October 9 - 10, 2019 | Des Moines, IA | The Meadows Events & Conference Center

2019 Central Iowa Conference

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Nationwide

2019 Presenting Sponsor

The Speakers

Creative sessions from today's top experts

Bridget Cravens-Neely

Bridget Cravens-Neely

Bridget Cravens-Neely is a native of Illinois, but has lived in Iowa for 24 years. She currently works for Nationwide as a Business Consultant in their Agribusiness unit. Bridget is also co-owner of Bottle & Bottega Des Moines, a wine and art party business located in Downtown Des Moines. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University and an Masters of Business Administration with an Entrepreneurship focus from Keller Graduate School of Management. 

In addition to her professional life, Bridget has raised three sons with her husband and business partner, James, and she is very active in the greater Des Moines community. Her passion to serve others comes from family influences. At a very young age, Bridget was taught the value of possessing a strong character - particularly one that emulates a “paying it forward” attitude. She credits the people who opened doors for her and invested in her as the reason she has achieved success in her life. It is also because of these influencers that Bridget dedicates her time to mentoring young people and shares with them the lessons she has learned. 

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following in print and online; her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty-five languages; and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also hosts a highly ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She’s been interviewed by Oprah, eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman, been written up in The New Yorker, walked arm in arm with the Dalai Lama, and appeared on the cover of two (small) magazines. Her book The Happiness Project was even an answer on the game show Jeopardy!

She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. Her newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, was published on March 5, 2019.

Jay Pryor

Jay Pryor

Nothing is more powerful than leading by example. Jay Pryor is a living example of the power of possibility in transforming your life. Born female, Jay transitioned to male after 35 years of living life as a woman. Living as a gender non-conforming person grants them truly unique insight into how differently women experience the world versus men, the challenges that the LGBT+ community faces daily, and how those challenges translate to the workforce.

Jay is a speaker, author, executive coach, and CEO of Jay Pryor Consulting, LLC. They are an advocate for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and an educator for inclusivity and gender consciousness.

In Jay’s signature process and book, Lean Inside, they utilize mindfulness and neuroscience to create powerful understanding of human response systems and the emotional intelligence required to be successful. Jay has used this process to support and create Lean Inside Leaders around the world through one-on-one executive coaching, culture initiatives, and their weekly podcast, Doing the Work with Jay and Becca, which is devoted to awakening people to their power to transform their own lives. Jay is the author of the acclaimed book, Lean Inside: 7 Steps to Personal Power: A Practical Guide to Transformation for Women. Jay lives with their wife Jessica and their two children in Lawrence, Kansas.

Julie Stewart

Julie Stewart

Julie Stewart’s tenure at Prairie Meadows began shortly after the racetrack opened in 1989. She successfully led the advertising efforts during the introduction of casino gaming in 1995. As Prairie Meadows expanded its corporate giving, she moved into the role of Director of Community Relations. 

Julie has served the community in many volunteer roles, including Terrace Hill commission, Southeast Polk Dollars for Scholars, Blank Park Zoo Foundation, Des Moines Arts Festival, Generations Inc., Variety - The Children's Charity, Better Business Bureau, United Way Campaign Cabinet, DMU Glanton Scholarship Dinner Committee, The Puppy Jake Foundation, East Polk Innovation Collaborative, National Advisory Committee for The Robert D. & Billie Ray Center, Balance Autism Board, Des Moines Community Alliance Board, and Downtown Events Group.   

Julie earned her B.A. in business administration from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She has been honored as one of Business Record’s Forty Under 40 and is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute's Transformational Leadership Program and Community Leadership Program.

Kerry Gumm

Kerry Gumm

Kerry Gumm, Head of HR Strategy & Planning joined Principal in 1998.   Within her current role she is responsible for the creation and execution of HR’s overarching vision and supporting strategy in addition to enabling programs which support the enterprise culture and employee experience.  Over the last 20 years, Kerry has held leadership positions in talent acquisition, HR IT/project management, benefits and diversity and inclusion. In addition to her work within Principal, Kerry has also played leadership roles in several state and national workforce initiatives, working closely on policies aimed to support Principal’s long-term talent needs.   In 2018, Kerry was named to Aspen Institute’s First Movers Fellowship program.

A Minnesota native, Kerry received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University.  Kerry sits on the boards for the Ready to Work Business Collaborative, Central Iowa Works and the Des Moines Embassy Club.   

 

Marissa Orr

Marissa Orr

Marissa Orr spent 15 years working at today’s top tech giants, Google and Facebook. She has conducted talks for thousands of people in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, at companies and universities such as Google, Twitter, Pace University, New School, American Express, and more. Originally from Miami, Orr received her Master's degree in Decision and Information Sciences from the University of Florida. Her book, Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, & the Workplace was released June 2019.

