BVU Graduate Receives Honor at Iowa Statehouse

Iowa Legislative leaders honored Susan Cameron Daemen '82 with induction to Pioneer Lawmakers' Association of Iowa. The Buena Vista grad shares the unique distinction with her father, Bill Hutchins, who served in the Iowa Legislature for 20 years.

Susan Cameron Daemen ’82 was one of three lobbyists this spring to be inducted into the Pioneer Lawmakers’ Association of Iowa, a hall-of-fame of sorts for longtime legislators and those integral to the lawmaking process in the Iowa Legislature.

“The Pioneer Lawmakers’ Association of Iowa was founded in 1886, started by a group of lawmakers that believed that 20 years from the day they were sworn in (to serve the Iowa Legislature), they became a Pioneer Lawmaker,” says Daemen.

At some point in the organization’s history, members decided to induct other members of the process, such as staff members and lobbyists. Daemen says it’s a great honor to first be nominated, and then to be inducted.

It’s especially meaningful for Daemen because she joins her father, Bill Hutchins, who was inducted into the Pioneer Lawmakers’ Association of Iowa years ago. Hutchins served in the Iowa Legislature for 20 years from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. He capped his career by serving as Senate Majority Leader for seven years. Following his retirement from the statehouse, Hutchins began work as a lobbyist. Daemen joined her father at GovCom, Inc., in 1997. When he retired in 2001, Daemen took over the firm, which specializes in government relations and communications strategies, and continues working to represent a wide variety of business and professional groups.

Daemen, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications at BVU, served as assistant director of public relations at her alma mater from 1982-84. After serving in a similar role at Drake University, she returned to Buena Vista in 1985 and served as director of public relations through November 1996.

“During my time at BVU, we announced the anonymous donor (Dr. Harold Walter Siebens) for the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum,” she says. “We celebrated the Centennial, saw the construction of the library, inaugurated President Fred Moore, in addition to all the opportunities we had the American Heritage Lecture Series and much more. I loved it there.”

She also loves her work in and around the Iowa Capitol and it shows with the induction into this prestigious organization. Daemen says she was pleased and humbled by the honor, while remaining incredibly grateful her father, who is 88 and living in Des Moines, could join her as she added her signature to the giant ledger that every Pioneer Lawmaker has signed since 1886.