NATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED AUTHOR SPEAKING TO 50-50 IN 2020 ACADEMY PARTICIPANTS

Businesswoman, political consultant, author and advocate for women's issues Kathy Groob will be keynote speaker at the 50-50 in 2020 Blueprint for Winning Academy banquet, taking place Friday night, January 10, 2014, at the West Des Moines Marriott.

Groob, who founded and facilitates ElectWomen.com, is author of "Pink Politics: The Women's Practical Guide to Winning Elections."

As as entrepreneur who served as senior vice president of a $716 million construction and real estate company in her home state of Kentucky, Groob has been a mentor and advocate for women in the workplace throughout her career. Her own experiences in running for and holding local and state offices provides Groob with real-world lessons in politics that she uses to instruct women candidates on how to inspire voters and get the most from campaign teams.

"I am honored to take part in Iowa's 50-50 in 2020 Blueprint for Winning Academy to train and prepare more women to hold public office," Groob said. "Iowa is one of four states that have never sent a woman to Congress. The leaders of 50-50 in 2020 are taking strong steps towards changing the face of politics in Iowa forever."

Complimentary copies of "Pink Politics" will be given to all those attending the Blueprint for Winning Academy and to those purchasing two tickets for the January 10 academy banquet. Dinner tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased through the 50-50 Web site at 50-50in2020.org.

Participation in 50-50's bi-partisan Blueprint for Winning Academy is open to all Iowa women considering running for state, legislative or congressional office, and their campaign managers. The academy takes place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10-11, at the West Des Moines Marriott and features classwork in campaign finance and organization, getting media coverage, using social media, and one-on-one image and message coaching by nationally-known expert Chris Jahnke.

This is the second time 50-50 in 2020 has offered its Blueprint for Winning Academy. Results from the group's 2012 training program showed that 40 percent of academy graduates won office, compared to just 14 percent success by women who did not take part in the Blueprint for Winning Academy.

The goal of 50-50 in 2020 is to recruit and elect enough women so that by 2020 – the 100th anniversary of the year American women won the right to vote – Iowa will have elected females to fill half the Iowa Legislature, half of Iowa’s congressional delegation and the office of governor. Currently in the Iowa Legislature, only 23 percent of the seats are held by women, who make up 53 percent of Iowa voters. Iowa and Mississippi remain the only states to have never elected a women governor nor sent a woman to Congress.

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