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Iowa Business Leadership Network


Iowa Business Leadership Network logo

The Iowa Business Leadership Network (IBLN) is an employer-led initiative to promote the advantages of hiring persons with disabilities in Iowa. IBLN is another answer to recruitment and retention issues in the workplace. It is an affiliate of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) initiative, a national business-led endeavor upholding workforce initiatives that enable qualified individuals with disabilities to succeed in the workplace.

About the Iowa Business Leadership Network

Iowa employers know how difficult it is to find qualified workers in the tight Iowa labor market. Hiring employees with disabilities has proven to be a great practice for IBLN companies. They want to share this experience with you. They believe this resource could be a benefit for you -- it works for them!

The IBLN was established in 1999 as a part of a national initiative established by the United States Department of Labor. Each state is encouraged to establish a BLN to provide direct employer-to-employer exchange of ideas and best practices in disability employment management. The BLN is entirely employer run and employer driven.


Some IBLN activities include:

 Hosted the National Business Leadership Summit in October 2001 for over 300 businesses from all over the country.

 Developed and aired a commercial highlighting the advantages of employing persons with disabilities and aired it over WHO TV.

 Developed and provided a series of "Lunch and Learns" on disability issues for companies. A highlight of this series is the one-hour training provided on site to front line managers on disability issues and disability sensitivity.

 Businesses of the Iowa BLN have been recognized as best practice companies in national communications, including publications of the US Department of Labor. Companies so recognized include Vermeer Manufacturing, Marriott Corporation, the Principal Financial Group, Eagle Communications, Sears, UPS, and KATECHO. Recently, Mercy Medical Center was invited to be recognized in a future national publication.

Membership Benefits

Participation and membership in the Iowa Business Leadership Network provides a number of benefits, including:

 Employer-to-employer exchange

 Access to disability resources

 Access to qualified job applicants with disabilities

 Information on "Best Hiring Practices"

 Post-hire employer and employee support

 Business training programs

 Comprehensive employer resources guide

 Tax benefit information

Contact Information

Additional information about the Iowa Business Leadership Network may be obtained by contacting one of the Lead Companies or the State Liaison.

Lead Companies

Jeanene Campbell, Assistant Director
Affirmative Action/ Diversity/Human Resources Compliance
The Principal Financial Group
711 High Street
Des Moines, IA 50392

Phone: (515) 248-8755
Fax: (515) 247-5874



Wanda Conway
Operations Specialist
Human Resources
Sears Regional Credit Card Operating Center
7100 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Phone: (515) 440-5003
Fax: (515) 440-5009


State Liaison

Jean Samson
Iowa Business Leadership Network
7177 Hickman Road, Suite 9D
Urbandale, IA 50322

Phone: (515) 276-6110


Additional Information

You may request a copy of the IBLN Disability Employment Practice Guide by sending an email to:

See Also:

Business Leadership Network

Business Leadership Network - Acronym Listing

Massachusetts Business Leadership Network

Oklahoma Business Leadership Network

South Dakota [Sioux Falls] Business Leadership Network

Virginia Business Leadership Network


Information for this topic was drawn from the BLN website at:

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