Growing the Influence of Iowa’s Technology Industry
As the chairman of the board of directors for the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI), I am looking forward to helping elevate the state of Iowa’s profile as a technology state. I’ve seen first hand how involvement in TAI has helped change the perception of Wells Enterprises as not solely an ice cream company, but a technology company as well. The relationships I’ve built with other TAI members over the past several years have been valuable in many respects; the team is a wealth of knowledge around technology solutions and cybersecurity. As TAI grows as an organization, it benefits all of the members, especially those willing to actively participate as part of the Iowa technology community.
From business to education, technology is also on the mind of our state leaders. Governor Reynolds recently mentioned in her condition of the state address that she plans to ask for $20 million for broadband infrastructure to accelerate expansion. She will also leverage an additional $120 million in private investment for high-speed internet. In addition, she has requested a $1 million increase for STEM education in Iowa. We are grateful for Governor Reynolds support and look forward to building talent locally in the communities where we’ve built our companies.
For 2019, I will work to advance four major goals for TAI:
- Increasing Statewide Influence – We believe that all companies are tech companies and that technology cuts across all industry sectors. Showcasing this mindset will help Iowa’s technology industry gain more influence in the state. One example is Wells Enterprises’ investment in a new website coming this spring. This site will help connect computer science education enthusiasts in the state. Efforts like this give Iowa’s technology industry a larger voice.
- Being a Statewide Resource – Technology companies exist in communities across Iowa from Sioux City to Davenport. TAI serves as a resource for all communities and promoting access to technology education, talent and exposure for our members in rural areas. Our members look to us to provide public policy leadership and to serve as their voice across the state – from the capital to the most rural areas.
- Increasing Members’ Visibility – Across the state there will be a variety of roundtables and committees to help connect Iowa’s technology leaders. Our members are experts in their fields and we want to promote their voices and position them as thought leaders on challenges facing Iowa’s technology community.
- Workforce and Talent – Our state leadership is invested in STEM education and supporting programs that are building talent locally and providing opportunities for young people to build technology careers where they grow up. TAI has an opportunity to advance this cause, and drive real results that align with the strategy set to make Iowa a national leader.