A self-proclaimed corporate rebel, Marissa has taken her ‘bumps in the road’ and turned them into transformational experiences. With “Lean Out,” she provides a fresh voice for a new generation of thinkers.

McKenna

McKenna "Sassy" Haase

McKenna "Sassy" Haase is a 22-year-old racecar driver from Des Moines, Iowa. She primarily races at Knoxville Raceway in the 360 division and is Knoxville's first and only female feature winner in 100+ years. Off the track, she owns and operates her own sprint car team, Team Haase Racing (THR) LLC. She also operates her own youth driver development program, Compass Racing Development LLC. Outside of racing, she appeared on Season 11 of NBC's American Ninja Warrior.

Haase attended Drake University where she was the president of the Drake Investment Club and was also involved in the College of Business & Public Administration Leadership Council/Service Committee, Drake American Marketing Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Michelle Poler

Michelle Poler

Michelle Poler is a creative and passionate social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, fear facer, and branding strategist.

She is the Founder of Hello Fears, a social movement empowering millions to step outside of their comfort zone and tap into their full potential. She has spoken at TEDx, Google, P&G, Facebook, ESPN, Netflix, Microsoft, Toyota, and many more.

Michelle is also the creator of the project 100 Days Without Fear. Her work has been featured on CBS, CNN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, NBC and Daily Mail among many others.

Early on in her career she worked as an Art Director at Young & Rubicam for brands such as Hershey’s, Wendy’s, AT&T and Revlon. Michelle is originally from Venezuela and she holds a Masters in Branding from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky is a social activist in the battle against online harassment -- advocating for a safer social media environment. Her lens for these societal issues is focused by her myriad unique and profound experiences: working in government -- both in the White House and the Pentagon; the investigation that resulted from her time in Washington, D.C.; involvement in media projects as both producer and subject; as an entrepreneur and designer; and lastly, education. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR) and, living abroad for graduate school, earned a Master’s degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In 2014, after a decade long self-imposed retreat from public life, Lewinsky authored an essay, titled Shame and Survival, for Vanity Fair in which she overlapped personal experiences and cultural observations regarding the shift towards, what Professor Nicholaus Mills calls, a Culture of Humiliation (June, 2014). The acclaimed piece, which received over two million unique views online and was nominated for a National Magazine Award, was an entry point for her to begin a process she describes as “taking back my narrative and giving a purpose to my past.”
 
Lewinsky became known to the public in 1998, when it was revealed as part of a federal investigation that she had had an intimate relationship with then President Bill Clinton. Overnight, at just 24 years old, she went unwillingly, from being an entirely private individual to a public figure on the global stage. Being at the center of a legal, political and media maelstrom nearly destroyed her; her survival—despite the odds—is a compelling and inspiring story.

The investigation unfolded against a backdrop of a changing media landscape with the advent of both competing 24-hour News Networks and the Internet. With the birth of social media in recent years, Lewinsky saw the increasing proliferation of the perpetuation of shame and humiliation online. As someone who had experienced both, on the widest scale and at a young age, she saw that she could participate in the public discourse about online harassment and work to effect change.  

In October, 2014, Lewinsky gave a speech about the Internet’s reputation shredder at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit where she spoke from the perspective of being Patient Zero—having been the first person to have her reputation completely destroyed online. This well received and widely watched speech launched her present day speaking career. In March, 2015, she was a speaker at the annual TED Conference, the theme of which was Truth and Dare. Her speech, The Price of Shame was viewed over 7.5 million times in the first year since release. She also gave the Ogilvy + Inspire Lecture at the Cannes Lions 2015.

Lewinsky is an Anti-Bullying Ambassador to both Bystander Revolution in the US and The Diana Award in the UK.

Simon T. Bailey

Simon T. Bailey

Simon T. Bailey is a Breakthrough Strategist whose life’s purpose is to teach 1 billion+ people how to be fearless and create their future. 

He equips companies with the tools necessary to effect cultural transformation resulting in higher employee engagement and platinum customer service experiences. He challenges individuals to dig deep to find and release their inner brilliance and become Chief Breakthrough Officers – personally and professionally. 

With more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including serving as sales director for Disney Institute, Simon knows how to engage and inspire leaders and team members through his keynotes, workshops, books and online courses. He has personally worked with more than 1,700 organizations in 46 countries since launching Simon T. Bailey International more than fifteen years ago.

