New board members nominated

Kathie Obradovich is editor-in-chief for Iowa Capital Dispatch, part of a national not-for-profit news organization that launched in January 2020. She leads an experienced staff covering state news and politics and writes a column. Dozens of Iowa newspapers, broadcast stations and news sites regularly republish Iowa Capital Dispatch content.

Kathie has more than 35 years of reporting experience in Iowa. She worked for 16 years at the Des Moines Register, most recently as opinion editor and political columnist. Between 1987 and 2003, she worked as a reporter and editor in the Des Moines Bureau for the Lee Enterprises newspapers in Iowa and at the Quad-City Times in Davenport.

She has been a frequent guest on state, national and international news programs. She has served as a lecturer for Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

Amy Duncan is the owner of the Indianola Independent Advocate and The Record-Herald and Indianola Tribune, serving Warren County. Duncan worked 30 years with Gannett, where she was vice president of weekly newspapers and publisher of the Record-Herald. She and her husband, Mark Davitt, launched the Independent Advocate, an online newspaper, in 2019 and then purchased the Record-Herald in 2022. The Independent Advocate was the INA’s first online member. Duncan is a past president of the Iowa Newspaper Association, the Services Company and the Foundation. A graduate of Drake University, she is a Master Editor Publisher and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

Mike Fortman is publisher of TH Media and Vice President of Woodward Community Media in Dubuque and has been with Woodward Communications for 13 years.  He is currently the board chairperson of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Dubuque Air Service Task Force, ex officio board member of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Iowa Newspaper Association Marketing Committee, and is president of the Multimedia Newspaper Advertising Executives Association.

Craig Mittag, Creston Publishing Co was born and raised in southern Minnesota, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Agricultural Communications.  During his educational internship, he spent time working for the official publication for the American Simmental Association where he quickly discovered that his real passion was on the advertising/marketing side of things.  Craig then spent 15 years as the western Iowa advertising account executive for Iowa Farmer Today before accepting a similar position at Creston Publishing Co., which is owned by Shaw Media.  He is currently the Iowa General Manager for Shaw Media overseeing operations in Creston, Greenfield, Fontanelle, Osceola, Colfax, Prairie City-Monroe and Newton.

In addition to the newspaper business, Mike also has a passion for the cattle business and along with his wife and children own and operate Mittag Show Cattle.  They host an annual sale which markets show steers and heifers across the United States.

Becky Maxwell is the group publisher of the Albia, Chariton, and Wayne County Newspapers. She has been the group publisher for four years and has been in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years in various roles. She is an active member of the Albia Chamber Main Street Organizational Committee. 

Steve Fisher is the Central General Manager for Sheldon-based Iowa Information Media Group, where he serves as the day-to-day manager of the Carroll Times Herald, Coon Rapids Enterprise, and Jefferson Herald.

Prior to IIMG, Fisher worked for IMS Technology Group. Prior to IMS, Fisher was regional president for APG Media of Southern Minnesota.  Fisher spent 18 years at Dubuque-based Woodward Communications Inc. (WCI).  At WCI, Fisher held several titles in advertising and marketing management and as publisher. Fisher oversaw WCI’s publishing division, which included WCI’s paid newspapers, websites, shoppers, niche publications, events, digital operations, and commercial printing operations.

Fisher is a past president of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

Joe Murphy is the President of the Iowa Business Council. In this role, he leads an organization comprised of CEOs and top executives from 21 of the largest employers in Iowa. The Iowa Business Council serves as a catalyst to elevate Iowa’s long-term economic vitality through global thought leadership, research, and advocacy.  

Joe has over a decade of government affairs, political advocacy, and public relations experience in both the public and private sector. Prior to his role at the Iowa Business Council, Joe served as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. While at the Partnership, Joe helped organize efforts that resulted in significant legislative achievement in the areas of tax reform, workforce development, and infrastructure investment.

Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Northern Iowa. He received a master’s degree in public administration focusing on public policy from Drake University. He is also a graduate of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation’s Leadership Iowa program.

Active in his community, Joe serves on the Board of Directors for Blank Children’s Hospital, the Board of Directors for the University of Northern Iowa’s Alumni Association, and the United Way of Central Iowa’s Public Policy Cabinet. He previously chaired the Board of Trustees for the West Des Moines Public Library and chaired the 2019 March for Babies charitable walk.

Andrew Mertens is the Executive Director of the Iowa Association for Justice.

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