Spring 2022 Speakers

Ronee Andersen

Coaching and Consulting by Ronee

Ronee Andersen founded Coaching and Consulting by Ronee in May of 2019. Her business focuses on helping leaders and small business owners reach their full potential by leverating leadership, emotional intelligence, team building, diversity and company culture.

Prior to starting her own business, Ronee worked in Human Resource for 20 years overseeing the HR function for 10 of those years. She has worked in companies from 50 to 6,000 employees. She has experience working in family-owned businesses, the private sector and publicly traded companies, as well as, in the public sector in city and county government. She has held positions as HR Officer, HR Director, and Senior HR Director. She has been a member of leadership and executive teams.

Ronee has held her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification since 2003. She has an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources. She is a certified coach through Coach Training Alliance. Ronee, also, has an Advance Certificate in Strategic HR from Cornell University and a Certificate in Organizational Analyis from Stanford University.

Troy Anderson

Vice President, Financial Advisor

Troy joined CAPTRUST in 2017. He serves as a vice president and financial advisor, responsible for providing defined contribution, defined benefit, and nonqualified plan advisory services to corporate fiduciaries. Troy helps clients build successful retirement plans by leveraging the firm’s resources to provide independent advice on investments, plan design, participant financial wellness and advice, fiduciary process, and vendor management.

Troy holds the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) credential from the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) and the Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). He has also completed NAPA’s Nonqualified Plan Advisor (NQPA) certification program.

Prior to joining the firm, Troy was a client manager at Wolin & Associates, Inc. When he is not in the office or with a client, you can find Troy spending time with his wife and their three boys.

Bachelor of Science degree in business from Trinity International University
Master of Arts degree from Northwestern University

Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor™ (CPFA)
Qualified 401(k) Administrator® (QKA)

Barron’s Top 50 Institutional Consultants | 2019 (Team Des Moines)
NAPA Top DC Advisor Teams | 2019, 2020 (CAPTRUST Des Moines)
NAPA Top Advisors Under 40 Nominee | 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Programming Committee, Central Iowa Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Danielle Atchison

Business Immigration Attorney
Midivani Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute

Danielle practices in corporate immigration law. She assists employers with immigration compliance plans, policies and procedures, I-9 audits, E-Verify compliance, and immigration related defense from ICE worksite enforcement investigations. Danielle assists the firm’s clients with visas for international personnel, investors, and executives, including E-1, E-2, L-1, H-1B, P, O visas, and employment-based green cards.

Danny Beyer

Iron Horse Wealth Management LLC

Danny Beyer is a networking specialist and bow tie aficionado. He has achieved both professional and personal success thanks to the network and people in his life.  His book, “The Ties that Bind:  Networking with Style” was published in 2015.

Danny is a keynote speaker on networking and building relationships. He has been a contributor to the Business Record and DSM Magazine.  In 2013 he was chosen as the Amy Jennings Young Professional of the Year through the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Young Professionals Connection and was selected to the 2014 Business Record 40 Under 40 group.  In 2015 he was elected to the Dallas Center City Council and was recently elected Mayor.  In 2021 he became a partner at Iron Horse Wealth Management.

Wade Britt

Chief Operating Officer
Baton Global

Wade is an experienced P&L leader with a track record of driving change, performance improvement, and margin enhancement. He has led business units in the education technology space in Asia, South America, and the US. In the logistics sector, he has run programs of change and operational units across Europe and South Asia. Wade supports the community through serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in the Polk County Family Court. Wade earned a Masters of International Business Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina.

Kris Byam

Registered Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
Iowa Workforce Development

Kris joined the Iowa Workforce Development team in September 2021 to expand and innovate employer and high school Registered Apprenticeships across the state.  He has been championing school reform since 2006.

From his early start as a Business Educator in the Des Moines Public Schools, to becoming the Principal at Boone High School, Kris’ vision has been focused on the Design Thinking Model and family engagement that affirms transformational education for all students. Through this work, he has brought a new vision of practice and policy to the forefront of K-12 education in Iowa. He led his team at Boone High School in the development of a Work Based Learning program called the EDGE, a program where all students are afforded the opportunity of a hands-on experience at different careers regardless of interests, passions, and talents. The Boone EDGE (Empowering Desire Guiding Experience) provided a continuum of support for Work Based Learning, transforming the outcomes for each individual student.

Kris holds a Masters in Art of Teaching with a focus on Business Education from Drake University with an Administration Endorsement from University or Iowa.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa with a Minor in Spanish.  He has served as a member of the Core Team on the National Governors Association Policy Academy for Work Based Learning.

Kris is fully committed to reforming a quality 21st Century Education, where collaboration, positive school climate, creativity and innovation are used for the advancement of knowledge. When not at work, Kris enjoys spending time with his two boys, his girlfriend and her kids, and their dogs. He loves the Hawkeyes, traveling, and great food.

Scott Burgmeyer

Founder & CEO
Creative Solutions Group

Scott is a Leadership, Excellence, Lean, Six Sigma & Baldrige Guru, is the founder & CEO of Creative Solutions Group. For over 30 years, Scott has worked and consulted in manufacturing, technology, education, finance and health care industries. Scott has held Quality Manager, CI Manager, Human Resources & Talent Director, SVP Quality & Improvement, and Chief Improvement Officer titles.

As a Master Black Belt and creator of The DMAIC Way®, Scott’s goal is for everyone to Make it Better! Make it Stick!

Hugh Cain

Hopkins & Huebner, P.C.

Areas of Practice

General practice including but not limited to:

  • Employment Law
  • Government

Bar Admissions

  • Iowa, 1983
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 1983
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 1983


  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1982
  • Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
    • Bachelor of Arts, History, Summa Cum Laude, 1978

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Labor and Employment Section
    • Member, Government Practice Section

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA, Leader in Iowa Labor and Employment (Band 3),
    2017 – 2018, 2021
  • Lawyer of the Year, 2014, 2017 – 2018, 2021
  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2012 – 2021
  • Selected to Iowa Super Lawyers, 2007 – 2019

Published Works

  • “Evolution of Implied Covenant Exception to the Employment at
    Will Doctrine in Iowa,” Drake Law Review (1994)
  • Co-Author, “Evolution of Hostile Environment Claims,” Drake
    Law Review (1999)

Public Service

  • Vice Chair, Warren County Zoning Commission

Classes / Seminars Taught

  • Frequent seminar speaker covering a broad array of topics, such as
    Employment Law and Government Practice
Buzzy Castonguay

President and CEO
C4 Operations

Buzzy is President and CEO of C4 Operations, a family owned and operated national background check firm operating out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He works attentively with clients nation-wide to ensure they receive comprehensive and high-quality due diligence background checks, so employers can build powerful teams of their own. With over 18 years of experience, Buzzy works with his team side-by-side, using his expertise and knowledge of the industry to personally work with clients on a daily basis. Leading by example, Buzzy brings his enthusiasm to the table, not only for the work he does but for his company and the people he works with.

As an avid entrepreneur, Buzzy takes his company a step above the rest to offer 24/7 support for his services. He holds a master’s degree in Education from Chapman University in Orange, CA. He is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), Concerned CRAs, and both the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and local Eastern Iowa Human Resources Association (EIHRA) chapter. Buzzy, his wife, Sheree, and his children, Kelsee, Kyle and daughter-in-law Amy, are all devoted Hawkeye fans.

Jarik Conrad, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-CSP

Vice President
Human Insights and HR Advisory team at UKG

Executive Director
UKG-sponsored Equity at Work Council

JARIK CONRAD, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-CSP, is a sought-after speaker on employee health and wellness, the future of work, emotional intelligence, and workplace diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEI&B). Dr. Conrad has been recognized as one of the world’s top “people practitioners” as well as a “Top HR Influencer.” He is the author of the bestselling book, “The Fragile Mind: How it Has Produced and Unwittingly Perpetrates America’s Tragic Disparities.” His new book, In Search of Humanity, is scheduled to be released in March 2022.

Dr. Conrad is the Vice President of the Human Insights and HR Advisory team at UKG and the Executive Director of the UKG-sponsored Equity at Work Council. Prior to UKG, he spent over 20 years in HR leadership roles in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Angie Chaplin

Chief Leadership Officer
Mindful Leadership

Founder and owner of Mindful Leadership + Mindful Recovery, Angie Chaplin is a speaker, facilitator, educator and author with more than 20 years of work in human resources and organizational development. Leveraging her own journey from alcohol addiction to business owner, Angie coaches leaders to live, love, and lead extraordinary lives of their own design.

Grounded in research and guided by behavior, Mindful Leadership expands in 2022 to lead recovery at a higher level through Mindful Recovery. With live online courses including the flagship program, Lead Yourself First: 10 Practices for Leading an Extraordinary Alcohol-Free Life, Mindful Recovery combines mastery in leadership and higher education with Angie’s own experiences as a sober leader.

As a sought-after values expert, speaker, facilitator, educator and consultant, Angie exemplifies authenticity, resilience, and compassion as she inspires audiences to live out their values everyday with intention and action. She is a well-respected Certified Master for The Leadership Challenge; a contributing author to The Leadership Challenge Workshop Facilitator’s Guide and The Leadership Challenge Activities Book; and her Values to Vision Cards guide leaders in exploring and expressing their values at work, at home, and in life.

Tyler L. Coe

Dentons Davis Brown

Tyler Coe is a family lawyer known for his honest guidance, approachable demeanor, and high-conflict cases. Tyler emphasizes collaboration and communication to understand and unravel his client’s often complicated situations, relationships, and work toward the best possible outcome for each client.

Tyler is experienced in managing cases involving divorce, child custody, modifications, and high conflict disputes. He is adept with the unique needs and issues that arise in a mid-to-high asset divorce. He routinely represents young professionals, established professionals, business owners, executives, and stay-at-home spouses.

He assists in matters involving children and can help establish plans that prepare for their future. Tyler also understands that family frequently includes pets, and the issues families face regarding custody.

Tyler focuses his practice on his client’s personal needs they may have both during and after dissolution. He often works closely with clients’ financial advisors, accountants, and therapists to provide a full spectrum of services and assistance.

Elizabeth A. Coonan

Dentons Davis Brown

Beth knows that the cornerstone of any effective human resources management strategy is a strong policy development and implementation process that adapt to the changing needs of her clients. Every report of discrimination, harassment or retaliation presents an opportunity for businesses to improve and every complex medical return to work situation or business visa conundrum presents an opportunity for businesses to foster a better connection with employees. From partnering with businesses to assess liability to training employees and fighting to protect confidential and trade secret information, it is important to Beth that her clients receive sound legal advice and a game plan for the future.

Bill Dean

COSMH, LLC (Can’t Out Scheme Mental Health)

Bill Dean founded COSMH, LLC in January of 2021.  COSMH focuses on helping organizations identify their system gaps between the formal & informal.  COSMH supports organizations in creating a seamless process in recruiting, to onboarding through retention focus areas.  This approach allows leadership teams to achieve maximum outcomes while focusing on the business and minimizing daily process challenges.

In Bill’s first 24-year career he was an accomplished senior executive across the Behavioral Health & Healthcare industries.  Areas of expertise & focus included: YOY growth, customer service, operations management, team development & change management.

Bill is a husband, father of 3 (one golden retriever), and lifelong coach…#KeepPracticing is more than a hashtag to Bill & COSMH, it’s an engrained way of life that supports maximizing each day!!!

Melynda DeCarlo

6585 Consulting

Melynda DeCarlo, formerly of The Meyvn Group, is a former National and Regional Training Director. She is an Organizational Development Specialist and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (SPHR) through SHRM. As a certified coach she is committed to expanding capacity and promoting growth in individuals, teams and organizations. Her approach is practical, dynamic and interactive. Melynda gives clients the benefit of nearly 20 years’ experience in providing the time, talent and tactical planning necessary to move from strategy to execution. She is an Operational Strategist, a Master Facilitator and a Custom Design Trainer. Her clients include many Fortune 500 companies.

David Dubczak

Producer, Consultant
Conjunction Media

David Dubczak is an experienced K-12 Educator who has a passion for bringing out the creativity in everyone. He has a Master of Education degree from Iowa State University, with a research specialty in Productive Failure. He has focused his own creative pursuits in his multimedia production company, Conjunction Media, which specializes in educational and corporate learning video production. He is a seven-time award winner with the Iowa Motion Picture Association, and has presented programs on creative thinking throughout Iowa and Nebraska.

David is active in community theatre, and in his spare time, can usually be seen writing plays and screenplays.

Jean Duffy

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor

Jean joined CAPTRUST in 2010 and serves as a Senior Vice President and principal financial advisor.  As a retirement plan consultant to corporate fiduciaries, she is motivated to improve retirement plan outcomes for plan sponsors and their participants by structuring solid governance processes and superior educational opportunities. In addition to her role as one of CAPTRUST’s top advisors, Jean is also the leader and founder of CAPTRUST’s Women’s Initiative, created in 2017 to grow and elevate CAPTRUST’s female advisor workforce.

When she is not in the office or with a client, Jean enjoys reading, traveling, giving back to the community, and spending time with family. She is committed to living life to the fullest and encouraging others along the way. Prior to joining CAPTRUST, Jean served as a retirement plan consultant and educational specialist for a regional brokerage firm. She was the first person in Iowa to receive the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation and has worked in the industry since 1990.

Bachelor of Science degree in resource management from Iowa State University

Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™
Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant
Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor™

NAPA Top Women Advisors | 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020
Barron’s Top 50 Institutional Consultants | 2019 (Team Des Moines)
Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisor | 2017, 2018, and 2019
Top Advisor Defined Contribution Teams | 2018
NAPA Top DC Advisor Teams | 2019, 2020 (CAPTRUST Des Moines)

John Economos

Baton Global

As a consultant for Bâton Global, John approaches his work with a keen desire to deliver measurable value to stakeholders. Leading with empathy and diligence, John’s role is to listen intently and learn quickly in order to understand a client’s priorities, people, and processes; challenge the status quo in a direct and respectful manner; adapt to changing circumstances without losing sight of the bigger picture; and identify best practices amongst the clients he serves.

John has worked in central Iowa for 9 years as a consulting resource in environments ranging from Fortune 200 companies to small-but-mighty non-profit organizations. Since joining Bâton in 2019, John has completed work with clients including Bankers Trust, Des Moines Area Community College, Kreg Tool Company, Bravo, and the Greater Des Moines Partnership. In June of 2021, John presented ‘Using People Analytics to Drive Workforce Engagement’ at ABI’s Taking Care of Business Conference. Currently, he is leading the DSM Workforce Trends and Occupancy Study, which will produce the first-ever dataset representing a community’s knowledge worker persona.

John holds a B.S. with Summa Cum Laude honors in Finance from Iowa State University, a certification in Talent Optimization from The Predictive Index, and a Microsoft Certified Associate designation.

Lisa Even

Even Connection

Lisa Even is cheering loud for all the leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs who want to Have Good Ripple Effect

She delivers high-energy keynotes and workshops that challenge audiences to think beyond their backyards and believe that they happen to their workplace, and not the other way around.  

Lisa is on a mission to connect with 1 million people and help people create ripples that turn into waves, big and small. Audience’s love working with Lisa, often describing her as an energetic yet insightful collaborator with an eye for impact and ROI.

Lisa’s unique background in operational leadership and project management is both the foundation and springboard for her work. She attributes her success to the gritty, rewarding beginnings of waitressing in high school at R&R Café, the tiny café in Eastern Iowa, and her first group of direct reports that she had in corporate America. Those 65 people did more to fuel Lisa’s future than they will ever know! Through speaking workshops and coaching, Lisa partners with leaders and teams to relate, create, and innovate through connection, culture, and productivity.  

Denise Forney

Director of Employee Engagement

Denise Forney currently serves as Director of Employee Engagement for Hy-Vee. In her role Hy-Vee, she focuses on people, which is Hy-Vee’s greatest strength. We promise “a helpful smile in every aisle” and those smiles can only come from a workforce that is fully engaged & committed to supporting our customers and each other.

In leading employee engagement efforts, Denise works to create an environment where all employee owners bring their unique perspectives together to create a truly outstanding experience. With the help of every employee owner, we are building a company where everyone, employees and customers alike, are treated with respect and dignity, where our differences are embraced and celebrated.

Denise has over twenty-seven years of progressive management and training expertise, leading training and engagement efforts for several companies in the central Iowa region through the years. She has developed and facilitated courses for both domestic and international audiences, and appreciates the diversity of customers she has served.  

Denise holds a Masters of Science Degree in Adult Education/Training and Development from Drake University. She has presented at the Iowa Employment Conference for the past nine years, as well as Iowa State Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Association of Talent Development (ATD).

In addition to her presentation talents, Denise is an accomplished guitarist and singer and enjoys performing in the community. She lives in West Des Moines with her husband, John and three children: Rachel, Kaitlyn and Jacob. 

Leisa Fox

Fox Growth Strategies

Experienced leader with a demonstrated history of developing collaborative business relationships and networks. Insightful organizational innovator and business strategist with a reputation for identifying and leveraging new opportunities and expanding market presence and market share. Strong community and social services professional with expansive networks throughout Iowa and the country.

Mary Funk

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Mary E. Funk is a shareholder with Nyemaster Goode, P.C., handling almost exclusively employment and labor matters. She litigates on behalf of management in state and federal courts, administrative agencies and before arbitrators concerning employment contract disputes; sexual harassment; race, sex, age, national origin and disability discrimination; wrongful termination; Family and Medical Leave Act; Fair Labor Standards Act; non-compete agreements; and unemployment. In addition to litigating cases, Mary proactively counsels clients on issues such as hiring and firing, drug testing and policies, harassment and discrimination investigations, employment policies, wage and hour issues, employee leave issues, and company handbooks. She also negotiates collectively bargained contracts and drafts corporate documents related to employment such as contracts, non-compete agreements, policies and procedures, company handbooks, and settlement agreements and releases.

Mary is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and a 1995 graduate with distinction of the University of Iowa College of Law. During law school, Mary served as a Note and Comment Editor for the Iowa Law Review. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Drake University, graduating magna cum laude, in 1992.

Cindy Gerjets

Director of Learning and Development
Krause Group/Kum & Go

Cindy Gerjets is the Director of Learning & Development at Kum & Go located in Des Moines, IA. In this role, she provides thought leadership, processes, tools and resources to support the creation and implementation of high-value learning and development programs to all levels of associates and leaders in both the retail stores and corporate office.

Cindy has held a variety of positions within HR and has expertise in organizational design; talent acquisition; retention & recognition; total rewards; talent planning & assessments; learning & development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is known for her motivational, high-energy style of teaching and her ability to quickly connect and build relationships. She has a determined interest in developing people, building strong teams, and identifying and adjusting processes that interfere with capturing the value diversity can bring to an organization.  

Cindy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa. She also currently holds a Professional Human Resource (PHR) certificate.

Kellie Gottner

HR & Client Experience Officer
Connectify HR

Kellie believes in the power of connection through relationship in her personal life, business, and community. Her passion for leadership, HR, and the people experience promotes the power of these connections and the ability for everyone to perform their best.

 Kellie has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resources in various roles and industries. Kellie most recently served as Chief People Officer at Aureon, an Iowa-based telecommunications and IT services company, prior to joining Connectify HR in September 2021 as Chief HR & Client Experience Officer. Connectify HR is a Des Moines-based PEO focused on providing HR, payroll, and benefits solutions and services to businesses in Iowa and nationwide, www.connectifyhr.com.

 Kellie is a life-long Iowan and grew up in the Des Moines area. Kellie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Human Resource Management from the University of Northern Iowa. She is a Talent Management Certified Professional and is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).

Frances M. Haas

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

In her labor and employment practice, Fran Haas encounters a fair share of difficult cases, but in each matter, she’s determined to reach a conclusion that satisfies her clients. “I’m able to handle all the issues my clients might encounter,” she says. “It’s about being resourceful.”

Fran litigates for employers in cases related to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, Family and Medical Leave Act, equal pay, and wrongful termination. She negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of management, as well as other labor disputes. She also takes on higher education cases in matters involving Title IX, Title VII, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. These cases often involve difficult facts relating to sexual misconduct or assault by employees or students—facts that she understands make people uncomfortable. “There are certain ways to handle cases that have delicate issues, and it often requires a soft touch and a lot of nuance,” she says.

While Fran enjoys litigating, she emphasizes consulting before issues arise. Whether she consults through a phone call, conducts in-person training, or reviews policies or anticipated employee terminations, she’s with the client from start to finish. “It’s not just about pointing out the problem but getting them to the finish line so they don’t have to worry about it at all.”

In addition, Fran leads webinars and speaks frequently on employment and higher education issues, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse issues in the workplace.

On a daily basis, Fran takes satisfaction in seeing the legal system at work. As a former law clerk for a federal judge, Fran saw firsthand how the court provides an important service to citizens, something that drives her in her practice. “It’s very rewarding to me when the system works the way it should and we get the outcome for the client,” she says. “It’s not just winning but being part of a process that works.”

Jason Haglund

Ag Rural Mental Health & Addiction Specialty Coordinator
COVID Recovery Iowa

As owner of Haglund Consulting LLC., Haglund provides behavioral health subject matter expertise and executive coaching based in Story City. Understanding the uniqueness of rural Iowa, Haglund strays beyond his professional experiences and draws upon the lessons he has learned from his own multigenerational family farm. As co-owner of Boone County based Hickory Grove Family Farm, Haglund is the 5th generation to continue the family farming tradition. Keeping up with the constant evolving pace of science, technology, and management of uncertainty can be overwhelming. Haglund understands first hand juggling all of this is required to own and operate a technology informed, financially viable, sustainable family business. This unique perspective affords Haglund to lead engaging, relatable discussions on topics such as stress management, emotional wellness and burnout.

Haglund, an accomplished senior executive, delivers guidance, system design consultation, and educational trainings on suicide prevention, mental illness, addiction, behavioral health policy, crisis/disaster management, stigma, and stress. Haglund is leading a speciality team at the Iowa Department of Human Services implementing the FEMA crisis counseling program disaster response to the Pandemic and Derecho of 2020. This project draws upon in-depth expertise of the state behavioral healthcare system, mental health literacy, change management, and his deep agricultural roots.

Cassandra Halls


Cassandra Halls, founded 2 THE TOP in 2007 offering a wide variety of business consulting services to corporations, governments, colleges, universities, and non-profit entities all over the United States.  Areas of specialty include strategic planning, project management, research services, training facilitation, development, succession planning and operations process improvements.

Halls spent the first 10 years of her career in public administration in Iowa, serving as city manager for two cities and City Clerk for a third.  She has served in the Vice President role in both non-profit and corporate operations, utilizing her broad perspective to drive solutions to challenges encountered in many work cultures and environments.  Halls earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from William Penn University.

Frank Harty

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Frank Harty put himself through college and law school by playing football and working.

A commitment to professionalism and blue-collar roots sparked his interest in workplace issues and his specialty in labor and employment litigation. “Next to faith and family, the workplace is the most important part of most lives,” he says.

Frank has tried almost 100 cases to verdict—an extraordinary amount of experience.

He regularly represents companies, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher learning in day-to-day and complex labor and employment issues. He also frequently advises colleges and universities with Title IX, the Rehabilitation Act, and other misconduct and disciplinary concerns.

Employers with litigation or other labor and employment needs can rely on his experience, knowledge, and persistence. His passionate desire to “win” shows in his record of success and his recognition by leading guides such as Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation. “I like finding ways to win for my clients.” Frank says.

Brent Hinders

Hopkins & Huebner, P.C.

Areas of Practice

General practice including but not limited to:

  • Employment Law
  • Government and Municipal Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court, 2011
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2011
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 2006
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2006
  • Iowa, 2005


  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence, Certificate in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2005
    • Master of Public Administration, Concentration in Human Resources and Public Policy, 2005
  • Simpson College, Indianoloa, Iowa
    • Bachelor of Arts, History and Criminal Justice, 2001

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Norwalk Chamber of Commerce
    • Board Member, Former President, 2015 – 2016
  • Leadership Iowa Member Class of 2015 – 2016
  • Former Assistant Warren County Attorney, 2007 – 2011
  • Warren County Bar Association
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association
  • Iowa Association of Justice
  • Warren County Leadership Institute Alumni
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    • ISBA Government Practice Section Council
    • ISBA Criminal Law Legislative Subcommittee
  • Norwalk Schools Watch D.O.G. Organization
    • Board Member
  • Norwalk Board of Adjustment
    • Vice Chair
  • Iowa County Attorneys Association
    • Former Member
  • Warren County Prosecuting Attorneys Association
    • Former President
  • Indianola Noon Lions Club
    • Former Member

