State Advisory Board
The State Advisory Board provides advice, insight and perspective to the state director and staff of America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) on matters pertaining to the operation of its statewide SBDC network.
Current Advisory Board Members
Click each member’s photo to view their bio and contact information.
John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Office
Iowa City, IA
Lynn Allendorf, Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. She is a national expert in student business incubation, having developed and run the University’s Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, one of the first of its kind when it opened in 2004. She was instrumental in bringing the NSF I-Corps program to Iowa. She also teaches undergraduate and MBA courses. Prior to joining the university, Lynn had extensive experience in software publishing at the senior leadership level. She has founded two companies. Lynn has a BS in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics, as well as an MBA, from The University of Iowa.
Iowa City, IA
City of West Des Moines
West Des Moines, IA
A native of Illinois, Clyde Evans graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a degree in Urban and Regional Studies. He has over 45 years of experience as a city planner and economic developer.
Clyde has worked for the City of West Des Moines since 1991 as the Director of Community and Economic Development. Before that, Clyde was the Economic Development Director for the South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission in Salem, Illinois, the Assistant Planning Director of Simi Valley, California, and served as the Planning Director in Palmdale, California.
West Des Moines, IA
Iowa Bankers Association
Bob has been with the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) since graduating from the Drake Law School in 1997. His responsibilities include lobbying on behalf of the IBA and its members, providing on-site and educational seminars for IBA member banks, general in-house legal duties and litigation support.
Bob has an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Business from Iowa State University. From 1989 until 1994, he was a residential real estate lender at First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest in Storm Lake, Iowa.
Bob is a member of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Agricultural, Commercial, and Real Estate Sections of the Iowa State Bar Association.
Iowa Department of Revenue
Mary Mosiman is the Deputy Director and Tax Management Administrator in the Iowa Department of Revenue and has been serving in this role since March 2019. Previously Mary served as Iowa’s Auditor of State and as a Deputy in the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. She has 9 years of state government experience, primarily in audit and financial operations. Mary also has 10 years of serving in local government as the Story County Auditor.
Mary is a proud graduate of Iowa State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. She is a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs, the Association of Government Accountants, and the Federation of Tax Administrators. She has participated in various community organizations and is very active in her Church.
A native of Hubbard, Iowa, Mary values her farm-family background. She and her husband Dan reside in rural Ames and are the proud parents of 4 grown daughters
Jim Kersten is a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa where he resides with his wife Laurie and their four children, Jenny, Annie, Jack and Kelli. Jim is a graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High, Fort Dodge, Iowa and Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa with a BA Degree in Public Administration.
His public sector career history includes working for the Iowa Development Commission, (now the Iowa Economic Development Authority); on the staff of former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as Administrative Assistant; as a Member of the Iowa Senate; as a member of the Iowa Lottery Board of Director's; Governor’s Transportation 2020 Commission; Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission; as a Member of the Iowa Board of Corrections and is now Vice President of Government Affairs and External Relations at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge and was recently inducted into the Pioneer Lawmakers’ Association of Iowa.
His private sector career history includes working for his own financial consulting firm Professional Financial Advisors, Inc.; First American Bank, and Heartland Communications Group, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President and COO; and President of Golden Dome Strategies, LLC, a public affairs consulting firm.
Fort Dodge, IA
Iowa House of Representatives
Cedar Rapids, IA
State Director Appointee
Kirsten is a 6th generation Iowan born and raised in Cedar Rapids, graduated from LaSalle High School, moved back to Cedar Rapids after graduating from University of Iowa with her husband, Cory, to raise their son, Jack, a kindergartener at Prairie View Elementary.
Kirsten is a member of NARFE, CRnetWork, Iron Workers Local 89, and a board member of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers. Kirsten was previously a Director of Iowa for Health Care, and served the Cedar Rapids community working for a member of our federal delegation.
Kirsten is an active member of the Iowa House Appropriations Committee, Labor and Local Gov. Committees and also serves as Ranking Member on the House Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee.
John retired from Iowa State University in April 2023 after nearly 32 years of service. He served in various roles including as professor of agricultural economics, Director of Iowa Beef Center, and Associate Dean and Program Director for Ag and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach. Most recently he served as Vice President for Extension and Outreach. In that role he led over 1100 faculty and staff across the state working to build a strong Iowa by improving how we feed people, keep them healthy, support thriving communities and develop youth to be leaders of tomorrow.
