The Iowa Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Advisory Council on Friday announced its new co-chair will be Roger Hargens, President and CEO of Accumold in Ankeny. He will serve in the role alongside Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Hargens will succeed Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries. Dr. Nelson will complete his two-year term as co-chair in August.

“The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council exists to increase student interest and achievement in STEM and inspire Iowa’s next generation of innovators,” Gov. Reynolds said. “STEM ensures our students are well-equipped for the incredible careers waiting for them across our state.

“Roger Hargens embodies the council’s mission,” she continued. “He strives to recruit, employ and cultivate well-prepared Iowans, including launching the Accumold Scholars program in partnership with Des Moines Area Community College and the state of Iowa. His global perspective, workforce expertise and leadership experience will help take STEM to new heights in Iowa.”

Hargens took over as President and CEO of Accumold in 2000. In 1995, Hargens started his own company, Heartland Machinery and Sales, Inc., and worked as President and CEO. He began a 17-year career at Iowa Machinery and Supply Company in 1978, serving in a variety of positions including director regional sales manager and vice president of marketing.

“It’s an honor to join Governor Reynolds in co-chairing the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council,” Hargens said. “I am eager to build on the foundation laid by the governor, her three previous co-chairs and the other visionary, dynamic STEM Council members.

“Young Iowans want to be challenged,” Hargens added. “If we don’t recognize their skills and challenge them, somebody somewhere else will.”

In addition to serving as co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Hargens also serves on the Iowa Innovation Council, the Board of Directors for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Foundation Board. He is also a lifetime member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.