Speaker Date Topic
US Rep. Cindy Axne Oct 23, 2020 7:00 AM
US Congresswoman & Candidate for IA-03
US Congresswoman & Candidate for IA-03

Cindy Axne is a small business owner, parent, and fifth generation Iowan. She is in her first term representing Iowa’s Third Congressional District encompassing Polk County and much of southwest Iowa. Prior to serving in Congress, Cindy worked for nearly a decade in the Iowa State Government helping agencies implement programs effectively and efficiently.

 In Congress, Cindy has focused on ensuring all Americans have access to affordable health care by passing legislation to protect pre-existing conditions and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. When floods ravaged parts of the midwest, including parts of southwest Iowa, she secured over $3 billion in federal assistance to help revitalize those communities. And, during this pandemic, she has worked tirelessly to ensure that our healthcare workers have necessary testing and PPE, that small businesses have access to PPP, and that every Iowan receives their stimulus checks. Cindy is also committed to ensuring Iowans have an opportunity to hear from her directly, share their concerns, and suggest ideas for legislation. In her first term, Cindy has held more than 50 town halls – across all 16 counties of her district – earning her the title of Most Accessible Freshman Member of Congress in 2019.

David Kochel Oct 30, 2020
Election Preview
Election Preview

For 36 years, David Kochel has been in the trenches of GOP campaign politics. Based in Iowa for most of his career, Kochel brings an outside-the-beltway perspective to politics.

He spent several cycles studying at the foot of the nation’s longest-serving governor, Terry Branstad. He went on to lead state party organizations in Iowa and Michigan, and then began consulting for clients from coast to coast as the founder of Redwave Communications, a full service consulting and voter contact firm. Kochel has been an inside participant in six presidential campaigns. 

In 2018, Kochel helped guide the reelection effort of Gov. Kim Reynolds. In October of 2015, Kochel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, while leading the campaign of former Gov. Jeb Bush. Following his recovery, Kochel served as a Resident Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics lecturing on the asymmetry of the 2016 presidential campaign.

In 2014, Kochel was a key strategist and early backer of US Sen. Joni Ernst, organizing her debate prep and earned media messaging, beating better-funded primary and general election opponents. He remains a senior adviser to Sen. Ernst, working closely with the 2020 campaign on messaging and strategy.

Kochel is currently active in campaigns in Iowa, Colorado, Montana, Washington state, and California.

Jeff Link, Founder of Link Strategies Oct 30, 2020
Election Preview
Election Preview

Jeff Link works as an Iowa-based entrepreneur, lawyer and communications consultant with a deep background in government and politics at the state and federal levels in the U.S. and abroad.  Link’s experience in government, paid media strategy, data analytics, public opinion-research and crisis communications and offers a strong background for clients.

Link’s work in campaigns has dovetailed with his experience in government.  Link was the first staff member of Gov. Bill Clinton’s campaign in Pennsylvania in October of 1991 while working for Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House, Robert W. O’Donnell.  Clinton secured the nomination in 1992 with his win in Pennsylvania and went on to win the White House in November carrying Pennsylvania in the general election.

After successfully managing Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) 1996 reelection campaign, Link served in Washington, D.C. as Sen. Harkin’s Chief of Staff from 1997 until 1999.  In 1999 Link returned to Iowa to obtain his law degree from Drake University.  He graduated in 2002 with honors and won the National Moot Court Championship in New York City in 2001.

During law school, Link founded Link Strategies, served as the Gore-Lieberman 2000 state director in Iowa which defeated George Bush by 4,144 votes out of 1.3 million cast.  Link also led Gore’s efforts from 1997-2000 to win the Iowa Caucus and secure the nomination against Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ).  Link managed Senator Harkin’s 2002 reelection campaign while finishing law school in May of 2002.  Senator Harkin was reelected to a fourth term in November 2002.

In 2008 Link served as Deputy Director of Paid Media and Research to the Obama for America Campaign.  In that role, he coordinated all paid media and polling in 25 states including seven battleground states (VA, NC, FL, CO, NM, NV, MT).  President Obama won 6 of these 7 battleground states in 2008.

In addition to directing the message development through polling, focus groups, web tests and ad testing in these target states, he directed the advertising strategy and media mix with TV and cable buys, created state-specific ads, direct mail and collateral materials.  Also, Link managed the Spanish language messaging for the campaign through advertising, polling and focus groups.




Denise Cundy Nov 06, 2020 7:00 AM
Nursing Home Innovation
Chris Knapp - District 600 Past DG Nov 13, 2020 7:00 AM
It's Our Foundation - Past, Present and Future
It's Our Foundation - Past, Present and Future

A Rotarian since 1989, Chris was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M., its treasurer for 8 years and club president 2000-01.  Chris’s Rotary focus has been international in both scope and action. At the club level Chris has been the club’s Youth Exchange Officer and Youth Exchange Counselor and the club’s counselor to four Ambassadorial Scholars and the club’s inbound GSE team liaison.  Both he and Vernette participated in the IowaMOST (Iowa Miles of Smiles – cleft-lip and cleft-palate surgeries Team) to Guatemala.  Vernette, has been a Rotarian since 2013 has been actively engaged in all of these activities since 1990.  To date, these two Rotarians have hosted 8 exchange students. Chris and Vernette are Rotary Foundation Major Donors, Paul Harris Fellows and members of the Paul Harris Society.

In 1991, Chris became a “member for life” of the district’s Youth Exchange Committee.  He has served as District 6000 Treasurer and is currently on the district’s RYLA committee and Iowa RYLA Board. Iowa RYLA is a joint District 5970-6000 one-week RYLA experience. From 2006 to 2014 he led the district’s Youth Exchange Committee.  He also served a year as an Assistant Governor.  Chris was the 2016-2017 District Governor for District 6000.  He has now accepted a three-year appointment as the chair of the District 6000 Foundation Committee 2018–2021.

Outside of District 6000 he became president of South Central Rotary Youth Exchange (SCRYE) 2020-2021.  Chris is the chair of the 2020-2021 NC PETS Executive Committee.  Chris is a member of the board of directors of Rag4Clubfoot.