Gov. Kim Reynolds holds a press conference on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, pool)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the establishment of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board to help foster economic growth in Iowa as the state recovers from the COVID-19 economic shutdown. 

“Although COVID-19 as a public health concern is not over, and we continue to manage it every day, we’re well into the recovery phase, and with the beginning of a robust recovery underway, we can approach Iowa’s come back in a number of ways,” Reynolds stated during her press conference at the State Capitol. 

“Opening up, our goal can simply be to return to where we were, which is an ambitious and realistic goal, or we can think bigger and better. And I am a firm believer that obstacles create opportunities. The post-COVID-19 won’t be the same as the pre-COVID-19 world,” she added.

“Our economic comeback is not just about yesterday’s goals. It’s an amazing opportunity for us to build a better Iowa to modernize our economy, our education and health care systems, our workforce, and our quality of life,” Reynolds stated.

She announced Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, will lead the Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Its focus will be on Iowa’s modernization. 

“Iowa’s success has always been about turning obstacles into opportunities,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board assembles an impressive group of business leaders to propel our recovery efforts forward and position Iowa for growth. Iowans will be at the center of this effort as we continue to make our state the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I want to thank Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation, for his willingness to serve as the chair and appreciate all those serving on this advisory board.” 

“I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible with the incredibly capable and talented group of leaders that will serve on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board,” McLean said during brief remarks during the press conference. “This is about the future and taking an incredibly difficult situation and using it as an opportunity to make Iowa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Initial members of the Governor’s Executive Advisory Board are: 

  • Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems (Advisory Board Chairman)
  • Nick Bodesh, President & CEO of Elite Octane 
  • Mary Andringa, Chair of the Board of Vermeer 
  • Randy Edeker, CEO of Hy-Vee  
  • Rosalind Fox, Factory Manager at John Deere 
  • Dr. Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UHIC 
  • Dan Houston, Chairman, President & CEO of Principal Financial Group 
  • AJ Loss, CEO of Bush Construction 
  • Megan Mckay, President of Peace Tree Brewing Company 
  • Emily Schmit, General Counsel of Sukup Manufacturing Co.  
  • Barbara Sloniker, Executive Vice President at the Siouxland Chamber 
  • Adam Wright, President & CEO of MidAmerican Energy Company 
  • Diane Young, Director of Technical Services/Owner at Foundation Analytical Lab 

Also on Thursday, the Des Moines Register released its Iowa Poll that found a majority of Iowans approved of the Governor’s job performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and protests over police brutality.

They report in their poll conducted by Seltzer and Company on June 7-10, 2020 of 801 Iowa adults, that 56 percent approve of Reynolds’ job performance while 36 percent disapprove. Eight percent of Iowa adults said they were unsure. The poll had a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.

Reynolds’ approval rating is higher than Iowa’s Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley, 53 percent, and Joni Ernst, 49 percent. It is also higher than President Donald Trump’s approval rating of 45 percent.

Watch Reynolds’ remarks about Iowa’s economic recovery below:

Read her executive order here:

Listen to the full press conference:

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