Elaine Hanson

Elaine Hanson is director of RSVP of North Central Iowa, an entrepreneurial national service organization. RSVP serves four counties in north central Iowa and is sponsored by Waldorf College. She has been a life-long advocate, champion and participant of service and volunteerism in Iowa.

In a career that spans over 30 years, Hanson has started many volunteer programs and initiatives and is a frequent contributor to the publication, The Volunteer Management Report. She has used her passion and skills for volunteerism to start volunteer programs in nursing homes, Hospice, residential care facilities and churches.

In Hanson’s eight-year tenure as director of RSVP, the organization has been transformed from a non-compliant program to being a strong, well-respected program, known for getting things done. One-third of the volunteers are Baby Boomers and all programs are performance-based.   

For the past three years, Hanson has worked with Elizabeth Weinstein, Ph.D. on the Baby Boomer initiative. This shared interest and passion for “Harnessing the Energy of the Baby Boomer Generation” has provided opportunities for both to present at state and national conferences. They have garnered support locally through grants and the investment of many people in north Iowa. The initiative has service professionals watching on a state and national level.  

Hanson serves as Chair of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, is a Rotary Assistant District Governor and a member of the Forest City Rotary Club, and serves on the Iowa Mentoring Provider Board. Hanson is most proud of her family, which includes husband Dan, Academic Dean at Waldorf College, and daughters Heather and Abby, students and runners at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.