Simon has been named one of the top 25 people who will help you reach your business and life goals by SUCCESS magazine, joining a list that includes Brené Brown, Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey. He is the author of ten books including his most recent release, Be the SPARK: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life. His Building Business Relationships on Lynda.com on LinkedIn has been viewed by more than 864,000 people. His Goalcast video, released Father’s Day 2018, has over 63 million views worldwide. 

Simon holds a Master’s degree from Faith Christian University and was inducted as an honorary member of the University of Central Florida Golden Key Honor Society.

When he is not working, Simon spends quality time with his two active teenagers, roots for the Buffalo Bills and serves as a board member for the U.S. Dream Academy, Orlando Health Foundation Board and Florida Virtual Learning School Foundation. 

Additional Information

Explore all the conference has to offer

Wednesday, October 9

 

 

7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Registration/Exhibits

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

CEO Forum with Marissa Orr (by invite only)

Lean Out

Marissa Orr spent 15 years working at today’s top tech giants, Google and Facebook. She has conducted talks for thousands of people in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, at companies and universities such as Google, Twitter, Pace University, New School, American Express, and more. In June 2019 she released her first book, Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, & the Workplace.

Sponsored by EMC

9:15 - 9:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Keynote from Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order, Inner Calm

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Break & Exhibits

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

Letters to My Younger Self Panel

Bridget Cravens-Neely, Nationwide

Kerry Gumm, Principal

Julie Stewart, Prairie Meadows

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Break & Exhibits

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch & Exhibits

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote from Marissa Orr

The Truth About Women & Power in the Workplace

Based in part on The Nature of Compelling Women, a popular lecture series Marissa first launched during her successful 13-year stint at Google, Lean Out is not simply a retort to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In premise, which Marissa believes is based on a male worldview. Rather, her vision is a revolutionary path forward that has the power to change the lives of women in the corporate world and beyond. Blending poignant and humorous insights from her time ‘playing the game’ in the corporate trenches with in-depth research, Marissa – a New Jersey-based single mom of three young children – calls for a complete overhaul to the business world’s limited, carefully constructed paradigm of what constitutes a successful leader in today’s day and age.

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Break/Exhibits 

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

  • Breakout Session 1A - Ying Sa, Community CPA
  • Breakout Session 1B - Developing Leaders: The Power of Competition and Teamwork
    • Jean Berger, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union
  • Breakout Session 1C - Men's Track with Simon T. Bailey: Why Organizations Thrive When Women Lead
    • Sponsor by EMC

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Break & Exhibits

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Keynote from Simon T. Bailey

Spark Leaders

5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Break/Exhibits

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

VIP Reception (by invitation only)

Thursday, October 10

 

 

7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Student Track Registration/Exhibits

9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Keynote from Jay Pryor

Becoming a Lean Inside Leader

General Attendee & Men’s Track Session

Sponsored by EMC

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Break & Exhibits

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

Keynote from Monica Lewinsky

Returning to Compassion and Empathy

  • How Monica's personal story overlapped with a changing world of media and technology
  • How the landscape shifted in the years post 1998 especially with the advent of social media
  • The effects of cyberbullying and online harassment
  • The root cause-- examining how we have become a "Culture of Humiliation"
  • How as a society we need to return to compassion and empathy

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Break & Exhibits

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch & Exhibitors

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 

  • Breakout Session 2A - Owning a Difficult Decision Panel
    • Panelists: Angela Franklin, Des Moines University; Beth Shelton, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa; Kirsten Anderson, Equitas Solutions
    • Moderator - Catherine Huggins
    • General Attendee & Men’s Track Session
      Sponsored by EMC
  • Breakout Session 2B - INNER WARRIOR: Discovering Your Best Self to Make a Difference in the World Today
    • Miyoko Hikiji
    • General Attendee & Men’s Track Session
      Sponsored by EMC
  • Student Track Breakout Session: Shattered Glass
    • McKenna Haase: A racecar driver's story of taking the road less traveled, choosing your life's purpose and helping others find their own purpose.

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Break & Exhibitors

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Keynote from Michelle Poler

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

2-Day Conference Individual Registration: Register Here

Conference registration $575 per person

Student Track Conference Registration Fees (Day Two of Conference): Register Here

Individual Student Registration: $99/student must present student ID at the conference registration

STUDENT ADVISORS: Buy 9 student registrations & get YOUR REGISTRATION free!

9 students + 1 advisor = $891 for group of 10


Conference Seating

Seating for the general session and all breakout sessions of the Conference is theater-style, open seating. Attendance in the breakout sessions is first come, first served.


Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel has held a block of rooms for attendees of the Women Lead Change Central Iowa Conference. Rooms in the block include the evenings of Tuesday, 10/8 and Wednesday, 10/9.

