About Sheila Knoploh-Odole
First things first: How do you say that Last Name ?!?
Knoploh = Ka-No-Plo
Odole = Oh-Doh-Lay
The "K" is pronounced and all of the "O's" are long ...
Knoploh-Odole = Ka-No-Plo - Oh-Doh-Lay
It's German and Nigerian combined.
Feel free to just call me Sheila, or Sheila K-O ...
Growing up in rural Northeast Iowa, it was hiking in the woods, picking up hickory nuts on her parents’ land where Sheila realized her affinity with Nature. Working at New Pioneer Coop in Iowa City during her college years made clear the importance of healthy, sustainably grown food. Sheila spent time traveling and studied abroad in London and Nigeria. There she met her children's father, who moved to America and the two settled in Maryland where Sheila worked at the Center for Food Safety in Washington DC, during the time when GMOs first appeared in American agriculture. Sheila saw firsthand what the revolving door between Federal Regulatory Agencies and the industries they regulate meant for citizens and the environment. Upon returning to Iowa in 2005, Sheila committed to making her home state as sustainable as possible.
In 2008, in pursuit of that goal, Sheila earned a Master’s in Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Iowa, and then a law degree from Drake University Law School. Her research focused on food systems, land use, sustainability, state and local government and conflict resolution. Sheila worked at the Iowa Concern Hotline answering legal calls, and contracted with the State as a Public Defender for a few years.
Sheila is a founding member of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust and directed the organization for a year. She currently has an independent law practice and consulting business and is an active volunteer on the Des Moines Citizen Taskforce on Sustainability, whose work is, in part, to help craft a Climate Action Plan for the City of Des Moines. She was also on the Advisory Committee for the Des Moines Energy Policy Taskforce, which wrote an energy and water benchmarking ordinance to help Des Moines meet its goals of overall GHG reduction. In the past, Sheila also served on the Advisory Committee to Lutheran Services of Iowa's Global Greens program, which helps refugees in Des Moines learn about farming in Iowa.
Sheila has two children, Ellie and Ezra. Like all parents, they are the most important human beings in her world. Since arriving in Des Moines in 2010, Sheila has grown to love the City more with each passing day for the opportunities it’s provided not only for her, but also for the educational opportunities it’s provided for her kids. Sheila wants to ensure they have a future to look forward to and to do what she can to make that happen. That’s why she’s running for office.