Dr. Jesse O. Bolinger is a strong believer in rural communities. Growing up in the small Iowa farm community of Creston, Bolinger gained an early understanding of the importance of hard work, family farms and volunteerism. Bolinger was born with Hydrocephalus resulting in legal blindness thus making his future uncertain. However, through the perseverance of his parents and hard work in his own right, he was able to achieve success in a mainstream public-school classroom even before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).
After graduation from Creston High School in 2002, Bolinger attended Graceland University, graduating with a degree in communications in May 2007. He continued his education obtaining a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University in December 2009 and a PhD in Public Service Leadership from Capella University in October 2014. It was during his time at Capella University that Bolinger discovered the need for research on rural volunteerism and other rural issues.
Dr. Bolinger is an entrepreneur at heart. He formed his first business at the age of 16 in order to provide website design and technology services to businesses in the Creston community. After graduation from Regis University, Bolinger formed TechiePaws, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the provision of funding for service animal users to pay veterinary bills and funding for disabled individuals to purchase assistive and adaptive technology. In 2015, Dr. Bolinger, along with his wife, formed Bolinger Solutions, Inc. to provide remote call center and consulting services to businesses and nonprofits.
Dr. Bolinger has served as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at Graceland University as well as manager of the Annual Fundraising Call Center. Most recently, he has returned to the national service community as an AmeriCorps VISTA member by serving with Decatur County Development Corporation.