Functional areas reporting to him include accounting, payroll, accounts payable, cost accounting, loan disbursement, payment processing, internal audit, financial planning and analysis, and federal and state tax matters. Foresman has been with Iowa Student Loan for more than 25 years, serving as controller, senior vice president of accounting and corporate treasurer. He has previously served as the director of accounting at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and vice president of capital management for Aviva USA. Foresman received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Iowa State University and is a certified public accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). He is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants.