October 28, 2020 | Des Moines, IA | Iowa Events Center

2020 Central Iowa Conference

In-person and virtual tickets available

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Central Iowa Conference Update

Like all of you, Women Lead Change has continued to monitor the most recent news from federal, state, and local officials about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to make the best decisions possible to keep staff, volunteers, event attendees, speakers and the community healthy and safe. 

Tickets options are open now for the in-person conference or virtual conference through a live stream on Oct. 28, 2020. Due to requests for physical distancing, seating is limited.

Register here.


EMC Insurance

2020 Presenting Sponsor

The Speakers

Creative sessions from today's top experts

Ather Williams III

Ather Williams III

Ather Williams III, managing director, is head of Business Banking and Global Banking and Markets Anti-Money Laundering at Bank of America and a member of the company’s Management Committee. 

With more than 20 years financial services experience, Williams has also served in a variety of senior strategic and financial management roles, including as management consultant with First Manhattan Consulting Group and the Financial Institutions practice of A.T. Kearney. 

He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders, and former member of the Transaction Banking Global Leaders Council-Bankers Association for Finance and Trade. 

Williams was recently recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as the inventor of Multicomputer Processing of Client Device Request Data with Centralized Event Orchestration as well as System and Platform for the Execution of Consolidated Resource-Based Action and awarded two proprietary patents for his leading work in the field of payments technology. 

In 2019, he was named to EMpower’s global list of Top Ethnic Minority Executive Role Models and Diversity MBA’s “Top 100 Executive Leaders under 50”. He was also featured in Global Finance’s “Who’s Who in Treasury and Cash Management” from 2014 through 2016. 

Williams holds a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Caroline Criado Perez

Caroline Criado Perez

Writer, journalist and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez is the author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. A leading voice on equality and feminist issues in technology, health and the media, Caroline has also led high-profile campaigns to publicly recognize the contribution of women in British history.

Invisible Women reveals the systematic, and often unconscious bias behind the data and assumptions that construct our everyday life. She reveals a world built for men, from the dangerous presumption that male symptoms of heart attacks also apply to women, to the fact that pianos are built for the male-hand size to crash-test dummies being modeled on the male frame. One of the key areas of examination is the increasing reliance in all areas on algorithms which are usually designed by, and using large amounts of data on, men which affects everything from internet search results to job applications. She uses numerous cases to exemplify how male data has always been treated as the norm, ignoring at least half the population, and reviews the effects of this imbalance on women and society as a whole. Alongside widespread critical acclaim, Invisible Women also won the prestigious Royal Society Science Book prize. 

Alongside regular appearances on the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, Caroline has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Washington Post and the New Statesman. She has also featured in the documentary Blurred Lines: the New Battle of the Sexes and won the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year award.

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole

Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, is an accomplished educator and museum professional; noted speaker and author on issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion; and a committed advocate for social justice. She currently serves as the National Chair and Seventh President of the National Council of Negro Women, an advocacy organization with more than 2 million members, working in the interest of women’s rights and civil rights. 

Dr. Cole rose to national prominence as the first African American woman President of Spelman College and, later, as President of Bennett College, making her the only person to serve as president of both historically Black colleges for women in the United States. After retiring from academia, Dr. Cole served as the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art for eight years. 

Dr. Cole has a long history of community service. She was the first African American to serve as the Chair of the Board of United Way of America. Recently she was on the board of Martha’s Table, a nonprofit that supports children, families and communities in Washington, D. C. through quality education, healthy food and community support. She has also held leadership roles in a number of professional organizations, including the Association of Art Museums Directors where she served as the president and she co-led the American Alliance Museum’s Working Group on diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. 

Dr. Cole has served on the corporate boards of Home Depot, Merck, and Nation’s Bank South. And she was the first woman appointed to the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Anthropological Association, and a member of the Association of Black Anthropologists. She is a member of the, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., and a Life Member of NAACP.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

In her critically acclaimed novels and immensely popular nonfiction, Elizabeth Gilbert expands our understanding of creativity, spirituality, and love. Whatever her subject, whether in fiction or nonfiction, Gilbert writes with “a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review). Her memoir, Eat Pray Love, exploded onto the scene in 2006. A #1 New York Times bestseller, Eat Pray Love famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, the book has sold over thirteen million copies for guidance in leading a brave, authentic, and creative lives. In her nonfiction treatise, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, another instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Gilbert unpacks her own generative process and shares her wise, witty insights into the mysteries of curiosity and inspiration. Her newest bestseller is the novel, City of Girls, a “fiercely feminist” (Esquire) story of a young woman coming into her own in the theater world of 1940s New York.

Kindra Hall

Kindra Hall

Kindra Hall is President and Chief Storytelling Officer at Steller Collective, a consulting firm focused on the strategic application of storytelling to today’s communication challenges. Kindra is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers trusted by global brands to deliver presentations and trainings that inspire teams and individuals to better communicate the value of their company, their products and their individuality through strategic storytelling.

Kindra is a former Director of Marketing and VP of Sales. She is a contributing editor to SUCCESS Magazine and was guest faculty at the Harvard Medical School. Her book, Stories that Stick: How Storytelling can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences and Transform Your Business debuted at #2 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List and Forbes said it “may be the most valuable business book you read." Kindra’s message spans all industries and her clients include Facebook, Hilton Hotels, Tyson Foods, Target and Berkshire Hathaway and many others.

What began as a storytelling assignment in 5th grade, grew into a passion for not only telling stories, but a mastery for teaching others the methods and science of storytelling so they can better tell their own.

She was a National Champion storyteller (yes, they have those), a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network and has her master’s degree in communications where she conducted original research studying the role of storytelling in defining and revealing organizational culture.

Nagoski Sisters

Nagoski Sisters

Emily Nagoski is the author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life. She has a PhD in health behavior with a minor in human sexuality from Indiana University, and a MS in counseling, also from IU, including a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute sexual health clinic.

Amelia Nagoski holds a conductor with a DMA in conducting from the University of Connecticut. An assistant professor and coordinator of music at Western New England University, she regularly presents educational sessions discussing the application of communications science and psychological research for audiences of other professional musicians, including “Beyond Burnout Prevention:Embodied Wellness for Conductors.”

Additional Information

Explore all the conference has to offer

In-Person conference registration: $299 per person: Register Here

Virtual conference registration: $299 per person: Register Here

We ask that for every ticket allocated to a woman that you also allocate one for a man - the gender balance fosters more productive conversations and better results for your organization.

Student Track Conference Registration (in-person only)Register Here

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

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

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

Agenda Subject to Change


Wednesday, October 28


7:15 - 8:00 a.m.

CEO Forum 

8:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Keynote from Kindra Hall

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Keynote from Ather Williams

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.


10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Breakout Session (Option A & Option B)

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Keynote from Caroline Criado Perez

12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Lunch and Women of Achievement Awards

1:15 - 2:00 p.m.

Keynote from Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole

2:00 - 2:15 p.m.


2:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Breakout Session (Option C & D)

2:45 - 3:00 p.m.


3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

Keynote from Burnout Sisters- Amelia & Emily Nagoski

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Keynote from Elizabeth Gilbert

4:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks/Adjourn

5:30 p.m.

VIP Reception (By Invite Only)

Interested in sponsoring the 2020 Central Iowa Conference and support our mission of advancing women leaders? Contact Bobbi Segura at bobbi.segura@wclglobal.org.

Student Track Conference Registration: 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

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: OPEN NOW 

Student Track Application: OPEN NOW 

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact Bobbi Segura at 515.240.7883 or Bobbi.Segura@WLCglobal.org

Registration includes an 8-foot table, two chairs, wastebasket, electricity, and a boxed lunch.

  • Non-Profit Exhibitor
    • $200
  • Business Exhibitor
    • $250

Register here

Mel Appenzeller, EMC

Sydney Conrad, EMC

Tammi Dickey, EMC

Tabitha Garner, Nationwide

Ashley Hall, Nationwide

Lisa Hamilton, EMC

Jessica Hendricks, EMC

Meyer Lehman, EMC

Meyer Lehman, EMC

Claire Muselman, CWG Insurance

Beth Nigut, EMC

Sarah Paoli, EMC

Dawn Rizzo, EMC

Ray Schmidt, EMC

Lisa Simonetta, EMC

Lu Smith, EMC

Anna Sweeney, Nationwide

Maggie White, EMC

Deidre Williams, EMC

All the speakers were great! I wasn't sure what to expect with the line up, but I was impressed and inspired by my ability to relate to all of them in a personal way and can see how I can better myself just from hearing their words.

-2019 Conference Attendee

Each of the speakers offered something different and I really, really enjoyed all of them. I walked away learning a lot of new information and feeling more confident!

-2019 Conference Attendee

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