Iowa Ideas 2019

October 3-4, 2019 • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids
The Iowa Ideas Conference is a nonpartisan, statewide gathering designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa. Created by the Gazette for all Iowa citizens, legislators, community & business leaders, Iowa Ideas is the conference that allows all voices to be hear. Come be a part of the conversation.




  • 03 October
  • 04 October

Aaron Granquist

Project Manager/Professional Engineer
HR Green, Inc.
Aaron is a Project Manager for HR Green and is responsible for the management and design of public infrastructure projects. His experience includes planning, conceptual and final design, and construction administration for urban roadways, highways, interchanges, and trails. Additionally, Aaron has managed and designed utility improvements including stormwater infrastructure, sanitary sewer, water mains, and roadway lighting, and is an experienced, capable facilitator of public and stakeholder meetings. Aaron is also very familiar with the Statewide Urban Design and Specifications (SUDAS) and serves on the District 6 Committee. He also serves as Past-President on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Section of ASCE.

03 October

Adam Gregg

Lt. Governor
State of Iowa
Adam Gregg serves as Iowa’s 47th Lieutenant Governor. He serves as Co-Chair of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, and serves on the executive committee of the National Lieutenant Governors Association and as the vice chair of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association. He was chosen as a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow for 2018-2019, focused on leadership in education.

Gregg previously served as the State Public Defender, a position he was appointed to in 2014. In that role, Adam led a 220-employee organization focused on providing the constitutional right to counsel for Iowans. He modernized the agency by moving processes online, improving efficiency while increasing the ability to detect fraudulent claims for taxpayer dollars. He also created a new division to investigate potential wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system.

From 2013-14, Gregg served in the governor’s office as the legislative liaison and policy advisor. Prior to joining the governor’s office, he practiced at the BrownWinick law firm in Des Moines. He was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2014.

Gregg graduated in 2009 with high honors from Drake University Law School, where he received the institution’s prestigious Opperman Scholarship. While there, he earned the faculty’s William and Ellen Cooney Hoye Award, given to the individual who demonstrates the greatest promise as an advocate, public servant and practitioner. Gregg was also chosen as an Iowa Supreme Court Scholar, and was a staff member for the Drake Law Review.

Gregg earned his B.A. from Central College in 2006. He graduated first in his class with degrees in political science and history, and played football for the Dutch.

Gregg is a graduate of West Sioux High School and a native of Hawarden, Iowa. He resides in Urbandale with his wife, Cari, and their son, Jackson, and daughter, Lauren. He and his family are active members and volunteers in Johnston River of Life United Methodist Church. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hoover Presidential Foundation, and on the Iowa State Fair Board. He also coaches his son’s flag football team.

03 October

Adam Schneiders

Water Quality Resource Coordinator
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

03 October

Aimee Hospodarsky

Guidance Counselor
Monticello School District
Aimee Hospodarsky is an elementary school counselor in Monticello Iowa. Her 18 years of experience as a school counselor has included work at the middle school level as well as both urban and rural areas. Aimee is a graduate of Drake University (MS – School Counseling) and the University of Northern Iowa (Elementary and Early Childhood Education). Prior to her role on the ISCA Executive Committee, she served as Elementary Vice-President. Aimee is the School Counselor Lead in her district, and has represented school counselors in various state level groups, including Future Ready Iowa Alliance, Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning Advisory Board, and the State SEL Advisory Team. Along with her K-12 School Counseling Team in Monticello, she is a proud recipient of the ISCA District of Distinction Award, which recognizes exemplary K-12 school counseling programs. Aimee sees school counselors as a critical factor in the junction of students’ academic, career, and personal-social success. Aimee has two children and lives in Monticello with her husband, who is also in education.

04 October

Alan Schumacher

Board President
Iowa Recycling Assocation
Alan Schumacher is the current President of the Iowa Recycling Association. The IRA promotes environmental sustainability through the associations extensive network, assisting in offering proactive solutions to the educational needs of large business, municipalities, government agencies and the general public of the state of Iowa. It’s Board of Directors is made up of state wide associates who assist in guiding the principals of the organization.  Alan has been professionally involved with recycling efforts in the state of Iowa for over 20 years.  Currently, Alan is focusing his career assisting others in a business to business role as Director of Sales for Quincy Recycle Paper, located in Marion, Iowa.

03 October

Alicia Simmons

Sustainability Manager
Frontier Co-op
Alicia is a native Iowan, raised in Cedar Rapids. She moved to Iowa City to study English Literature and Classical Languages at The University of Iowa during her undergraduate years. Shortly after earning her B.A., she moved out to Boulder, CO, where she spent much of her free time outdoors. This experience further developed her appreciation for the environment, and still fuels her passion for sustainability today.

In 2016, Alicia returned to the Cedar Rapids area where her commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility led her to accept a position with Frontier Co-op; a company she felt truly reflected her ideals, and through which she felt she could make a difference in the community. This passion for environmental and social responsibility steered her to her current role managing corporate sustainability initiatives and social giving programs at Frontier Co-op. Personally, Alicia serves on the board of Indian Creek Nature Center, and the board of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum where she acts as Treasurer.

03 October

Amos Petersen

Co-Founder and CEO of FarrPro, Amos is an established entrepreneur with a penchant for system design. After growing up on a farm in Southeast Iowa, Amos built and sold EccoCast, a rural internet and communications provider. Graduating from the University of Iowa, Amos holds a strong economic and engineering background, specializing in system design.

Amos is the creator of the Haven: FarrPro's flagship product. Multiple heating elements and advanced materials, the Haven provides significant efficiency and effectiveness improvements over existing products. Amos sees FarrPro as a starting point to revolutionize the Pork Industry, integrating technologies to drive efficiencies while providing animals with improved living conditions.

