Debi Durham is a longtime economic and community development professional who serves as Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). Durham was named to the positions by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in January 2019. Durham was first appointed to lead IEDA in 2011, and during her eight-year tenure, has turned the agency into a successful public-private partnership, landed billion-dollar economic development projects for Iowa, and worked tirelessly on expanding trade and investment opportunities for the state. She prides herself on building coalitions, supporting new ventures and strengthening the state’s industries and communities. Prior to joining IEDA, Durham served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. Her accolades include being recognized as one of the “Most Influential Business Leaders” in the 2019 Des Moines Business Record Book of Lists and receiving the Technology Association of Iowa’s “Legislative Advocacy Leader” award in 2017. Durham was also recognized by the Business Record as a “Woman of Influence” in 2016. Durham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Missouri Southern State University.
Kathleen Riessen is a powerful stand for the world to win. She is a serial entrepreneur, wife, parent to three young boys, two dogs and a beta fish. She enjoys traveling the world and saying “Yes” when others say “No”. Kathleen serves as an inspirational speaker and business coach working with busy leaders to help them realign their purpose with their work. She has been exploring the concept of Burnout Pyramid involving identifying how leaders can be successful in balancing family, business, community and self-care – a concept she has coined as Leading at the Peak®. Kathleen has an extensive background in small business. She founded her first business while six months pregnant with her first child. Now she and her husband run six businesses including three Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping locations and two martial arts locations. Kathleen holds a Certified Public Accountant’s License. She is a 2019 graduate of Heartcore Leadership, a PhD candidate in Leadership and a 2016-2017 Leadership Iowa graduate. Kathleen serves on the Endow Urbandale Community Foundation Board and the American Advertising Federation Board. She has received the honors of Rookie of the Year, Ad Pro of the Year, President of the Year and Silver Medalist all from the American Advertising Federation.
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