Honors and Awards

  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2021

Published Works

  • “If You Steal my Sunshine: Local Government and Iowa’s ‘Sunshine
    Laws.’”, Iowa Living Magazines – Adel Living, 2015
  • “Ice, Ice Baby: Limiting Your Premises Liability in the Winter
    Months.”, Iowa Living Magazines – Adel Advice Column, Norwalk,
    Perry, 2014
  • “Veterans Employment: Laws and Benefit, Protect Veterans.”,
    Iowa Living Magazines – Adel Advice Column, 2014

Classes / Seminars Taught

  • William Penn College for Working Adults
    • Adjunct Instructor, 2012 – Present
    • Courses Included: Conflict Resolution for Managers, Business
      Law, Leadership for Law Enforcement Members, Criminal
      Justice in Society, Global Business Leadership and Business
  • Frequent speaker regarding employment-related issues at seminars
    and advising regarding governmental law statutes and ordinances
    Des Moines
Clarence Hudson

Fox Growth Strategies

Deeply connected lifelong coach and business leader who thrives in complex, dynamic environments.  His uncanny ability to recognize others’ talents and strengths equips him to connect the right people to reach goals never imagined. With more than 40 years of sales, business development and leadership, his experience is unmatched.

Dustin James

Moments Leadership

Dustin E. James is America’s Top Corporate Energizer.   He is on a mission to elevate the workplace by helping corporations increase performance by building resilient, connected and creative leaders.

This motivational speaking powerhouse takes energy and engagement to an entirely different level.  Dustin has presented to over 500,000 individuals in-person and virtually throughout the United States.

Dustin’s interactive learning experiences motivate and inspire through massive crowd engagement, creativity, and professional story telling. Creativity is his calling cards, with over 200+ plus stories to tailor for each of his events.  Dustin has been a TOP PERFORMER in 4 different industries, he is a proud husband and father of two, he is a serial entrepreneur, a TEDx Speaker, and John Maxwell Certified Coach.


Cara Kirsch

Area Vice President
Gallagher Insurance | Risk Management | Consulting

Cara Kirsch is a seasoned employee benefits expert with more than 20 years of experience. Her passion is helping employers of all sizes build employee benefit plans that employees find valuable while still adhering to the company’s bottom line. In her role as Area Vice President, Cara is responsible for business development as well as consulting her clients. Cara has specific experience with developing provider networks, using direct primary care strategies and managing self-funded plans. The combination of her keen eye for detail and her ability to navigate the complicated employee benefit vendor arena gives her an arsenal of solutions to deliver huge results.

Cara is community oriented with a focus on the needs of women and families. She currently sits on the Executive Board of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and is the treasurer for the Nebraska Association of Health Underwriters. Cara was a Midlands Business Journal 40 under 40 winner and is a graduate of Leadership Nebraska Class X. Cara created the annual conference “Ignite! Women in Insurance” in 2018 to establish a place for over 200 women in insurance to feel empowered and supported as they learn and develop in their work. She also authors articles that have been published in various employee benefit magazines such as Employee Benefit News.

Cara lives in Bellevue, Nebraska, and spends her time reading, cooking and enjoying time with her three children, Mariyah, TJ and Sean. She loves the outdoors and her favorite season is summer. Sunday family dinners with her children have become one of her favorite parts of the week, and she loves taking her dog Oliver for walks.

Kristin Kuch

MercyCare Business Health Solutions

Kristin is a veteran in the fitness and wellness industry, working with clients in a variety of settings, helping each maximize their wellbeing in mind, body, and spirit.  She started her career as the Wellness Director in the Greater Des Moines YMCA system, overseeing wellness programs, group exercise classes and instructors, personal training, and youth sports programs.  After moving to eastern Iowa, Kristin joined Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, a physical therapy office, as a way to expand her knowledge base and help more individuals move to improved daily functioning.  In 2005, she joined Mercy Medical Center serving as a Fitness Specialist within the Mercy Fitness Center.  Kristin transition in the MercyCare Business Health Solutions Corporate Wellness team in 2012, serving as a Certified Wellness Coach and in 2018, department Manager. 

As an Iowa State University alumnus (BS, Exercise Science/Health Studies), Kristin loves to cheer on the ISU Cyclones.  She especially loves to cheer on her sons at all of their sporting events with her husband.  She finds joy in nature, exercising, reading, helping others, teaching yoga and being a positive supporter of humans.

Dorene MacVey

Head Coach
ithrive31®, LLC

Dorene is a certified professional coach, (PCC) who works with leaders and professionals to help them increase their impact and influence within organizations.  Before owning her own business, Dorene worked at two large global Fortune 500 Organizations where she held a variety of senior leadership roles within the Legal and Human Resources functions.

Dorene’s passion is to help people bring their full potential to the workplace.  She currently works with new leaders, mid-level leaders, executives and professionals to support both their professional and personal success.

Ralph Mason

Positive Zone Corporation

For the last 25 years, Ralph Mason has served as the Lead Presenter and CEO of The Positive Zone Corporation.  As a professional speaker, trainer, edutainment specialist, entrepreneur, musician, and Notary Public for the State of Missouri.   Mr.  Mason uses his extensive skillset to engage and elevate corporations and educational institutions.  He has authored the inspirational books Ralphisms: A Short Book of Quotes and Affirmations and Diffusing Bullying in the Board Room and School Yard, which both intend to help these organizations move from good to great.  Hire Mr. Mason to help support your vision and mission; you will be pleased and feel professionally connected.  Mr. Mason knows that there is no I in TEAM, but there is an I in WIN.  His interactive speaking engagements illustrate how if we all play as a team, we will always win.

Todd McDonald

ATW Training Solutions

Todd McDonald has been a community and business leader for over 30 years. From 1989-1998 McDonald served as Vice-President of Research, Marketing and Sales for American Media, Inc., ultimately becoming Executive Vice President from 1995-1998. In 1998, McDonald founded his own training and development firm, ATW Training Solutions, Inc. ATW provides tailored training solutions to clients on a local, national and international basis. Todd is also owner of New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Des Moines.

Thought of as being results-oriented, some of McDonald’s other accomplishments include:

  • Developing and delivering training programs and speeches to audiences throughout the world on topics such as teamwork, customer service, change management, communication, time utilization, and leadership.
  • Assisting organizations in development of strategic initiatives and plans in industries such as banking, finance, manufacturing, insurance, hospitality and education.
  • Authoring two books: one on communication between managers and their employees, “I Wish You Would Just…” and the other on time management, “How to Find 100 Extra Minutes a Day.”
  • Assisting in the development of the training and development profession through volunteering on ATD committees on a local and national basis. He has been a National Advisor for Chapters for ATD, served on two International Conference planning committees and was named Volunteer of Year on a national level.

Currently McDonald serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa Entrepreneurs Association, Waukee Betterment Foundation and Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the Advisory Committee of the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Crystal Neubauer

Speaker and Author
Growing Forward, LLC

Crystal is fiercely passionate about helping individuals, teams, and organizations get “unstuck” so they can fulfill their potential. She brings more than 20 years of training and speaking experience. In addition, she has 15 years of leadership experience which includes the oversight of training departments, event planning teams, and non-profit volunteers. Her experience in the corporate world involves the development and implementation of successful leadership development programs from the ground up.

She released her first book, “Unstuck: Overcoming the Thresholds that Limit Us” in December of 2020. She is currently writing a leadership book with an anticipated release date in mid-2022.

Crystal is a sought-after speaker for corporate conferences, association conferences, retreats, training workshops, and leadership events and has been a featured speaker on webinars, podcasts, and virtual events.

Her many years of leadership experience in financial services, ministry, and education provide her with a wealth of experiences, insight, and knowledge. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in theology, Crystal is also a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC™) and a Certified Professional in Training and Development (CPTD).

Ali Payne


As the President for ethOs, Ali Payne leads a team of engagement and wellbeing experts who work with clients to not only develop a strategy to drive employee engagement, but also to help them focus on the right employee experience and resources for all of the demographics in their workplace.

Ali has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the organizational wellbeing, culture, and employee experience industry. Prior to joining Holmes Murphy, Ali spent 15 years with Gallagher Benefit Services as Divisional Vice President, Practice Leader, Wellbeing and Engagement building a team of wellbeing and engagement professionals. Through this experience, she understands first-hand the value and importance of integrating organizational goals with strategies to engage talent. She helps her clients improve their employee retention and productivity through successful strategy development, implementation, and execution.

Ali is also an organizational engagement/culture expert and an award-winning thought leader. Recognized for her work in the industry, Ali was named the Employee Benefit Adviser’s Wellness Adviser of the Year in 2018.
Ali received her undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from The University of Iowa and her Master of Science degree in Health Promotion and Human Resource Management from Nebraska Methodist College. She also holds a certificate in Leadership from Harvard Business School.

Outside of work, Ali enjoys spending time with her husband Charlie, daughter Olive, and twin sons Fritz and Otto.

Barb Ranck

Courageously Imperfect Coaching & Development, LLC

Training and Coaching for 23+ years


  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
  • Certified Enneagram Coach through Your Enneagram Coach, LLC
  • Certified Facilitator, Data Dimensions International (DDI) Leadership Training


I’m a working mom and wife, having held a career in training and development at a Fortune 500 company while also serving and giving back to the community.

I also know what it’s like to work hard for what I have, and look successful by the world’s standards, yet still feel empty & unfulfilled inside.

My solution? “Put my head down” and keep pushing ahead. Work harder.

It was taking a toll – on my health, on my relationships, and on my energy.

The biggest realization I had was that I didn’t have to work harder or wait for something (or someone else) to change in order to have the fulfilling life I wanted. When I gained clarity on the best path forward for me, the emptiness left and the energy returned. My health and relationships improved.

This discovery has been so impactful for me that I’ve made it my life’s mission to help others create the fulfilled version of their lives so they can have it all, too.

Amy Reasner

Lynch Dallas, P.C.

Amy L. Reasner is a former Cedar Rapids broadcast journalist, who switched careers and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001. Amy then joined Lynch Dallas, P.C.  law firm and is now in her fourth term as the firm’s President.  Employment law is a significant part of Amy’s portfolio, which includes defending public and private employers and their insurance companies, conducting internal workplace investigations, and providing clients with common sense, cost effective human resource guidance.

Amy grew up in an Air Force family, and they lived in various parts of the U.S., plus in England.  Amy came to Iowa in order to attend the University of Iowa for her undergraduate degree in Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

Amy currently serves on the Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Board of Directors, the Willis Dady Homeless Services Board of Directors, and was appointed to the Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors by Governor Kim Reynolds in May 2019. Throughout her career, Amy has served on statewide and community boards including  as a Commissioner for the Iowa Department of Transportation, appointed by Governor Chet Culver in 2008 and reappointed by Governor Terry Branstad until 2016;  the Past President of the Linn County Bar Association (President 2018-2019); UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital Board of Directors (2012-2017); and the Linn County Trails Association.

Amy is married to Wilford H. Stone and very much enjoys her role as an Aunt to her nieces and nephews.

Tammy Rogers

Certified Coach
Aveea Partners

Tammy Rogers is best known for helping leaders experience “Aha” moments in order to develop new ways of thinking, new attitudes and new behaviors that transfer to the real world.

Tammy is a certified coach. She’s been instrumental in nine business start-ups. She’s held Vice President titles in both Human Resources and Operations – and has had the opportunity to lead more than 200 employees in remote offices from Boston to Los Angeles and Minneapolis to Atlanta.

Tammy has written more than 50 internationally distributed training programs. She has worked with best-selling authors like James Autry and Bob Nelson. And she has partnered with hundreds of companies – both large and small – to help them improve results through the building of people, processes and procedures.

Erika Sandoval

HCM Advisory Group at UKG

Erika Sandoval (she/ella) is a Partner, for the HCM Advisory Group at UKG. She brings a strong background in DEI, HR, organizational and professional development, and facilitation and consulting. Erika is passionate about helping organizations through strategic and inclusive workplace initiatives to improve and enhance the employee experience in global workplace environments. Having lived and worked in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, Erika has over a decade of experience in providing guidance in cross cultural complexities impacting organizations while driving business success. Outside of work, Erika is an active volunteer and mentor in various spaces that elevate and bring underrepresented voices to cultivate positive social change.