04 October

Amy Homan

Director of Marketing
Iowa Northern Railway Company
I have 13 years working direct for a short line railroad, but over 25 years in the transportation and logistics industry in and around Cedar Rapids having spent 8 years working at Penford Products (now Ingredion) and 8 years at Cargill. I have been a member of the City Planning Commission for the last two years working with other volunteer members reviewing and making recommendations to the city council on various land development issues. I am a life long resident of Cedar Rapids, growing up and living on the west side of this great city.

03 October

Amy Meyer

HealthWorks Program Manager
United Way of Central Iowa
Amy Meyer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago before getting her bachelor’s at George Washington University and master’s from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

After a brief stint in local news, Amy felt drawn to become a part of the community’s story, rather than just covering it. She served as Executive Director of United Way of Mahaska County in south central Iowa for 6 years where she helped launch a fixed-route bus service, summer lunch program, and youth mentorship program.

In 2018, Amy moved to United Way of Central Iowa to serve as Program Manager for Central Iowa HealthWorks. The Department of Labor-funded program targets people with barriers to employment and provides funding and other support to launch their careers in health care. The grant will help 500 central Iowans become CNAs, RNs and other health care professionals.

Amy lives in Pella with her husband and four daughters.

03 October

Andre' Wright

Born Leaders United
Andre’ Wright is the founder/CEO of Born Leaders United, a fashion brand based out of Iowa City, Iowa. He has gotten noticed by the likes of a number of celebrities with his latest fashion collection Humanize My Hoodie. Andre’ has taken his passion and talent to grow his boutique fashion brand, Born Leaders United, into a global brand within the last six years all while building local community awareness and producing the most impactful fashion events Iowa has ever seen. In addition, Andre’ enjoys traveling and has journeyed to over 20 countries of the past 3 years learning about different cultures using his creativity to help build communities worldwide. His experience with traveling the world is reflected in his passion that he puts into his fashion label. Andre’ prides himself as someone that helps youth in marginalized communities and regularly mentors and creates programs to help kids understand their personal brand. Andre’ is more than a fashion designer and is constantly look for ways to inspire, empower and support others.

03 October

04 October

Andrea Seip

Iowa Insurance Division
Andria Seip is the Assistant Insurance Commissioner of the Product and Producer Regulation Bureau at the Iowa Insurance Division.Her bureau reviews all the insurance rate and form filings from insurance companies and oversees all insurance agent licensing.She has worked with the Iowa Insurance Division since February 2016 and for the State of Iowa since 2010.Andria is a subject matter expert in health insurance; she assisted the IID in its Stopgap waiver application and lead DHS in implementing the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan.Andria has her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, a Masters degree in Human Service Administration from Spertus Institute in Chicago, IL and a Law degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.

04 October

Andy Johnson

Winneshiek Energy District
Andy Johnson is founder and director of Winneshiek Energy District. Since 2010, the organization provides energy planning services, supports market transformation, and creates economic development around locally-owned clean energy opportunities. Since 2015, he has led the growing energy district network, modeled loosely off the soil and water conservation district movement of the mid-20th century. Energy Districts combine the green of locally-owned clean energy prosperity with the green of climate stewardship into an inclusive, powerful, locally-owned clean energy transition movement from the Heartland.

Andy holds a bachelor’s degree in field biology and a masters in natural resources, conservation biology and ecosystem management. He has worked for over 25 years in sustainable agricultural, private lands conservation, community development and clean energy, domestically and abroad. He and his wife (a practicing Certified Nurse-Midwife, CNM/MPH) manage their three-generation family farm as land community and raise grass-fed beef and lamb, Christmas trees, and – most importantly – three daughters.

04 October

Angela Harrington

Hotel Grinnell
Angela Harrington, Catalyst President/CEO has extensive experience in product development, strategic marketing, complex operations management and the direction of extraordinary service teams specifically related to tourism, hospitality and events. She holds Master Certificates from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in Hospitality Operations, Marketing & Revenue Management as well as a BA in Behavioral Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Contagious enthusiasm, tenacity and courage combined with outstanding operations and team leadership skills to achieve extraordinary results. CATALYTIC PROJECTS DESIGNED TO SPARK 18-HOUR VITALITY AND FACILITATE REAL ECONOMIC BENEFIT. UPSCALE, BOUTIQUE ACCOMMODATION PRODUCTS AND BRANDS THAT CELEBRATE WHERE THEY ARE IN THE WORLD.

03 October

Angela Weekley

Community Inclusion Manager
Veridian Credit Union

Angie Radcliffe

Guidance Counselor
North Mahaska County High School

04 October


Anne Clinton-Cirocco

Kirkwood Community College
Ms. Clinton-Cirocco is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in Iowa. She has been in practice throughout the United States and overseas for over thirty years. Ms Clinton-Cirocco has worked extensively with children, families, active duty members, veterans and college students throughout her career. Her primary focus as a therapist/counselor has been in helping clients adopt skills to assist in the development of sound behavioral and brain health habits. Whether the focus of treatment is on trauma, learning disabilites/differences, family, mental or physical illness, cultural challenges or relationships, her practice is strength based and client centered.

04 October

Ashley Vanorny

City of Cedar Rapids City Council
Ashley Vanorny is a Councilmember serving in her first term proudly representing District 5 in Cedar Rapids, IA. She became the 2nd youngest person to serve in Iowa’s second biggest city after winning in a December 2017 run-off election. As a lifelong Cedar Rapidian she advocates for those within the city, whether they’re here for a short or long while, making it her mission to be welcoming. In her council duties, she serves on the Public Safety and Youth Services Committee, the Development Committee, and the SET Grant Committee. She also serves on the Education Committee for the Iowa League of Cities, and on the National League of Cities’ Community and Economic Development Committee. She works as a healthcare professional at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, and serves on the University of Iowa’s Staff Council. In addition to her professional work, Ashley is a Master’s candidate studying Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Des Moines University. Many of her philanthropy efforts outside of council center around supporting children in and aging out of foster care. She serves on the board of Directors for the League of Women Voters of Linn County, the Linn County Phoenix Club, and Families Helping Families of Iowa, and is training to join the local Foster Care Review Board. She is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, a 2018 Des Moines Chapter fellow of New Leaders Council, and a member of the Young Elected Officials Network.

