Get to know the Guiding Star Cedar Valley team!
It’s an honor to serve the Cedar Valley in this role as Executive Director. I am most excited to be a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge and information as I can about the services we provide. Then I want to take this information and tell as many people as I can about the beauty of womanhood and how Guiding Star Cedar Valley can help them understand this.
We were introduced to Jamie Rathjen, GSCV founder, through our marriage enrichment group. It was there we witnessed Jamie’s vision for Guiding Star come to life. I am honored to be a part of life affirming, holistic care in our community, where we educate about the beauty of our natural design. I am grateful for the opportunity to pass along the message to future generations. My oldest daughter and I have attended the Mother Daughter: Intro to Womanhood class, where we learned about the truth and dignity of our bodies in a positive empowering way. We fully support the mission to empower women, embrace children and enrich families.
Client Services Coordinator
I have the best job in the world serving women as the Client Services Coordinator here at GSCV.. Our mission is to wrap women up in love and serve them through their own individual journeys!
I became involved with GSCV because my husband and I were cared for and supported as we walked a journey of infertility. We learned that there were natural means to conceiving a child and after years of struggle, we were blessed with our son. I love the mission of empowering women and enriching families to change generations to come. We strive to serve and love one another and welcome everyone to come through the doors of GSCV and share your story with us.
Marketing & Community Outreach
Having the opportunity to invest myself in the mission of Guiding Star Cedar Valley has changed my life exponentially. This path has taught me what it means to value and respect the creations that God has made us to be. My understanding of women’s healthcare and the trials and joys that women and families go through in our society increased through meeting with clients during care consults, GSCV community classes, engaging with volunteers, and connecting with our partners. Through my role in marketing and community outreach, I am excited and eager to share what Guiding Star has to offer to all women and families throughout our community as well as empowering young adult and college-age women in giving them the opportunity to know more about their own bodies through a more natural and life-affirming way.
Community Class Coordinator & Fertility Awareness Educator
It’s been such a blessing being a part of GSCV. I was first introduced to this organization while I was attending UNI, as I needed to fulfill volunteer hours. Little did I know, 5 years later God would lead me back here to serve as a Fertility Awareness Educator and Community Class Coordinator!
I have a strong passion for the Guiding Star mission and supporting women on the beautiful journey of womanhood. Whether it’s teaching young girls about puberty, empowering women as they learn more about their cycle, or pointing a couple to additional resources like one of our community classes or support groups. I want all women to know their body was fearfully and wonderfully made.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Professional
Susan graduated from Albany Medical Center School of Nursing in 1968 as an RN. She soon became certified as a LaLeche League Leader in 1972. This is where her passion for helping women have positive breastfeeding experiences took root. In 1995, she was hired to develop the Lactation Program at Covenant Medical Center. Within the next year, she took the IBLCE Exam and became an International Certified Lactation Consultant. She retired in 2010 and started Nana’s Love, offering in home Lactation Services and Postpartum Care. She continued to work as needed at Covenant until she retired fully at the end of 2016.
Susan meets with women at Guiding Star Cedar Valley and continues to amaze us with her 40 years of knowledge and passion for supporting women on their pregnancy and breastfeeding journeys.
Fertility Awareness Educators
Fertility Care Practitioner
Bio coming soon!
Fertility Care Practitioner
Bio coming soon!
Introduction to Womanhood Presenter
My husband and I first encountered Guiding Star while learning about the Creighton Model of fertility awareness with Jamie Rathjen. Jamie taught us what women’s health care should be and soon I was learning all I could about how to honor God’s design for women, men, and families. I had an opportunity to expand my knowledge about women’s health at the St. Paul the VI Institute in 2020 which lead to where I am today, teaching Intro to Womanhood classes with Guiding Star. Educating girls about the changes they’ll soon be experiencing is so important to helping them learn to appreciate their femininity and learn how to keep their bodies healthy.
