Our 2019 Board of Directors

Melissa Ihnen, President

Melissa Ihnen has been involved in the real estate business since 1988 when she started as the office manager for Meyer & Gross Real Estate Company. Now the managing Broker/Owner of that same company, she has experience in all aspects of the business. She holds the CRS, GRI and CNE designations and served as Vice-President of the West Central Iowa Board of REALTORS®.

She and her husband are life-long residents of Cass County where she’s involved with Boy Scouts, the proud mom of two Eagle Scouts, is active in her community, is currently President of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, has served on the Cass County Board of Adjustments since 2010 and is a member of First Lutheran Church  where she is currently the Chair of the Board of Education. Melissa has also helped with her boy’s schools, been a Sunday School teacher and is a past member of the Atlantic Business and Professional Women. In her spare time she enjoys flower gardening, bowling and time spent with family and friends.

“Real estate poses many challenges but offers many more rewards, and I’m excited to see what this year brings.”

Carrie Swinney-Riesberg, President-Elect

Carrie graduated from Iowa State University and had the opportunity to live in several areas throughout the world.  Some of her work experiences include: building houses in the Costa del Sol area of Spain, sales and marketing in northern England, and sales and recruitment in Dallas TX. .  After several years of world travel and international work experience, she has gained a new appreciation for where a person wants to call home. Carrie moved to Carroll Iowa in 2007 and is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Smart Moves Iowa Realty.   She is proud of her community and blessed to call Carroll home.

Carrie is extremely active in her community and has volunteered and led several local events.  One of her favorite volunteer opportunities was working as the board president for the Carroll Young Professional Group and creating their annual Carroll Fest event that is still a success today.  She has a deep passion for her faith and also leads in several aspects of her local Church.  Carrie is a large group children’s leader at Central Church, leads the children’s Christmas program, volunteers with the annual helicopter egg drop at Easter, and of course, assists with their famous trunk or treat event at Halloween.

Carrie and her husband Jay, together have three children.  They are licensed foster parents and usually have several additional children in their home throughout the year.

Kiki Scarberry,  Secretary/Treasurer

Kiki Scarberry is the owner/broker of Our Town Realty, a real estate office in Creston, that she runs out of her home. Her house is most often filled by two daughters, a railroad engineer husband, two dogs and lots of friends, family, card games, board games, but most importantly lots of laughs.

This is her third year selling real estate and she has one year under her belt running her firm. Before becoming a Realtor® Kiki worked as a marketing director and did graphic and web design. Her favorite part of helping individuals, couples, families and businesses buy or sell their properties is getting to know the people and hearing their stories.

When she isn’t working real estate she is carpooling kids to school, softball, basketball, dance, appointments, cooking, camping, camping and more camping.

Tracy Brus, Director

Tracy has been a licensed salesperson for 30+ years and an Associate broker for 20 of those years. She was born and raised in the Denison area and graduated from Denison High School.

Tracy has been a 3-time Past President of the West Central Iowa Board of REALTORS® and past Regional Vice-President for the Iowa Association of REALTORS®. She also sits on numerous committees at the IAR, including Chair of the Communications Committee. She is also currently a voting board member for the Iowa Association of REALTORS®. Tracy was recently named as “2016 REALTOR® of the Year” at the Iowa Association of REALTORS® Convention in Coralville, IA.

Outside of the REALTOR® Association, Tracy is an active member and choir member at her church and community volunteer. She has been married to husband Todd for 36 years and they have one son, Jake.

Julie Smith, Director

Julie Smith has been a licensed Realtor in Nebraska since 2003, and an Associate Broker in Nebraska and Iowa since 2007.   She began her career with Century 21 Hansen Real Estate in Nebraska, worked for Prudential Ambassador Real Estate (now Berkshire Hathaway Ambassador Real Estate), and then moved into an Assistant Manager role with NP Dodge Real Estate in Omaha.   She was on the Nebraska Realtor Association Pathways to Professionalism committee for 2 years and was a recipient of the Realtor Mark of Excellence Award for 2 years running.   She also taught Ethics at Randall School of Real Estate.   She moved to her current home in Atlantic, Iowa in 2013 and she is now an Associate Broker with Property Connection Real Estate in Atlantic, IA.   Julie holds her GRI and ABR designations.
Julie is active in the community, belonging to the Atlantic Rotary Club and is an ambassador with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.  She enjoys golfing at the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.
Julie grew up in Denver, CO and moved all over the country before settling in the midwest.  She married her husband, Mark Smith (an Atlantic, IA native) in 2016, and they enjoy traveling, motorcycle riding, boating and Nebraska Husker football together.   Julie has 3 grown children, and Mark has two grown children, all living in Nebraska.  Together they have 5 grandchildren so far, and love every minute of it.
“Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” …In life, in love, and in our work.  Always.