03 October

Audrey Tran Lam

Environmental Health Program Manager
Center for Energy & Environmental Education
Since 2017, Audrey's managed the CEEE's environmental health initiatives, working where human health and environmental sustainability meet. She holds a masters degree in Public Health from the University of Iowa, a plant-based nutrition certificate from eCornell, and is currently enrolled at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

04 October

Barb Baker

Director of Advertising and Community Relations
Grinnell Mutual
Barb Baker is the Advertising and Public/Community Relations Director for Grinnell Mutual. Within my current role, I oversee the implementation of our company’s corporate strategic marketing initiatives, our social responsibility programs, and the Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation grants. I have the pleasure of managing a variety of scholarship programs, awarding nearly $150,000 to high school and college students across the nation each year.

I serve as an adjunct instructor, teaching business communications, in the Tippie School of Business at the University of Iowa. I earned my MBA at the University of Phoenix, my Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Iowa, and my Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from the Insurance Institutes.

I’ve also served as Senior Development Specialist and Senior Claims Specialist at Grinnell Mutual, worked as a terminal manager for Ruan Transport and Leasing in Coralville, and was a news reporter at KWWL-TV in Waterloo.

Community and professional involvement are a big part of my life; I currently serve on several boards, including the Governor's Task Force to Empower Rural Iowa, Iowa Sports Foundation, Iowa Women’s Foundation, ABI Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program; Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell and the St. Francis Manor Foundation. Additionally, I’m a member of the Partners in Education committee with Grinnell Middle School, Des Moines Chapter of the CPCU Society, Poweshiek I-80 Revolving Loan Fund and Grinnell College Mini Grants committees.

I feel fortunate to have graduated from the Grinnell Mutual Emerging Leaders, Poweshiek Leadership and the Leadership Iowa programs.

I’m also a member of professional organizations including the Insurance Marketing and Communications Association (IMCA); American Advertising Federation (AAF); CPCU Society, Leadership Iowa Alumni Society, and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

My family members include my husband, my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, and one baby grandson. I am also a middle child—with five sisters and a brother!

I am a proud Hawkeye fan and 40-year Hawkeye football season ticket holder. I also love family time, tailgating, college sports, MLB, distance running, biking, reunions, and reading novels.

04 October

Barry Schreier

University of Iowa Counseling services

04 October


Ben Loeffelholz

Associate Executive Director
Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA

04 October

Ben Rogers

Linn County Supervisor
Ben was first elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors in 2008 and has served in that role for 10 years.
Ben is an advocate for individuals with mental health, disabilities and substance abuse challenges. He is leading the effort to create Iowa's first Mental Health Access Center that will divert individuals from hospitals and jail who seek treatment for their mental health needs. Linn County's Mental Health Access Center will be open in late 2019/early 2020.

04 October

Bernard Dutchik

Vice President Corporate Development
ImOn Communications
Bernard Dutchik is the Vice President of Corporate Development at ImOn Communications, LLC helping ImOn to grow its footprint across Eastern Iowa through internally funded expansion efforts and private-public partnerships in order to meet the exponentially growing demand for bandwidth. Bernard grew up in Cedar Rapids and is a proud graduate of CR Jefferson, Kirkwood Community College, and Iowa State University. After his undergrad, he spent time in Florida and Georgia working for Rockwell and Bandag while also earning his MBA from the University of Central Florida and an MMIS from Nova Southeastern. In addition to Rockwell and Bandag, his work experience also includes time with Bridgestone and ACT in a variety of roles across Engineering, Business Analysis, Information Technology, Program Management, Operations, and Strategic Partnerships.

04 October

Bethany Wilcoxon

Senior Advisor
McClure Engineering
Bethany grew up on an acreage just outside of Atlantic, Iowa, population 6,817. After high school, she headed to Iowa State University thinking she was going to be a landscape architect. She quickly realized she didn’t love drawing but also discovered city planning; she was fascinated with the art and science of the field and finished her studies in 2009.

Bethany eagerly looked forward to applying her skills towards economic development or neighborhood planning – anything except transportation planning. Of course, with the great recession, job options weren’t plentiful, and Bethany ended up as a transportation planner. At 23 and still wearing her rose-colored glasses, she built a coalition to pursue a $2 million grant from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities – a once-in-a-generation federal investment in planning.

Over the course of the next several years, Bethany managed development of The Tomorrow Plan, the first regional comprehensive plan for Greater Des Moines. The team engaged an unprecedented 27,000 people in the process and brought a new-found focus on housing choice, arts in education, and water trails to the region. In 2014, Bethany was hired as director of Capital Crossroads, the vision plan for Central Iowa. She managed over 700 volunteers and began moving back to her rural roots as she focused on water quality efforts.

In 2017, Zack Mannheimer recruited Bethany to help build the creative placemaking team. Bethany loved puzzles as a child and sees placemaking as a solution to the community-wide puzzles across the US. In 2018, Bethany’s role switched over to the business side of things, as she was recruited by McClure’s CEO to become his Senior Advisor; Bethany remains involved with the Placemaking team and several of their integral projects.

She serves on the boards of US Green Building Council Iowa Market Leadership Advisory Board, the Great Outdoors Foundation, and the Iowa Rural Development Council. Bethany and her husband, Vito, live in Des Moines with their three fur babies. Bethany has spoken on her work in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Smart Growth America, the National Association of Development Organization, and the National Housing Conference, among others. Bethany loves cooking (especially with produce she grows), traveling and discovering hidden gems, and taking in as many concerts as possible.

03 October

Beth Townsend

Iowa Workfroce Development
Director Townsend has general supervision over the various services IWD provides to Iowans. The Director prepares, administers, and controls the budget of the agency and its divisions along with Michael A. Mauro, Commissioner of the Division of Labor and Joseph S. Cortese, II, Commissioner of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Director Townsend was appointed by Governor Branstad and confirmed by Iowa Senate unanimously on March 24, 2015.Director Townsend previously served as the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.Director Townsend served in the Air Force Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of active and reserve duty.

03 October

Betty Andrews

NAACP Iowa and Nebraska

04 October

Bill Cherrier

CEO & Executive Vice President
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Bill Cherrier was named Central Iowa Power Cooperative’s Executive Vice President and CEO in October, 2017. He joined the organization with 35 years of experience in the utility industry, most recently serving as Chief Planning and Finance Officer for Colorado Springs Utilities. Prior positions include Manager of Finance and Development at Alliant Energy Generation, and General Manager, Generation Business Operations, at IES Industries, both located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

While at Colorado Springs Utilities, Bill lead the acquisition of a 480MW combined-cycle gas power plant, leading to the only rate decrease for CSU’s roughly 227,000 electric customers in recent history. He was an integral part of the executive team driving a $1 billion water supply project. He also created the Office of Economic Development, leading all regional economic development efforts for CSU.

Throughout his career, Bill has been actively engaged in the communities in which he has lived and worked. Some of these roles include as the Board Chairman of the YMCA for the Pikes Peak Region, and the Board of Directors for Care and Share Food Bank, both in Colorado Springs. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors for Cedar Rapids Metropolitan YMCA and was a board member for Hillcrest Family Services in Cedar Rapids. Both these positions earned him Volunteer of the Year awards respectively.

Bill earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and he is a certified public accountant. He has three grown children: Sarah (Isaac) in Indianapolis; Christy (Kristian) in Seattle; and Nick in Cedar Rapids, and one grandson, Mason. In his free time, Bill enjoys running, cycling, building and racing bikes. He currently lives in West Des Moines with Mary, his wife of 25 years.

04 October

Bill Menner

Executive Director
Iowa Rural Development Council
Bill Menner is the founder of The Bill Menner Group, a consulting firm focused on community development, rural partnerships and economic vitality. His clients include rural utility companies, business start-ups, and the Iowa Rural Development Council, for whom he serves as contract executive director. Previous to the creation of that small business in 2017, Menner served the Obama Administration as Iowa’s state director of USDA Rural Development. In that position, he oversaw an organization providing support for housing, community facility, energy and businesses across rural Iowa. Between 2009 and 2017, Rural Development invested more than $5 billion in loans and grants in rural communities in Iowa. Prior to his White House appointment to USDA, Menner served as executive director of Poweshiek Iowa Development, a county-wide economic development organization based in Grinnell. In addition to acting as the county economic development director, he led downtown development, historic preservation and tourism efforts in the City of Grinnell. Menner also spent 14 years as a public radio reporter, seven covering government and politics – including the 1992 and 1996 Iowa caucuses. He is the author of two books about Grinnell, one of which tells the story of the Merchants National Bank, a national historic landmark designed by the legendary architect Louis Sullivan. Menner is an active volunteer, serving on numerous boards and commissions. He has been a member of the Grinnell Regional Medical Center board of trustees since 2009, serving as chair from 2013-2015 and again during the 2019-2020 period. Menner is also president of the Iowa Rural Health Association, a board member for the Partnership for Rural America, the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Iowa Rural Equity Project. He was recently elected to a two-year term on the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance. A native of the Cleveland, Ohio-area, Menner is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in journalism and an MA in political science. He has four children who range in age from 23 to 28.

04 October

Bob Russell

State Public Health Dental Director
Iowa Department of Public Health

04 October

Brent Willett

President & CEO
Iowa Health Care Association
Brent Willett is President & CEO of the Iowa Health Care Association. IHCA and its divisions, the Iowa Center for Assisted Living, Iowa Center for Home Care and Iowa Center for Post-Acute and Long Term Care serve the long term services and supports profession as a nonprofit trade association. IHCA’s 800+ member organizations span the continuum long term services and supports health care in Iowa. In his role, Willett is responsible to the IHCA Board of Directors for overseeing the strategic vision for IHCA and the Iowa Health Political Action Committee. Brent maintains a proactive role in legislative and government affairs, advocacy, and reimbursement for LTSS. Brent also serves as the association’s liaison to the American Health Care Association. Prior to his role at IHCA, Willett served as President & CEO of Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor, a public-private regional economic development and innovation acceleration organization focused on growing Central Iowa’s agriculture and bioscience sectors via the attraction of investment, jobs and talent to the state. The Corridor has offices in Ames and Des Moines, Iowa. A national long term care leader, Willett currently serves on the American Society of Health Care Executives Board of Directors; the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living [AHCA/NCAL] Regional Multifacility Council; the AHCA/NCAL Reimbursement Committee; American Trust & Savings Bank Advisory Board; and in advisory positions with several organizations. He is a 2017 Development Counsellors International 40 Under 40 honoree; 2015 Des Moines Business Record 40 Under 40 honoree; Past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa; past officer of Leadership Iowa; and past officer of the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors. Willett is a 2009 Leadership Iowa, 2010 Institute for Organizational Management and 2011 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute graduate. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Willett is native of Davenport, Iowa. His wife Emily, daughter Kate and he live in Ankeny, Iowa.

03 October

Brian Jones

Vice president, Payor Innovation
Jones became Vice President, Payor Innovation for UnityPoint Health in 2013. Brian provides leadership and strategic direction for system-wide payor strategies, relationships and practices to support UnityPoint Health’s value-based care model. Prior to joining UnityPoint Health, he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development for Health to You, a subsidiary of HCA in Nashville, TN.

