Georgia Van Gundy – Secretary/Treasurer
Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
Georgia serves as Executive Director of the Iowa Business Council, where she leads the organization in addressing policies and issues to make Iowa a highly competitive state offering great careers and sustained job growth.
Previously, as Assistant Vice President of Community and Government Relations at The Principal Financial Group, Georgia was responsible for policy development and the establishment of legislative priorities for The Principal, where she lobbied state legislative and executive branches to implement company priorities and implemented the company’s national public affairs program. Georgia also was state policy advisor for Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and legislative liaison for the Iowa Department of Economic Development (now Iowa Economic Development Authority). In addition to her governor appointment to the IICorp Board, Georgia has a governor appointment to the Teacher Leadership and Compensation committee. She is a past executive committee member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership board and is on the advocacy committee for the United Way Women’s Leadership Connection.
Georgia holds a degree in finance from Iowa State University and worked in banking and finance for a number of years before becoming involved in government relations.
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.
Managing Principal, Bridgepoint Merchant Banking
Adam Claypool is cofounder and managing principal of Bridgepoint Merchant Banking, a full- service investment banking firm with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, strategic and transaction advisory services, and private equity fund management. As such, he works closely with private/family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, venture capital-backed companies, and private equity/venture capital firms across Iowa and the Midwest.
Adam is a member or observer to the boards of BirdDogHR, GCommerce, and TrueChoice Solutions. He also serves on the board of trustees and the Strategic Planning Committee for the Hospice of Central Iowa Foundation, as well as the Finance and Investment Committee for the Plymouth Church Foundation. He is currently president of the Rider Club Youth Football Board. Adam received his bachelor of arts degree in political science with an emphasis in economics at the University of Iowa. He and his wife Megan live in Des Moines and have three children.
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.
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.
Government Affairs, Nyemaster Goode Law Firm
Brad is a member of the firm’s Governmental Affairs Department, involving a broad spectrum of public policy issues, including economic development, labor and employment issues, workers’ compensation, gaming, and utilities. In addition, Brad also practices in the areas of creditors’ rights, construction law, and general civil litigation, representing Wells Fargo Bank and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, serving as general counsel for the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and representing contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
Brad began his legal practice with a firm in Omaha followed by employment as in-house counsel with Norwest Financial, and then as a shareholder with a West Des Moines law firm before joining Nyemaster Goode. Brad has been a regular speaker in the area of creditors’ rights. He is a past Board member for the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association and has served on the Board for the youth baseball program in West Des Moines. Brad received his B.B.A. with honors from the University of Iowa in 1990 and his J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1993.
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