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Jerre Stead Named Chairman of the American Writers Museum Foundation

Jerre SteadTechnology industry veteran, business leader, and philanthropist Jerre L. Stead is the new chairman of the American Writers Museum (AWM) Foundation

The AWM board of directors approved Stead by unanimous and enthusiastic vote, according to Werner J. Hein, board vice chair.

Stead, executive chairman of the board of directors of the Colorado-based IHS Inc., is well-known in the business world for his vision and leadership. The Denver Post named him 2013 Business Person of the Year for his success as Colorado's chief recovery officer, where he oversaw efforts to rebuild after the state's devastating floods in September 2013.

During his career, Stead served as chairman and CEO of Ingram Micro Inc.; as the chairman, CEO, and president of Legent Corporation; chairman and CEO of AT&T Global Information Solutions; and as president of AT&T Global Business Communications Systems. He also held numerous positions during a 21-year career at Honeywell.

Stead has close ties to Chicago, which is to be the physical home of the American Writers Museum. He served as CEO of Chicago-based Square D and also as a director of Ameritech and the R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company.

The museum is a project close to Stead's heart. An avid reader, he is a graduate of the University of Iowa, home of the renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Stead has supported his alma mater with multimillion dollar donations. His philanthropic generosity also includes major donations for Alzheimer's research.

Stead takes the helm from AWM Founding Chairman Malcolm O'Hagan, who will continue as president of the AWM Foundation. Stead called O'Hagan's vision, dedication, and steadfast commitment to the American Writers Museum an inspiration.

According to Hein, the AWM Foundation board decided to split the president and board chairman positions because the scope of work continues to increase as the museum project grows and nears its projected opening date for a physical location in downtown Chicago in 2016.

The museum is already up and running virtually and with a traveling exhibit, From Our Neighborhoods: Four Chicago Writers Who Changed America, which is currently touring Chicago-area libraries and cultural centers. 

The mission of the American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives. For more information, visit www.americanwritersmuseum.org.

(Editor's Note: Jerre Stead received a BBA from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business in 1965.)


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