King & Double Queen Rooms = $119/night (Reservation cutoff date is Wednesday, Sept. 18)

Ways to reserve your room:

  • Click here and use the conference group code: 10082019IAW
  • Call 515.957.3000 & reference: Women Lead Change Conference 2019 
  • Click here to go to online booking link 
We'd be thrilled to visit with you about sponsorship opportunities at the Central Iowa Conference. Market your business to hundreds of conference attendees and support advancing women leaders.
 
Contact Bobbi Segura at bobbi.segura@wlclglobal.org or call (515) 240-7883 to learn about sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

Women Lead Change's Student Track programs are designed to assist aspiring leaders to take a meaningful step on their leadership journey and learn more about women’s leadership and career preparation. As a conference attendee, undergraduate students have access to locally and nationally known women leaders with invaluable expertise and an opportunity to network with hundreds of professionals within their own community.

Women Lead Change is committed to providing the right development opportunities, leadership programs, education, and mentoring opportunities to give aspiring young women a chance to own their success.

Students will meet as a cohort for orientation before the program, attend general conference programming, participate in a one-on-one mentoring luncheon, then meet at the end of the day to share takeaways.


IMPORTANT: Student Track registration is limited to the FIRST 30 college students to registration. ACT NOW!

Student Track Conference Registration $99/Student: Register Here

One-on-one mentoring luncheon is included as part of attendee registration. Please designate a field of study on the registration form. Students will be matched to a mentor in that profession.

Group of 10 - Students Registration: $990

STUDENT ADVISORS: Buy 9 student registrations & get YOUR REGISTRATION free!

9 students + 1 advisor = $891 for group of 10

Women Lead Change is committed to making our events accessible to as many individuals as possible -- and the Women Lead Change Scholarship Program exists to make that happen. Applicants are eligible to receive a one-time scholarship to attend a Women Lead Change event. Once a scholarship has been awarded, individuals are not eligible for future scholarships.

Professional Track Application: CLOSED 

Student Track Application: CLOSED

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact Bobbi Segura at bobbi.segura@wlcglobal.org.

We hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity to market exclusively to women.

Exhibiting at Women Lead Change is:

  • a great way to showcase women-centric companies and organizations
  • a great way for attendees to learn about companies and nonprofit organizations that market to and provide services to women

Women Lead Change reserves the right to select exhibitors based on interest and content for our conference participants. An exhibitor is not guaranteed a spot at the conference until it receives confirmation from the Women Lead Change Exhibit Committee.

Booth Exhibitors: $525

  • Includes 8-foot table, two chairs, wastebasket, boxed lunch
  • Register here


Non-Profit Booth Exhibitors: $425

  • Includes 8-foot table, two chairs, wastebasket, boxed lunch
  • Register here

Steering Committee co-chairs: Bridget Cravens-Neely, Nationwide & Tabitha Garner, Nationwide
Student Track co-chairs: Kafila Adelani, Nationwide
Volunteer co-chairs: Anna Sweeney, Nationwide
Exhibits co-chairs: Andrea Hansen, Iowa Public Radio  & Tabitha Garner, Nationwide
Scholarship co-chairs: Ida Wood, Oasis & Jessi Goodsell, Nationwide
Program co-chairs: Jana R Rieker, Rieker Marketing Services  & Carrie Gosnell, Kum & Go
Men's Track co-chairs: Dale Hoppe, Nationwide  & Meyer Lehman, EMC
Marketing co-chairs: Sarah Onnen, Nationwide & Roxanne Huggins, American Equity

Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel has held a block of rooms for attendees of the Women Lead Change Central Iowa Conference. Rooms in the block include the evenings of Tuesday, 10/8 and Wednesday, 10/9.

King & Double Queen Rooms = $119/night (Reservation cutoff date is Wednesday, Sept. 18)

Ways to reserve your room:

  • Click here and use the conference group code: 10082019IAW
  • Call 515.957.3000 & reference: Women Lead Change Conference 2019 
  • Click here to go to online booking link 

I'm part of a new advocacy and engagement team project moving into 2019. This was just what I needed to help kick off that experience.

-2018 Central Iowa Conference Attendee

I just wanted to thank you for the scholarship that gave me the ability to attend this AMAZING conference. I learned so much and it was the best conference I have gone to, ever. I cannot express the excitement I had walking into the conference as well as walking out of it. Again, thank you so much. I couldn't have gotten that amazing experience without the help of the scholarship.

-Madison, 2018 Central Iowa Conference Scholarship Recipient

I was really surprised by some of the statistics that Geena Davis cited during her speech regarding gender bias in media geared toward young children. It will definitely shape my conversations with my two young sons.

-2018 Central Iowa Conference Attendee

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