SE Iowa group to hold FM leadership conference

FORT MADISON – The Leaders of Southeast Iowa Foundation will be hosting Success Through Service, a half day leadership conference on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 1 p.m to 4 p.m. at the Quality Inn & Suites in Fort Madison.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from successful Southeast Iowa business leaders who will share about their professional journeys and how their personal commitments to public service have informed their leadership styles and aided in their success.

Special guest speakers include Ann Menke of Menke & Company, Matt Morris of Connection Bank & Insurance, and Craig Smith of Sterzing’s. Anyone interested in the topics of discussion is invited to attend. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online at

The Leaders of Southeast Iowa is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to promote leadership through service. The organization hosts monthly lunch & learns, providing quality professional development and leadership content and educating its membership on community needs. Additionally, the group engages its members to participate in local service projects. This year, the Leaders of Southeast Iowa established a scholarship fund, awarding $1,000 to a graduating senior from Lee, Hancock, or Clark counties who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership through service. A

Ann Menke founded Menke & Company in 1990. In 2013, as the business expanded in to Burlington, Ann took on two business partners. They assist in the management of the offices in West Point, Keokuk and Burlington. 

Ann’s expertise is with small to medium-size family businesses with special needs, including transition to the next generation, structuring the sale of the business, annual tax planning, etc.

She is currently the Board Chair for the Ft. Madison Community Hospital Board of Trustees. Ann supports many local area non-profits with her time, talent and treasures.

Matt Morris, is President and CEO of Connection Bank & Insurance which employs 96 people and operates along the river towns of southeast Iowa. Originally Fort Madison Bank & Trust, Co.

A 1997 graduate of the University of Iowa, Matt began his banking career immediately after graduating with Barnett Bank in Jacksonville, Florida. Between 1997 and 2002 through several mergers and acquisitions, he worked for Barnett Bank, Nations Bank, Bank of America, Star Bank, First Star Bank, US Bank, Brenton Bank and Wells Fargo before deciding to move home to Fort Madison.

Matt currently serves through Fort Madison Economic Development, Lee County Economic Development, Fort Madison Partners, Fort Madison SIRRC, and the Tri-State Rodeo Operating Committee.

Craig Smith is the president and co-owner of Sterzing Food Company. He is a native of Burlington and married to his wife Julie who is also from Burlington. They have been married for 33 years and have four children.

Craig is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a business degree. He has worked for Sterzing Food Co. since 1980 where he started as a delivery relief driver during the summers when he was in college. He began full time work as the production manager in 1984 and was the plant manager for 12 years before buying the business in 2011 with his sales manager Gary Schmeiser.

He is an active member of the community having served on many boards and committees including the Burlington Kiwanis and the New Crystal Lake Club. He is also on the advisory board for the Bridges out of Poverty initiative.

Craig’s topic for Success Through Service is “Preparing for Imminent Change” and he hopes to impart to each attendee how important it is to be prepared for a world that is rapidly changing.

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