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 2013-2014 Board of Directors.




Deb Amenson
Marketing Coordinator
Riverhead Resources
Email Me

Amenson has a history of work emphasizing communication planning and implementation with a strong commitment to customer service in public and private sectors. She currently coordinates marketing communications at Riverhead Resources, a Des Moines area company that provides business services to a family of ag-related businesses. Prior to that Deb worked eight years in economic development at Iowa State University marketing the delivery of the university’s technical assistance services to Iowa companies. Early in her career  she served public libraries in the state of Iowa.

Amenson is a graduate of Iowa State University and an alumni of Leadership Iowa.




Nicole Breune-Vukelich
Director of Corporate Communications
Email Me

Bruene-Vukelich is an award-winning journalist and corporate communicator. She is currently Director of Corporate Communications at Nationwide’s Des Moines location.  She began her career in TV news as a reporter/anchor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Bakersfield, Calif. In 2000, she moved into corporate communications at the Principal Financial Group and later joined Aviva USA (now known as Athene USA).

Bruene-Vukelich earned a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College and a Master’s in Communication Leadership degree from Drake University. She is an adjunct professor at Grand View University and Kingdom Quest (Sunday School) teacher at the Johnston-Grimes branch of Lutheran Church of Hope.




Stephanie Wilson 
Independent Marketing and Communications Consultant
Email Me

Wilson is an independent marketing and communications consultant with more than a dozen years of experience in corporate communications, product marketing and an unexpected technical background.  She is an energetic leader with the proven ability to build a high performance team that can deliver an integrated, uniform impression across all forms of communication.  She strives for a dynamic collaboration of efforts, including strategic planning, public relations, digital marketing, advertising, creative development, and event coordination.

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Iowa State University and blends this with her natural communication talents to help people understand technical or difficult information.  She and her husband, Andy, spend most of their time at a soccer field cheering for their two children.




Kim Knetter
Business Communications Manager
Mercer Consumer
Email Me

Knetter has more than 15 years in the insurance industry leading a full range of marketing and communications programs in multiple industries. She has been with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the past seven years managing strategies and tactical execution of communications for group business and broker channels.

Knetter has held previous IABC board positions in Membership and Recognition. She has received multiple IABC and PRSA awards for her work in communications and publications.

Knetter holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from the University of Minnesota’s school of journalism. She is active in the community, participating in various volunteer activities and local directorships including the Southeast Polk Band Boosters and the Altoona Diamondbacks Baseball Club.




Billie Broich 
Communications Consultant
Wells Fargo Insurance
Email Me

Broich specializes in personal and small business insurance communications and has 20 years of corporate experience, including customer care and communications for Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Postal Service.

Broich holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Simpson College and earned the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation from International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). One of her life mottos comes from hockey great, Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Her life passions are her faith, family and friends – and fun!





Kevin Shoesmith 
Associate/Senior Writer
Mercer Employee Health & Benefits
Email MeShoesmith specializes in all aspects of employee health and wellness communications and education for external clients. A former college professor, Kevin has more than 20 years experience as a professional writer, editor/proofreader 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’s 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.





David Krause 
Word for Word
Email Me

Krause is an award-winning freelance writer, editor, and publications manager. After helping start the Skywalker newspaper (now named Cityview) in 1983, he joined Des Moines University in 1986, where he became director of publications and founding editor of DMU Magazine. Among more than 30 awards he has received are the Grand Award – Apex Awards for Publication Excellence, and the Gold Award – Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VI. As contributing copy editor and proofreader for Meredith Corporation, Krause contributed to dozens of homemaintenance and decorating books. A car and motorcycle enthusiast, he was contributing copy editor for Discovery Channel books including Monster Garage, American Chopper, Miami Ink and Deadliest Catch.

Krause holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Grand View University and a master’s degree in health care administration from Des Moines University. He was once accused of being a perfectionist because of the zero-error standard he sets for himself and the publications that carry his name.




Jared Johanningmeier 
Bergan, Paulsen & Company, P.C.
Email Me

Johanningmeier is a Staff Accountant at Bergan, Paulsen & Company, P.C. in Cedar Rapids. A native of Monona, Iowa, Jared received his degree in accounting from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wartburg College.

Johanningmeier enjoys giving back to his community and industry and sits on the board for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) of Iowa. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and cheering on the Hawkeyes.






Kelly Waetke
Kelly Waetke Communications
Email Me


Kelly Waetke, senior consultant and owner of Kelly Waetke Communications, is an experienced communications professional with expertise in internal, external and web-based communications, strategic planning and writing.

As a member of IABC in Phoenix and Des Moines, she has worked for financial services, health care, technology and manufacturing companies. Most recently, she was a senior communications consultant and manager with Wells Fargo from 2002-2012 before starting her own consulting firm.





Brandon Babcock


Marketing Communications Consultant
Principal Financial Group
Email Me
Past President Brandon Babcock volunteered with IABC/Iowa from his first year in corporate communications. After an early career as a newspaper reporter that took him from Iowa to Illinois, Arizona, Kansas and Missouri, the Iowa State University graduate joined the Principal Financial Group as an assistant communications consultant in July 2006, working primarily on employee communications. Babcock joined IABC shortly thereafter. He moved into a marketing communications consultant role in late 2013.
As a multi-time IABC/Iowa Bronze Quill Award winner for his work at The Principal, Babcock’s writing has carried over into his free time as well, over the years penning several songs as a bass and guitar player in rock bands.







Wendy Bellus
Communications Specialist
Nationwide Insurance
Email Me
Bellus is a Communication Specialist for Nationwide Insurance, supporting strategic communications counsel for various leaders within the P&C organization. Wendy has 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 and is pursuing a Strategic Communication certificate through IABC’s partnership with Ithaca 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 five-year-old son, A/K/A, Superman.




Ashley Jared
Communications Director
Iowa Finance Authority
Email Me

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 Executive Leadership Team.Jared serves on the International Association of Business Communicators/Iowa Board of Directors, is a member of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund Board Marketing Committee, serves on the Warren County 4-H Youth Advisory Council and is a member of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Leadership Iowa class of 2013.  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.






Courtney Schwartz
Communications Specialist
Kemin Industries
Email Me
Schwartz began her career at Kemin Industries in Des Moines, Iowa in July 2009. As a Marketing Communications Specialist, she manages the public relations, advertising, product promotion as well as event planning for Kemin’s food technologies division in North and South America. With past experience in sales, marketing, and project management in the banking industry, she understands the importance of both internal and external customer service and time management.
Schwartz holds a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and psychology from Iowa State University. She was born and raised in Iowa and currently resides in Des Moines with her husband, Shannon and child, Porter.