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Branstad announces appointees to economic development boards

The top executives at some of the state’s largest businesses will serve on a board overseeing Iowa’s new public-private economic development efforts, Gov. Terry Branstad has announced, although he says any potential conflicts raised by their positions will be approached “carefully.”

Branstad on Monday announced 11 appointees to the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board and seven to the Iowa Innovation Corporation board. The boards are part of the state’s new economic development efforts, a public-private partnership approved by legislators earlier this year.

Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will co-chair the IPEP board. Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, will also sit on the board. The appointments are not subject to approval from the Iowa Senate.

The appointments include top executives at MidAmerican Energy, Principal Financial Group, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Rockwell Collins, among others.

Branstad said the boards will approach potential conflicts of interest or proprietary issues “carefully.” Those issues concerned many state legislators as the new partnership was being debated earlier this year, although Durham has said the groups’ activities will be transparent.

“I don’t know that there’s any easy answer to that,” Branstad said. “We’re going to follow the law and avoid getting any conflicts of interest but when you have proprietary interests, each company is going to obviously look out to protect their own proprietary interests. We want to make sure that’s done.”

Branstad said the appointments are another step toward reaching his administration’s goals of creating 200,000 new jobs and increasing family incomes by 25 percent.

“I am pleased that some of the most admired business leaders in our state have agreed to serve Iowa in this capacity,” he said.

The members of the IPEP board include:

  • Bill Fehrmann, President and CEO, MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Paul Schickler III, President, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business
  • Larry Zimpleman, CEO, Principal Financial Group
  • John Smith, Chairman of the Board, CRST International Inc.
  • Toby Shine, President, Shine Brothers Corporation
  • Mary Andringa, President and CEO, Vermeer Corporation
  • Marti Rodamaker, Banker, First Citizens National Bank
  • Ken Lockard, Chairman, Lockard Companies
  • Tom Aller, President, Interstate Power and Light, Alliant Energy
  • Roger Underwood, Co-founder, Becker-Underwood
  • Clay Jones, Chairman, President and CEO, Rockwell Collins

The members of the Iowa Innovation Corporation board include:

  • Robert Riley, Jr., President and CEO, Feed Energy Co.
  • Jamie Zanios, Vice President, North Iowa Area Community College
  • Peter Hempken, retired, DuPont
  • Scott Norvell, President and CEO, Master Builders of Iowa
  • Cara Heiden, retired, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Sarah Haskin, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, AY McDonald Manufacturing Company
  • Chris Nelson, President and CEO, Kemin Industries Inc.

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