Enterprise Iowa is an invention of necessity. I had the privilege of learning about public policy, business, governance and program management while working as a lobbyist, policy specialist for a Governor, Deputy Director for a state agency, and the de facto manager of a variety of special projects. All good things must come to an end, so they say, and when a new Governor was elected it was time to write a new chapter in the career book. After much reflection I decided to focus on what I had learned to love most – to work on projects from initiation to close-out (and sometimes a continuing role into program operations). The prospect of working on a diversity of projects in a variety of subject matter areas was also very appealing. And if the projects allowed me to advance a cause and apply entrepreneurial approaches to public policy issues affecting a state, region or community – all the better. So the decision was made in 1999 to form a company, Enterprise Iowa, and see if I could manufacture a new career from this vision.
I am grateful to have so many wonderful clients and colleagues who have supported and participated in this continuing journey.
– Phil Dunshee
Phil is the founder of Enterprise Iowa (EI). His professional career began in 1980 with the Iowa Association of School Boards where he served as Government Relations Director beginning in 1984. He was appointed to the staff of Governor Terry E. Branstad in 1989, and served as a senior policy advisor on education, workforce, and economic development issues.
From 1994 to 1999 Phil served as the Deputy Director for the Iowa Department of Economic Development. In that role he was the chief administrative officer for the department, and acted as the primary leader for the development and implementation of policy and budget initiatives.
While in service to the Governor and the Department of Economic Development Phil had the opportunity to be involved with or manage a variety of special projects including the expansion of distance learning through the Iowa Communications Network. After forming Enterprise Iowa Phil had the privilege of working in service to the administration of Governor Tom Vilsack, and was involved with the development of state economic development strategy, the initial administration of the Community Attraction and Tourism Development program, and the redesign of information technology services for the State of Iowa.
He has had the opportunity to serve as the project manager for Iowa Land Records system, a first-in-the nation statewide electronic recording system and online land records access system. This project has been in service to the Iowa County Recorders Association and Iowa county government generally through a unique multi-government entity known as the Electronic Services System.
Phil also contributes to his local community – serving as the Executive Director of the Johnston Economic Development Corporation. A former Cubmaster and Scoutmaster for Pack 98 and Troop 98 of the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America, Phil served as chair of the 2016 Friends of Scouting Community campaign for the Raccoon River Valley District of the Mid-Iowa Council.
A native of Burlington, Iowa, he is a graduate of Southeastern Community College, and he earned a B.S. in economics at the University of Iowa. Phil also achieved a Masters of Public Administration degree from Drake University, and he is a certified project manager (PMP) through the Project Management Institute.
Phil is affiliated with the following professional organizations: Professional Developers of Iowa, Central Iowa Economic Development Practitioners, and the Project Management Institute – Central Iowa Chapter.