About Us


The Fairfield Volunteer Center (FVC) began as a Fairfield City Commission in 2006 aimed at helping to fulfill the goals of a citywide strategic plan (Fairfield 2012 Community-Wide Strategic Plan). One of the goals of this plan was to strengthen Fairfield as a caring community, with the aims of strengthening and supporting our health, wellness, safety, and social services; meeting the needs of and expanding opportunities for our senior population; and providing opportunities to strengthen community connectedness.

The FVC has matured over the last several years and is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a Board of Directors and Executive Director.

Staff and Board

Photo of Elaine HughesElaine Hughes, Executive Director

Elaine Hughes assumed her new position in late September 2012, bringing broad experience in the nonprofit and public sectors and decades of community service in both professional and volunteer capacities to her work with FVC. Throughout her career, including executive and board leadership of statewide and national nonprofits in Wisconsin, Maryland, New York, and Washington, D.C., Hughes has focused on promoting community development through neighborhood and inter-agency partnerships and citizen engagement.

Carole Boggs, Program Assistant

Carole Boggs has been an interning Program Assistant at FVC through the Experience Works program since June 2012.  Previous to her internship at FVC, Carole was a private chef.  Other past employment has included teaching Latin, teaching English to non-English speakers, owning and managing a small ginseng company, and various secretarial jobs.

Photo of Michael HalleyMichael Halley, President

Current/recent community involvement and affiliations:
Since 2007, Michael Halley has served as Account Executive/Broker with Danaher Oil Company in Fairfield. As a Fairfield city councilman, he has worked on the Jefferson County Wellness Action Plan, Blue Zones Project, and the Pool/Rec Center task force, and has taken a leadership role on several Go-Green projects and the Railroad Quiet Zone. In addition to serving as President of the Fairfield Volunteer Center Board of Directors, Halley is currently vice-president of the Fairfield Cultural Alliance and an executive board member of the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce. He served as the president of Fairfield’s Convention and Visitors Bureau from 2007-2010. In 2012, Halley joined the University of Iowa College of Public Health’s Business Leadership Network as well as the Iowa Sustainable Business Alliance.

Of interest:
Halley has been a Fairfield resident since 1993; at the age of 20 he co-founded a green retail store on the Fairfield town square that is still thriving today. He enjoys spending time with his children, Lily and Skylar, as well as playing basketball and floor hockey and competing in local triathlons.

Photo of Jeff ShipleyJeff Shipley, Vice President

Current/recent community involvement and affiliations:
Since arriving in Fairfield two years ago, Jeff Shipley has become actively involved in support of the community. In addition to serving as Vice President of the FVC Board, Shipley also leads the Donor Relations Committee. He received his B. A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and is employed as a bankruptcy paralegal with Noyes Law offices. He also has served as PR Officer for the Fairfield Toastmasters. Shipley is committed to political action as well, serving on the State Central Committee of the Iowa Republican Party, as a Board member of Legalize Iowa, and as the Legislative Chair of Liberty Iowa.

Of interest:
Shipley, who grew up in Naperville, IL, enjoys swimming and diving at the Fairfield Recreation Center and spending time biking and also reading about politics, economics, history, and spirituality.

Photo of Carole SimmonsCarole Simmons, Treasurer

Current/recent community involvement and affiliations:
Carole Simmons has served on the FVC Board since its founding in fall 2009.   Now retired, Simmons’ career in traffic safety began while she was a graduate student at the University of Michigan.  She then worked as an engineering research psychologist for the federal government and later for the University of Iowa.

Of interest:
Simmons enjoys life in Fairfield, and having time to volunteer for worthy causes such as the FVC.  She also serves as program chair for the Leopold Group of the Iowa Sierra Club.

Melinda Arndt, Secretary

Current/recent community involvement and affiliations:
A Fairfield resident for the past 27 years, Melinda Arndt has worked at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) for 16 years. In addition to owning and operating a successful baking business for six years, Arndt worked for several other area businesses. Current volunteer commitments include serving as show-host for Fairfield’s all-volunteer community radio station, KRUU (kruufm.com), ushering with Fairfield Arts & Convention Center since its opening, and the vestry at St. Gabriel and All Angels church.

Of interest:
Arndt and her husband Steven have two daughters and also served as foster parents for several years. She enjoys participating in local theater, music, and dance productions, dancing, and walking/biking on the Fairfield Loop trail.

Photo of Aideen Vega-Van AukenAideen Vega-Van Auken

Current/recent community involvement and affiliations:
Aideen Vega-Van Auken is an Epidemiological Consultant for the Iowa Department of Public Health as well as manager of a home healthcare team. In the past, she has also worked as an insurance adjuster, human resources director, property manager, group facilitator, Consumer-Directed Attendant Care (CDAC) provider, and as an editor, writer, and poet.

Vega-Van Auken has been volunteering for 40 years. In addition to the FVC Board of Directors, her board service has included midwest crisis centers, a women’s shelter, AHEAD Regional Housing Trust Fund, RSVP, and Human Resources Council.

Of interest:
This mother of five and stepmom of six is also now raising her first grandson. A tireless community advocate and active participant in a broad range of area activities, Vega-Van Auken’s memberships and involvement have encompassed (to name a few!) gardening, PTA, PurplePeopleEaters, PoetSpeak, work in domestic violence prevention advocacy and training, creative writing instruction, and work with both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.