(DES MOINES) - Today, Governor Chet Culver announced that three eastern Iowa community leaders - Aegon USA Chief Executive Officer Pat Baird, Rockwell Collins Chief Executive Officer Clay Jones, and University of Iowa President Sally Mason will represent Eastern Iowa in a new statewide private fundraising initiative designed to help the victims of this year's severe weather and historic flooding. Governor Culver announced the effort earlier this week, which will be spearheaded by civic leaders Barry Griswell and Fred Hubbell.
"This year's flooding has impacted tens of thousands of Iowans, and it will take the help of many to get all Iowans back on their feet," said Governor Chet Culver. "That is why I am proud that Cedar Rapids Business Leaders Pat Baird and Clay Jones, as well as University of Iowa President Sally Mason have agreed to join in this fundraising effort. Sally, Clay, and Pat have demonstrated their deep commitment to their communities and to Iowa as a whole. They will bring invaluable experience to this committee of business and community leaders, and I look forward to working with them and the rest of the committee as we begin to rebuild Iowa."
"This catastrophic event has affected the lives of thousands across our state, including many in my hometown of Cedar Rapids," said Clay Jones. "I look forward to joining this effort and doing whatever I can to rebuild, restore and revitalize our community and make it even better than before."
Clay Jones has served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins since June of 2002. He had been president and chief executive officer of Rockwell Collins since 2001. Jones serves on the Board of Directors of Priority One (Cedar Rapids' economic development organization), the Tippie College of Business Board of Visitors at The University of Iowa, the Board of Trustees for the United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI), and is a member of the Iowa Business Council.
"Rarely have our communities and our state been so tested, but working and standing together, we will get through this historic disaster," Sally Mason said. "The University community is deeply indebted to Governor Culver for his efforts on our behalf, and I look forward to marshaling the spirit of giving to return that favor for the benefit of all Iowans."
Sally Mason - who was selected by the Iowa Board of Regents exactly one year ago today -- became the 20th President of The University of Iowa on August 1, 2007. She holds a full professorship with tenure in the Department of Biological Sciences of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She served as Provost of Purdue University from 2001-2007. From 1995 to 2001, she was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the largest academic unit on the University of Kansas campus. Mason is currently co-chair of the Chicago Council Task Force on National Energy Policy and Midwestern Competitiveness.
"Watching these historic floods overtake so many communities throughout Iowa was heartbreaking," said Aegon USA CEO Pat Baird. "But from this tragedy has come hope - hope for a stronger, brighter future for our state. I am honored to join in this effort, and know that together with the spirit and generosity of Iowans, we can return life to normal for those who have been affected."
Pat Baird has served as President and CEO of Aegon USA since 2002. A native of Vinton - which was also affected by this year's flooding - Baird serves on many boards for community organizations that share the common theme of making the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor a better place to live.
Earlier this week, Governor Culver announced the creation of the new statewide private fundraising effort, which will be led by Principal Chairman Barry Griswell and former Equitable of Iowa President Fred Hubbell.
Governor Culver continues to reach out to eastern Iowa business leaders to ask for their assistance.
"I want to thank Clay, Pat, and Sally for agreeing to join in this unprecedented fundraising effort, and I look forward to working with him," said Barry Griswell. "Their years of service and expertise as civic and business leaders will be invaluable as we begin to direct financial help where it is needed most."
Contact: Troy Price, 515-281-0173