Two College of Business alumni are featured in the Iowa Public Television show, Iowa Entrepreneur. Season two is underway and airs on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. It repeats on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and will re-air throughout 2017. The College of Business is one of the underwriters of the show.
Tom Buman (’82 agronomy; ’95 MBA) is the CEO of Agren, a leading provider of sustainability technology to agriculture located in Carroll, Iowa. Agren’s software tools optimally size and target traditional, proven water management and erosion control practices to field locations where they are most needed.
Buman is a passionate thought leader with more than 30 years of experience in conservation planning. Through his work at Agren, he is able to combine his love of the environment with his passion for pioneering innovative solutions to complex environmental problems. As CEO, Buman is responsible for driving business development and strategic partnerships. Prior to founding Agren in 1996, he spent 14 years with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa, first as a soil conservationist and later as a district conservationist.
“I am always excited to share how Agren’s software can impact soil and water conservation, so I’m especially thrilled that IPTV provided me the opportunity to showcase our technology to a new and different audience,” Buman said. “Our technology is a disruptive innovation that can help agriculture, across the United States, make great strides in precision conservation.”
Dereck Lewis (’08 management), owner of Thelma’s Treats, Des Moines
As a college student, Dereck Lewis spent a summer as a guide in the Alaskan wilderness. That experience led him to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams and launch a cookie company.
“My mom and I started delivering warm cookies around Des Moines a few years ago and they were an instant hit – especially in the winter,” Lewis said. “But when summer rolled around, it seemed people preferred a cool treat. So, we put fresh ice cream between two wholesome homemade cookies. We began selling them at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market but soon people craved more. Now we offer our sweet sandwiches through a great group of retailers across the Midwest.”
Born and raised on the family farm near Monroe, Iowa, Thelma was Lewis’ great grandma. “She loved playing the piano and baking for her family. She was famous for her snickerdoodle cookies and we use a variation of her original recipe to this day.”