Ivy College announces Women in Business Award recipients


Photo by Katherine Kealey/ Iowa State Daily

Guest Columnist Tia Blansett reflects on what it means to be a Cyclone.

Miriam De Dios Woodward will receive the Women in Business Inspiration Award. Woodward graduated from Iowa State in 2004 before attaining her Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa. (Courtesy of Michele Appelgate)

Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business recently announced the 2022 Women in Business Awards recipients.

The newsletter released Aug. 1 named the winners of the Ivy College’s three categories of Women in Business Awards. The winners will be invited to campus for the awards ceremony Sept. 28.

“It remains a very inspiring event for us every year,” said David Spalding, dean of the Ivy College of Business. “We always have a lot of nominations for these awards, it’s always a tough choice for the judges as to who to choose for the awards.”

The Ivy College of Business first began the Women in Business Awards in 2018. According to Spalding, the college decided to start presenting the awards to help raise awareness for the college’s commitment to supporting women in business.

“We’ve worked hard to increase the number of women students that we have in the college,” Spalding said. “We’ve worked hard to increase the number of women faculty that we have. We’ve supported both our students and our faculty and our staff in their careers, and we felt that this was a great way to reach out more broadly and indicate the Ivy College of Businesses’ strong support for women in business.”

Connie Wimer will be the recipient of the Women in Business Champion award for her work breaking glass ceilings throughout her career. (Courtesy of Michele Appelgate)

According to Spalding, the remarks made by honorees and the sense of encouragement at the ceremony make the awards stand out. The ceremony will likely be attended by many of Iowa State’s Collegiate Women in Business as well as family and friends of the honorees.

“It’s always a very inspiring event, you have a chance to hear from these women who’ve succeeded in their business careers, and they’ll talk about some of the challenges they’ve had,” Spalding said. “They’ll talk about how the support they’ve had from mentors and family and, share some of their life lessons for especially the students who are there. So I really would recommend this to anyone.”

The first award is the Champion Award, which will be presented to Connie Wimer, the chair of Business Publications Corporation. The Champion award celebrates individuals who lead, encourage and inspire women in business, serving as a champion for women struggling to establish themselves in business.

Starting what is now the Business Publications Corporation in 1981, Wimer has left a considerable legacy for women in business. She was the first woman to chair the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (now the Greater Des Moines Partnership) and was the first woman elected to the Greater Des Moines Committee’s Business Hall of Fame, according to her bio on BPC’s website.

The Inspiration Award will be presented to Miriam De Dios Woodward. The inspiration award goes to an individual who has left a significant impact throughout their career, inspiring other women in business to take on leadership roles and live up to the best of their abilities.

Ashley Gassmann, the Outstanding Young Alumna Award recipient, graduated from the Ivy College of Business in 2019. (Courtesy of Michele Appelgate)

Woodward is an Iowa State alumni, having graduated from the Ivy College of Business in 2004 with majors in management and marketing. Now working as the Global CEO of ViClarity, Woodward is dedicated to adding diverse voices to the technology community, according to her bio on ViClarity’s website.

The Young Alumna Award will be presented to Ashley Gassmann. The Young Alumna Award honors graduates of the Ivy College of Business of the age 35 or younger who have distinguished themselves early on in their careers.

Gassmann graduated in 2019 with majors in marketing and event management. Since graduating from Iowa State, Gassmann has started Mariglow Neon which allows customers to rent neon signs or create their own custom designs. According to the Mariglow Neon website, Gassmann was inspired to start her business after seeing the neon sign at her wedding.

People interested in attending the Ivy Women in Business Awards can see more information on the ceremony’s event page.