Age 35 | Media relations manager, MidAmerican Energy Co.
Tina Potthoff was working as a spokesperson for the Iowa Lottery when the governor’s office asked her to join the Rebuild Iowa Office to assist in the state’s efforts to recover from the 2008 floods. “I was a little reluctant to go at first,” recalled Potthoff, who was assured the assignment was temporary. “But oddly enough, I fell in love with it and ended up asking to stay.” She remained with Rebuild Iowa as its public information officer for nearly its entire existence before leaving in November 2010 to join MidAmerican Energy Co.
One of her first duties as MidAmerican’s media relations manager, as it turned out, was working with areas affected by the 2011 floods.
A St. Louis native, Potthoff earned a business degree in marketing and television from the University of Notre Dame. She landed her first journalism job as a reporter and fill-in morning anchor with a television station in Monroe, La. After stints at a radio and TV station in Joplin, Mo., an opening for a midday anchor and reporter with WOI-TV brought her to Des Moines in 2002. In late 2005, she made the switch from broadcasting to media relations with the Iowa Lottery.
One of her favorite volunteer activities is working with students from about 60 high schools as the Nebraska-Iowa Key Club district administrator. “It’s really inspiring to see the transformation these kids make being on the board,” Potthoff said. “They go from being very introverted to being speakers at their graduation and incredible seniors that get scholarships.”
She and her husband, Kent Pollpeter, have a 19-month-old daughter, Anna, and enjoy volunteering at Lutheran Church of Hope.
Five reasons she’s a 40:
• Organized energy efficiency community events for Homes of Oakridge and I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa.
• Volunteered to host international visitors through the Iowa International Center.
• Member of the 2010-2011 Leadership Iowa class.
• Served on boards of Leadership Iowa and Safeguard Iowa Partnership in marketing roles.
Potthoff ran two marathons to raise money for the Des Moines Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; both of her parents are cancer survivors.