As a part of his role at HCA, he led the organizational development of 34 employer-based clinics from their inception including their operating structure, electronic medical records and clinical leadership as well as the negotiation of contractual relationships with employers, hospitals and managed care companies.
Prior to HCA, he was CEO and co-founder of MedBasics, Inc., one of the early entrants and a leader in the retail health care industry. He was instrumental in developing one of the first retail clinic models and pioneered the concept to support the growing consumer-driven health care movement.

Jones also spent 13 years as CEO and co-founder of Medway Health Centers. Medway developed innovative occupational medical solutions to address rising occupational health care costs, servicing more than 1,500 employers, including on-site employer clinics for Walgreens Distribution, Frozen Food Express and SWIFT Transportation.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from St. Louis University and a master’s in Business Administration from University of Dallas. Jones is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Healthcare Finance Management Association. He is also a founding member of the Convenience Care Association and serves as the Treasurer of its executive board.

03 October

Brian Sullivan

Chief Programs Officer
Iowa Finance Authority
Brian Sullivan joined the Iowa Finance Authority in 2000 as an Asset Manager for the Section 8 team and currently holds the title of Chief Programs Officer. In this capacity, he leads and directs the development of IFA's housing programs, in coordination and collaboration with the IFA Board and staff.

Mr. Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in Business Management and Marketing in 1994, followed by a Master’s degree of Business Administration in 1997, from Northwest Missouri State University. Brian also holds the Tax Credit Specialist and Certified Occupancy Specialist Professional designations.

03 October

Brock Grenis

Transit Administrator/Planner
East Central Iowa Council of Governments
Brock has acted as the Transit Administrator and Planner for the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, and the CorridorRides transit agency since 2010. In recent years CorridorRides has expanded services to meet the needs of a regional commuter base that is quickly growing and changing. Working in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation, CorridorRides has focused on the needs of commuters surrounding the Interstate 380 Corridor and the seven county region surrounding Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to offer alternative transportation options.

03 October

Caleb Housh

Vice President
Lockridge Networks
I live in Seymour, IA with my wife Hilary and children Coley and Cain. I also have a son Connor and a daughter in law McKenna. I have served as Mayor of Seymour since 2009. I am employed at Lockridge, Inc which is a family owned chain of lumberyards in southern Iowa. In 2018 we created Lockridge Networks to provide southern, rural Iowa with reliable, high speed internet. In 2018 I was appointed by Gov. Reynolds to serve on the Connect Rural Iowa Task Force. I am also a board member on the Wayne Community Foundation and the Chariton Valley Regional Housing Trust Fund.

04 October

Carl Olsen

Iowans for Medical Marijuana
Carl Olsen is a consultant and lobbyist for medical marijuana. He successfully petitioned the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to recommend reclassification of marijuana in 2010, and recently petitioned the Medical Cannabidiol Board to recommend the state of Iowa obtain a federal exemption for it's Medical Cannabidiol Program

Carmen Heck

Vice President of Mission Services
Goodwill of the Heartland
Carmen Heck is the Vice President of Mission Services at Goodwill of the Heartland. She has 32 years of experience working in the human services field, specifically focused on employment services for people with barriers to independence. Carmen has a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Iowa and is a certified rehabilitation counselor. Carmen’s experience includes grant writing, community needs assessment and program development. She currently serves on the Iowa State Workforce Development Board and is an active member of the Minority Unemployment and the Ex-Offender Reentry subcommittees. She is also an ex-officio member of the Region 10 Workforce Board.

03 October

Carole Henning

Des Moines Public Schools
Carole Henning has been an instructor of high school teacher academies for the past decade. Her three primary areas of expertise are educational psychology, classroom climate, and the field of communications. Carole started her professional work in New Hartford, IA, as a high school language arts instructor in the early 1980s. She has lived and worked in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, the Washington D.C. suburbs, the Chicago area, and Des Moines, IA. She regularly serves as an adjudicator for student publications and as an adjunct college instructor in educational psychology. Carole holds an M.Ed. in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. in communications/secondary education from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. She lives in Des Moines, IA, with her husband Kent, president of Grand View University.

03 October

Cassandra Dahnke

Co-founder and President
Institute for Civility in Government
Cassandra Dahnke is co-founder and President of the Institute for Civility in Government, a 501(c)(3) grassroots, non-partisan, non-profit organization that launched in 1998. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. With her colleague Cassandra has developed a comprehensive strategy for fostering a greater civility in our communities and across our nation. Cassandra has spoken before civic groups, schools, faith communities, conferences and members of Congress, and is frequently featured in media – including PBS, NPR, CBC, The Diane Rehm Show, and Roll Call among others. She is co-author of a book, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 10 Rules That Work.

03 October

Cassidy Walter

Communications Director
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Cassidy Walter is the Communications Director and Biodiesel Lead for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). For the past two years she has worked in this position on behalf of Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers to promote the growth and prosperity of the biofuels industry. She is responsible for IRFA media relations, social media and website management, as well as biodiesel marketing and promotion. Prior to her time at IRFA, Walter worked as a clerk for Iowa Representative Tom Moore and for Senator Chuck Grassley’s 2016 campaign. Walter is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications and political science. Walter currently resides in Des Moines with her husband Nate Walter.

04 October

Chandran Lapel

Family Liason
Clear Creek - Amana School District

04 October

Charles Connerly

Universiy of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning
Chuck Connerly joined the University of Iowa School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2008 as professor and director. His research has been published in top journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, the Journal of Planning Literature, Housing Studies, the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of Planning History, and Urban Affairs Quarterly. He authored a book published by the University of Virginia Press, The Most Segregated City in America: City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980 (2005) and most recently co-edited Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise, published by Ashgate Publishing in 2007. The Most Segregated City was named one of the top 10 planning books in 2006 by Planetizen. In 2007 the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning named the book a recipient of the Paul Davidoff Award, which recognizes an outstanding book publication promoting participatory planning and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society and seeking ways to reduce disparities between rich and poor; white and black; men and women. For five years he co-edited the Journal of Planning Education and Research and for nine years he co-edited Housing Studies. In 2011-2013, Chuck served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the national learned society of planning schools, faculty, and students in the US. His current project is a book, Prairie State Sustainability, which is an assessment (part history, part contemporary analysis) of Iowa's sustainability challenges and responses, and which builds on Connerly's work with the community engagement initiative of which he is the principal founder, the UI Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities ( In 2015, he received the Michael J. Brody award for faculty service presented by the University of Iowa Faculty Senate and the UI Provost's Office.

