DES MOINES – Bank Iowa announced five new board members in early 2019.
The additions of Michael Blaser, Dr. Jann Freed, John Hartford, Chris Minor and Matt Sells are a reflection of the bank’s updated board governance and leadership structure.
The new board consists of two shareholders, Paige Duncan and J.B. Barr; Bank Iowa CEO Jim Plagge and five outside directors.
“These five highly experienced and passionate directors possess both complementary and diverse skill sets, backgrounds and expertise that will support the bank and the people we serve," said Plagge. "They will enhance our ability to achieve long-term success, protect the interests of our shareholders, and most importantly, stay true to our core values and purpose.”
Michael Blaser is the co-chair of BrownWinick’s agribusiness practice group and the firm’s strategic planning committee. Throughout Blaser’s career, he has been actively involved in value-added agriculture, particularly in the livestock industry. He also served as general counsel to Iowa Select Farms, advising agricultural clients on laws and regulations that affect their businesses and lobbying Iowa livestock regulation laws.
Blaser is a member of the National Pork Producer’s Council Environmental Committee, Finance Council for St. Francis of Assisi Parish and a board member of the Board of Adjustment for the City of West Des Moines.
Dr. Jann Freed is a leadership development and change management consultant who focuses on helping organizations and individuals get from where they are to where they want to be. Freed has 30 years of teaching and administrative experience at Central College, a Midwestern liberal arts college, achieving professor emerita of Business Management and endowed chair in Leadership and Character Development.
John Hartford is the bank’s former chief lending officer and executive vice president. Hartford began his banking career in Humboldt as a senior lender for Humboldt Trust and Savings Bank, which later became Bank Iowa. In 1996, Hartford was named president of Bank Iowa Humboldt, a position he held for more than 16 years.
In 2012, he was named chief lending officer/EVP for the bank and relocated to Des Moines. Hartford held that position until his retirement in 2017. In addition to serving on the bank’s board, he is a member of the bank’s Senior Credit Committee and works as a part-time credit consultant.
Chris Minor is a technology and operations leader who partners with investors and employees to drive strategy and growth for small to mid-size companies. He has held key leadership positions with Wells Fargo, Marsh & McClennan and MidAmerican Energy.
Most recently, Minor has been active in investing and leading several start up software as a service technology companies to help align market strategy, product capabilities, employee skills and technology innovation, which has brought growth and value to investors.