President + CEO, West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
As president and CEO of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, Carole Chambers is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic development of the Chamber, its membership and programs as she oversees all operational, financial and visioning aspects of the Chamber.
Prior to this appointment, Carole was the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Business Record where she worked in several different capacities for 15 years.
Over the years, Carole has been involved in many board posts including the West Des Moines Chamber board, the West Des Moines Leadership Academy, Community Connects, MOIsson, NAWBO and Upper Iowa University’s Business Advisory Boards.
Chambers has been active on the Iowa Association of Business & Industry’s annual conference planning committee. She also served as exhibit co-chair for the Iowa Women Lead Change fall conference from 2013 to 2017. Her most ardent passion is mentoring young professionals – particularly women who many not have internal champions within their workplace. Chambers was the driving force behind the 2018 launch of Metro-wide Mentoring for Women, a citywide speed mentoring event for women which was held simultaneously by 12 chambers of commerce in seven different venues. Through this event, hundreds of women learned how easy it is to engage in and ask for mentoring conversations with experienced professionals.
Chambers is an active member of St. Francis Catholic Church, Connection Café and Central Iowa Shelter & Services programs. Chambers is married to Tom, her husband of 39 years. They have three grown children, Ben, Heather and Beth. She loves gardening, relaxing with family and friends at their Lake Okoboji cottage and spending time with her six grandkids.
President of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal Financial Group®
Nora Everett is president of Retirement and Income Solutions (RIS) and chairman of Principal Funds at Principal Financial Group®. She is responsible for U.S. retirement, annuity, broker-dealer and banking businesses at Principal®.
Everett joined Principal in 1991 as an attorney and was promoted to senior vice president and deputy general counsel in 2004. She was promoted to senior vice president, Retirement and Investor Services and President of Principal Funds in 2008, and CEO of Principal Funds in 2010. Everett was promoted to her current position in 2015. Prior to joining Principal, she practiced law in Washington, D.C.
She earned her bachelor’s degree and Phi Beta Kappa honors from Iowa State University and her J.D. degree from William & Mary Law School. Everett serves on several boards, including Principal Funds, Principal International, Principal Asset Management Company (Asia) Limited in Hong Kong, Origin Asset Management, Finisterre Capital, United Way of Central Iowa, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and Greater Des Moines Partnership. She also serves on the Investment Company Institute’s Board of Governors.
SPHR, SHRM S-CP
President, Aureon Staffing
Katie Roth is President of Aureon Staffing (the new name for Portico Staffing), a full-service employment placement agency located in West Des Moines, Iowa. She owned the agency for ten years before selling it to Merit Resources, part of the INS Family of Companies in late 2015. The INS Family of Companies recently changed its name to Aureon™ in 2016.
Prior to opening her employment agency in 2005, she was vice president and a shareholder for eight years with Merit Resources, Inc., a Professional Employer Organization. While she was at Merit, she was a regional finalist in the 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year contest sponsored by Ernst & Young.
Katie is currently on the Board of Directors of Homesteaders Life Company and on the Board of Medix Dental. She is past President of the Rotary Club of West Des Moines, and a graduate and board member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. She was a mentor for the Community Connect Program for three years. Katie was the first woman president of the Rotary Club of West Des Moines.
Katie is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. She served as program chair for the local SHRM chapter for two years and has served on the State SHRM Council as Professional Development Director.
In 2015, she was awarded the 2015 Business Owner of the Year by the Des Moines Business Record.
Katie is a graduate of the University of Iowa. She is married to Mark Clark and they live in West Des Moines. They have six grown children between them.
Co-Owner, KHI Solutions
Co-President, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
Lynn Schreder is co-owner of KHI Solutions specializing in health insurance for individuals, families and small employer groups. KHI is located in Fort Dodge with offices in Webster City and West Des Moines. Prior to purchasing KHI in January of 2009, Lynn worked for Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Sales and Marketing for over 5 years. Lynn has been in the sales and marketing field for nearly 30 years, including 14 years in the telecommunication industry.
