President and CEO
Jessica began consulting for the Iowa Restaurant Association in 2006 and served as editor of the Association's statewide magazine Food and Beverage Iowa Quarterly
for five years prior to taking the helm of the Association in July 2011. In addition to her work with the IRA, Jessica brings 20+ years of strategic planning, management, and development experience to the Association. She worked in both the private business and non-profit sectors, having helped found two successful non-profit organizations, as well as owning an independent consulting practice. Jessica has worked within the hospitality industry, as well as with partner associations such as the Iowa Grocery Industry Association and the Iowa Retail Federation. She has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and vision for the IRA’s future success and growth. In her role as President and CEO, Jessica is a bit of a "road warrior" traveling the state to promote Iowa's hospitality industry. Check out her blog Restaurants Across Iowa.
Association Vice President and Executive Director Iowa Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
May Schaben has been with the Iowa Restaurant Association for more than 16 years and has served in a variety of roles in that time. Currently, she is charged with overseeing the Association’s core training programs including food safety and responsible alcohol service training courses. She also works with educators across the state to promote ProStart, a nationwide, two-year high school program developed through the National Restaurant Association which unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent. In addition, Schaben serves as the Executive Director of the Association's Educational Foundation.
Director of Member Programs and Services
Cindy Jordan has been with the Iowa Restaurant Association for ten years. She joined the Association from the food industry, having spent 18 years in a variety of sales and promotions positions including implementing the “Taste of Iowa” program for the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Jordan's role in the association is enhancing member value programs and increasing benefit, discount and education program participation. She also is one of our certified ServSafe instructors and teaches classes monthly.
Director of Marketing and Association Development
Stacy Kluesner joined the Iowa Restaurant Association in 2012. Stacy has extensive non-profit, fundraising, association development, and event experience. Her previous positions include serving as Development Director for Bridges of Iowa, Executive Director for the Des Moines area "I have a Dream" Foundation, and Director of Annual Giving for the Orchard Place. Stacy comes from a hospitality family, growing up in Chariton, IA, where he parents owned two taverns. Stacy's Association role focuses on building membership, sponsorship and advertising sales.
Public Relations Specialist
Katelyn Kostek joined the Iowa Restaurant Association in 2013 as a Public Relations intern. In 2014 she accepted the role of Public Relations Specialist. In this role she produces and promotes written forms of communication including press releases, feature stories and magazine articles pertaining to IRA members, the Restaurant Association's Education Foundation and the Iowa restaurant industry. No stranger to the Public Relations realm in the greater Des Moines area, Kostek has produced written materials and coordinated events for organizations such as the Iowa Soybean Association and the Greater Des Moines CVB. Her role within the Association is to promote the success of IRA members and the Iowa restaurant industry throughout the country.