Kevin M. Waetke, APR
As vice president of strategic communications, Kevin Waetke leads internal and external communications efforts for the National Pork Board. With other members of the Board’s senior leadership team, he plays a critical role in defining communications strategy, and delivering clear and consistent messages to pork producers, opinion leaders, consumers and other audiences. Waetke grew up on a century hog farm in eastern Iowa and joined the Pork Checkoff in 2013. With a combination of agriculture and communications experience, he is excited to be part of a team that shares the story of U.S. pork production and helps to shape the dialogue and build relationships with the industry’s key players.
Prior to joining the Pork Checkoff, Waetke spent 10 years leading communications in the financial services industry, having worked at U.K.-based life insurance and annuity leader Aviva plc, and, prior to that, as communications director for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Waetke has also led public relations for Maytag Corporation (Newton, Iowa), and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company and Mercy Medical Center, both based in Des Moines. He is also a former news reporter and assignment editor for WHO-TV.
Actively involved in the Des Moines community, Waetke serves on Drake University’s National Advisory Council to the school of journalism, is past chair of the Anawim Housing Foundation board, and is a board member of the Clive Community Foundation and the Des Moines Community Playhouse. On a national level, Waetke is a national board member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the finance committee. He is also vice-chair of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance communications committee. He has both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communications from Drake University, Des Moines. He and his family live in Johnston, Iowa.