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Meet Nannette Griffin

Nannette was raised in Burlington, IA graduating from Burlington Community High School in 1980. As she recalls “Government was my favorite class in High School taught by the late Maurice Moore. I was elected Parks Commissioner for a day. I spent the day learning the responsibilities of the office.” Burlington Community High School and City of Burlington partnered to encourage students to campaign and hold elections. The students were then sworn-in to serve for a day.

Nannette has been in customer service since the age of 19. Starting as an Insurance Agent then as a Finance Director until 2002. “While working at the dealership, I would learn as much about the business from day-to-day operations to financial statements. This led me to open Griffin Muffler & Brake Center over 26 years ago. I understand the challenges that a small business can face. Hiring a business coach 11 years ago was the turning point in my career. I knew I couldn’t do this alone.” After taking business classes and attending conferences, Nannette graduated with an Accredited Masters in Automotive Management from Automotive Management Institute. “I know all too well the shortages of skilled labor especially in the automotive field.”

Nannette's passion is to share her knowledge with small businesses and students to help them achieve
their goals. She has been a guest speaker for the Small Business and Entrepreneur classes and Southeastern Community College along with the Dream Builder program presented by the Fort Madison Partners and Small Business Development Center.

Nannette's experience and qualifications come from years of on the job training, attending conferences and seminars, continuous education, and hiring a business coach. Following are some of the business/personal accomplishments:


  • Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly repair facility 

  • CarFax Top Rated Service Center 5+ years

  • Offered Free Womens Car Care Clinic

  • Held a Diaper Drive and collected over 17,000 diapers for Southeast Iowa

  • Sponsored Brakes for Breast with proceeds donated to the Cleveland Clinic for Cancer research

  • Accepted to the All Female Build to restore a 1956 Chevy Pickup led by Bogi Lateiner and unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

  • Earned Accredited Masters in Automotive Management (AMAM) from Automotive Management Institute (AMi)

  • Mentored Diedra Dixon, former employee, to receive her AMAM from AMi

  • Currently mentoring Leighton Johnson (new owner of Griffin's) to earn his AMAM from AMi

  • Published nationally 6 times in automotive trade magazines.

  • Panelist for Vision High Tech Training and Expo Power Summit Round Table

  • Founding President of the Southeast Iowa training chapter of Midwest Auto Care Alliance

  • 2018 Distinguished Woman Award presented by Mississippi Valley Printing for #Challenge Accepted at the Professional Women's Conference.

  • 2023 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Achievement Award presented by Small Business Development Centers of Iowa

  • Member of the Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce Promotions committee 

  • Past Treasurer Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce

  • Past Co-Chair Balloons over the Mississippi Hot Air Balloon festival.   

  • Past Asst. Coach for the Fort Madison Trap Shooting team the Clay Crushers


“I believe in giving back to the communities that have supported me and I’m ready to go to work for District 50 as your next State Senator.”

Nannette along with her husband Clark have a daughter Caitlin, son in law Dalton and granddaughter Reagan. She also has 3 step children Michael, Sara, and Matthew and 8 step grandchildren.

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