Panelists share experience ahead of Feb. 14 Power Breakfast

Some of Central Iowa’s most successful entrepreneurs and leaders will share lessons from their greatest triumphs and biggest setbacks. Learn about how risk-taking can ultimately lead to success, the motivation that keeps them moving forward, and the courage it takes to do things their own way.

Panelists include:
- Chris Nelson, president and CEO, Kemin Industries
- Tiffany Johnson, co-founder and producing artistic director, Pyramid Theater Co.
- Nancy Mwirotsi, founder and executive director, Pursuit of Innovation
- Casey Niemann, founder, AgriSync
- Connie Wimer, chairman, Business Publications Corporation

Event Info
When: 7 to 9 a.m. Feb. 14
Where: Embassy Club

We asked the panelists to answer the following question before the event. 
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?

"For anyone in business, the most critical decisions you make are the people you hire to help you achieve your vision. Through many mistakes, I have learned that hiring on attitude over aptitude is critical to success. While various candidates may vary in the abilities to complete their tasks, those that demonstrate true servant leadership will always do more to help you attain your goals."
Chris Nelson
president and CEO, Kemin Industries

"The biggest lesson I have learned in my career is that you need to nourish your seed abundantly. Often times in business we get so caught up in providing the service, perfecting the product and pleasing our clients that we begin to spend more time grooming the flower than we do solidifying the root. Think of your business as a seed, the flower the beauty in your product or service is for the world however the root belongs to you. We have been told many times that anything that stands on less than a solid foundation can not be expected to last as long. I have learned that part of what I do in business (a large part) is for my anticipated audience however the values, the mission and vision of my business and the fulfillment of that is for the foundation or root of our company. Always remember there was a reason you started your business. Your reason is your seed, make sure that you nurture it in a way that serves the beauty of the flower (product/service) and the solidification of your root."
Tiffany Johnson 
co-founder and producing artistic director, Pyramid Theater Co.

"I am a former plant killer. All kinds of plants. None of them survived. Then I started asking myself the right questions. Questions I should have asked long ago. “Do different types of plants need different types of care?” It made my previous method of watering every plant the same seem silly. The same is true in life. Many of my ideas have not survived over the years. Allowing myself to learn from those life lessons helped me shift perspective, build understanding and taught me how to react differently. Mistakes, failures and rejections became learning opportunities. Through adversity, I learned to seek both better questions and fresh answers.  Learning never stops so embrace the lessons and stay humble in the journey."
Nancy Mwirotsi
founder and executive director, Pursuit of Innovation

"Entrepreneurs have to choose courage over comfort. Many of us have aspirations to try something new but are not willing to leave the comforts of our current situation. I wrestled with this quandary for years, but realized I needed to make a change to keep growing. I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to ensure you have a support system of family, faith and mentors before you make a big change in life. Ensure your spouse is supportive of a change, because your dream is often their sacrifice. Since most of us don’t have instant success, you will want to have a supportive family to help you persevere through the challenges that entrepreneurs face."
Casey Niemann
founder, AgriSync

"The biggest lesson I have learned during my career has to do with perseverance and flexibility. Most ideas, no matter how brilliant they are, do not succeed instantly. Having the patience to persevere, learning through mistakes and being flexible in accepting change and input from others are almost always necessary to achieve success. This holds true throughout the life of a business: As the world changes, needs change – and the most successful companies are constantly evolving and finding new ways to meet those needs."
Connie Wimer
chairman, Business Publications Corporation