Since the beginning of Families United Action Network (FUAN) 17 months ago, we've discovered an amazing number of committed individuals! We Are Impressed and Grateful! We want to honor these dedicated, hard-working people. After long considerations, we have decided that the best way would be to start an “Advocate of the Month” program that gives references and credit to individuals of impressive quality work for Family Law Reform.
For November 2016, we have chosen to recognize Vince Bechtel of Ankeny, Iowa.
Vince Bechtel is the father of three children ages 25, 20 & 14. Vince lives in Ankeny, Iowa and works in Des Moines for the State of Iowa, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Vince organized events at our Iowa State Capitol on behalf of the national Children’s Rights Council and spoke at the Iowa Supreme Court Child Support Advisory Committee hearings.
Vince has conducted home visits and facilitated support meetings for parents, grandparents, and bonus family members excluded from their children's and grandchildren's lives. He believes that action is a large part of conviction.
Vince has appeared in the Des Moines Register after speaking to the Ankeny School Board, making donations to the St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter in Des Moines after a Parental Alienation Awareness event at our Iowa State Capitol, and in March after Vince met with Governor Branstad to address family law reform.
Mr. Bechtel has received written permission from The Center for Divorce Education Center (http://www.divorce-education.com) to help inform Iowa's leaders about research-based methods for reducing the stress to parents and children of divorce and separation; as part of that effort Vince has advocated requiring all parents divorcing/separating in Iowa to take the class After the Storm: Surviving High Conflict Divorce (in addition to the currently required Children In Between class).
He has worked tirelessly in many capacities with several Family Law Reform organizations focusing primarily on projects advocating for shared parenting and family law reform that would limit child relocations by primary physical care/joint legal custodial parents, visitation interference accountability, and consequences imposed for visitation denials.
Vince is determined to educate others about the benefits of shared parenting to families and the community. Vince has discussed his proposals with various lawmakers and also Governor Branstad, gaining their support.
Ongoing activities such as door knocking and online petitions are other activities that help Vince show his conviction. Vince is almost always first to show up at events in line with family law reform topics and events to share information or help inform legislators. A little more than two weeks ago on Oct 18th at the Ankeny Chamber of Commerce public forum for the Iowa House of Representatives election District 37 with Representative John Landon, Incumbent, and Andrea Phillips, Challenger, which was moderated by Andrea Woodard, The Greater Des Moines Partnership's Public Policy Manager. At that forum, Vince submitted his question, “Do you support family law reform, specifically shared parenting?”
Vince's advocacy work has gained him the attention of the Des Moines Register where he was featured in a couple of articles. We are very proud to have Vince as an ACTION member within Families United Action Network, commend his commitment to our shared cause for family law reform, and recognize him as our Advocate of the Month.