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Fast Forward

Experts & Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote Speaker: KWWL News Anchor / Reporter Ron Steele

Ron Steele

For more than 40 years, in Iowa and around the world, Ron has reported history in the making.

He was in Saudi Arabia when the Persian Gulf War broke out in and at the White House when the American hostages came home from Iran.

One of his favorite assignments took him on board Air Force One to interview President George Bush (41) as President Bush flew from New Mexico to Iowa for an address in Des Moines.

The IBNA (Iowa Broadcast News Association) has honored Ron with its highest honor, the Jack Shelley Award. He has also won numerous other IBNA News and Sports awards, including Spot News Story of the Year and Sports Story of the Year. Ron is a multiple 1st place winner of the IBNA's Excellence in Anchoring Award. 

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also honored Ron with its Silver Circle Award during the annual Upper Midwest Emmy Awards program in 2011.  

The Emmy-award winning journalist has interviewed countless newsmakers over his career, 

Some of his most memorable interview subjects include Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Al Gore, Coleen Rowley, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Lance Armstrong, Kurt Warner, Kirk Ferentz, Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Gable and countless others.

While Ron enjoys exploring world and local events, some of his memorable experiences have involved Iowa children, like Jeremy, a nine-year-old boy dying of cancer. He called Ron from his hospital bed to ask if KWWL could do a story about Make-A-Wish, which had granted Jeremy's dying wish for a trip to Florida. Because of that story, Ron was a charter board member for the former Make-A-Wish of Northeast Iowa. 

A crowd of 60,000 jammed downtown Cedar Rapids to watch Ron carry the Olympic Torch and ignite the cauldron during the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. Later that summer, Ron anchored KWWL's summer Olympic coverage from Atlanta.

Thanks to the warm response and generosity of KWWL viewers, Ron's award-winning Iowa's Child adoption program is the longest running news series in Iowa. Through Iowa's Child, some 200 of Iowa's hard-to-place, "special needs" children have found loving families and permanent homes. In 2008, The Coalition for Family and Children's Services in Iowa honored Ron with its 'Friend of Children' Award, also awarded to then-Iowa Governor Chet Culver. 

From Civitan Club 'Citizen of the Year' to The University of Iowa Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal, hundreds of organizations have recognized Ron for news reporting and community involvement over the past 40 years.

Ron chaired the Community Committee, which helped raise enough money to build the $11 million Five Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum in downtown Waterloo. He also Co-Chaired the Cedar Valley United Way campaign in the 2012, setting an all-time donation record that year.

Ron spent 8 years on the Board of Directors for The University of Iowa Alumni Association, and was Board Chair in 2012-2013.

Ron joined KWWL in 1974 as Sports Director, and was the original play-by-play voice of the Iowa Television Network. He also did play-by-play telecasts for NBC Sports and ESPN, including the Women's College Basketball Finals and NCAA II Wrestling Finals. He still enjoys sports reporting, and has brought KWWL viewers "Live" reports from such events as the Super Bowl, NCAA Basketball Tournament and The Heisman Trophy presentation at New York City's Downtown Athletic Club. 

For nearly 10 years, Ron taught Electronic Media writing at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and has volunteered for numerous community organizations over the years, including the Cedar Valley Sports and Entertainment Commission.  

Ron still enjoys appearances at more than one hundred engagements a year on what he calls 'the emcee, speaking and banquet circuit' all across Iowa.  

Ron is an avid runner, completing 10 marathons and many 5 & 10K races. Ron and his daughter, Katie, ran the Chicago marathon together in 2008.  But, in January of 2017, Ron underwent quadruple bypass open heart surgery. The surgery was a complete success, and Ron returned to work in April with what doctors in Iowa City called "a new heart and a 35-year warranty."

Born in Washington, Iowa, in 1950, Ron grew up in Wapello, and is a 1973 graduate of the University of Iowa.

Ron and his wife, Candy, have been married 43 years and have three grown children, Ben, Katie & Luke. They have four grand children in Harper, Henry, Raeleigh and Anderson.

Ron co-anchors the KWWL News Live at 5, KWWL News at 6 and KWWL News at 10 with Abby Turpin.

KWWL and kwwl.com began the weekly half-hour KWWL News and Public Affairs program, The Steele Report, in 2013. More than 225 episodes have been produced, as the show focuses on key issues and current news makers and politicians.

Bio and photo courtesy KWWL.

...Information about Fast Forward 2017 Digital Media Experts will be included in the Workshop Program.