Autry, who was senior vice president

and president of Meredith Corporation’s Maagzine Group, is the author of ten books, including The Book of Hard Choices; The Spirit of Retirement; and Life and Work: A Manager’s Search for Meaning. For more information, visit

Pederson was elected lieutenant governor of Iowa in 1998 and re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002. A steadfast advocate for people with disabilities, she spearheaded numerous initiatives for healthcare and human services.


Having a child with a disability changes the way you see the world, and it changes your priorities. As Ronald’s life progressed, I saw where the gaps were. Not only was there a gap for my son, but there were also gaps for other children. I understood that it wasn’t enough to make sure my son got what he needed; I had a responsibility to make the system better so that every child would have the opportunity to get the most out of education and the most out of life. Ronald’s joyful, exuberant, trusting personality has opened many hearts. But he’s also had an impact on people he’s never met because of the way he opened my heart and made me see that I can give meaning to his disability by helping others.

Business executive and author JAMES AUTRY and former lieutenant governor

of Iowa SALLY PEDERSON learn valuable lessons of the heart from their disabled son.

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