Lynn is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial education.
Currently, Lynn serves on the board as Co-President for the National Association of Women Business Owners – Iowa Chapter (NAWBO) as well as serving as Past President for the Iowa Association of Health Underwriters (IAHU).
In addition, Lynn was recently appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate to serve on the Iowa Workforce Development Board. Lynn also serves on the NFIB leadership council supporting independent businesses through advocacy work at the state and federal levels.
Lynn volunteers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raising money and creating awareness of this devastating disease. She is married and lives in Granger.
Georgia Van Gundy
Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
Georgia is currently the Executive Director of Iowa Business Council where she leads an organization comprised of CEO’s and top executives from the 23 largest employers in Iowa. The organization serves as a catalyst to elevate Iowa’s long term economic vitality through global thought leadership, research and advocacy.
Georgia graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Finance. Prior to her position at the IBC, she led global strategies for a Fortune 250 company. She has over 18 years’ experience in the field of government relations and public affairs both in Iowa and nationally. The early years of her career focused in the areas of banking and finance. She is an Iowa native and has a passion for working to make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Georgia is involved in numerous non-profit and trade organizations including:
- United Way of Central Iowa Board – Executive Committee and Policy Chair
- Unity Point Foundation Board
- Iowa Innovation Corporation Board – Governor appointment
- Teacher Leadership and Compensation Committee – Governor appointment
- Bravo Greater Des Moines – Board and Grants Committee member
- Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines – Grants Committee
- Future Ready Iowa Alliance – Steering Committee (statewide workforce initiative)
- 2017 Young Women’s Resource Center “Sit on It” Annual Fundraiser – Co-Chair
- Greater Des Moines Partnership – Past Board and Executive Committee member and Chair of Policy Committee
- Downtown Community Alliance – Past Board member
- Riverfront Development Authority – Past Board member
- The Iowa Association of Business and Industry – Past member of Policy and Legislative Committees
- Iowa Taxpayers Association – Past member of Property Tax Committee
- Federation of Iowa Insurers – Past Board and Executive Committee member
Georgia is also a graduate of the 2010-2011 Leadership Iowa Program.
Founder, Salon Spa W
China Wong is a graduate of Iowa State University and began her career in the Chicago finance industry. As a client of up-scale Chicago salons, China was mesmerized by the innovative environments, skilled stylists and superb service. She aspired to join their ranks and attended the prestigious Aveda Institute Chicago. Following completion of her program she was recruited to work for the international renowned Van Michael salon located in Atlanta. She moved to Atlanta to study under industry leaders. She returned to Chicago to educate and lead as the senior Colorist for Asha Salon in downtown Chicago.
China’s client list is extensive and has included Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington, Supermodel Emme, Michele Norris and NFL Cheerleaders to name a few. After honing her skills in some of the most competitive markets in the country China opened Salon Spa W in 2005 to bring her experiences, education and up-scale service to Des Moines. Under her leadership Salon Spa W has been named one of the Top 100 Salons in the U.S. by Elle Magazine. The salon has received industry recognition from Salon Today Magazine as one of the Top 200 Salons in the U.S. 2011-2017. In 2014 & 2016 the salon was nominated for the most prestigious award in the beauty industry, the North American Hairdressing Awards (NAHA). Salon Spa W is the first and only nominee from Iowa in NAHA’s 28 year history. China is a member of Intercoiffure Mondial, one of the most influential, global organizations in the beauty industry. China herself has been honored by being chosen as one of 2017’s 40 Under 40 honorees in her community and selected as the Des Moines Business Woman of the Year for 2017.
China spends her time developing lead professionals within the salon, creating editorial and session work, attending education events, leading business development and maintains a small group of private clients. She uses her creative energy and business expertise to educate within the beauty industry.