Erika holds various DEI and training certificates, and she received an MSc in Human Rights Law from the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

Heather Schott

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager
Krause Group/Kum & Go

Heather Schott has a brand and leadership style founded in problem solving, influence, innovation and disruption.  She received her undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Business from Morningside College.  Over her career, she has held a variety of roles in IT, HR and Actuarial functions.  Heather completed a Diversity & Inclusion leader certification with The Conference Board as she began leading a Fortune 500 Diversity & Inclusion program.   In October of 2020, Schott joined the Krause Group to build a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program across all of their organizations including Kum & Go. 

Heather is a proud Kia (pronounced Ki-ya or Mom) with two great kids, 9 and 17 years, at home!  She and her partner, Erin, live in West Des Moines where Heather serves on the West Des Moines Chamber Board. 

Renee Schulte

Workforce Specialty Coordinator
COVID Recovery Iowa

Renee Schulte has over 20 years of leadership experience in the mental health field at the national, state, and provider levels. Her work in the public and private sectors has given her a unique understanding of the complexities in this area. Renee is nationally recognized for her expertise in behavioral health policy, system design, policy and financial analysis, and strategic consulting. As a licensed mental health therapist, Renee has worked in many levels of care including psychiatric hospital, child welfare, and therapeutic foster care. As a legislator, she spearheaded the passage of mental health redesign in Iowa. She began Schulte Consulting, LLC in 2012. As a consultant she has worked with multiple states creating strategic plans, legislation and regulations. She has also used her expertise and unique background in government relations and consulting for both non-profit and for-profit providers of healthcare services. She is presently working as the Specialty Coordinator for Workforce: Essential/Non-Essential, and unemployed for Covid Recovery Iowa. She and her husband, Brent reside in Urbandale, Iowa.

Sally Shaver DuBois

Smile Enterprises

Sally Shaver DuBois is an educator, entertainer and professional speaker and author of her book, “Keeping Your Head Above Water”. As a wellness professional, Sally has spent the last 30+ years helping people of all ages to live a healthy, active lifestyle. As a professional speaker, personal trainer, health and physical educator, certified laughter leader, and certified health coach, she has guided thousands of people to improve their lives.

Additionally, a certified laughter leader, Sally entertains audiences across the Midwest and around the USA. Silly Sally performs singing telegrams, balloon creations, original music, ventriloquism and magic to audiences of all ages because she believes laughter truly is the best medicine!

Sally did her undergraduate work at Iowa State University in physical education, health, and music.  She has a master’s degree from Minnesota State University in human performance and a master’s degree from Iowa State University in curriculum and instructional technology.  She lives with her husband, Paul and their animals in the country near Ames, Iowa.  She enjoys exercising along the country roads, writing, playing and singing music, gardening, training her dogs, and taking photos of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the Iowa corn and bean fields.

Beth Shelton

Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Beth Shelton is the Chief Executive Office of Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, overseeing all operations for 13,500 members in portions of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Beth led her organization to record revenue and membership growth while simultaneously spearheading a cultural transformation that led to her organization being named on the selective Top Workplaces in Iowa, and #1 in the non profit category. She has received national accolades for her vision and innovation; highlighted recently on platforms ranging from Good Morning America, CNN,  ABC World News Tonight and SiriusXM to Working Mother Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today and the Today Show. She has shared her passionate message of recognizing the human side of workplace culture and benefits from coast to coast, from the Seattle Interactive Conference to the Walmart Women’s Empowerment Summit to the National Academy of Sciences.  She has been highlighted on platforms such as 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes, Women Lead Change Global, Women of Vision, the Groundbreakers Speaker Series, and various podcasts. She was recently named one of the 15 People To Watch by the Des Moines Register and one of the Business Leaders to Know by the Business Record. In 2021 celebrities ranging from Brene’ Brown and Kristin Bell to Jennifer Gardner and the “I Mom So Hard” duo engaged, shared and supported the work Beth and her team are doing.   Beth received the 2018 Alumni Achievement award from Simpson College.  She serves as a guest lecturer in the Drake University MBA program (where she also earned her MBA) and received the 2019 Young Alumni of Achievement Award by Drake University. She recently completed the Artificial Intelligence certificate program at MIT.

Beth, a life-long amputee, also serves on the board for the Iowa Amputee Golf Association, raising scholarships for families affected by the trauma and impact of limb loss. She has a lifelong love of sports, having been a 3-time collegiate MVP, and coaches youth teams in basketball and softball, as well as leading her local Girl Scout troop.

Leia Spoor, MPH

Sr. Clinical Consultant/Shareholder
Holmes Murphy & Associates

Leia Spoor joined Holmes Murphy in 2019 as Senior Clinical Consultant. In her role, Leia is a resource for all the EB clients and works closely with our Clinical Learning and Understanding Engine (CLUE).  She is responsible for bringing disease-specific reporting to approach data from a new perspective to drive decision-making and identify interventions that will have impact for clients.

Prior to joining Holmes Murphy, Leia was Director of Health and Wellness at Baylor Scott & White Health. At Baylor, she was responsible for developing the first comprehensive wellness program for the organization, achieving measurable results and numerous national recognitions for its success in improving health in the lives of employees and family members. Leia is also one of the Top 100 Wellbeing Leaders for the Corporate Health & Wellness Association.

Leia earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and Master of Public Health from Texas A&M University. She is also a Diplomate from the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Active in her community, Leia is a member of many clubs and organizations related to her church and children’s school. In her time outside of work, she enjoys traveling to Costa Rica and spending time with family and friends.

Ryan Stefani

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Crafting an argument for the court—especially one that ultimately wins the day for his client—is one of the most satisfying elements of Ryan Stefani’s practice. “What is the most fulfilling and meaningful to me is being able to take a client’s problems and craft a very thoughtful and well-reasoned argument to the court,” Ryan says, “I particularly enjoy writing briefs that are easy to understand in a way that is persuasive, logical, and easy to follow.”

That’s valuable in his intellectual property litigation practice. Ryan helps clients protect their intellectual property through patent and trademark litigation, and he has assisted with IP litigation in federal courts around the country. Ryan has assisted clients to obtain dozens of consent judgments against patentand trademark-infringing defendants. Ryan also helps clients protect their trade secrets and other confidential information from disclosure in open records requests. In addition in his labor and employment practice work, Ryan assists employers who face discrimination claims from current employees, former employees, and job applicants.

