The Nadas formed while attending college at Iowa State University in 1993. By 1996 the band had gone full time when Jason Wallsmith graduated, and Mike Butterworth had dropped out to pursue a career in music. They’ve played coast to coast in all four corners of the country; from Portland, Maine, San Diego, CA, Bellingham, Washington, to the Florida Keys - they’ve even played in Canada and Mexico. In the late ‘90s through the mid-2000s The Nadas performed at least 200 to 250 shows a year; today they perform anywhere from 50 to 60.
In 2001 The Nadas was named “the best college band you have never heard of” in a six-page article in Playboy Magazine. They’ve played the Viper Room and the Mint in Los Angeles, California as wells as CBGBs in New York City, New York. Through their numerous years of touring, they have been through nine vans, 5 RVs and one bus that once belonged to the artist Meatloaf.
In 2009 he created the Bill Riley Talent Corporation. A non profit 501(c)3 corporation who’s mission is to ensure the opportunities for young Iowans to excel through the performing arts. He travels to dozens of local shows each year to encourage and support young Iowans. Riley also produces and emcees the Bill Riley Talent show each day during the Iowa State Fair.
Once his daily duties are done at the talent show Riley is assistant to the director of the Iowa State Queen Pageant, and Emcee of the Iowa Sate Fair Queen coronation. Since 1997 Riley has been emcee of the “Corn Dog Kick Off,” the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s annual fundraising event for the Iowa State Fair.
In 2012 he was honored to be selected as host of Iowa Public Television’s Iowa State Fair Highlight coverage. He is the third host of the program, carrying on the tradition started by his father Bill, Sr., and the late Mark Pearson.
Our spirits have a way of making you feel like you’re exactly where you want to be. And that’s no accident. We are locals. We’re from here and we’ve chosen to stay here. Not because we have to, but because this place is who we are. We’ve done our homework. We’ve put in the time. We were one of the first in the state to get a micro-distilling license. That means our aged spirits are actually aged. We’ve also researched our craft tirelessly to make sure every bottle we produce is our best product, every time.
My background is in real estate and finance, but I have been serving at Wildwood Hills Ranch since 2004. While at the Ranch that summer I read a letter to a nine-year-old boy that his mother had written telling him they could no longer be a family. That boy went into the custody of the state after he left the Ranch. I thought about that boy numerous times and wondered where he ended up. After jumping back into my real estate career I was approached by another organization to volunteer with abused, neglected and impoverished children. Three years later, while working with that organization, the young man I read the letter to showed up not only in my cabin but in the group of three children I was responsible for that week. Shortly after that experience I was employed full time at the Ranch. I believe that many of the problems in our society, and around the globe, are caused by fathers failing to follow through with their responsibilities. I believe the reason I was put on earth is to defend the cause of the fatherless. I spend my free time with my beautiful wife Jena, our daughters Bekah and Maddie, our son Wyatt, and our family and close friends.
Freedom for Youth Ministries, founded in Des Moines in 2003, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit on a mission to reach Iowa's youth with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our role is to unite and empower Christian communities to reach young people from kindergarten through 22-years-old with programs that help them stay in school, learn life skills, prepare for the workplace, and develop healthy relationships. Our programs include tutoring, after-school activities, meals, job training, and residential services for post-high school studentss all centered on the message of Jesus Christ's saving grace.
The Westfield Campus is Des Moines’ premier office property. The 180,000 square foot building includes two, 4-story office wings and Westfield Commons, a 20,000 square foot next generation collaboration center. Featuring a rooftop patio, underground parking, a food truck court, and outdoor amphitheater, Westfield Campus sets a new standard in professional office space.
With over 20 years of experience as a senior executive in nonprofits and business development, Leisa joined the dedicated team to achieve YESS’ vision of building an Iowa where all children thrive in a safe home. YESS’ mission to change lives by protecting children and empowering families is a universal cause that impacts every individual in our community. She is excited to provide leadership, vision, and oversight for the daily operations of their wraparound services while building and nurturing community relationships. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to interact with the wonderful kids and families who turn to YESS for care and support every day.
Brian Waller is President of the Technology Association of Iowa, the statewide voice for Iowa’s Technology Industry. Waller, is a graduate of Colorado State University and prior to becoming President of TAI, Waller held such positions as Executive Director for the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce, and Manager of Business Development for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Gavin Jerome has been a professional entertainer for the past 30 years. He has worked with of:
Steve is a graduate of Hoover High School in Des Moines. A three sport standout in high school, he took his passion for basketball to Central College, playing four years and serving as captain his senior year while earning his degree in business management and systems management. After college, he joined the Wetiz Corporation as a programmer and then IT Operations Manager. Steve was founder, Chief Operating Officer and President of Alliance Technologies from 1994 to 2016 when he sold the computer IT firm. Steve served as board chairman for FCA for several years. Steve and his wife Penny live in Des Moines where they are active at Meredith Drive Reformed Church. They have 2 grown kids.
Presently there are 180 Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico, 80 completed rubberized fields, and 100 fields under construction. The Miracle League is proud to serve over 25,000 children and young adults with disabilities. The Kiwanis Miracle League at Principal Park will be the first field in Iowa–with hopefully more to follow!