When a politician uses phrases like 'job creation' and 'improve our economy', ask for their credentials to speak on the topic. Heck, ask what they know about economics, capital markets, and workforce development. Ask them if they have worked with local, state or foreign governments to establish or grow businesses. In my professional life, I build businesses for CPM Holdings and wear many hats. One day, I might be closing a multi-national acquisition. Every day, I make at least one pot of coffee. I know business.
I grew up in Waverly, the youngest in an entrepreneurial family. I learned from my father, a small town pharmacist - a man with relentless customer focus who reinvested, innovated and created a new business model to thrive despite big-box competition. Tom Taiber formed the foundation of my business understanding with Main Street perspective. Around 12 years old, I read a dusty autobiography called Iacocca (a gift to my Dad from years before, but never read because of the demands of an entrepreneur's life). From there, my educational path was set. I became an industrial engineer, like Lee. With my University of Iowa education, I acquired the greatest curse of my life. I see the world as a system, with inputs (raw materials, energy, imagination, labor, assets), outputs (goods and services) and value leakage (uh 'waste') in between. From this early age, I committed to a life of logic, reason and an irrational pursuit of value creation.
In 1998, I joined John Deere and had amazing experiences designing complex manufacturing systems around the world. From John Deere, I joined CPM which exposed me to worlds beyond the manufacturing floor. In this role, I lead acquisitions, strategic planning, and initiatives on a global scale. I utilize a blend of technical, social, philosophical and communication skills to translate strategies and initiatives into tangible results - real value for shareholders, employees and communities.
What do I do? I have designed production lines, applied for tax-increment financing and high-quality-job credits, developed global trade policy with unfriendly countries, led mergers and acquisitions of all kinds, directed product development. I touch marketing, capital markets, executive recruitment, enterprise strategy, and much more. As a business development guy, I am in the business of knowing, strategizing, and executing.
I know what attracts and repels businesses from locating in a state or country. I know the difference between free markets and crony capitalism. I will take this knowledge to the state house and help guide Iowa to new prosperity in the new economy.