Mike Franey, Director

Mike Franey was the 2015 & 2016 President of the West Central Iowa Regional Board of REALTORS®. For over 20 years Mike has sold real estate in the Carroll, Iowa area. He holds the CRS, and GRI designations and is currently the 2019 President of the Iowa Residential Real Estate Council(CRS) and the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Iowa Association of Realtors. Being involved and giving back to the community remains a top priority for Mike. He is serving as a member of the Carroll Area Development Corporation, Carroll Relay For Life delivering Meals on Wheels, 2009 Carroll Chamber of Commerce President and other projects in the community.

Mike is excited to guide the organization through two important events: completion of the merger of the five boards and the National Association of REALTORS® core standards compliance process.

Mike has served as President of the Carroll Board of REALTORS®. He is the broker/owner of Mid Iowa Insurance and Real Estate in Carroll, is married to his wife Lynda, and has a stepson Payton.

Retta Ripperger, Director

Retta Ripperger has been a Realtor since 2001.  In 2011 she opened her own office.  She has served as President of the former Bluegrass Board of REALTORS®.  Retta‘s business deals primarily in residential resale but also does farms and commercial as the need arises.  Retta‘s office is located in Creston and the business is primarily Union and the surrounding counties.

Retta and her husband, Dennis, were married in 1969.  They are parents of five sons and a daughter, all who live in Iowa.  There are currently 18 grandchildren.  They live on an acreage outside of Afton.
Retta was the proud receiver of the 2011 Iowa Realtors Good Neighbor Award Honorable Mention for her work in beautifying Afton through Hometown Hope, a branch of Keep Iowa Beautiful.  She also holds CRS, GRI, and SFR designations.

Diana Hietbrink, Director

While Diana Hietbrink is new to both the real estate profession and Rubey Realty, she is not new to serving the public. With over 20-years experience in retail and retail management, she’s honed people skills and communication abilities that will serve her well in her new endeavor. While she keeps busy with listing and selling real estate, she also assists with the property management division of Rubey Realty. She looks forward to a long and successful career in real estate and very much appreciates the opportunity of serving on and learning from her time on the Executive Board.

Diana is married to Adam, a Red Oak Middle School science teacher, and they are parents of a son, Hayden, a 1st grader. They have been residents of Red Oak for 10 years and both originate from the Lake Okoboji area. They enjoy spending as much time as possible at the Lake and visiting with family that resides there. A big part of their fall schedule is Iowa Hawkeye football and all love attending games. Still keeping her fingers in retail, she especially enjoys her time spent helping a friend at a gift shop on the Red Oak Fountain Square and further serves the school and community as an active member of the PTO.

Donna Pudenz, President

Donna Pudenz brings over 20 years of real estate experience to the board. Donna worked for the USDA/FSA office administering loans to farmers, software testing and as a computer program assistant for 13 years. She is excited to be a part of the WCIRBOR leadership team and help ensure a smooth consolidation of boards.

A lifelong resident of Carroll County, Donna has earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation and specializes in residential real estate in Carroll and surrounding areas. Donna serves as a member of the Carroll Board of Adjustment and also a past president of the Carroll Board of REALTORS®.

Donna has two children, four grandchildren. When she’s not at the office, she enjoys traveling to see the grandchildren, gardening and spending time with family & friends.

Danny Robertson, Director

Danny grew up in Maryville, Missouri graduating from Maryville RII in 1970. He then graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1975 with a B.S. in Industrial Technology. He moved to southwest Iowa in 1980 and has lived in Glenwood, Malvern, Red Oak, and Clarinda. Danny has been married for 31 years and they have 6 grown children with grandchildren spread out over the country. His wife teaches 5th grade at East Mills Elementary.
Danny has been selling Real estate since 2013 showing and selling all over southwest Iowa as part of Your Real Estate Choice, Inc. Red Oak, Iowa. He was recently elected to the governing board of the Red Oak,  Iowa Chamber Of Commerce. Danny enjoys hunting, fishing (from a boat and thru the ice), and gardening. He is looking forward to the changes coming to real estate as we transition into the electronic age.