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Clean Energy



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Who We Are



Ray Gaesser, Corning
Ray Gaesser has 51 years of farming experience and resides in Corning, Iowa. Ray has advocated locally, nationally and globally for Iowa and US Agriculture as the former president of the American Soybean Association and the Iowa Soybean Association. In 2018, Ray was a candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Ray and his wife, Elaine, farm 5,400 acres in partnership with their son, Chris. Gaesser Farms continues to test and implement the latest technology, equipment, seeds, innovations and practices to grow more while preserving and enhancing our resources.

Leadership Council Members: 


Chad Airhart, Waukee
Chad Airhart is serving his third term as the Dallas County Recorder. At the conclusion of his first two terms, it is apparent Chad had brought change to Dallas County government. Chad made cuts in the fiscal budget inherited from his predecessor, and made more spending cuts in the budgets that followed. Those cuts resulted in a surplus exceeding $2,000,000 in his first two terms, returning those dollars lessening the burden on the county’s taxpayers.


Chad has utilized technology, and Dallas County now has records available electronically dating back to 1850, being the first county in Iowa to provide indexing and images that far back. Having these records available electronically will save Dallas County substantial revenue for years to come while providing a back-up of the county records to preserve the continuity of commerce.

Chad is a seventh-generation Iowan. He serves (or has served) as a board member for West Bank’s Central Iowa Community Board, the United Way of Central Iowa’s Education Cabinet, the Waukee Leadership Institute and the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce. Chad serves on the Iowa County Recorder’s Association Executive Board and is their Republican legislative liaison.

Chad has served two terms as chairman of the Iowa Republican County Officials Association. Chad served on President Bush’s re-election team in Iowa as part of the Victory ’04 staff, served as a district representative for U.S. Congressman Steve King, served on Governor Mitt Romney’s Iowa senior staff through 2007 and has served in leadership capacities on countless campaigns across Iowa.

Chad married his high school sweetheart, Jodi, and they live in Waukee. He owns Iowa Cigar Company in West Des Moines. He enjoys playing golf, shooting guns at the range, making sure his shoes are shined and driving his Jeep.


Debora Blume, West Des Moines
Debora Blume is a communications professional and lives in West Des Moines. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994 with a BA in broadcast journalism. In 2016, she was recognized by UNI with the President’s Philanthropy Award/Emerging Philanthropist.


Bob Brownell, Clive
Robert Brownell was re-elected Polk County Supervisor in 2016 and is currently serving his fifth term. Supervisor Brownell serves the citizens of Clive, Johnston, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Grimes, Polk City, Alleman, Elkhart and a portion of Sheldahl that is part of Polk County. Brownell’s experience in government began as a city council member for Clive in 1985. He was elected as Mayor in 1993, where he served until his election to the Polk County Board of Supervisors in 2000.


Brownell was raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri and graduated from Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa cum laude in English and education. He has attended Drake University for post graduate work. Brownell served as branch manager for Yellow Transportation in Des Moines for 15 years. Prior to Yellow Transportation, he held several management positions with Roadway Express across the Midwest. Bob is also a published author. He is currently working with Carve Literary Services. Brownell is married to Jenna Jurgensen and has a son, daughter-in-law and one granddaughter, Carmen and one grandson, Oscar.


Trudy Caviness, Ottumwa
Trudy Caviness has served as the chair of Wapello County Republicans for over 20 years and serves as co-chair of Republican Second District Executive Committee. Previously, Trudy has served on the Republican State Central Committee and worked on numerous campaigns.


Trudy has been a small business owner for 44 years. Trudy and Keith have been married for 57 years, a mother of three grown daughters and grandmother of 8, great grandmother of one.


Jeremy Davis, Ames

Jeremy Davis, of Ames, Iowa, recently concluded an appointment at USDA as the Northern Cornbelt Regional Coordinator for the Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area. As an appointee, he coordinated the activities of the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency in the Northern Cornbelt multi-State region.


Prior to his service with USDA, Davis was the Director of Grassroots for the National Pork Producers Council where he worked with NPPC’s investor membership to advocate on various issues of importance to the pork industry.


Davis, who grew up on a family farm in Eastern Iowa, attended Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Education along with a M.Ed. in Higher Education.  


Having resided in Ames since 1996, when he enrolled at Iowa State University, Davis has been active in various community activities, including serving as a member of the Ames City Council. 


In addition to his public service, Davis has also served as a board member of the Ames Economic Development Commission, Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and the Iowa Sports Foundation Board of Directors. He previously served Secretary of the ISU Greek Alumni Alliance, is the former Chapter Advisor for the Iowa State Chapter of Acacia Fraternity and is also the immediate Past International President of the Acacia International Fraternity. He currently serves as a Board Associate of the Iowa State University Alumni Association Board of Directors.


