Three to Receive NAWBO Iowa Awards on October 30
Connie Wimer, Chairman, Business Publications Corporation Inc., will receive the inaugural National Association of Women Business Owners Iowa Hall of Fame Legacy Award. The new NAWBO Iowa Advocate of the Year Award will be presented to Deb Duncan, marketing and administrative specialist at the Iowa Small Business Development Centers. Dr. Christi Hegstad, president of MAP Professional Development Inc., will receive the chapter’s annual Woman Business Owner of the Year Award.
The October 30 awards ceremony and luncheon at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines begins at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to greet honorees and network, followed by the luncheon and program from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The event is the official launch of the NAWBO Iowa Hall of Fame and marks NAWBO Iowa’s transition from a regional to a statewide organization. Registration is open and reservations for the event can be made at a discounted rate until October 16, or at the regular rate until noon on October 21. Table sponsorships are available for companies and organizations to bring their clients, employees and business contacts to celebrate women business owners.
Legacy Award – Connie Wimer
Connie Wimer’s business ownership began with the purchase of Iowa Title Company in 1976. She later purchased a small legal paper that grew to become the Des Moines Business Record, with more than 20,000 readers. Today Business Publications Corporation Inc. has many print and online publications, including dsm Magazine, Catch Des Moines, Lift/IOWA, ia magazine, the Business Record Daily, the Book of Lists and the Commercial Real Estate Guide. Wimer also created annual community events, including “Women of Influence” and “Forty under 40,” which recognize women and young people who contribute locally. Wimer was the first woman to chair the Des Moines Chamber Federation and be elected to the Greater Des Moines Committee’s Business Hall of Fame.
She is the only woman to chair the National Alliance of Area Business Publications and receive the Alliance’s Lewis M. Conn Award for outstanding contributions to the business publications industry. Wimer has served on numerous boards of companies, colleges and non-profit organizations.
“Connie has done so much to help build a strong community of women business owners over the years, and no one deserves our first Legacy Award more,” said Lori Day, president of FocusFirst, Inc. and Co-President of NAWBO Iowa. “Women all over Iowa admire and respect her leadership and incredible contributions to improving the business climate for women business owners in Iowa.”
Advocate of the Year – Deb Duncan
Small business owners throughout Iowa have benefited from Deb Duncan’s sharing of information about the programs and services of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Duncan has worked for the Iowa SBDC for almost 25 years and has served as a marketer for the past 6 years. She has been active in NAWBO Iowa since 2011, playing a key role on the Summit Planning Committee. The SBDC was one of the chapter’s first alliance partners, with Duncan as an essential contact. Pam Schoffner, owner of P.S. Writes said, “Deb is a trusted leader and a doer who can be counted on to operate with integrity and intelligence. For NAWBO Iowa, she has been our go-to person at SBDC. Deb has the pulse on business ownership and women business owners, and she shares strategies and opens doors to help people connect and collaborate.”
Woman Business Owner of the Year – Dr. Christi Hegstad
Dr. Christi Hegstad is a certified executive coach who began MAP Professional Development in 2003 to help people successfully do what they love with “Meaning And Purpose,” thus the name “MAP”. She has coached leaders and executives from Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, academic institutions, government agencies and small businesses to achieve extraordinary success. Hegstad’s work has been published in numerous outlets, including a monthly leadership article for the Des Moines Business Record. Lynn Schreder, president of KHI Solutions and Co-President, NAWBO Iowa, said, “Christi is an inspiring speaker on leadership clarity and traits, career building, goal setting and strategic planning. Developing and providing programs that help women achieve and succeed is one of the many significant things she does well.”
NAWBO Iowa began in 1986 and is now the fastest-growing chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. “The Awards Celebration and Luncheon event is a culmination of several things coming together,” said Day. “First and foremost, we want to recognize the outstanding individuals who have had an impact on women business owners in Iowa. We are also thrilled to induct Connie Wimer into our Hall of Fame as our first Legacy Award honoree. And, we are announcing our transition to a statewide organization so women in business from all over the State will benefit from NAWBO Iowa. Together we can make a positive impact on women-owned businesses and the economy of our state.”