Board of Directors
My journey to Guiding Star occurred over a period of years. I first met Jamie Rathjen, founding Director, through UNI and St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center, so I’ve been quite aware of Guiding Star, the mission and all the good that’s been accomplished in a short time. My wife, Sue and I have been supporters and Gala attendees the last few years. I’ve recently retired after 42 years in banking, insurance, and financial services, most recently affiliated with Veridian Credit Union and Lincoln Savings Bank. We’ve been married over 40 years and have two married children with four grandsons total. We credit one of our grandsons to being connected to Jamie and Dr. Pranger. After a couple of problem pregnancies, Jamie and Dr. Pranger successfully assisted in Gracen being born a few years ago. I see my involvement now as an opportunity to give back and trust that my background and experience benefits the overall mission.
I’m so grateful to have been connected to Guiding Star Cedar Valley years ago when attending a class on Natural Fertility and Family Planning. I love Guiding Star’s mission of truly empowering and embracing women by providing natural, life-affirming healthcare. I’ve enjoyed watching the organization grow over the years to offer many family life services, and I’m impressed with the amount of education they provide to women and families in our community. I’m so excited to serve on the board and give back to an organization that has helped me and so many other women in our community!
Bio coming soon!
I am forever grateful to have been connected to Guiding Star Cedar Valley through an essential oils class with Jamie Rathjen, GSCV founder. After struggling with PCOS, trying to figure out my cycle on my own and being prescribed many medications, I was informed of the Creighton Method Fertility Based Awareness System. I was able to drop all medications that were prescribed to me and naturally find all red flags within my cycle. After months of learning my cycle and understanding what was going on, my husband and I were able to achieve our first pregnancy. We are excited to be expanding our family of 2, to 3 in April 2022. I have so much passion for Guiding Star Cedar Valley and it brings me so much joy to be a part of the growing organization. I am excited to continue the mission and give back to an organization that helped me and other families in the community.
As a soon-to-be health care professional, I have felt especially drawn to the mission of Guiding Star. Wholistic women’s healthcare is not something ever taught nor talked about in nursing school, but a part of God’s calling for my life. We live in a society where women are taught their natural body is not good enough, and I feel Guiding Star is the perfect place to break this stigma. As a college student myself, I am excited to connect with young women and teach them to embrace the natural feminine design God gave them. What a better time than now to empower women, embrace children, and enrich families.
I have been involved with GS since 2020. In the Fall of that year, I was feeling called to do more. My boys were transitioning toward adulthood and no longer needing me as much and my mom had passed away the following year. I was kind of at a loss for what I wanted to do to make a difference; then GS was talked about at a Sunday church service and it felt like a “God Thing.” Prior to that informative talk, I didn’t know a lot about GS so I researched it on the internet and knew God was calling me to be involved. It was a way I could give back. Parenting young boys had been difficult for me as I struggled with getting pregnant and then postpartum depression. This was followed by two tragic car accidents within a year and a half; one claiming the life of my father and the other causing serious injury to my husband. During that time, I could barely put one foot in front of the other and I needed support. Thankfully I had good friends who were there for me but a support “center” like GS would’ve been invaluable. As I enter into the next phase of my life, I know a lot more about the trials of life… and there are many. We, as women, mothers, and families need to be ready, strong, informed AND supported in our journey of life. Not everyone has a large support system of friends and family nearby like I had. Which makes a place like Guiding Star so important. It is a life-affirming, non-judgmental place, offering support… not just to young mothers and families, but to all of us as we journey through the trials and joys of life. I’m honored to help them support others in that journey in whatever way I can!!
I serve on the Board of Directors to do my part to help build a culture of life in the Cedar Valley. My wife and I have been using Creighton for over 10 years and have seen the fruits of the method in our marriage.
We have two elementary aged children and suffered the loss of twins to miscarriage in 2020. Guiding Star’s No Matter How Small service gave us the gift of being able to bury our twins and to begin the process of grieving. The support of the Guiding Star community has shown us the Lord’s care for us during the season of infertility and healing that has followed. I serve on the board so that my wife has the community she needs in the present and so that my son and daughter have the support in the future.