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Lift IOWA: News briefs – Week of Sept. 14


Wellmark Foundation announces new leadership: The Wellmark Foundation, one of the largest health improvement-focused foundations in Iowa and South Dakota, announced leadership transitions last week, including the appointment of Mary Lawyer as the foundation’s executive director. Lawyer replaced Becky Wampler Bland, who retired in July. Lawyer joined Wellmark in 2015 as the director of community health improvement to lead the Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark initiative. Prior to Wellmark, she was a director with the Iowa Department of Economic Development and president of the Downtown Community Alliance.

Jutila resigns as Botanical Garden president and CEO: Stephanie Jutila resigned as president and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden last week. As the search begins for an interim director, board Chair Stacey Johnson said in an email that Jutila would provide support through the transition. The email did not specify when the resignation would be effective or when it was submitted by Jutila. Johnson said the transition comes as the facility takes the “next steps in the growth and development … where education, innovation, culture and ecology are all important parts of what we stand for.”

SBA to kick off National Small Business Week: The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced it will kick off its 2020 National Small Business Week later this month with a virtual event honoring the nation’s small businesses and offering guidance on recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be held online Sept. 22-24. In addition to celebrating the nation’s small businesses — many of which are veteran-, women- and minority-owned — for their achievements and dedication to their communities, this year’s event includes numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy. The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year.


Unemployment is improving for nearly every group of Americans, except for young Black women, one of the only groups still seeing unemployment increase.

By February, one of Wall Street’s largest banks will finally have a female CEO. Jane Fraser will take over the top role at Citigroup early next year.

ESPN Radio’s Doris Burke will be the first woman to call the NBA conference finals and finals later this month.

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