Jennifer Terry: Celebrating the next 25 years of IEC

posted by Jennifer Terry on Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Jennifer TerryThree years ago when I accepted the position of Executive Director of the IEC, I didn’t know what I was in for in many ways—what a journey we have been on together!

I didn’t know that a member would deliver pink cupcakes to our staff every Valentine’s Day with a thank you note; or that we would celebrate wins with our building neighbors and partners Environmental Law & Policy Center and Iowa Interfaith Power & Light in the conference room at the end of the day; or that we would launch our first-ever grassroots organizing arm—100% Iowa—and attract over 4,000 new supporters in the midst of a pandemic. 

I was not prepared for the passion of the water roundtable discussions, the outpouring of financial gifts from so many sponsors and supporters, or the complexities of net metering and coal plant securitization. How many people get to witness a live interview by Bloomberg News in their office space or ride in a gator with Liz Garst bumping along on the trails along the Raccoon River at Whiterock Conservancy?

How could we have known that the death of George Floyd would spark a global revolution, as well as deepen IEC’s commitment to environmental justice, to holding up the mirror to ourselves and vowing to do better. Who could have known that federal environmental regulations safeguarding our public health would be so quickly and astonishingly rolled back or that it would be necessary for hundreds of volunteers to tirelessly carry, cut, drag, and then replant thousands of trees in an effort to heal the effects of a derecho. 

Pro H2O 2018 - Sarah Lohmeier, Fred & Charlotte Hubbell, Jennifer TerryTo all the members, partners, board members, stakeholders who called me, stopped by my office, and emailed me—whether to encourage, question, or applaud our efforts—my sincere thanks.

To the IEC founders with the wisdom to know in 1995 that it is possible for business, industry, and the environment to work synergistically for a better Iowa—I so respect your fortitude and tenacity.

To the anti-science trolls who left anonymous messages on my phone—you gave me renewed passion for the mission.

And to the amazing IEC staff—all the commitment, the laughs, the lengthy brainstorming sessions, the deadlines, the strategizing—I am so grateful for the time we spent together.

IEC is stronger than ever and ready to work together with all of you—our coalition organizations and supporters from all over the state—for a brighter future for Iowa. Here’s to the next 25 years.

The IEC Board of Directors, staff, and supporters wish Jennifer the best of luck in her new role with Des Moines Water Works and look forward to engaging with her on water issues well into the future. Thank you, Jen!

About The Author

Jennifer served as Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council from 2017 - 2020. Jennifer is a native Iowan, raised on a dairy farm in north central Iowa where she developed a passion for protecting Iowa’s land and water. After a career in the healthcare industry, Jennifer returned ... read more