Branstad appoints new economic development boards

Governor Terry Branstad promised during last year’s campaign to transform the Iowa Department of Economic Development into a public-private partnership. Yesterday he named 18 leaders of Iowa companies to two new state economic development boards.

The list of appointed board members are after the jump, along with background and the full text of Branstad’s executive order creating the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board.

The Iowa House and Senate approved the restructuring of state economic development efforts through House File 590, which passed near the end of the 2011 legislative session. The new economic development authority is to be assisted by a new Iowa Innovation Corporation. That non-profit corporation will receive no state appropriations. Instead, it will be funded through federal grants and private-sector tax-deductible donations and bequests, to be used for “expanding economic development opportunities.” House File 590 stipulates that the Iowa Innovation Corporation will have a seven-member board, but only two of those members are subject to Iowa Senate confirmation. Here are the seven Branstad appointees announced yesterday. I am seeking to clarify which two will be sent to the Senate for consideration.

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 Hasken, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, AY McDonald Manufacturing Company

Chris Nelson, President and CEO, Kemin Industries Inc.

Also yesterday, Branstad named eleven people to the new Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board. The governor created IPEP through Executive Order 75, signed last week. Scroll down to read that executive order. None of the business leaders appointed to the IPEP board will receive a salary for serving on the body, but all will be subject to Iowa Senate confirmation. Here are the governor’s appointees.

Bill Fehrmann [sic], 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

Bleeding Heartland readers may recognize a few names on that list. Fehrman is the chief advocate of a bill to promote nuclear energy in Iowa. The MidAmerican utility would benefit financially from that bill, but consumers would get a raw deal. MidAmerican could charge ratepayers for expected costs to build nuclear reactors, but would not be required to refund the money if the reactors are never built. Branstad is on record supporting that legislation, which passed the Iowa House in April but did not receive a floor vote in the Iowa Senate, to my surprise.

Branstad and other heavy-hitter Republicans reportedly recruited Andringa to run for governor in early 2010. Branstad rethought his initial reluctance to re-enter politics after Andringa declined to enter the race.

Roger Underwood is a well-known Iowa Republican power-broker. When last seen at this blog, he was a state co-chair of Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign.

Andrew Duffelmeyer pointed out at Iowa Independent yesterday that appointees to the IPEP and Iowa Innovation Corporation boards gave more than $216,000 to Branstad’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, either directly or through corporate political action committees. Click through to read the list of donors and the size of their gifts. Toby Shine was the most generous, contributing $60,000 to elect Branstad.

Incidentally, one member of the IPEP board (Shine) and one member of the Iowa Innovation Corporation board (Robert Riley) also served on the Iowa Economic Development Board during Democratic Governor Chet Culver’s administration. That board “was created to replace the Iowa Values Fund Board and the previous Economic Development Board” from Tom Vilsack’s tenure as governor. A search on the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s website indicates that Riley has donated to the Iowa Democratic Party and mostly Democratic candidates over the years. He gave $5,500 to Culver’s re-election campaign.

I’ve posted the governor’s press release in full below. This passage caught my eye:

“Today we are taking another step towards reaching our goals of creating 200,000 new jobs and increasing the wealth of Iowa families by 25 percent,” said Governor Branstad. “I am pleased that some of the most admired business leaders in our state have agreed to serve Iowa in this capacity.”

I don’t know many people who believe that reshuffling economic development boards will create strong job growth in Iowa. Local successes deserve to be celebrated, such as a planned new food processing facility for Forth Dodge. But the national economy remains weak, and I don’t see how 18 corporate leaders can buck that trend.

Democrats seem happy to remind Iowans of Branstad’s job creation promises. For example, here’s part of State Senator Rob Hogg’s e-mail newsletter from October 27:

IOWA JOBS CONTINUE TO DECLINE UNDER BRANSTAD

As I have reported previously, Governor Branstad campaigned for office with the pledge to create 200,000 new jobs over five years, or 40,000 jobs per year.  Nine months into his term, Iowa should have gained 30,000 jobs.  Unfortunately, the October jobs report shows that Iowa has now lost 15,600 jobs since Branstad became Governor in January, for a total shortfall of 45,600 jobs.  By comparison, Iowa added 8,700 jobs during the last eight months under Governor Culver.

This is another reminder we need state government to play a positive role in economic development and job creation, by investing in education at all levels and targeted industries like renewable energy, green buildings, biomedical research, advanced manufacturing, computer technology, and agricultural research.  These were bipartisan policies in 2005 and 2006 under Governor Vilsack.  Instead, Governor Branstad is pursuing policies that make Iowa part of the global race to the bottom with big tax breaks for multinational corporations and low-wage jobs.  He needs to shift course, and work with legislators of both parties on a new bipartisan high-wage economic development strategy.

Any thoughts about jobs and and Iowa economy are welcome in this thread.

