Tanager Place steps in to manage YPN

Agency helping nonprofit cope with director's death

Young Parents Network revealed its new logo Thursday, including a rebrand of its name to YPN. (Alexandra Connor/The Gazette)
Young Parents Network revealed its new logo Thursday, including a rebrand of its name to YPN. (Alexandra Connor/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — As YPN continues to cope with the death of its executive director, another service agency has been appointed to manage the nonprofit as it continues to serve young parents in Cedar Rapids.

The leadership team from Tanager Place, a children’s human service agency in Linn County, will temporarily oversee YPN. A search for YPN’s next executive director is ongoing.

“We are honored to help such an important partner during this difficult period,” Tanager Place Chief Executive Officer Okpara Rice said in a statement. “Our team will bring both leadership and heart to the table as we wrap our arms around the entire YPN team.”

Brian Stutzman, 44, died July 8. He was YPN’s executive director for 18 years.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said Stutzman was found dead at a home in Palo where he was staying.

“There was nothing outwardly suspicious,” Gardner said. “He was found when we went to the scene, and the case has been turned over to the Linn County medical office.”

A police report is not available, he said, because the investigation remains open until the Sheriff’s Office receives a toxicology report.


Stutzman’s death shocked the YPN board and staff members, who announced his death on July 9 “with deep sadness and heavy hearts.”

In a news release, YPN Board Chairman Matt Evans said YPN has been comforted by Tanager’s interim involvement as “we search for the right person to carry on Brian’s legacy.”

An ad for the role has been posted online.

YPN provides prenatal, parenting, early childhood and youth development services in east central Iowa, according to its 2017 annual report. The nonprofit served more than 1,800 people last year, including parents, prenatal mothers and children.

The nonprofit rebranded as YPN from Young Parents Network last year.

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