DeJear founded her own firm almost 15 years ago to directly work with small businesses. Over the course of her career, Deidre has worked with over 600 businesses on developing growth strategy, marketing plans, and business planning . Deidre’s career began with helping companies after the Great Recession and has continued through the current pandemic.
As a voting rights champion and community leader Deidre previously ran for Secretary of State of Iowa in 2018. Originally from Mississippi, then Oklahoma, Deidre attended Drake University and never left the state she fell in love with and now calls home. While still a student, Deidre co-founded the nonprofit Back to School Iowa to support youth to continue in their educational endeavors. Deidre served as a competitive coach for the East High girls basketball team, and was with the team during their 2011 undefeated state championship run.
When I was looking at the challenges facing our state – in our education system, our worker shortage and skills gap, restrictions to voting, population decline in our rural communities, struggling rural hospitals – I knew that the best place to put real solutions in place is in the Governor’s office. Our leadership has been leaving Iowans behind, instead taking orders from outside special interests and donors.
I spent this summer traveling the state on a Conversation Tour. I talked to voters in rural and urban Iowa, and everywhere in between. Folks everywhere I went said: I’m here because of my family. I’m here because of Iowa’s values. I’m here because it’s safe. I’m here because Iowa has potential. And I believe in that potential; I know we can do great things in this state by coming together to solve our toughest challenges. That is what Iowans did last year during the derecho and then the pandemic. I have been doing the work my whole life, as a small business owner, a community volunteer, through campaign work. Iowa has built small businesses, built national education models, built the first computer. We have built a thriving agricultural system, Iowa has built good hard working people, Iowa has built fields of opportunity. We aren’t done building. We’ve got work to do, because Iowa is worth the work.
I am an organizer at heart, and truly believe in the power of grassroots, community built campaigns. Our campaign will focus on bringing together a broad coalition of supporters from across the state, intentionally connecting volunteers and supporters from different communities and backgrounds, and purposefully engaging with constituencies. From running school board races to working on presidential campaigns, I know that change happens when you put in the work and bring people together.