Department: Board Member
Gene Leonhart was born at Allen Hospital in Waterloo and grew up and graduated in the Denver Community School District. Following high school, Gene attended Iowa State University and graduated with a B.A. in Architecture.
Gene Leonhart is the President, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Cardinal Construction Inc. He started his career working for John G. Miller Construction Company as an Apprentice Estimator in 1973. He worked his way up the ladder and in 1980, was named Vice President and Chief Estimator of John G. Miller Construction. Numerous operating entities were reconfigured in the mid-1980s, resulting in what is known today as Cardinal Construction Inc. That was followed in 1991, when Gene was first named President of Cardinal.
Gene has been dedicated to improving the quality of life here in the Cedar Valley. Not only does he, along with his company, give financially to deserving projects, but he devotes his spare time and talents to many organizations. He has served on boards and committees for numerous organizations over the past 40 years, some of which include: Waterloo Downtown Rotary Club, Denver Elderly Housing Board, Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments, Iowa Northland Regional Housing Authority, Allen Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, Denver Jaycees, Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Denver Savings Bank Board, Greater Denver Activities Foundation, Master Builders of Iowa, Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, and the Waverly Area Economic Development Commission. In 1981, following four years on the City Council, Gene stepped up to the challenge and took on a leadership role by serving as Denver’s Mayor for the next eighteen (18) years. Gene also assisted in Denver’s capital campaign for the construction of a new library, city hall, and athletic complex. Additionally, he is an active member of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denver where he has served on many committees and was President of the church council. His commitment to our community is insurmountable, and he does it without hesitation. He has received several awards to recognize his outstanding veracity in the Cedar Valley. He is the recipient of the INRCOG Man of the Year Award and in 2009 was named a Matt Parrott Integrity Award winner.
Outside of his commitment to this community, Gene is still able to put his family first in his life. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Pat, and he enjoys spending time with her, his children Amy and Dave, and his four grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports with family and friends. The fall of the year, in particular, is spread among the teams from Iowa State, the University of Northern Iowa, and Wartburg College.