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Lane Assumes New Role and Converse Retires


Bob Lane ’81, longtime Simpson vice president for advancement and former interim president, has decided to take on a new role at the College. Lane has transitioned into a position similar to one held by Campaign Gifts Officer Ken Converse, who retired in May.

“In the next couple of years, the College will likely be launching its next major, multi-year fundraising campaign,” says Lane. “Recognizing that my retirement timing will not position me to complete that campaign, I believe it is vital to establish new advancement leadership that will be here to drive it to its full fruition.”

“As Bob completes his remarkable service as vice president, we are fortunate that he will remain here to play an integral role in ensuring a successful onboarding experience for his successor,” says President Marsha Kelliher.

Lane has given more than 20 years of service to the College during three stints of duty dating back to 1982. As an advancement leader in a variety of positions from 1985 to 1993 and 2007 to present, Bob has championed many goal-exceeding campaigns, including transformative capital projects such as the Blank Performing Arts Center addition, Kent Campus Center, Johnson Fitness Center and the Pedestrian Plaza to name a few. He also stepped up to serve as interim vice president for five months at the onset of the pandemic.

Converse caps impressive career

Converse is retiring after three and a half years of service at Simpson, where he played an integral role on the Advancement staff. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Legacy Challenge, stewarded some of the college’s most major donors and he also stepped forward to lead the office as interim vice president for college advancement while Lane served as interim president.

He spent most of his distinguished career at Buena Vista University, serving as institutional vice president of advancement for 17 of his 23 years there. Previously, he also held leadership roles at Missouri A&T and Rockhurst University.

Jared Bienemann Named Vice President For Advancement

President Kelliher has since appointed Jared Bienemann to serve as the College’s next vice president for College Advancement. He assumed his duties on July 1st. 

Bienemann has served at Buena Vista University since 2020, holding positions as executive director of development and, most recently, as assistant vice president for advancement. Previously, he compiled an impressive track record as a fundraiser during more than four years of service for the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — elevating from associate director of development to director of development during that time. He began his advancement career at Cornell College, serving two years as associate director of development.