Press release from Governor Terry Branstad’s office, October 31:

Gov. Branstad today announced the appointment of 18 Iowa business leaders to the newly-created Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP) and Iowa Innovation Corporation boards.  The new boards are part of the restructured strategy for delivering comprehensive economic development services in the state.

“Today we are taking another step towards reaching our goals of creating 200,000 new jobs and increasing the wealth of Iowa families by 25 percent,” said Governor Branstad. “I am pleased that some of the most admired business leaders in our state have agreed to serve Iowa in this capacity.”

“Governor Branstad and I have long discussed the importance of a public-private partnership to spur job creation,” said Reynolds. “I am proud to be here as these very capable Iowans are named to the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress and the Iowa Innovation Corporation. Governor Branstad and I are confident that these board members will work tirelessly to promote Iowa and its workforce.”

The IPEP board, created last week by the Governor with Executive Order 75, will serve as the umbrella organization for the public-private partnership that was developed by the Governor and legislature last session to enhance Iowa’s approach to job and wealth creation.  The Governor appointed business leaders across Iowa’s major industries to this board.  It is tasked with developing a comprehensive economic development strategy that will be carried out jointly by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Innovation Corporation.

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 IPEP board will be co-chaired by the Governor and Lt. Governor and will also include the director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the chair of the IEDA board and the chair of the Iowa Innovation Corporation.

The Governor also named the members of the Iowa Innovation Corporation board, the non-profit corporation that was established by the IEDA (as required by House File 590), that will serve as Iowa’s innovation intermediary.  The Corporation will operate independently with funding from the private sector and Federal grants.  

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 Hasken, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, AY McDonald Manufacturing Company

Chris Nelson, President and CEO, Kemin Industries Inc.

Full text of Branstad’s Executive Order 75:

EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER SEVENTY-FIVE

WHEREAS, a competitive and dynamic environment for job creators is needed to achieve our goals of 200,000 new jobs for Iowans and a 25% increase in family incomes over the next five years; and

WHEREAS, a vibrant and dynamic economy is of vital importance to the people of Iowa and fosters an essential environment for the creation of jobs to benefit Iowans; and

WHEREAS, economic development is an important public purpose in which both the public and private sectors have important roles to play; and

WHEREAS, according to Iowa Code section 15.101, “economic development is an important public purpose and that both the public and private sectors have a shared interest in fostering the economic vitality of the state;” and

WHEREAS, collaboration between government and private sector job creators, in the form of a public-private partnership was furthered by the laws of the first session of the Eighty-Fourth General Assembly which created a public-private partnership for economic development in Iowa; and

WHEREAS, the public-private collaboration encouraged by House File 590 (2011) will require the guidance, vision, and planning abilities that only a council of successful private sector business people can provide.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, declare that job creation, economic development and economic growth should be encouraged in the State of Iowa. I hereby order the creation of the Governor’s Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (“IPEP”).

1. Purpose: IPEP shall serve as an advisory body within state government and function on a continuing basis for the study and recommendation of solutions and policy alternatives for issues arising in the area of economic development. The partnership shall focus on job creation, identifying emerging global markets, harnessing competitive economic forces, increasing the income of Iowa families and growing the Iowa economy.

2. Organization: IPEP shall be composed of no more than 15 members appointed by the Governor. Each member will serve at the pleasure of the Governor without compensation and in an advisory capacity.

a. The IPEP board shall include the following ex-officio, non-voting members: the chair of the economic authority board, the head of the non-profit organization known as the Iowa Innovation Corporation, the director of the economic development authority and the Governor, or the Governor’s designee.

b. The IPEP board shall include the following members: eleven additional IPEP board members who are actively engaged in the private, for-profit sector of the economy or have experience in private sector job creation, economic development or other related fields. These board members for the partnership shall be appointed by the Governor for staggered terms of two years to begin at 12:01a.m. on November 1 in the year of appointment and expire at midnight on October 31 in the year of expiration. Initially, terms of members will be staggered with five members appointed to an initial one year term and six members appointed to an initial two year term.

Six members of the IPEP board constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of a majority of the appointed members is necessary for any action taken by the board. The majority shall not include any member who has a conflict of interest and a statement by a member of a conflict of interest shall be conclusive for this purpose. A vacancy in the membership does not impair the ability of a quorum to exercise all rights and perform all duties of the partnership.

The economic development authority shall provide staff support to IPEP, as needed, to enable IPEP to fulfill its responsibilities.

3. Goals: The IPEP board shall have the following duties:

a. hold meetings for the purposes of carrying out its advisory functions; and

b. develop a strategic vision for economic development and private-sector job creation

in Iowa; and

c. reach other goals and objectives as requested by the office of the Governor.

All agencies, departments and boards of the State of Iowa shall cooperate fully with IPEP. IPEP may seek the expertise and services of individuals and entities outside its membership for research, advice and other needs, as required to accomplish its mission.

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