03 October

Chaz Allen

Executive Director
Iowa Utility Association
The Honorable Senator Chaz Allen is the Executive Director of the Iowa Utility Association that represent the Iowa’s Investor Owned Utilities. Prior to being at the IUA Senator Allen served in the Iowa Senate and as the Mayor of Newton, IA. As Mayor Chaz oversaw Newton's transformation from a "Company Town" dominated by the Maytag Corporation to a diverse economy focused on renewable energy, motorsports entertainment, research and development and education. In the Iowa Senate Chaz served on the following committee Veteran Affairs, Local Government, Human Resources, as the Vice Chair of Way and Means, Ranking Member of Commerce Committee.
Senator Allen’s previous roles included Billing Operations, Government and Community relations with the former Iowa Telecom. Senator Allen was also the Market President of Great Western Bank in Newton and was the Executive Director of the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation.
Senator Allen graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in International Business. Senator Allen has been married to Teri for 22 years with two daughters in college, Morgan and Madeline.

04 October


Chris Ball

Interim Director of Public Works
City of Bloomfield

04 October


Chris Cournoyer

Iowa Senate

04 October

Chris Demmer

National Vice President
Chris has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Jaycees since 2014. He has previously served as Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board for Cedar Rapids Jaycees. He served on the JCI Iowa Board of Directors as Black Region Director, Membership Director, Vice President, the 90th President and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for JCI (Junior Chamber International) Iowa and is the National Vice President of Partnerships for JCI USA. As the National Vice President of Partnership Chris works closely with the United Nations Foundation Nothing But Nets Campaign, UNICEF and HOBY. Chris was a recipient of the R. Bradley Trafton Award by JCI USA in 2015. The R. Bradley Trafton Award is awarded to the top 10 state officers from across the country. Chris has also received the Presidential Medallion of Honor by JCI USA for making a difference and his outstanding commitment in our organization for 2016. He has received the Top Local Vice President, Top Region Director, and the Top Local Chapter President Awards from JCI Iowa. Chris is originally from Dyersville, IA and works for Rheem Manufacturing in the Water Heater Division as a Sales Support Specialist assigned to the Menard's account based in Roswell, Georgia. Working with over 35 stores in Menards, the third largest hardware and home center in the country, Chris works closely with store team members and plumbers by using hands-on retail knowledge and experience to help both the team members and plumbers feel more comfortable in selling water heaters as well as conducting training's at their monthly department meetings and corporate training's at Menards General Office. Chris is also a consultant for C&D Construction & Solutions based in New Vienna, IA a family owned business for over 40 years.

04 October

Chris Draper

Dr. Chris Draper is a USGBC Iowa MLAB Board Member and Director of Meidh, an operations consultancy helping international property investment funds increase portfolio value through sustainable operations, benchmarking, and certification. Chris received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and his Doctor of Philosophy for his work in economic risk assessment from the University of Glasgow.

03 October

Chris Jones

IIHR Research Engineer
University of Iowa
Chris Jones is a Research Engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering at the University of Iowa. He manages the university’s real time water quality sensor network that tracks conditions at 70 Iowa locations. His research focuses on nutrient and sediment transport and water monitoring in agricultural landscapes. He previously worked at Des Moines Water Works and Iowa Soybean Association. He holds a PhD in chemistry from Montana State University.

04 October

Chris Kramer

Arts Council
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Chris Kramer is the director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), which oversees the State Historical Society of Iowa, State Historic Preservation Office, Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media production. The department builds and sustains culturally vibrant communities through various statewide programs, grants and incentives that promote community development, place-making, education and leadership development, especially as it relates to arts, history and culture. Kramer leads the department's strategic initiatives and special projects, including the upcoming renovation of State Historical Building. She also oversees the department's government relations at the state and federal levels, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service.

Prior to being with the state, Kramer was vice president of the Science Center of Iowa. During her 12 years there, she was part of the team that created a new learning center, which opened in 2005, and managed a $62 million capital campaign, the single largest museum capital campaign ever undertaken in Iowa.

Kramer has served professionally for the Association of Science Technology Centers and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and she volunteers for civic, social and educational organizations. She and her husband, Dan, live in Clive and are raising their three children, Alex, Jack and Lucy.

03 October


Chris Nosbisch

City Administrator
City of Mount Vernon
I have been in the public sector for 18 years, representing both counties and cities of varying sizes. I have been the City Administrator for the City of Mt. Vernon for the past three years. I am both a certified planner and a credentialed city manager.

03 October

Chris West

Vice President, Operations
Winnebago Industries, Inc.
Chris West serves as Vice President of Operations at Winnebago Industries, leading the way in safety and quality, lean transformation, supply chain performance, and operational strategy spanning the Winnebago, Grand Design, and Chris-Craft portfolio of brands. His professional background includes the positions of Vice President of Global Supply Chain, as well as Vice President of Manufacturing, at Joy Global; Director of Manufacturing at AGCO Corporation; and Director of Operations at The NORDAM Group. Chris holds a master’s degree in Business administration and bachelor’s degree in Industrial Operations Management. He is an avid runner, proud husband and father, and active member of both community and industry organizations.

