IAR CEO Gavin Blair sits down with IAR's newest team member and our new legal counsel, Matt Blake. Watch the video and read more about Matt's background and community involvement below.
Matt grew up in Pierre, South Dakota, the state capitol. He attended the University of South Dakota after high school, where he double majored in History and Political Science. He attended Drake University Law School where in 2015 he graduated with honors with his law degree and his legislative practice certificate. Matt worked at a variety of different government agencies and associations during law school, including Iowa Title Guaranty and the Iowa League of Cities.
Upon graduation from law school, Matt worked for the association LeadingAge Iowa. In his position, Matt focused on representing non-profit aging service providers at the Iowa Capitol where he advocated for issues such as Medicaid reimbursement, workforce shortages, and creating criminal penalties for elder abuse. Further, Matt provided legal and regulatory advice to membership, reviewed federal and state regulations and drafted comment letters, became a thought leader on the future of the aging services sector, among several other duties and projects.
Matt serves as a Judge Advocate (JAG) in the Iowa Army National Guard. Matt currently holds the rank of Captain and is trial counsel for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) under the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 34th Infantry Division, based out of Boone, Iowa. Additionally, Matt deployed to Iraq and Kuwait during 2021.
Matt has extensive community service and awards. Matt currently serves as a member of the Urbandale City Council, where he was first elected in 2019. In addition, Matt serves as a Board Member for Bravo Greater Des Moines, Metro Waste Authority, and Urbandale 4th of July Celebration. In 2019, Matt was named Forty Under 40 by the Des Moines Business Record. Matt enjoys biking, lifting, watching movies, doing nerdy things, and spending time with his wife, Alaina, and his two-year old son, Saxon.
He looks forward to getting to know members and becoming a trusted legal resource for the association.