2020 Women in Ag Leadership Conference - Speakers

2020 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Ag Virtual Conference


Monday, November 30, 2020

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.:  Crisis Communicating 

Eileen Wixted: Wixted and Company

 Wixted and CompanyEileen Wixted is a nationally recognized strategic communications and crisis management veteran with core competencies in the financial services, nuclear energy, agribusiness, and health care industries. As a strategist and communication trainer, she has helped clients navigate brand damaging issues as well as coached them to face hostile media interviews and government investigations. An experienced executive coach, Eileen prepares clients for investor conferences, shareholder meetings, quarterly earnings conferences and congressional testimony. She has prepped executives for interviews with national and international news outlets, including TODAY, MSNBC, Squawk Box, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many others. Companies and organizations across the country turn to Eileen for expert communication counsel that drives business goals as they face sensitive issues. Eileen uses the same business-driven approach while assisting professionals working in nuclear energy, manufacturing, finance, health care and non-profit organizations. She provides counsel to two-thirds of the commercially owned and operated nuclear power plants in North America as well as a significant number of the nation’s hospitals. Eileen is the principal of Wixted & Company and was named the Business Record’s 2016 Women Business owner of the Year. She also served as interim senior vice president of communications & government affairs for Advocate Health Care, the largest health care system in Illinois. Prior to Wixted &Company, Eileen spent more than a decade as a broadcast journalist receiving an Emmy Award. Eileen is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in mass communications. She is a native of Brooklyn, New York and the mother of four children.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Keynote Address

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.: Milk Life

Miriam Erickson Brown - Anderson-Erickson Dairly

Miriam Erickson Brown - Anderson Erickson DairlyMiriam Erickson Brown has spent over three decades working in the family business, Anderson Erickson Dairy (AE Dairy).  Her first job at AE was working on Saturdays during high school taking store orders over the phone. Miriam graduated from Wheaton College, in Wheaton Illinois, and after a brief stint in an entry level position at a publishing house in the suburbs of Chicago, she joined AE as a marketing specialist. For the next few decades, she worked on and held various marketing, sales, distribution and management positions until she was named President and CEO in 2006. Early in her career, Miriam made it a goal to immerse herself in all things “dairy” and deepen her leadership skills. This conscious commitment involved a long history of serving on and leading dairy industry boards where she could be a voice for the smaller independent dairies, like AE, and learn from the best industry leaders.  She was selected by the Secretary of Agriculture to join the GOT MILK? board where she has served for 25 years in a variety of leadership positions. Miriam also led the: International Dairy Foods Association and Milk Industry Foundation Board as Chair. In 2007, she was the recipient of IDFA’s Soaring Eagle Award for extraordinary service in the dairy industry. Miriam is also committed to giving back to her community and has been active on many boards including: Keep Iowa Beautiful, Youth Homes of Mid America and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.  More recently, she was honored with the Leadership Legacy Award from the Iowa Chapter of the (NAWBO) National Association of Women Business Owners. Miriam enjoys speaking about the health benefits of milk as well as creating (and of course, tasting new AE yogurt flavors). She and her husband, Gary, live in Urbandale with their 2 golden retrievers, Audrey and Sunny.