Iowa Leadership Team

Janet Adams

Janet Adams is the chair of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and executive director of the Iowa Reading Association.  She is a former public school teacher and a former state representative from Webster City.  She also is the past state president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa.

Jim Arenson
Jim Arenson, an Iowa native became associated with Richard H. Zimmermann in 1995 and in 2000 formed the law firm of Arenson & Zimmermann, P.L.C. Mr. Arenson was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1995. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, North and Southern Districts of Iowa.

Following more than 22 years as a successful car dealer, Mr. Arenson entered the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa and obtained his J.D. degree with distinction in 1995. Mr. Arenson was a Volunteer Assistant County Attorney, Johnson County, Iowa from 1995-96. He was a member of the Board of Regents from 1995-98. He is a member of the Linn County, Iowa and American Bar Associations and of the Iowa Auto Dealer Association.

With a unique perspective as one who has worked in many phases of business, Mr. Arenson has carved out a specialty niche and heavily orients his civil law practice to work with small businesses, including franchises for automobile dealers.

Som Baccam
Som Baccam is former Des Moines Community School District Board Member and Iowa Democratic Party Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus Chair. She currently serves as a board member for the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce, an Iowa nonprofit educational foundation committed to urging Iowa legislators to act now to prepare Iowa students to compete in the 21st century global economy.

Congressman Leonard Boswell
Congressman Boswell was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996.  Since his election to Congress, he has successfully pushed to double the maximum size of Pell Grants, which help low-income students attend college. Boswell has also cosponsored legislation to recruit new, talented teachers; increase technology in the classroom; and fund school construction.

Governor Terry Branstad 
Governor Branstad served four consecutive terms as governor of Iowa, from 1983-1999. When elected, he was the youngest governor in Iowa history; and, when he left office, he was Iowa's longest-serving governor.

Branstad served as chairman of the National Governors Association in 1989. In 1997 he was chairman of the Republican Governors Association and the Governors Ethanol Coalition. From 1997-1998 he was chairman of the Education Commission of the United States. After leaving the governor's office in 1999, Branstad established Branstad and Associates, L.C., located in West Des Moines, and became a partner in the firm of Kaufman, Patee, Branstad & Miller, a public policy firm based in Washington, D.C., with offices in West Des Moines, Denver, Boston, and Las Vegas. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Iowa for three semesters and taught a course titled “Leadership and Management in the Public Sector” through the Henry Tippie College of Business.

Stu Card
Stu Card is the elementary physical education teacher at a school in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tom Claypool
Tom Claypool is the School Board President for the Williamsburg Community Schools. He is a lawyer at the law firm Claypool & Claypool. 

Diane Crookham- Johnson
Diane Crookham-Johnson was the Finance Chairperson for the Republican Party of Iowa from 2002 to 2005.  In 2002, Diane served in the same capacity for Doug Gross’ campaign for Governor and has performed similar functions for a variety of candidates and causes across Iowa.  In addition to her considerable political and philanthropic activities, Diane is also the Vice President of Administration for Musco Lighting, a family owned, privately held, advanced manufacturing company, located in rural Iowa, employing 850+ people.

Debi Durham
Ms. Durham has served as the President of The Siouxland Chamber Of Commerce Since 1995. Durham is also the President of the Siouxland Initiative, the economic development corporation serving the tri-state metropolitan area and the Siouxland Chamber Foundation. She serves on the Iowa Chamber Alliance Board of Directors, the Institute for Tomorrow's Workforce, the Siouxland Heritage Foundation Board, Orpheum Theatre Preservation Board of Directors, the Girls, Inc. Board of Directors and the Sioux City Enterprise Zone Board. In 2002, she was the Republican nominee for Iowa lieutenant governor. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Missouri Southern State University.

Nancy Fehn
Nancy Fehn is an English teacher at East High School in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jim Kersten
Former Iowa State Senator from Fort Dodge.  Associate Vice President of Development and Government Affairs at Iowa Central Community College.  President of Golden Dome Strategies, LLC., a public policy consulting firm.

Dr. Robert Koob
Dr. Robert Koob served as the President for the University of Northern Iowa from 1995-2006. He currently serves as Board Co-Chair for the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce, an Iowa nonprofit educational foundation committed to urging Iowa legislators to act now to prepare Iowa students to compete in the 21st century global economy. Koob is also a policy analyst for the State Board of Regents.