In 2018, Davis was the Republican candidate for State of Iowa Treasurer.


Sandy Greiner, Keota
Sandy Greiner, a life-long resident of Washington County, is a 20 year veteran of the Iowa General Assembly, serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. While serving in the House, she chaired the Environmental Protection Committee and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. It was under her guidance the Iowa Watershed Protection Program was created. 


Sandy sits on the board of the Iowa 4-H Foundation and is on the District 8A Judicial Nominating Commission.


Pete Jeffries, Clive
Pete Jeffries is an award-winning public affairs executive with a proven track record of delivering strategic results and improving the bottom line for organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. His communications, government relations and organizational leadership helps shape public opinion to achieve business objectives. Pete was tapped recently by AARP’s national leadership to develop and manage a comprehensive business line start-up focused on developing programs and products to better serve and meet the unique needs of America’s 20 million veterans and their families with care giving and re-careering. 

As a former radio and television broadcaster, Pete has been recognized as “media savvy and proactive” by The Des Moines Register and owns the unique distinction as the longest-serving communications director for a U.S. House Speaker in Washington, D.C.

Pete holds a MBA degree from the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management and a BS degree from the UI Journalism-Mass Communication (JMC) School. He’s a former national chair of the UI Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and a current member of the JMC School Professional Advisory Board. He and his wife Kristin, also a UI graduate, have two children – where they’re both active volunteers in the central Iowa community.

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Von Ketelsen, Carroll

Von Ketelsen grew up on an Iowa grain & livestock farm, and is an Iowa State University graduate. 


Ketelsen has established himself as a leading voice of agriculture, serving as farm broadcaster for noted Iowa radio stations, as well as having written a weekly agriculture column for Iowa newspapers. He is currently Farm Services Director for Carroll Broadcasting, a group of radio stations based in Carroll, IA. Besides broadcasting daily agribusiness reports on the radio, he communicates by utilizing all aspects of social media.   


A graduate instructor of the Dale Carnegie course, Ketelsen offers media training for individuals and groups who want to improve their presentation skills. 


An avid bicyclist, Ketelsen has served on the Iowa Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors, and occasionally lobbies on behalf of legislation affecting bicyclists, on a volunteer basis. 


Ketelsen has a solo acoustic guitar/vocal act, performing at coffeehouses, and various events.  After being asked so many times to "bring along the guitar", he decided to incorporate music into an upbeat presentation about farming, and rural life.


Shannon Latham, Sheffield
Shannon Latham is vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, an independent, family-owned seed company headquartered in North Central Iowa. The company was founded in 1947 by Willard Latham. Today, two of Willard’s grandsons also own and manage the business.


As co-owner of Latham Seeds, Shannon directs the company’s overall marketing initiatives, including social media, paid advertising and public relations. Prior to joining Latham Seeds full time in 2009, Shannon operated her own communications/public relations business. She also has worked in an advertising agency and served as a state lobbyist for agribusiness.

Shannon is passionate about agriculture literacy and encouraging young people to pursue careers in agriculture. She puts her passions into practice at her Enchanted Acres pumpkin patch in Sheffield where she plans weekly fall events and blogs all year long. For her efforts, Shannon was named to the FarmHer Hall of Fame in 2016.

Shannon received her BS from Iowa State with a double major in agricultural journalism and public service & administration in agriculture. She received her MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Iowa.

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Kathy Law, Des Moines

Kathy is a shareholder at the Nyemaster Goode, P.C. law firm.  She practices in the area of real estate law, primarily representing commercial real estate developers and alternative energy developers.  She represents her wind, solar, ethanol, and biogas clients in site acquisition, negotiating and preparing agreements with landowners, zoning, permitting, and other matters.


Kathy, her husband Dave, and son Jonathan also farm in Greene and Carroll Counties.  Kathy is involved in several nonprofit organizations.


Aaron McKay, Pleasant Hill
Aaron McKay is a former Iowa director for Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. David Young. 

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David Oman, Des Moines
For four decades, David has held leadership roles in business and government. David is heavily involved in national politics and public policy deliberations. He currently is senior advisor for the Concord Coalition in Washington, D.C.


David was a media executive with Heritage Communications of Des Moines, Iowa, which was acquired by Tele-Communications, Inc. then AT&T. David’s duties with the three firms included new business development, government affairs, advertising sales and public affairs programming.

David personally worked in 25 states and served on boards of the Philadelphia and San Francisco Cable Interconnects, the C-SPAN network and Cable Advertising Bureau.

During the 90s, David also held an equity position in Des Moines metro radio station KBBM-FM with Iowa’s first all-news format. Early in his career, David was a television news anchor and reporter with KWWL-TV in Waterloo, Iowa.

During a decade in state government, David became the only Iowan to serve as Chief of Staff for two governors, Robert Ray and Terry Branstad, presently the United States Ambassador to China.