U.S. Small Business Administration
Des Moines, IA
As the District Director of the SBA’s Iowa District Office, Jayne Armstrong oversees SBA’s financial, business counseling, government contracting programs and other services throughout the state, including 15 Small Business Development Centers, eight SCORE chapters, a Women’s Business Center and a Veteran’s Business Outreach Center.
Jayne joined the Iowa District Office from the SBA’s Office of Field Operations in Washington, DC. She previously served as the district director of SBA’s Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia District Offices, and as regional advocate of the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, where she supported public policy at the federal and state levels and helped to organize the White House Conference on Small Business. She also represented the SBA in Russia during the first formal exchange between U.S. and Russian entrepreneurs.
Prior to her SBA career, Armstrong worked in the advertising, high-tech economic development and higher education development fields. A native of Pittsburgh, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University (WVU), where she served as student body president.
She was recently honored by the Delaware Small Business Chamber of Commerce with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award and was previously recognized on the floor of the U.S. Senate with the “Great Federal Employee Award.” She is the recipient of the Risk Management Association’s Business Woman of the Year Award in Virginia, Delaware Today’s Women in Business Award, the New Castle County (DE) Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award and the Delaware YWCA’s Woman of Power, Style and Brilliance Award.
She has been honored on four occasions as Advocate of the Year by National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) chapters in Iowa, Delaware and Virginia. She also was recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with its Excellence in Communications Award, Girls Inc., of Delaware as its Volunteer of the Year and The State Journal as one of “The 55 Best Things About West Virginia.” She has been appointed to several boards and commissions by three different Governors in West Virginia and Delaware.
Armstrong has served on the boards of a wide variety of non-profits and business organizations throughout her career, with a strong focus on the empowerment of women and girls, college recruiting, student mentoring and economic literacy. She has been an active member of Rotary for over 33 years and the National Association of Women Business Owners for 25 years and has served on numerous WVU alumni chapter boards. In her spare time Armstrong is an avid West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball fan and enjoys traveling the world fulfilling bucket lists.
Des Moines, IA
Workforce & Economic Development Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
Board Member representing Eastern Iowa SBDC
Ellen Bluth serves as the Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development at the Eastern Iowa Community College District. In this capacity she also leads and oversees continuing education, economic development and resource development activities, workforce development (WIOA) as well as the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC).
Ellen has over 25 years of community college administrative experience in a multi-college district, including Executive Director for Resource Development and Innovation, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Director of Telecommunications, Associate Director of Program Development and Alternative Delivery Systems, Curriculum Designer, and Research and Marketing Specialist.
She has successfully written and administered numerous grants and contracts. Ellen has expertise in areas of program development, evaluation, environmental, vocational/technical education, and distance learning. Ellen serves on numerous local, state and national committees. She has designed and implemented staff development offerings in areas of assessment, curriculum development, evaluation, distance learning, communications and continuous quality improvement. She has taught courses for a variety of institutions, delivered numerous speeches and presentations, and has published in areas related to program development, environmental and distance education.
Ellen holds a B.S. in biology from Iowa State University, an M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa. She is an ACE Fellow and also holds a certificate in Fundraising Management from the Indian University Lilly School of Philanthropy.
Advance Southwest Iowa Coporation
Council Bluffs, IA
Board Member representing Iowa Western SBDC
Passionate about economic development, Paula Hazlewood channels that energy into her role as Executive Director for Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation, a partner of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership. Paula has worked for the Partnership for the past eighteen years having most recently served as senior director of business assistance, retention and expansion for the entire region.
Paula was awarded the inaugural “Professional of the Year” award from the Nebraska Economic Developers Association in May 2010. A graduate of Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute and a graduate of Leadership Nebraska (Class 1), Leadership Washington County (Class 1), Leadership Omaha (Class 38) and Leadership Council Bluffs (Class 27), she is a past-president of the Nebraska Economic Developers Association and a current member of the Professional Developers of Iowa and Mid-America Economic Development Council. Paula proudly serves on the Infrastructure and Placing Making Committee for the Iowa West Foundation as well as the Board of Directors for New Vision Homeless Services and the MICAH House. Paula has also recently earned her Master Practitioner (MP) credential from the Advance Economic Development Leadership program which is a consortium of University’s which include Clemson University, Texas Christian University, University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Alabama.
Paula and her husband David, Chief Operating Officer for NeighborWorks Home Solutions live just south of Council Bluffs. They have one son (Jeffery) that graduated from Iowa Western Community College and now works for the State of Iowa. Paula enjoys traveling and playing golf.
Council Bluffs, IA
North Iowa Area Community College
Mason City, IA
Community College Representative
Dr. Steve Schulz officially began his duties as the President of North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) on December 1, 2013. Prior to coming to NIACC, Dr. Schulz served as the Provost at DMACC, Carroll campus. From 2004 to 2006, he was the 2 + 2 Coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. From 2000 to 2004, he was the Superintendent of the Carroll Community School District.
Dr. Schulz received his Bachelor’s degree in History from Wartburg College in Waverly, his Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Northern Iowa, his Education Specialist Degree from Drake University in Des Moines, and his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University.
Dr. Schulz grew up in Franklin County. He and his wife, Cathie, have two daughters, Lindsey and Caitlyn.
Mason City, IA
Brian Best is a member of the Iowa House of Representatives. He has been representing district 12 as of January 1, 2015. Throughout his term he has been assigned to the following committees: House Agriculture Committee, House Commerce Committee, Labor Committee, House Transportation Committee, House Appropriations Committee, and House Human Resources Committee.
Brian Best was born South of Glidden, IA, and as of December 2019, lives in Glidden. He graduated from Glidden-Ralston High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in social science from the University of Northern Iowa. Best received a degree as a Certified Respiratory Therapist in 1991 and has worked in the medical field since 1984. Best's career experience includes working as the owner of Bestmed Respiratory and Western Iowa Sleep. He was also on the board of Glidden Planning and Zoning.
Mount Ayr, IA
Becky Warren Eldon, IA
Iowa Department of Commerce, Division of Credit Unions
Des Moines, IA
Katie Averill was appointed by Governor Kim Reynolds to serve in the role as Director of Commerce and Superintendent of the Iowa Credit Union Division in May of 2017. As a regulator, the role of the Superintendent is to assure safety and soundness of all Iowa state-chartered credit unions through the effective administration and execution of the laws relating to credit unions. Previously, she held the position of Senior Vice President of Citizens Community Credit Union in Fort Dodge where she served ten years with responsibilities in branch operations, member service, marketing and business development.
Averill has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Iowa State University and is a Certified Credit Union Executive and a graduate of CUNA Management School. She serves on committees with the National Credit Union Association and National Association of State Chartered Credit Union Supervisors.
She is the founder of the JOY of Reading Foundation that promotes literacy to children. She and her husband, Tim, are parents to three children and reside in Des Moines.
Des Moines, IA
FundEx Solutions Group
Hometown Fabricating, LLC
Board Member representing Indian Hills SBDC
Angela and Tim Folkerts own and operate Hometown Fabricating, LLC located in Albia, Iowa. Hometown Fabricating is a production welding fabrication shop that currently welds for several businesses in Iowa and Kentucky. They have been in business since 2004.
Angela also works as a media broker for Majestic Media, Inc., also located in Albia, Iowa. Majestic Media has been in the advertising industry since 2000. Angela has been responsible for buying and selling airtime on a national scale since 2003.
Angela is a youth worker at the Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene in Moravia, Iowa. She has been a volunteer for 8 years. Her roles have included being the NYI treasurer, Sunday school teacher, chaperone and Mission Leader.
Angela also volunteers at Albia Community Schools. She’s been involved with the football mom’s club, the wrestling club, the book club and the vocal program.
Angela’s hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, learning, mission work, beekeeping and raising chickens. She is also an avid Dave Ramsey student. She has implemented his teachings into her own life and has shared that knowledge with her children, church youth and many others.
Angela was born and raised in Douds, Iowa but has lived in Albia most of her adult life. She graduated from Indian Hills Community College with a Health Information Technology Degree in 1988.
Angela and her husband, Tim were married in 1991. They have two children, Alexis Riley, 6th grade teacher in Kirksville, MO and Dalton director of IWON in Albia, IA. They have one grandson.
Kiana Johnson has been the Director of Economic Development for O’Brien County since 2005. She is a graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College, Spencer Iowa and Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA with a BA Degree in Accounting.
J.L. Patton Consulting
Jim was raised on a farm in northeast Iowa and graduated with BS and MS degrees in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University. In 1968 he started his professional career by teaching high school agriculture classes in Odebolt and Sac City, Iowa. In 1975 he relocated to Storm Lake, Iowa to begin a position in banking at Citizen’s First National Bank. From 1980 to 1995 Jim served as President and part owner of the National Bank of Rockwell City. Jim joined Iowa State University Extension in 1995 as the Webster County Extension Education Director and he retired as an ISU Regional Extension Education Director in 2011.
Currently, Jim serves: on the North Central Iowa SCORE Board; on the North Central Iowa SBDC Advisory Board; on the Mid Iowa Growth Partnership (regional economic development); on the Friendship Haven of Fort Dodge Board (senior housing complex); and the Ann Ringland Smeltzer Trust (community philanthropic foundation). As J.L. Patton Consulting he works with small businesses, agriculture enterprises and conservation/environmental projects.
Jim and his wife, Diane, have two sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.
Interim Vice President Economic Development and Industry Relations, ISU
Host Institution Representative
David P. Spalding is Professor of Finance and the Raisbeck Endowed Dean. He received an AB in history cum laude in 1976 from Dartmouth and a master’s of business administration in finance from New York University in 1984.
He arrives in Ames having served for the last eight years at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Most recently, Spalding served as senior vice president and senior advisor to Dartmouth’s president, responsible for implementing strategy, vision, and direction for the institution. Previously he had served as the president’s chief of staff. Spalding was appointed as Dartmouth’s vice president for alumni relations in October 2005. In this role, he led the school’s efforts to increase engagement with its nearly 70,000 alumni.
Before Dartmouth, he had a 29-year career in finance in New York City. He was most recently vice chairman of The Cypress Group LLC, a firm that he co-founded in 1994. Prior to co-founding Cypress, he served as a senior vice president and then a managing director of Lehman Brothers. He began his career in New York with The Chase Manhattan Bank NA. He also was a vice president with The First National Bank of Chicago and a senior vice president with GE Capital Corporate Finance Group Inc.
CBIZ – Southeastern Community College
Project Finance Analyst
Iowa Area Development Group
Des Moines, IA
A native of St. Louis, MO, Steven Benne graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Community and Regional Planning.
Steven works as a Finance Analyst for the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG). The IADG was established in 1985 with a mission of increasing investment, employment opportunities and the utilization of electric energy and other services for Iowa’s consumer-owned rural and municipal electric companies. Steven provides financial assistance to USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program (REDLG), revolving loan funds (RLFs), and other financial tools.
Previously, Steven was employed with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) where he managed the State of Iowa’s Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program, as well as the CDBG Housing Rehabilitation, Housing Enterprise Zone, and CDBG Employment Transportation programs. He also served on the Iowa Council of Homelessness.
Prior to settling in Iowa, Steven spent time in Washington, DC with the commercial real estate data and analytic firm, CoStar Group. CoStar is the parent company to LoopNet, Apartments.com, and several other digital real estate platforms.
Steven and his wife, Emma, reside in West Des Moines with their daughter Basil and dog Willow.
Des Moines, IA
State Director Appointee
Senator Bill Dotzler was elected in 2010 to his third term in the Iowa Senate, after serving three terms in the Iowa House. He represents Senate District 11 in Waterloo.
Senator Dotzler is an Assistant Majority Leader, chair of the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee and vice-chair of the Economic Growth Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations, Labor, Human Resources, and Ways & Means committees.
In addition to his legislative work, Senator Dotzler served on the Board at the Iowa Institute for Public Leadership and as a member of the 21st Century Workforce Council and the Governor’s Housing Task Force.
Dotzler has served his community as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Waterloo Nursing Association, president of the Friends of Hartman Reserve Nature Center, and charter president of Cedar Trails Partnership. He was also on the initial Board of Directors of Black Hawk Leadership.
Senator Dotzler was in the United States Army Security Agency, Military Intelligence from 1969-72. Before receiving an Honorable Discharge, he was an Honor Graduate in Special Identification Techniques Operator School in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. He received Top Secret Cryptographic Security Clearance and did his Tour of Duty in Berlin, Germany, from 1970-72.
Dotzler has received numerous special recognitions and awards, including the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, the Governor’s Special Recognition Award, and the Governor’s Lifesaving Award. In 2000, he received the International Citation Award for workforce development, an award once granted to President Kennedy.
Dotzler graduated from Cedar Falls High school in 1966. He received his Associate of Arts degree from North Iowa Area Community College in 1969 and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. He is retired from John Deere Waterloo Works, where he was employed as a Machine Operator and Labor Representative. He also worked for Area 7 Job Training Administration.
Small Business Administration
Des Moines, IA
Lori Hackney, Economic Development Specialist
Lori Hackney has been with the SBA for over 30 years serving in a variety of different areas. Starting in the Admin typing pool, Lori has worked on the financing side as the Finance Control Clerk, served as Collateral Cashier, Administrative Officer and now has transitioned to Economic Development Specialist. In addition to her duties as EDS/AO, she is also the Women’s Business Center Representative and the SBDC Project Officer for the Iowa District Office.
Des Moines, IA
Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce
Council Bluffs, IA
Drew was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and lived there his entire life prior to moving to Central Iowa in July 2013 upon accepting the position of Director of Story County Community Outreach at the Ames Chamber of Commerce. He is now the President & CEO of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce.
Outside of work, Drew enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and loved ones, sports and attending sporting events, especially Iowa Hawkeye football games, enjoying craft beers, and spending time outdoors.
Drew and his wife, Sunni, live in Council Bluffs and love being involved in the betterment of their community.
Council Bluffs, IA
City of Des Moines Office of Economic Development
Des Moines, IA
Board Member representing Mid Iowa SBDC, West Des Moines
Terry Vorbrich is retired with a 44-year career in community, economic and business development. For the past 25-years he held the position of Economic Development Coordinator with The City of Des Moines, Office of Economic Development, providing project management services, site selection assistance, and development financing to businesses locating or expanding in the City of Des Moines. Additionally, he served as the Executive Director and Secretary for The Corporation for Economic Development in Des Moines, a private, non-profit development company certified by the US Small Business Administration to originate and service loans under the SBA 504 Loan Program.
Terry currently serves on the Board of Directors of: The Corporation for Economic Development in Des Moines, the Iowa Foundation for Microenterprise & Community Vitality (Iowa MicroLoan Program), The Sixth Avenue Corridor, Inc. an Iowa Urban Main Street Program, the Iowa Commercial Real Estate Association, One-Economy, and The Apartments of River Trace, Inc. He serves on both the Mid-Iowa Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, and the Iowa Small Business Development State-wide Advisory Board. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Professional Developers of Iowa and is a past recipient of the SBA Iowa Financial Services Advocate of the Year Award.
Terry also participates as a mentor to individuals and business owners with SCORE, The Greater Des Moines Partnership Small Business Resource Mentor Connection Program, and the Urban Land Institute Iowa Chapter Mentorship Program.
Terry holds a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Master of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Development from the University of Iowa.
Des Moines, IA
Lake Mills, IA
Sioux City, IA
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
West Des Moines, IA
Sandy Ehrig is Economic Development Administrator for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. The Iowa Farm Bureau was established nearly 90 years ago with more than 150,000 urban and rural members currently working together to achieve economic growth, educational improvement and environmental quality in business and communities. The grassroots organization has a presence in every Iowa county.
Sandy works to connect business and resource providers with the Renew Rural Iowa program. It is a comprehensive initiative providing education, technical assistance, mentoring and financial resources for growing existing business and entrepreneurs.
With more than 30 years of experience in economic development, Sandy worked most recently as the administrator for community development at the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Prior to this role she served as the director for business development with five central Iowa rural electric cooperatives.
Ehrig has served as President and Secretary/Treasurer for the Professional Developers of Iowa. She is a board member for the ISU Community Vitality Center. She facilitates a quarterly Roundtable Forum for resource providers all working to benefit entrepreneurial growth.
Sandy is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and a graduate of The Institute for Organizational Management and the Economic Development Institute programs.
The Ehrigs reside in Nevada where they actively volunteer in community service organizations and efforts. They have three grown children.
West Des Moines, IA
Kossuth/ Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Past-President of the Board of Directors for Professional Developer’s of Iowa (PDI).
- Celebrating our 20 yr College Internship Program, it is a successful professional leadership development program, networking opportunities along with social events.
- Past President of the Board of Directors for Mid Iowa Growth Partners. (MIGP)
- Served on the PDI Public Relations, Conference, Market, and Legislative Committees – (on going)
- Presently serve on SBDC State Advisory Board was State Chair, along with Iowa Lakes Community College’s SBDC Advisory Board.
- Served on the Board of Directors for the North Iowa Pappajohn Business Accelerator as the Iowa Lakes Community College Representative.
- Serve on University of Iowa Leadership for Public Health.
- Presently serve on Iowa Lakes Community College’s Advisory Board for the Algona Campus.
- Presently serve on Kossuth/Palo Alto County Revolving Loan Commission
- Served on the Kossuth/Palo Alto County Enterprise Zone Commission
- Served on the Board of Director’s of the Northeast IA Community Foundation of Waterloo/Cedar Falls
- Served on the Parents Council for Loras College – 4 yrs
- Served on Western Iowa State Tourism Board of Director’s- 3 years
- Served on Bishop Garrigan’s School Board-8 years
- Served on Bishop Garrigan’s GALA Committee and was co-chair for 9 years
- Served on Sioux City’ Diocese Board of Director’s -6 years
- Served on the Iowa Lakes Community College Trio Advisory Board-4 years
- Served on Iowa Lakes Community College “College of Kids”-4 years
- Served on the Algona Family YMCA Board. Of Director’s-5 ½ years
- Served on Kossuth Regional Hospitals Strategic and Finance Board-3 years
- Served on the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority-held offices
Elbert’s most memorable work related skills are:
- Highly motivated
- Well organized
- Pleasing personality and easy to work with
- Ability to listen and adjust
- Energetic and enthusiastic
- Willing to go the “extra mile”
- Maintains a professional attitude
John serves as President & CEO of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce. He has led this organization since August of 2021. The Chamber of Commerce in Marshalltown also serves as the main Economic Development Organization for Marshall County and houses the Tourism Office. John serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid-America Economic Development Council a multi-state regional economic development organization. John has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Iowa State University and has achieved his certification in economic development from the International Economic Development Council.
John and his wife Brianna married in 2018 and have one daughter, Jocelyn, who all reside in Marshalltown.
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Des Moines, IA
Michael Ralston was appointed President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry in November of 2005. ABI is Iowa’s oldest and largest statewide business organization, having served its members for over a century. Widely recognized as The Voice of Iowa Business, ABI has led the state in the development of sound public policy related to business and employers since 1903.
Prior to his service as ABI President, Ralston was appointed by Iowa Governor Thomas J. Vilsack, confirmed unanimously by the Iowa Senate, and served for almost three years as Director of Revenue for the State of Iowa. He led a staff of 400 employees in administering Iowa’s tax laws, collections operations, internal audit systems, and other essential functions.
From 1999 to his Revenue appointment, Ralston was Director of Policy and Law for Iowa for Qwest Communications, an international Fortune 500 telecommunications and broadband services company. Ralston led the company’s governmental affairs and community affairs in Iowa, with primary responsibility for representing Qwest with Iowa’s Governor, the Iowa General Assembly, and the Iowa Congressional Delegation.
Prior to joining Qwest in 1999, Ralston was President of the Iowa Taxpayers Association, a statewide corporate tax policy organization. In the past, Ralston has served as the chief executive of a local government tax research organization, as a corporate vice president with a health services company, and as chief Iowa assistant to former Congressman Cooper Evans. Ralston was elected Mayor of Grundy Center, Iowa at age 18 and re-elected three times.
Ralston chairs the Central Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board, is a member of the Industry Advisory Council for Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service, and is a member of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Manufacturing Innovation Council. Ralston is a member of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation Board of Directors and is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Governmental Research Association, the Deputies Committee of the Iowa Business Council, and is a graduate and past chairman of the Board of Governors of the Leadership Iowa program. Ralston is also a past member of the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference, the agency that establishes revenue projections utilized by the Iowa General Assembly. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Federation of Tax Administrators, and is a member and past member of several other boards and organizations.
Ralston holds a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, which recognized him as an Outstanding Alumnus in 1992.
Des Moines, IA
The purpose of our State Advisory Board is to provide advice, insight and perspective to the state director and staff of America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) on matters pertaining to the operation of its statewide SBDC network, especially matters affecting small business owners and managers and their relationship with the SBDC.
Through this advice, the Board assists SBDC management in the development of short- and long-range plans for the SBDC, together with the means by which progress toward these goals can be measured. The Board is also asked to assist in developing support for the SBDC from state, federal and local elected officials; to promote communication between the Iowa small business community, state government, local economic development groups, Iowa SBDC stakeholders, and other business related organizations in Iowa; and to offer recommendations for improvement of counseling, training, public relations, and resource programs available to the SBDC and its clients.
Our State Advisory Board members are interested in furthering the efficient and effective delivery of services to the small business community of Iowa.
America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.