Kyle Krause
Kyle Krause was named president of Kum & Go in 1997. Mr. Krause oversees all Kum & Go convenience store profit and loss responsibilities, accounting and information systems. Kyle is also the owner and president of Solar Transport, the largest Iowa-based refined fuel transporter. In 1998, Kyle purchased majority ownership of the Des Moines Menace, a Premier Development League soccer team.

Mr. Krause has been active on numerous boards such as the Greater Des Moines Partnership Community Foundation Board, Iowa Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee Task Force on Transportation and Government Services, Dowling Catholic High School and Iowa Motor Truck Association, among others. In 1992, he served as cochairman of United Way's New Business Development committee. Kyle is actively involved in Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Iowa. From 1996 to 1998, he was JA board chairman and has served on the Executive Committee and for seven years, was chair of JA's Golf Classic. Kyle has been recognized as a dedicated businessman and community champion.

State RepresentativeSteve Lukan
Steve Lukan is currently the youngest member of the Iowa House. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy where he served for four years. When he came back home, he worked on finishing his college education and decided to run for the legislature at the age of 23. Not only did he win a contested primary, but he beat an incumbent Democrat in a district that includes Delaware and Dubuque counties.

Isaiah McGee 
Isaiah McGee is an educator in the Johnston school district, and is a City Councilman in Waukee, Iowa. His heart for young people extends beyond the classroom in work with the Waukee Optimist club, Waukee YMCA Partners with youth, Iowa Homeless Youth center board, Des Moines Youth Leadership Institute, and Mentor Iowa.

Isaiah started his own tutoring company, McGee Tutoring and Prep, which is aimed at getting young adult learners the edge they need to succeed in school, specializing in goal planning, study skills, college and test preparation, reading and all social studies areas. As a member of the Waukee, Clive, and African American Chambers, Isaiah advocates for finding avenues businesses can better collaborate with each other and their communities. Through his involvement in the chambers, Isaiah was a part of the Waukee contingent in the most recent trip to Washington D.C. which advocated for the remaining funding for the Alice's road interchange project.

Phil Roeder
Phil Roeder a current member and immediate past president of the Des Moines School Board.  Roeder also has more than two decades of public affairs and communications experience in government, campaigns, and the private sector on the national, regional and local level.

Carl Sefl
Carl J. Sefl, founder and CEO of ROI Marketing Services. Sefl spent fifteen years as Executive Director of Marketing and Admissions Services at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA.  Since founding ROI Marketing in 2002, Sefl has continued to work with Kirkwood and a number of other community colleges across the Midwest.  In addition, he has conducted extensive student research on careers, serves on a career academy board and a learning alliance think tank and early childhood education initiative planning group.

Gary Steinke
Gary Steinke joined the Board of Regents staff in August 2004 as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Public Affairs Officer and was appointed Executive Director, December 2005. Prior to joining the Board Office, Gary served as special assistant to the president and director of governmental relations at Iowa State University for seven years.  He also worked as Iowa State University’s legislative liaison; assistant to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; associate director of state relations for the American Petroleum Council; and a member of the Republican caucus staff at the Iowa House of Representatives.

Rose Vasquez
Rose Vasquez is a member of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa serving a term running from 2004-2011.  She is employed at the Principal Financial Group as a Diversity Analyst in its Human Resources Department. She rejoined the company in July 2006 after serving 2 years as the Executive Director of the Polk County Human Services Planning Alliance. She was an "executive on loan" from Principal to the Planning Alliance as a part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Project Destiny. Vasquez joined Principal in 2002. Prior to that she served as the director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights from 1999-2002, and as Assistant Attorney General in the Iowa Attorney General's Office from 1985 to 1999. Vasquez is a native of Moline, Illinois and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and her law degree from Drake University.

Tom Vilsack
Former Governor Tom Vilsack served as Iowa Governor from 1998-2006. Vilsack is a former member of the National Governors Association Executive Committee. He was chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2004. Throughout his tenure as governor, Iowa built on a solid legacy of commitment to public schools, with early childhood education serving as Vilsack’s most distinctive legacy. Vilsack is currently practicing law in Des Moines at Dorsey & Whitney and serves as a board member for the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce.

Phil Wise
Representative Wise is the Iowa State Representative from the 92nd District. He has served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 1985. He received his BS and MS from Northwest Missouri State University and was re-elected in 2006.

Phil Wise currently serves on several committees in the Iowa House - the Commerce committee; the Economic Growth committee; the Education committee; and the Ways and Means committee. His political experience includes serving as Chair of the Lee County Democratic Party and serving as Assistant Minority Leader in the Iowa House during the 75th General Assembly. 

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events right now, please check back soon

In The News