New Board of Trustees deliver Giving Day challenge

FAYETTE, Iowa (April 24, 2017) – Newly elected Upper Iowa University Board of Trustees Michele Matt of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Josem Diaz of Washington, D.C., have challenged UIU’s Class of 2017 to “Step Up” during the University’s inaugural Giving Day from 9 a.m. Thursday, April 27 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 28. Elected to the UIU Board of Trustees in February, Matt and Diaz will both provide a $17 Giving Day pledge for each donation of $20.17 or more by UIU Class of 2017 graduates.

Giving Day is a fun way to engage and challenge Peacock nation to “Step Up” – the theme of the 36-hour event – to support future UIU students and programming via gifts from at least 160 donors in honor of UIU’s 160th anniversary. Those individuals who have questions about Giving Day or would like to find out how they can be more engaged in the fun challenges are invited to email or contact Naomi Aziz at 563-425-5966.

Michele Matt earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from Upper Iowa University in 1987.  Last year she served as President of the UIU Alumni Association Board.  She is a Certified Speaking Professional, author and business consultant.  In 1991, Matt founded Inspiring Solutions located in Des Moines, Iowa. She is an authorized partner of Everything DiSC, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and PXT Select from Wiley Publishing.  She is a sought-after expert for facilitating strategic planning, strengthening teamwork and enhancing customer service.  A best-selling author of Attitude: The Choice is Yours, she also created an award-winning video training program called Bad Apples: Dealing with Difficult Attitudes. Matt is a past-president and active member of the National Speakers Association and Association for Talent Development.

Josem Diaz formerly served as UIU’s Executive Director for Institutional Advancement & Alumni Development. Under Diaz’s tenure strides were made in improving processes, data integrity and reporting within the Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Development. He also provided outstanding leadership in the areas of annual giving, donor cultivation and stewardship, database management, and gift processing.  Additionally, Diaz secured several large contributions to UIU and was an incredible asset in developing and strengthening relationships with alumni and other friends of the University. 

Currently, Diaz serves as assistant vice president for advancement operations at American University in Washington D.C. As an American University executive management team member he is currently helping lead a $500 million transformational and historical campaign at the university. Diaz is also working toward his Ph.D. in Public Administration at American University. 

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,200 students–nationally and internationally–at its Fayette campus, 21 U.S. locations, as well as a location in Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit

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