The new chairman of Newton-based Maytag is the keynote speaker at a Saturdayevent designed to make the “Partners in Economic Progress” program morewidely known in Iowa. Steven Johnson is the executive director of thegroup, which aims to help African-Americans gain economic success.Johnson says Maytag chairman Lloyd Ward is a “Partners in Economic Progress”board member.Johnson says “PEP” or “Partnership in Economic Progress” is a non-profitgroup which focuses on education, business development and mentorship ofAfrican-Americans.Iowa’s only “PEP” chapter is in Des Moines. Saturday’s conference begins at11 o’clock at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Des Moines.