Touting Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility and Quality Services, Brownell to Seek Re-election to Polk County Board of Supervisors

June 18, 2015

URBANDALE, Iowa – Citing his desire to continue to focus on fiscal responsibility, quality of life issues and improvements to Polk County’s mental health delivery system, Supervisor Robert Brownell announced today that he seek re-election next year.

“Throughout my time in office, I’ve intentionally worked with a diverse range of groups and individuals to tackle the tough issues and get things done that benefit Polk County’s residents and taxpayers,” Brownell said before a group at Courage League Sports, which provides activities and sports for children and adults with disabilities. “My goal has always been to meet the public’s needs while following a fiscally conservative approach to government. I’ve delivered on that goal time and again and that’s what I’ll continue to do if re-elected next year.”

Brownell, a former Clive mayor and councilman, was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2000. His district includes Clive, Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Polk City and much of northern Polk County.

Brownell was among a small group of county officials who worked with state lawmakers to redesign Iowa’s mental health system and was the only county representative on the governor’s 2012 work group for property tax reform. He currently is chair of the E911 Board, co-chair of the Homeless Coordinating Council, and serves on the Hunger Commission for Polk County, United Way Income Cabinet, OpportUNITY Committee at United Way, Bravo Greater Des Moines Board, Des Moines Performing Arts Board, Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee, Polk County Service Appeals Board  (mental health and general assistance issues) and the Geriatric Psychiatry Committee.

To gain first-hand knowledge about the delivery of human services, Brownell posed as a homeless person and spent more than a week at the YMCA transitional housing facility. He also spent a night in a Des Moines homeless shelter, also posing as a homeless person. “When dealing with a complex problem, whether it’s homelessness or mental health reform, it’s important to understand the issue on as close to a gut level as possible. When policy makers take the time to make that effort, their outcomes are better for all parties involved,” he said.

Brownell is a native of Cedar Rapids, graduating from Kennedy High School after attending Missouri Military Academy. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Northern Iowa, earning degrees in English and education. He has done post-graduate work at Drake University.

He currently owns a successful consulting company, Diverse Resources Group LLC, which provides transportation and logistical counsel. Brownell and his wife, Jenna, have one son, Kevin, and one grandchild. Kevin and his wife, Maria, are both attorneys in Des Moines.

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High-tech Plastics Manufacturer Accumold Breaks Ground on Second Expansion in Four Years

June 5, 2015

ANKENY, Iowa – Accumold, a global leader in the design, development and production of micro-engineered parts for various high-tech industries, broke ground today on its second expansion in four years.

Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and other government and economic development officials were present to mark the start of a 40,000-square-foot, $10-million expansion that will result in more than 200 employees in the next three years. The addition will be robust/hardened facility capable of withstanding an F-5 tornado.

Accumold President and CEO Roger Hargens said the expansion reflects the company’s mission as “an innovation leader that taps the creativity, ingenuity and work ethic that represent the best of Iowa.”

“For years, we have competed and won day-in and day-out in a global economy where companies and countries that don’t always play fair. We’ve done this and succeeded by being nimble, determined and, frankly, smart about what we do,” Hargens said. “This expansion is the latest, important step on a path of long-term, sustainable growth.”

He added, “We may work all around the world but we couldn’t have better partners than the City of Ankeny and the State of Iowa. Ankeny, Iowa is a great place to do business and that’s why we’re here.”

Branstad participated in the November 2011 ribbon-cutting for a previous 40,000-square-foot-expansion and praised Accumold then as a “home-grown Iowa success story.”

“Accumold is a global leader because Roger Hargens and his team are not been shy about promoting their expertise, technology and products all around the world. And whether you’re a company selling products or a state promoting itself as a great place to do business … if you want to make sales, you better tell your story,” Branstad said. “Accumold stands as a testament to Iowans and those thinking about moving here that our state is a great place to do business and that with hard work, vision, integrity and determination you can succeed on a very large scale.”

Noting the hardened structure will ensure Accumold could continue to honor its clients’ production needs even in a disaster, Branstad continued, “Honoring our commitments is just one thing that makes Iowa great and it’s a big reason that companies like Accumold are succeeding on the international stage. Because of Accumold, other forward-looking companies and our economic policies, Iowa exports have increased more than 39 percent in the past four years, up from $10.8 billion in 2010 to over $15 billion last year.”

Hargens noted that the company, founded in 1985, continues to be a leading employer of high-skill workers in central Iowa. Accumold, which has 264 employees operates 24/7 with three weekday shifts and two 12-hour shifts on weekends.

Since its inception, Accumold’s mission has been the production of super-micro, ultra-precision, plastic injection-molded parts with components that often measure in mere microns. Parts manufactured by the firm are critical components for the medical, micro-optics, electronics and other high-tech emerging industries. They can be found in personal communication devices, telecommunications, surgical tools, hearing aids, medical devices, antennas, connectors and more. To produce those parts, Accumold builds specialized molding machines engineered to handle volumes from prototypes to millions per year while maintaining consistent, precise tolerances that are unique in the industry. For more information about the company, log on to

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