04 October


Cindy Dietz

Associate Director, State Government Relations
United Technologies Corporation

04 October

Clark Lewey

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co
Clark Lewey founded Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. in 2009 with his wife Barbara Lewey after a stint of home-brewing. Northeast Iowa in the early 2000's did not have a strong craft beer scene so Clark began brewing the beer he wanted but couldn't get at the local bar or store. TG quickly began to get noticed for it's hop-forward IPAs and complex barrel-aged stout, winning awards and bringing craft beer fans from far and wide to it's small taproom. In 2010 TG moved its brewing facility from the small back room in the taproom to a larger brewing facility across town, demand for the beer quickly outgrew that brewhouse and construction on the current brewery and taproom started in 2016. Toppling Goliath now houses a large taproom, brewery, canning line, quality lab, gift store, event space and event space.

04 October

Clark McLeod

Monarch Research Project
Clark McLeod is a life-long Iowan and resident of Cedar Rapids who has spent nearly four decades working to build and grow his community. Perhaps best known for his corporate endeavors, he built numerous companies from scratch in Cedar Rapids, taking two to publicly traded status on the New York Stock Exchange. His entrepreneurial efforts added thousands of jobs to the community since 1980, and his former employees and businesses still form a significant base of Cedar Rapids’ current economy. A former mathematics and science teacher at Franklin Junior High in Cedar Rapids, McLeod now focuses his efforts and resources on environmental restoration of pollinators and pollinator habitat, with a special focus on monarch butterflies. As he did in his corporate endeavors, McLeod continues to set challenging goals and leverage resources to significantly impact the environment. He invites you to join him in the movement to restore and protect natural infrastructure. Learn more at

03 October

Claudia Schabel

Schabel Solutions
Claudia Schabel, President of Schabel Solutions, combines over a decade of experience as a Diversity and Inclusion strategist with Fortune 100 and 500 companies with an international multicultural background to offer impactful coaching, training and consulting services in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency to business, educational and not-for-profit organizations.

Schabel actively volunteers her leadership and presentation skills within the community. Currently, Schabel serves as a Commissioner on the City of Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission, the Director of Diversity on Iowa’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) State Council, the Advocacy Chair of the Iowa Chapter National Women Business Owner (NAWBO), a board member of Brazilian Cultural Center (BCC) and a trainer/facilitator for the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery. She also volunteers at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

Schabel was the recipient of the 2008 Forty Under 40 Business Record
Award, the 2010 Robert D. Ray Iowa Latino Ambassador Award and the 2014 Iowa International Center Passport to Prosperity Award.

Schabel lived in Brazil and Japan before relocating to Des Moines, Iowa, where she has lived for nearly two decades. Schabel earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Drake University.

04 October

Constance Beecher

School of Education
Iowa State University
My work is centered around a simple but critical message of the importance of providing enriching language and literacy experiences to children from birth. My current research is focused on early intervention/prevention in language and literacy development. I'm interested in working with communities to address challenges that prevent children from being successful upon entry to formal education, and increase access to literacy. I also work to link STEM and early literacy, especially focused on increasing access in under-served areas.

03 October

Dale Todd

Vice President
Hatch Development Group
Dale is the Vice President of Development for the Hatch Development Group, creating mixed income, affordable housing communities throughout Iowa. He also previously served the City of Cedar Rapids as Commissioner of Parks and Public Property from 1998-2002 and today represents District 3 on the City Council, the district that includes both downtown, Kingston Village and New Bohemia. He has been involved in numerous large scale Destination place making projects along with a mix of capital improvement and neighborhood quality of life efforts. Today he is also intimately involved with Connect CR, a $20 million dollar effort to revitalize Cedar Lake and improve the trail system through the heart of the downtown and connect the Smokestack Bridge that will span the Cedar River near Czech Village.

03 October

Dan Andersen

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Iowa State University
The goal of Dr. Andersen’s research and extension work at Iowa State University is to improve soil, water and air quality by promoting the development and implementation of agricultural manure management systems. He believes in putting the land-grant mission to work by closely linking his research and extension programs, leads the Iowa Manure Applicator Certification program, and shares the science of manure in his blog.

04 October

Dan Clark

Iowa Prison Industries
Dan Clark is the Director of Iowa Prison Industries (IPI), a work training program for men and women incarcerated within Iowa's nine state prisons.  Every day, more than 900 men and women in the IPI program learn to weld, learn to work as a team, learn to use the tools of lean manufacturing, and learn the skills that will help them obtain good paying jobs upon their release.  IPI work training programs provide Iowa employers with a skilled and motivated workforce, and improve the success rate for re-entering citizens. Prior to joining IPI, Dan spent 30 years in private industry.  He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Buffalo and an M.S. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  Dan and his spouse Kristin reside in West Des Moines, Iowa.

03 October

Danielle Oswald-Thole

Government Relations Director
American Cancer Society
Danielle Oswald-Thole currently serves as the Iowa Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. ACS CAN is a proven leader in the fight against cancer and is the organization empowering volunteers to demand change from their elected officials. From gaining dramatic increases in funding for cancer research to ensuring all Americans have access to cancer care, the organization's work is saving lives and leading to new innovative breakthroughs in how to fight the disease. In the Iowa Government Relations role Danielle is responsible for executing a comprehensive direct lobbying and government relations leadership program for ACS CAN in the state. While working for ACS CAN, she has helped achieve many legislative wins in the policy areas of step therapy, palliative care, biosimilars, prior authorization, and state appropriations designated for melanoma research. She also leads non-partisan electoral education efforts through ACS CAN's Cancer Votes initiative and manages Iowa grassroots staff and volunteers throughout the state

Prior to her work at ACS CAN she was the Health Policy Associate and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Child and Family Policy Center. There she directed CFPC's health related lobbying efforts at the state level where she helped lead efforts to expand the state's First Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative, expand Medicaid for Iowans who previously had not qualified, and increase the state's Earned Income Tax Credit.

Oswald-Thole graduated with her Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English from Drake University. 

