Meet Art Staed
Art Staed hails from Joplin, Missouri, one of 11 kids. He graduated from McAuley Regional Catholic High School, earned his college degree at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, a Master’s degree in Secondary Education at The University of Missouri at K.C. and a second Master’s in Secondary Administration from East Central University of Oklahoma.
A Leader in Education and the Community
Art’s passion for education spurred a ‘Communities in Schools’ program targeting at-risk students using mentoring programs, tutoring, mental health assistance, human services and counseling to help kids stay in school. His program received national recognition at a White House ceremony for creative and successful business-school partnerships.
The rate of domestic violence in the local community troubled Art, and he worked determinedly to provide assistance, counseling and a safe haven for victims of abuse. He co-founded The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma and served as a Board member while writing grants for construction and operational costs.
Briefly leaving education for a career with U.S. Cellular, Art quickly became a direct sales supervisor and manager of numerous retail stores, including opening and operating new stores for the company. This required Art to identify new markets, help find new locations for stores, arrange for their lease and remodeling, and to hire, train and manage store employees.
U.S. Cellular brought Art to Cedar Rapids as a national trainer to work with managers and front line sales associates throughout the country in a host of management, sales, and business development courses. He was responsible for providing more than 30 different certified professional training courses.
After making the decision to return to public education and updating and expanding his credentials, Art taught Business Management and Time Management courses at Kirkwood and developed workforce training at the Iowa Workforce Development office in Cedar Rapids.
Art and his wife Susan recently sold Coffee Talk Café, where he hosted “Coffee Talk: Corridor Conversations”, a videotaped series of talks with local community leaders regarding issues that affect the Cedar Rapids community. The coffee shop was a successful small business that provided a “refuge”, a place of peace where people could get away, relax, and enjoy great coffee. Art says that running a business presents many challenges, but it also brings great rewards. He says that the best part was working there with his wife and getting to know all the customers, along with being part of a great community and contributing to that community.
The citizens of district 37 elected Art to the Iowa House Representative in 2007-2008 where he served as Vice Chairman of both the Education Committee and the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He also represented Iowans on the Economic Growth, Labor, and Veterans Affairs committees.
On the Education Committee, Art championed efforts to provide preschool for all Iowa’s eligible children and 4% allowable growth in the state’s kindergarten through 12 grade education budget. He worked to pass legislation that improved teacher salaries from 48th in the nation to 25th. Art worked with colleagues to get additional aid for private school students, the Iowa Tuition Grant Program and the All-Iowa Opportunity Grants for college aid. He helped move the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative to passage in the House and supported a record level of support for community colleges and universities. Art also supported after school programs and grants to help struggling students get help to reach grade level and to stay in school.
On the Veterans Affairs Committee, Art helped floor-manage the Veterans homeowner assistance program and the expanded charitable programs that provide financial assistance to needy and homeless Iowa Veterans. He was concerned about Iowa’s Veterans, so he moved legislation to provide and train Veterans’ Affairs officials to assist Veterans in every county and to finally pay Vietnam Veteran Bonuses that had been unpaid since 1973.
On the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Art assisted in moving the bill creating the Iowa Power Fund, a blueprint for funding State renewable energy workforce programs. The Iowa Power Fund brings Iowa closer to energy independence, making Iowa a renewable energy provider, and promoting well-paying jobs. Art also supported the expansion of incentives targeted to small business development centers. And finally, he helped expand historic preservation tax credits, match funding for recreational trails, and additional funding for Iowa tourism.
At the conclusion of Art’s term, “the House was in order” with a balanced and sound fiscal budget: a cash reserve fund of $444 million, an economic emergency fund of $138 million, a fully funded Medicaid program and a repayment of $144 million to the senior living trust fund.
Currently, Art teaches secondary education and is active in the Cedar Rapids Education Association. You will also find him out knocking on voters’ doors, getting voter input, nearly every evening. He resides in Cedar Rapids with his wife Susan. They have four children and five grandchildren.