About Us

IABC/Iowa connects communication professionals and helps them advance their careers.

We’re a diverse, broad-based group and not just because we’re part of a larger international organization. It’s because our members represent all walks of life in the communication world.


Meet the July 2016 – July 2017 Board of Directors:

Elected officers: 

President – Ashley Jared

Communications Director, Iowa Finance Authority


Jared serves as the Communications Director at the Iowa Finance Authority. She joined the Iowa Finance Authority in 2008 as the Assistant Communications Director and was appointed Communications Director in January of 2011. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of all marketing and communications initiatives for the agency. She also serves as a member of the agency’s Leadership Team.

Jared serves on the is a member of the Iowa Home Ownership Education Project board of Directors,  Polk County Housing Trust Fund Board Marketing Committee and is a member of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Leadership Iowa class of 2013. She also serves on the Leadership Iowa Board of Directors.  Jared was named to the Des Moines 2014 “Forty under 40” list.

Jared holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. If you look carefully on Fall weekends, a camouflaged-clad Ashley may be spotted in a tree, bow hunting deer.

President-Elect – Amanda Olerich

Communications Specialist, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines


Amanda Olerich is the Communications Specialist at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. In this role, she is responsible for internal corporate communications, employee brand management and employee engagement within the Bank, including the Western Office in Seattle, WA. Prior to her current position, Amanda worked as the Marketing Coordinator for the Davis Brown Law Firm, Iowa’s largest law firm, for three and a half years.

Originally from Storm Lake, IA, she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism from Iowa State University in 2011. In her free time she enjoys traveling, cheering on the Cyclones and spending time with friends and family.

Vice President, Membership – Jessie Zaruba









Vice President, Professional Development – Mitch Fastenau

Communications and External Relations Coordinator, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

Mitch Fastenau is the Communications and External Relations Coordinator at Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. Mitch is responsible for community, media and government outreach initiatives for the Bank. He has previous experience in athletic communications with the Iowa Energy NBA Development League basketball organization, West Virginia Wesleyan College and most recently Greensboro College.

Mitch was raised in Des Moines and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mitch was selected to the 2014 Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Habitat for Humanity Build Team, where he will help organize, coordinate and participate on a project in St. Louis, Missouri.

Vice President, Financial Management – Beth Mahaffey

Business Development Director, Iowa Finance Authority










Co-VP of Communications– Kevin Shoesmith

Associate/Senior Writer,  Mercer Talent

Shoesmith specializes in all aspects of employee health, wellness, benefits and career communications and education for external clients. He is a former college professor and magazine journalist with more than 25 years experience as a professional writer, copyeditor and marketer in such diverse fields as insurance, retirement planning, financial services, magazine and newspaper publishing, travel and tourism, nonprofits, education, consumerism and B2B communications.

Shoesmith holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from Buena Vista University and a master’s degree in journalism and publication management from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. He is an avid antique enthusiast and book collector with one of the largest antique book collections in the state of Iowa.

Co-VP of Communications – Wendy Bellus

Communications Specialist, Nationwide Insurance


Bellus is a Communication Specialist for Nationwide Insurance, supporting strategic communications counsel for various leaders within the P&C organization. Wendy has over 13 years of experience in the communications field, and has been a member of IABC for seven years.

Bellus holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Simpson College. Following 12 years of playing French Horn, she continues to enjoy music and other fine arts activities when she’s not at work. She also doubles as Wonder Woman at home, fighting crime with her son, A/K/A, Superman.

Director, Communications (Social Media) – Anne Rierson

Public Relations Manager, Frontier Co-op/Simply Organic/Aura Cacia








Past President –  Beth Schlotfeldt

Sr. Marketing Collateral Associate, Principal Financial Group


Schlotfeldt has been with Principal since 2006.  Beth has an associate degree in graphic design from DMACC and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Simpson College. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, bike riding, going to ISU games, catching a good flick, and spending time with friends and family.