David has been active in politics with a reputation for reaching across the aisle and building bipartisan alliances. David was elected four times as Iowa Republican Party co-chair. He was runner-up in the 1998 Republican primary for governor. Governor Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, appointed David to chair a 37-member Strategic Planning Council, which produced the respected Iowa 2010 report.

In 2011-12, David was co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Iowa presidential campaign. In 2014, David was finance hair of U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s winning campaign. During 2015 and early ’16, David was senior advisor to the Jeb Bush presidential campaign. As an Iowa alternate delegate, he attended his fourth national convention in July of 2016.

David is past chair of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and a founding board member of the Iowa Environmental Council. He is a trustee of the University of Northern Iowa Foundation and served 14 years on the board of  the Iowa Health System (now UnityPoint) with 17 hospitals in five states. In 1989, David led a delegation of Iowans to the then Soviet Union. He has traveled broadly on five continents.


Kathy Pearson, Cedar Rapids
Kathy is the owner of a professional employment search and recruitment solutions firm providing services nationwide. Her volunteer service to others includes serving on various business, educational, non-profit and political organizations at the local, state and national level.


Ruth Randleman, Carlisle
Ruth Randleman served in local government the past 17 years as council person and mayor of her community. In that role she served with numerous organizations locally, regionally and state wide. She assumed leadership roles with many of those organizations and was named one of the Business Records “Women of Influence” for 2016.

The Iowa League of Cities inducted Ruth into their Hall of Fame in 2018 in recognition of her service to that organization and her advocacy for cities. Ruth was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Iowa Finance Authority by Governor Terry Branstad in 2011 and continues in her second term. She also continues to represent her community with regional organizations and serves in a volunteer role with other regional entities. Her areas of work include transportation, economic development, trails and conservation, and arts and culture.


Ms. Randleman has worked professionally as a Registered Nurse in the field of Coronary Care and has instructed a Health Occupations program at the Jr. High and Sr. High level. She is married to Dr. Mark Randleman and has 4 children and 7 grandchildren.


Bryan Sievers, Stockton
Bryan, and his wife Lisa, are the current generation of owners and operators of the Sievers’ farm. Bryan is an enthusiastic environmental steward of the land and takes pride in using all available resources, including the air, land, water, and sun for their highest and best use. The Sievers’ 2,300 acre farming operation, 2,400 head beef cattle feedlot and renewable energy facility is located in western Scott County, Iowa near Stockton.


In 2013, this philosophy became reality when they commissioned the combined heat and power (CHP) anaerobic digester project. The Sievers were looking to dramatically expand the farm’s beef cattle feedlot, but had concerns about any of the expansion’s effects on their carbon footprint, water quality, soil health, and the environment. The solution was a 1 MW CHP system fueled by themethane produced from two 970,000-gallon anaerobic digesters utilizing beef cattle manure, agricultural processing waste streams, cover crops, and other co-feeds. Today, the digesters process over 55,000 gallons per day of cattle manure and other off-site co-feeds in the complete-mix system. The electricity that’s generated, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, is sold to their local service provider, Interstate Power and Light (Alliant Energy). In 2014, they received the Agricultural Biogas Project of the Year Award from the American Biogas Council and received the 2014 Iowa Environmental Excellence Award for their anaerobic digester project.

Bryan is 1982 graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in agricultural business. Bryan’s past experiences include leadership roles in the Iowa Farm Bureau, serving two terms in the Iowa Legislature (one term in the Iowa House and one term in the Iowa Senate), and recently served as chair of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Biomass Conversion Committee. In August of 2018, Bryan was elected to serve as a member of the American Biogas Council Board of Directors. The ABC is the biogas industry’s leading organization in the United States with a mission to create jobs, environmental sustainability, and energy independence. He intends to bring his experience, passion, and tenacity to developing the anaerobic digestion industry while telling the tremendous story AD brings to solving so many unique agricultural, waste management, and energy challenges. Bryan’s focus will be to improve our natural resources, including the air we breathe, the land we farm and the water we drink while providing meaningful solutions to distributed renewable energy generation, production and distribution.


Rob Taylor, West Des Moines
A lifelong Iowan who lives in West Des Moines, Rob Taylor served as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 2012-2018, successfully completing three terms. During his service to the state, Rob served as the chairman of the Ethics Committee for the Iowa House of Representatives. He also served on the Appropriations, Economic Growth, Commerce, Transportation, Health and Human Services (HHS) and served as vice-chair of Health & Human Services Budget Committee, Education and Environmental Protection Committees.


