Deidre was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and as a child moved with her family to Oklahoma. At eight years old, Deidre’s mother passed away shortly after giving birth to her younger sister. Overcoming this adversity at such a young age and seeing her dad be present for her and her siblings shaped who Deidre is today.
In 2004, Deidre moved to Iowa to attend Drake University,
where she found more than just an education– she found a home.
“Iowa made me a grown woman,” says DeJear.
“Iowa is where I learned what freedom looked like.”
Deidre DeJear is a small business owner and voting rights advocate who is driven by her passion to create equitable, inclusive, and accessible opportunities for all. She started her business in 2008 during her senior year at Drake,
with a mission of helping other businesses grow and thrive. It was the brink of
the recession, and Iowans were out of work. As a result, many became
entrepreneurs out of necessity. Deidre stepped in to help them market themselves and navigate the filing process through the Secretary of State’s Office.
For over 15 years, Caleo Enterprises has helped over
1,000 small businesses and nonprofits in Iowa.
The other side of Deidre’s work leads her to enhance public participation in civic engagement. In 2018, Deidre ran as the Democratic Nominee for Iowa Secretary of State, making her the first African American in Iowa to be nominated by a major political party. In 2022, as the Democratic Nominee for Iowa Governor, Deidre traversed the state, advocating for high quality public education, access to mental healthcare, and a countless number of issues that matter to voters across Iowa.
Deidre founded Vision Leads and co-founded Back 2 School Iowa and LadyLike. She is also a member of the Des Moines Chapter of the Links, Inc.,
board chair of Count the Kicks, board member of The Directors Council,
City of Des Moines Housing Services Board, and Interfaith Alliance.
Deidre lives in Des Moines with her husband Marvin,
and her two dogs, Macy and Maurice.