A&E Balm Company, home of the Happy Cow Moisturizing Udder Balm, brings a winning combination of the original formula for udder balm developed by the Qualis Corporation, with the excitement of a start-up company led by a seasoned business leader. A family owned company based in West Des Moines, Iowa, A&E Balm Company was founded by Mary O’Keefe and her son Michael Nall. In 2018, A&E Balm purchased the Happy Cow Udder Balm line from Sandahl Manufacturing Chemists, a fifty year old beauty business. Sadly, Michael passed away, but his initial drive that helped propel the company continues to live on. Happy Cow is now distributed to 48 states and offers private labeled versions of Happy Cow.
Mary brings nearly 40 years of business leadership and marketing expertise to this venture. Mary is a former social worker, business and community leader, and retired senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the Principal Financial Group. For twenty five years, she was responsible for corporate marketing, branding, communications, corporate giving and community relations. In addition, O’Keefe had responsibilities for Human Resources and Strategic Development at The Principal. O’Keefe has been recognized as a Woman of Influence and Outstanding/Best Female Business Leader by the Des Moines Business Record, was named a “Woman to Watch” in Ad Age Magazine, featured in the book Women Who Mean Business: Success Stories of Women Over Forty by A. Mikaelian, featured in several marketing books, including The Best of Branding by James R. Gregory, and honored with induction into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014. She was also awarded the Seven Seals Award by all seven branches of the U.S. military.
Now, Mary is taking on a new challenge. The opportunity to continue the excellence of the Happy Cow product with her passion for business and community, the desire to honor her son and business partner, and some new ideas, is a perfect next chapter for both Mary and the Happy Cow!