Rob is a small business owner, consultant and trainer in the automotive, agricultural and trucking industries, where he specialized in fixed operations profitability, efficiency and selling. He has over 28 years of management, sales and customer service experience. Rob last worked as a sales director for BG Products, Iowa franchise (a synthetic lubrication and petroleum chemical company) and drove the franchise to become one of the top 10 performance and growth franchises in the United States. Rob was also consistently one of the top 10 performers in BG Corp. world-wide. He is an ASE Certified Diesel technician as well as a diesel and bio-fuel specialist with experience in agricultural equipment and municipal transportation. He spent many years as an automotive technician, service director and consultant specializing in sales and customer service within fixed operations for automotive dealerships. Most recently, Rob still serves as an adjunct professor for William Penn University and Des Moines Area Community College, where he lectures on a variety of subject matter ranging from servant leadership, business ethics and corporate leadership to automotive technical and sales training.

Rob received his Associate's Degree from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny, his Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University and his Master of Business Leadership from William Penn University.

Rob is an active member of his community. He is on the Board of the DMACC Alumni Foundation as well as the DMACC Automotive Advisory Council. He has served as a member of the IDPH e-Health Advisory Committee and Kaplan University’s Health Science Advisory Committee. He has served as a member the Board of Directors for Wildwood Hills Ranch. Before being elected to the House of Representatives, Rob served on the West Des Moines Board of Adjustment, Dallas County Compensation Board and volunteered for various local charities including the Iowa Clinic Healthcare Foundation, and other children’s and cancer philanthropies. As a supporter and connoisseur of the culinary arts, Rob is a member of the Iowa Culinary Institute Gold Toque Society and belongs to the international food and wine group, the Chaine de Rotisseurs.

Rob and his wife Christi share a passion for traveling, good food, wine, and spirits. For the past decade, they have been traveling to the Kentucky Bourbon trail building relationships with industry experts, Master Distillers as well as visiting both large corporate and small craft distilleries around the world. Rob has recently completed training at Moonshine University distillery school in Kentucky and is now proficient in distilling methods and distillery operations.


Craig Williams, Carroll
Craig Williams serves as the Carroll County GOP Central Committee chair and is an Iowa GOP State Central Committee member.


Eric Woolson, West Des Moines
Eric Woolson is the owner of The Concept Works, a West Des Moines public relations firm that he founded in 2002.


He began his career as a reporter at the Boone News-Republican at the age of 17 and capped 20 years in journalism as the editorial page editor at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. During his nine years as a statehouse and political reporter, he was a panelist on the Iowa Public Television program, Iowa Press, for seven seasons and a commentator for KUNI Public Radio in Cedar Falls for five years.

He was a communications director and press secretary for Gov. Terry Branstad and a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley's 2010 re-election campaign. He has provided guidance to numerous political campaigns at the local, county and state levels.

Woolson also has served as the Iowa communications director for six presidential candidates – including George W. Bush's 2000 victory – and was the Iowa campaign manager for two of those candidates. He is best known for managing Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign to a surprising victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

He has been named one of Iowa’s Top Ten Political Operatives by the National Journal, one of the Top Ten Iowa Political Strategists by Campaigns & Elections magazine, one of the Top Fifty Influential Iowa Republicans by the Des Moines Register and one of the Top Iowa Political Influencers by

He also served two years as the executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Des Moines Council from 2013 to 2015 while maintaining his existing client load at The Concept Works.

Woolson is currently pursuing an associate degree in agribusiness at Des Moines Area Community College. He and his family also grows organic catnip on their farm in Wayne County.


Grant Young, Des Moines
Described by The Des Moines Register as “the dean of field organizers,” Grant Young is a veteran political and public affairs operative whose career spans three congressional, three U.S. Senate and four presidential campaigns, as well as two Presidential Inaugural Committees. Grant’s deep connections with grassroots activists and political power brokers, combined with his social media savvy, led The Washington Post to name him one of the “Top State Political Follows on Twitter.” Media outlets as varied as the Wall Street Journal, Politico and the Associated Press have sought his commentary and insights.


The Hamilton County native studied at the University of Iowa, North Iowa Area Community College and is the founder on Stanhope State University. He and his wife Meggie currently reside in the Beaverdale Des Moines neighborhood with their dog, Bear.

Executive Director:

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Nick Boeyink, Bondurant
Nick has extensive grassroot campaign and public affairs experience in the state of Iowa. He served as field director for Governor Kim Reynolds historic 2018 campaign,  allowing him to build special relationships with advocates and county GOP leadership across the state. Nick followed the campaign by joining Governor Reynolds’ official office, serving as her director of boards and commissions where he recruited, interviewed, and vetted Iowans from all 99 counties to serve on the governor’s state boards. 


Nick then led the Iowa Land and Liberty Coalition, a project of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum, where he and his team worked alongside Iowa farmers, conservative renewable energy champions, and industry leaders to fight for rural Iowans property rights to develop renewable energy on their land and lead the way toward Iowa’s clean energy future.

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