The new Iowa Lottery CEO Matthew (Matt) Strawn brings two decades of experience at the highest levels of government, politics, the media and business. He sums up a work history that includes, in no particular order: service as Chief of Staff to a senior member of Congress: twice-elected chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party; advisor to governors, senators and presidential candidates; co-owner/operator of an Arena Football League franchise; founding a public affairs firm that served Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and non-profit organizations; and, of course, now being only the third chief executive in the 34-year history of the Iowa Lottery.
There is no doubt that all aspects of his professional background will have a strong influence in how Strawn runs the Iowa Lottery—“from growing up and working on the family farm to serving as a congressional chief of staff and statewide political party leader to owning and operating a minor league sports franchise to co-founding and managing a public affairs firm,” said Strawn.
Strawn declares integrity is his top priority and it “is at the heart of what we do at the Iowa Lottery.”
“Integrity of our game offerings to ensure every player has a fair chance at winning. Integrity of our operations and licensed retailer network to ensure the Iowa taxpayers are receiving the greatest return on their dollar. Integrity of our advertising and marketing to ensure it is consistent with the culture and values of Iowans and remains true to the mission we serve,” stressed Strawn.
As the lottery’s leader, Strawn has a statutory charge to responsibly raise revenue for vital state causes. “To ensure the Iowa Lottery can continue to meet this charge, innovation of product offerings must be a top priority,” he stressed. “The Iowa Lottery is not immune to market forces and demographic changes, and it must work collectively with stakeholders to innovate and modernize its game offerings and product portfolio to continue to meet anticipated revenue targets.”
“Perhaps the most important of all is that simply, I’m an Iowan who has had an opportunity to spend significant time in every corner of our state. This offers existing relationships with, along with knowledge and valuable understanding of, key stakeholder communities such as policymakers, our players, our retail partners, and of course, Iowa taxpayers. All communities that are instrumental to the long-term success of the Iowa Lottery,” he added.
As to favorite extracurricular pursuits, Strawn joked that “in theory, the list includes family time, running, coaching track and field, traveling with friends/family, community involvement, and being in Kinnick Stadium on a football Saturday. In reality, most extracurricular time is dictated by the soccer, dance, baseball, basketball, volleyball, band and debate schedules of the 14, 12 and 8 year-olds in our house!”
His favorite sports teams are: Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and of course, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes!
When asked to cite a best book, Strawn noted that “perhaps a sad sign of the times, but you’re more likely these days to find me multi-tasking with the earbuds in and listening to a podcast rather than curled up with a book.”
Photo description: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Matt Strawn working the famous Iowa Pork Tent grill together at the Iowa State Fair.