J. Barry Griswell (71C)
Award: 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award
Employer: Principal Financial Group
Occupation: Chairman & CEO
Achievements: Mr. Griswell is chairman and chief executive officer of Principal Financial Group and a member of the Berry College Board of Trustees. His wife, Michele, is also a Berry graduate who serves on the college’s Board of Visitors.
An award-winning executive whose focus extends beyond business matters to issues of great societal importance such as education and social services, Mr. Griswell graduated from Berry in 1971 and later earned his master’s degree from Stetson University in Deland, Fla. Prior to joining Principal Financial Group in 1988, he served as president and CEO of MetLife Marketing Corporation.
Mr. Griswell lends his leadership and expertise to many industry and community organizations, among them the American Council of Life Insurers, The Business Roundtable, Herman Miller Inc., the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education and the United Way of America. Among his numerous honors are the Horatio Alger Association Distinguished American Award, the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is also an inductee into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame.