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Lift IOWA: News briefs – Week of Oct. 12


Homesteaders Life taps seasoned leader: Homesteaders Life Co. last week selected Jill Muenich to head a new subsidiary, Homesteaders Solutions Group. Muenich, who has more than 30 years of experience in sales and financial services, joined Homesteaders as vice president for business development in March 2019. As president of Homesteaders Solutions Group, Muenich will be responsible for integrating and managing a growing portfolio of resources that today includes eFuneral, Domani’s Preneed Planning Center and Domanicare. While Muenich’s most recent work has focused on the funeral space, her experience extends to Fortune 100 companies including MassMutual, Verizon and Pepsi.

Coady begins 3-year term as chair of Guard and Reserve employer support group: The Iowa Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recently selected Rebecca Coady as the organization’s state chair, effective Oct. 1. Coady is vice president of the ABI Foundation with the Iowa Association of Business and Industry in Des Moines. Coady will serve a three-year term as chair, which is an official U.S. Department of Defense volunteer position. She will provide the leadership and vision for a team of nearly 100 volunteers throughout Iowa.

Governor’s advisory board focuses on child care, other priorities: An advisory board that Gov. Kim Reynolds assembled in mid-June is making 56 recommendations for jump-starting Iowa’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Among the board’s top recommendations are for the state to take steps to make child care more affordable and accessible.

2020 ’40 Women to Watch in Hospitality’ announced: The Iowa Restaurant Association released its 2020 “40 Women to Watch in Hospitality” last week, naming honorees chosen from more than 100 nominations submitted from across the state. Honorees will be featured in an upcoming edition of Food and Beverage Iowa Business Quarterly and on the Iowa Restaurant Association website, and will be recognized in person on Nov. 16 at the Iowa Events Center during the Iowa Restaurant Association’s annual Celebrating Excellence Awards ceremony. A full list of awardees is available online.

‘Black Stories’ art exhibit now open
The Des Moines Art Center collection “Black Stories” opened Oct. 3 and will run through Jan. 17, 2021. Drawing from the Art Center’s permanent collections, the exhibition features a mix of works by international, national and regional Black artists, including Central Iowa-based artists Jordan Weber and Mitchell Squire, who also serve as co-curators. An advisory committee of 15 local Black leaders and artists was formed to provide advice, support, participation and guidance more than a year ago. Tickets can be booked in advance online; admission is free.


More than two decades of working in organizational leadership and human resources and “a newly discovered life purpose” led Angie Chaplin to found Mindful Leadership, a new coaching and consulting practice in Hiawatha.

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, who developed the Crispr tool to change animal, plant and microorganism DNA, received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work. The duo are the sixth and seventh women in history to earn the honor.

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