About us


About the Founder and Organization


Ako Abdul–Samad is a life-long resident of the City of Des Moines and has witnessed first-hand the challenges facing low income minority communities. His passion to help improve the community lead to his vision of creating a community agency that would provide comprehensive holistic services to develop and empower individuals and families.

Ako Abdul-Samad, has served the community in numerous capacities as an elected official and community organizer. He currently serves in the Iowa Legislature and is frequently called upon  to mediate community and individual disputes. Ako, also provides consulting services to community based and faith based organizations to help them set up human service programs.

The Organization’s History:

In 1996, Ako’s vision was propelled into reality with the formation of Creative Visions Human Development Institute. Initially, the organization was focused mainly on  providing educational opportunities to help address the rampant use of drugs, gang violence, and crime involving at-risk youths. While the organization experienced dramatic results in its initial efforts, the organization realized that the efforts were only addressing the symptoms of a greater problem. Creative Visions Human Development Institute recognized that in order to effectively address the issues impacting at-risk youths on a long term basis, it would require a comprehensive approach that involved the family and community.

Creative Visions soon expanded its efforts to include programs that were developed to help stabilize the family units and empower communities. Today, Creative Visions has enabled thousands of individuals to build stronger lives, stronger families, and stronger communities through its core program of services which focus on self, family and community betterment.

Creative Visions Human Development Institute  is accredited  with the Iowa Registry of Non Profit Accountability having  adopted the Iowa Principles and Practices for Charitable Excellence to govern its operations. This designation  means that Creative Visions  is recognized for its strict adheres to  standards of transparency and accountability in its program governance.

Governance Board:

Attorney Geri Huser

Chuck Johnson, Honorary Chair

Dr. Dennis Zachary, Treasurer

Dr. Keith Madison

Dan McFall

Barbara Oliver- Hall

Dr. Laura Douglas

In addition to the organization’s nine member board of directors, the organization’s day to day operations are managed by Ako Abdul Samad, the organization’s founder and CEO and Cynthia Hunafa, its  COO.