03 October

Dan Lutat

Director of Sustainable Energy
Iowa Lakes College

04 October


Darcie Davis-Gage

Counseling Program
University of Northern Iowa
Darcie Davis-Gage, Ph.D. LMHC is the Division Chair and Program Coordinator of the University of Northern Iowa graduate program in counseling. She has 20 years of experience as a counselor, educator, consultant, and clinical supervisor. She is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional and holds certification in Integrated Behavioral Health. She is currently the Research Chair of the Iowa School Counselor Association. Her current research interests include wellness and self-care of helping professionals, purpose and meaning in career selection, creative interventions in counseling and supervision, and group facilitation and leadership.

04 October

Darlene Schmidt

Community Health Free Clinic
Darlene Schmidt is co-founder and CEO of Community Health Free Clinic (CHFC). Darlene spent over 30 years as an office nurse before becoming the first Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Free Medical Clinic in 1995. In 2002, in order to seek broader community support for the uninsured, Darlene along with Dr. Galbraith started Community Health Free Clinic. CHFC provides free medical, dental, vision, and prescription services for those without access to or the ability to pay for healthcare in our community. CHFC helped over 5,000 unique patients this last year, providing over 18,000 services to patients who are uninsured or underinsured. Darlene has been a full-time advocate for the uninsured and underinsured since 1995. She has been recognized for her work helping our neighbors in need, receiving the third annual “Who is My Neighbor Award” from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and Pfizer Pharmaceutical’s “Iowa Quality of Care Award” in 2003. Darlene was awarded the 2004 Appreciation Award for “Service above Self” from the Downtown Cedar Rapids Rotary Club. She was also recognized by Waypoint Services as a Tribute to Women of Achievement as a Pioneer in our community and The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation 2007 Bridge Builder Award. Darlene’s unwavering commitment to the community’s poor is extraordinary. She is tireless in her pursuit of better ways to serve her patients and collaborates with area hospitals and agencies to ensure that patients receive the medical care they need. Darlene is a woman of extraordinary achievement who has had an amazing impact on both her patients and the community.

04 October

Dave Heiar

Senior Advisor/Community Coach
Jackson County Economic Alliance
Dave has over 40 years of experience in City government in three Eastern Iowa cities which includes Bellevue, Manchester, and Dubuque. He joined the Jackson County Economic Alliance in July of 2013. His background includes downtown redevelopment, rural, and urban economic development including workforce development, existing industry services, business attraction, and new business development. In 2014, Heiar also facilitated a regional pilot program called Parks to People. This initiative focused on increasing recreational opportunities in Jackson, Jones , and Dubuque counties. As a result of this pilot program, he continues to serve as a regional Hometown Pride coach.

04 October

Dave Hunt

Association Dean of Distance Learning
Kirkwood Community College
Dave Hunt, is the Associate Dean of Distance Learning at Kirkwood Community College. Dave works closely with faculty developing online courses and students who are enrolled in online and off campus courses. He also teaches in the Paramedic and Health programs at Kirkwood. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, serving on the Bertram City Council and doing a little web programming. Dave likes to live by the quote from Thomas Edison “There’s a way to do it better- find it.”

03 October


Dave Walton


04 October

David Lyons

The Iowa Institute
David specializes in identifying challenges and opportunities facing public sector entities and enterprises and implements research to outline options, develop strategies, design tools and implement support systems to respond. He specializes in issues requiring collaboration between the public and private sectors. Present areas of work include Economic Development, Urban Revitalization, Technology, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Social Equity.
David serves on numerous public and private boards and manages innovation efforts for multiple public sector clients. Prior executive positions include Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, Insurance Commissioner for the State of Iowa, Legal Counsel with the Iowa Legislature, Chief Business Development Officer for the Iowa Farm Bureau, President of The Iowa Institute and Chairman of CoOportunity Health.
David has served in cabinet level positions for both Democratic and Republican Administrations, has a law degree from the University of Iowa and an undergraduate background in political science and economics.

04 October

David Ottavianelli

Director, Labor Relations
John Deere
DAVID OTTAVIANELLI, Director, Special Projects - Labor Relations, with John Deere currently works on initiatives such as workforce availability analysis and improving high school student awareness of manufacturing opportunities and potential career paths.  Most of his career at Deere has been in manufacturing leadership positions in the Waterloo Tractor Operations and East Moline Harvester Combine factory.  Prior to Deere, David graduated from the United States Military Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer.  He also received his M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

03 October

David Swenson

Associate Scientist
Iowa State University
Dave Swenson is as an associate scientist in the Department of Economics, Iowa State University, and a lecturer in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Iowa. He is a community economics research and education specialist where his work centers on regional and statewide economic analysis, technical assistance, and projects that support university-sponsored efforts in community development. He studies a wide range of mostly Iowa-specific topics to include the economic contribution of biofuels and advanced biofuels to Iowa’s economy, the economic impacts of alternative energy opportunities like wind and solar, local foods assessments, industrial and occupational change, and the demographic and economic consequences of rural transformation in Iowa and the Midwest. He is a frequent contributor to state and national news outlets looking to understand the Iowa or the Midwest economy. He has been at Iowa State University since 1989, and before that worked at the University of Iowa from 1981 to 1988.

03 October

David Yepsen

Host, Iowa Press
Iowa Public Television
Former political writer, Des Moines Register. Former director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 2009-2016. Graduate, U of Iowa, 1972; MPA, Drake University, 1985. Fellow, Shorenstein Center on Press and Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, 1989; Fellow, Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, 2008; Fellow, University of Chicago Institute of Politics, 2019. Host of IPTVs Iowa Press, 2017-present.

03 October

Dawn Bowlus

University of Iowa

03 October

Deann Cook

Executive Director
United Ways of Iowa
Deann Cook is the Executive Director of United Ways of Iowa. In her six years in this role, she has been responsible for leading the 25 United Ways serving Iowans in the areas of advocacy, training and networking, and statewide efforts including the Iowa Reading Corps and the ALICE Report. Deann has more than twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector as both a staff and board member at the local, state and national levels. She recently completed a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa.