Paul Schickler – Chair
Retired President – DuPont Pioneer
Paul was president of DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed genetics business of DuPont, from 2007 to 2017. In this role he continued to expand Pioneer’s global business by remaining focused on innovation that improves local productivity and profitability of farmers in more than 90 countries. Schickler joined Pioneer in 1974 and served in a variety of finance, commercial and administrative leadership roles, including vice president of international operations from 1999 to 2007.
He has served on the boards of multiple organizations, such as the Cultivation Corridor, The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Drake University, and The World Food Prize Foundation. A strong contributor to the community, Mr. Schickler was Chair of the 2018 United Way of Central Iowa Campaign, works with the World Food Prize to advance the Global Youth Institute, and supports Meals from the Heartland and Self-Help International among others. His company, III Ag, LLC, provides consulting services to international companies and start-up enterprises in agriculture.
Paul is a graduate of Drake University, where he received Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in business administration.
Dr. John Greaves
Worldwide Vice President for Specialty Crops – Kemin Industries
Dr. John A. Greaves is the worldwide vice president for Specialty Crops at Des Moines-based Kemin Industries, Inc. In his current role, Greaves coordinates a global team of plant breeders, horticulturalists, analytical chemists, organic chemists, research agronomists, and field agronomists who help develop innovative molecular solutions for the company.
John is a native of Lancaster, England. He graduated with a B.Sc (Honors) degree in 1984 (Agricultural Botany), and a Ph.D. degree in 1987 (Plant Physiology), both from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.
Among his many civic and industry roles, John serves on the board of advisors of the ISU Plant Sciences Institute and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and is an independent director on the board of Chromatin, Inc. He is an inventor on over 12 U.S. and international issued patents and 6 pending patents. John lives with his wife and family in Ankeny.
Mike Roof *
Executive Director – Bio R&D, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
Mike is the Director of R&D at the Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) facility in Ames, IA. He was a scientist at NOBL Laboratories before Boehringer acquired NOBL in 1996. Before taking on his current role he served in a variety of roles for BI, leading Swine R&D, multiple US R&D sites, and through 2016 a global role coordinating Bio‐Vaccine efforts across all major species (swine, cattle, dogs, cats, and equine).
In partnership with the Iowa State University Research Park, Iowa State University, Ames Economic Development Commission, Iowa Economic Development Authority and local business partners, led the recent development of a core R&D facility for Boehringer Ingelheim at the ISU Research Park that currently employs 65 scientists with plans to expand to 110 staff.
Mike earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Iowa State University and lives in Ames with his wife, Jill. They have two adult children.
Founder & Managing Director – 30Ventures
George is Founder and Managing Director at 30Ventures, a venture capital firm in Madison, WI that focuses on select capital-efficient early-stage opportunities in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Prior to founding 30Ventures in 2017 he was Managing Director for 16 years at Venture Investors, a manager of venture capital funds focused on early-stage companies in the Midwest. During George’s tenure at Venture Investors, George led and managed investments in numerous bioscience companies.
>George serves on the boards of and advises multiple organizations, including the Mid-America Healthcare Investors Network (where he is a Founding Director) and the Venture Debt Advisory Board of the Madison Development Corp. He has also served as an instructor and guest lecturer at the University of Chicago and, for over 10 years, as a review panelist for NSF Phase II SBIR proposals.
George has a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Executive Director – America’s Cultivation Corridor
Billi Hunt was named the Executive Director of America’s Cultivation Corridor in February 2018. She brings over 20 years of experience in agriculture and the Iowa business community to the Corridor’s efforts to enhance agricultural sustainability and accelerate business development by attracting new companies, talent and capital to central Iowa. She works with Corridor investors, partners and other organizations to build the Corridor brand and broaden opportunities within the region.
Prior to joining America’s Cultivation Corridor, Hunt served as government affairs manager for DuPont, leading state-level advocacy, public-policy initiatives and government-related business collaborations for the U.S. Central region, and throughout the United States. She also worked for Optimum Quality Grains, LLC, and Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.
An Iowa native, Hunt received her Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University and her Master of Public Administration from Drake University. She and her husband Mike Elam and children live in Urbandale, Iowa.
Attorney – BrownWinick Law
Camille is a partner at the BrownWinick law firm. Her practice includes all facets of intellectual property including patent prosecution and litigation; trademark registration, prosecution and litigation; trade secret management; and copyright registration.
Camille’s practice also involves engineering and negotiating international and domestic licenses and technology agreements, participating in due diligence and transfer activities relating to mergers and acquisitions and assisting clients in preparing private and public placement documents.
Because most aspects of these areas of the law are federal or even international in nature, Camille’s clients range from individuals to large companies located regionally as well as across the globe.
General Counsel – Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
Tim is the General Counsel for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. IAMU is a trade association representing more than 540 municipally-owned water, gas, electric, and communications utilities. Tim handles legal matters and public affairs issues for the association, including directing all legislative, lobbying, and regulatory affairs, as well as overseeing litigation, public policy, media relations, and political action committee strategy.
Tim came to IAMU from the Iowa Economic Development Authority where he was the agency’s General Counsel. At IEDA he was responsible for coordinating all legislative, legal, regulatory, and public policy issues. Prior to joining IEDA, Tim was an attorney in the Legal division of the General Assembly’s Legislative Services Agency where he drafted legislation in the areas of environmental protection, economic development, taxation, and appropriations, including the legislation that restructured the Department of Economic Development into the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which he then joined.
Tim has been an adjunct professor at Drake Law, served on the vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Des Moines, volunteered at the Des Moines Scottish Rite, and coached both middle school and high school Mock Trial.
Tim is an Iowa native, a graduate of St. Olaf College where he majored in English and minored in Linguistic Studies, and a 2007 graduate of Drake University Law School where he obtained a Legislative Practice certification.
* Governor-appointed; interim pending Senate approval
Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Debi Durham was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in January 2011. As one of her first orders of business, Debi worked with the Governor and legislators to restructure the department to create a public-private partnership to update and improve Iowa’s delivery of economic development services. That led to the creation of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress – the umbrella organization for the new structure. Debi now serves as the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the public arm that replaces IDED and oversees the traditional economic development programs.
Prior to leading Iowa’s economic development initiatives, Debi served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce since July 1995. She also served as president of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), the economic development corporation serving the tri-state metropolitan area, and the Siouxland Chamber Foundation. In both 2007 and 2008, TSI was recognized as one of the “Top-Ten” economic development groups in the nation.
In June 2009, the Downtown Rotary Club in Sioux City recognized Debi as their Key Way award winner. The annual recipient is recognized as a local leader who has “contributed greatly to the health and prosperity of the area through business and community involvement.” Debi was also recognized by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry as one of “Five Iowa Women You Should Know” in 2007. In 2003, she was named to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame and was the Republican Lt. Gubernatorial candidate in 2002.
Debi holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Marketing and Management degree from Missouri Southern State University. She and her husband Joel have two children.
Peter Hong, P.E.
Executive Management Resource Group
Peter has more than 35 years of manufacturing and business development experience with many leadership positions in engineering, business and public service with a variety of companies including John Deere, Positech Corporation and Columbus McKinnon.
While acting as division president of the Material Handling Institute of America, Peter led the formation and growth of the Ergonomics Council there. As founding partner of EMRG, he helps businesses grow by coaching owners to focus goals, reorganize for effectiveness and navigate the network of assistance programs and venture capital groups. He is COO of New Tech Ceramics and serves on the Iowa Innovation Council.
Peter received his degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Sarah Nusser
Vice President for Research and Professor of Statistics – Iowa State University
As Vice President for Research, Sarah leads efforts to advance the research mission at Iowa State, including leadership for campus-wide programs for faculty research success, interdisciplinary initiatives, and ethical research practice.
Sarah is AAU-APLU Public Access Working Group co-chair, APLU Council on Research Executive Committee member and chair-elect, and serves on the National Academics Board on Research Data and Information and the Committee on National Statistics. Sarah is a former director of the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology at Iowa State, fellow of the American Statistical Association and elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and has served on numerous scientific panels, advisory committees and governing boards.
Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in Botany from North Carolina State University and a Doctorate in Statistics from Iowa State University.
Chief Innovation Officer – University of Iowa
Jon is the University of Iowa’s first Chief Innovation Officer. His responsibilities include economic development efforts such as UI Ventures, protostudios, UI Research Park, MADE, and TRI. His focus is on developing a foundation built around 3 pillars to support faculty and staff entrepreneurial and commercialization activity: a concierge service to connect and coordinate resources, greater access to funding sources for entrepreneurs and business expertise to support addressing unmet needs in fields across campus. Two targeted strategic areas of focus in alignment with State of Iowa initiatives are Medtech and Edtech.
Jon has more than 20 years experience as an executive in the healthcare industry. Most recently, Jon worked for iRhythm Technologies, a company that develops digital bio-sensing technology and cloud-based data analytics to diagnose heart arrhythmias. He joined the San Francisco–based iRhythm in 2007. Birthed from Stanford University’s renowned Byers Center for Bio Design technology incubator, Jon joined the start up when it had three employees. He retired from iRhythm in 2017 after helping build it into a 600-employee company with roughly $100 million in annual revenue, after having created and executed the reimbursement strategy that was pivotal to the firm’s successful IPO in 2016.