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Jake Hall served honorably in the Iowa Army National Guard for 15 years. He enlisted in 2008 and served with the Iowa Medical Detachment as a Medic for 4 years before being assigned to the Iowa Joint Forces Headquarters as a Human Resource Specialist. After being assigned as the Senior Human Resource Sergeant and overseeing the largest HR systems overhaul in the history of the organization, he retired from the Iowa Army National Guard as a Sergeant First Class.

Jake founded Outside The Box in early 2022 to provide a space for his fellow troops to address their issues in a peer-to-peer setting. As the need for additional services became apparent, he leased a space in Johnston and expanded their offerings. He continues to carry out this mission on a daily basis as the Director of Outside The Box.

In his free time Jake loves to go on bike rides and spend time with his family. If you can't find him, take a look in the garage or the kitchen; he is probably tinkering or cooking a big meal.

Jake Hall

Founder/Executive Director


...coming soon

Heather Dillwood



Cara Sanders is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She has 14 years of experience working with both mental health and substance use disorders. She obtained her Master's Degree from Drake University in Des Moines. Cara is the owner of Healing Rock Counseling, a mental health practice located in Altoona Iowa. She is trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and has training in several other trauma-focused treatment modalities.

Cara has worked with veterans and active service members since 2018. She and her therapy dog, George, volunteer their time with Everystep Grief and Loss Services, Home of Amanda the Panda in their free time. Cara is passionate about helping people begin their journey towards healing from trauma and grief and loss, and hopes to use that passion to move forth the mission of Outside the Box by serving on the board.

In her spare time Cara enjoys spending time with friends and family, exercising, cheering on the Cyclones, listening to music, and trying new pizza places.

Cara Sanders

Vice President


Kellie Meyer was born and raised in Washington, Iowa. She enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1995 as a medic, and with her love for service and a new found sense of adventure, she loaded up her car and tore into Texas in 1997 to begin her active duty tour. She served for almost eight years, landing at her first duty station, assigned to the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 13th COSCOM. Upon receiving the rank of CPL, Kellie was reassigned to recruiting duty at the South Des Moines Recruiting Station, which allowed for continued service and an opportunity to spend time with her family! In 2000, she returned to Fort Hood, assigned to the 704th Division Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, where life took on a whole new meaning after 9/11. She finished her service in Fort Hood and returned to the Iowa National Guard in August of 2004, after the birth of her daughter. Kellie was assigned to the Iowa Medical Detachment as a medic, later to reclassify to Patient Administration, and finally, to retire in 2020 after 26 years of service, at the rank of First Sergeant. 

Kelie's passion for behavioral health and substance use disorders began as the Iowa National Guard deployed thousands of Soldiers to Afghanistan and Iraq. Working alongside Soldiers as they medically processed out and back in after deployment, Kellie quickly realized the toll deployment took on Iowa Soldiers physically and mentally. She had the utmost respect for the providers and counselors as they fought hard to end the stigma of seeking help and saw Outside the Box as a perfect way to help continue the fight for our Soldier's mental health and well being. 

Kellie works fulltime in court administration for the Fifth Judicial District in Des Moines. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, chilling with her dogs Benny and Sarge and binging some Netflix.

Kellie Meyer



Jennifer Voegtlin Beireis served honorably in the Iowa and Nebraska National Guard. She enlisted in 1999 and medically retired in 2016.  She started her career as a firefighter and eventually transferred to Nebraska to be trained as a flight medic.  From there she came back to Iowa assigned to AMEDD and retired at the rank of Sergeant First Class. She has had two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Her civilian life included The Des Moines Fire Department. Hired in 2002 as the rank of firefighter, she was promoted to Fire Medic and retired as a Senior Fire Medic in 2015.  

Currently retired, she enjoys any free time she gets away from the kids, and is always searching for any new ideas for hobbies. She has an impressive garden which the whole family loves to farm. Along with all her other fun, she also enjoy trying new coffees and making them at home. Jennifer has volunteered for most of her life, and her “little sister” from Big Brothers Big Sisters just turned 21.

Jennifer Voegtlin Beireis


Our Team: Member Stories
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