Although Ryan comes from a family of lawyers, that wasn’t the only reason he decided the law was the right career path. An in-depth conversation with a mentor and successful businessman guided Ryan to law school. It turned out to be the right fit and exactly what he wanted to do.

He’s used his law degree and an undergraduate communication degree as strong foundations for his approach to the law, and Ryan has also applied elements he’s learned from an unexpected source: comedy.

“I think to be really successful, the best comedians are usually very smart and clever and witty,” Ryan says. “That, I think, feeds into effective communication and effective delivery in public speaking settings.”

While he takes the law and its practice seriously, Ryan also makes sure to apply the principles of effective communication to his work with thoughtful, logical arguments that help his clients’ cases succeed.

Nataliya Stone

Shareholder/Employee Benefits Team Co-Leader
Holmes Murphy & Associates

As a key player of Holmes Murphy & Associates, Nataliya is dedicated to providing creative solutions and tools her clients need to design their employee benefit programs. A native of Ukraine and fluent in three languages, she has the skills necessary to communicate and implement employer sponsored benefits and initiatives to diverse organizations.  Nataliya specializes in healthcare data analysis, health care reform and legal compliance, cutting edge wellness programs as well as a full suite of employer sponsored benefit programs.  Nataliya is also a Holmes Murphy shareholder.

Nataliya joined the Employee Benefits Division of Holmes Murphy in 2006.  Prior to joining Holmes Murphy, she worked for Wells Fargo in Consumer and Business account management where she held a variety of advisory capacities involving life and health, investments and business financial services.

Nataliya is a frequent speaker on Health Care topics at local, regional and national industry events. She is currently working on her Doctorate Degree and also enjoys teaching employee benefits to the graduate students at Drake University as an Adjunct Professor. Nataliya earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance and her master’s in Business Administration at Drake University.  In addition, Nataliya holds her Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Group Benefit Associate (GBA), and Retirement Plan Associate (RPA) designations.

Nataliya is an active member of Greater Des Moines community, currently serving as the Board President on the Board of Directors for The Employee and Family Resources. In 2020 Nataliya was honored as the 2020 Emerging Woman of Influence by Business Record and The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.  In 2017 Nataliya was one of 15 executives who graduated from the Executive Education Center at Drake University’s Leading Others program. In 2016, Nataliya received a Community Vision Award from the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and in 2012, she was honored as one of the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty under 40 for her professional achievements and community involvement.

Dwight Taylor

The DART Group 

Dwight Taylor is a graduate of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and retired as a detective with the Urbandale Police Department.  During his 25 year career in law enforcement Dwight was trained in drug interdiction, which resulted in the seizure of $12,000,000 in cocaine and more than 100 pounds of marijuana.  Dwight was trained in surveillance, and interrogation techniques, and also received training by the United States Secret Service in questioned document examination with the primary focus on handwriting examination.  He holds the designations of Certified Drug Recognition Expert, and Certified Fraud Examiner.

In March of 1997 Dwight formed The DART Group.  A Company dedicated to workplace safety.  Dwight worked with other law enforcement officers and human resource professionals to developed programs designed to help companies in the private sector to implement drug free workplace policies, so that they may comply with the Iowa drug law. 

Dwight has worked with companies across the country.  His client list includes Firestone/ Bridgestone Tire, Lennox Industries, Vermeer Corporation and Pella Corporation.  In addition to working with some of the largest employers in the state, he has also worked with companies with as few as 50 employees.

His services include training supervisors in the signs & symptoms of drug use for the purpose of gathering reasonable suspicion for drug testing, assisting in the writing of drug policies and providing awareness training to the general workforce.

The DART Group also provides training in workplace violence prevention, Active shooter defense, site security and executive protection.

Eric M. Updegraff

Hopkins & Huebner, P.C.

Areas of Practice

General practice including but not limited to:

  • Employment Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Family Law

Bar Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Iowa, 2012
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2006
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 2006
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2006
  • Iowa, 2004


  • University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IowaDrake University, Des Moines, Iowa
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence with Distinction, 2004
  • Simpson College, Indianoloa, Iowa
    • Bachelor of Arts, Economics

Honors and Awards

  • Iowa Rising Stars List, Super Lawyers, 2013-2019

Published Works

  • Co-Author, Terminations Under Veterans Preference Law
  • Working with Disability
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act and Exempt Employees
  • Your Employee Handbook and You
Michelle Weil

Consultant, Organizational Engagement/Shareholder

As a Business Development Consultant on our ethOs team, Michelle Weil’s main focus is on the career development side of wellbeing –connecting people to their purpose and helping employees determine what impact and value they bring to their organization. Her main goal is to create a culture where people can show up as themselves and bring value through their talents.

Prior to joining ethOs, Michelle worked for Holmes Murphy as a Learning and Development Consultant for 7 years. She also spent several years as a social worker specializing in a adult mental illness.

Michelle attended Iowa State University, where she earned degrees in Psychology and Sociology. In addition to her education, Michelle is certified in Gallup Strengths and has her Thriving Workplace Culture Certification.

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and blended family of three girls and one boy. She is also actively involved in her church and her children’s arts and sports activities.

Mimi Willoughby

Registered Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
Iowa Workforce Development

Mimi recently joined the Iowa Workforce Development team to expand and innovate the Registered Apprenticeship pathway for employers.  Before this role, she spent the last 15 years working in public education with an emphasis on English Language Arts instruction and serving as an Instructional Coordinator and Program Administrator for alternative teaching and learning pedagogy.  

Most recently her outcomes from Des Moines Public Schools shows her determination to remove systemic barriers for youth. Mimi directed the redesign of the districtwide high school credit recovery system which saw a 178% increase of at-risk graduates between 2015-2021. This program was selected by Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation as a pilot to mentor youth to become Teen Mental Health First Aid peer responders.  She also launched the first Options Academy in Iowa which certified a competency-based graduation pathway utilizing the HiSET exam for the K-12 system. 

Mimi holds a Masters of Transformative Educational Leadership and Administration Endorsement from Iowa State University, a Masters of Secondary Education and Teaching from the University of Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Rhetorical Communication from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is also certified with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing as a Youth Mental Health First Aid and Teen Mental Health First Aid trainer. 

She has dedicated her career to innovating systems to work in concert with the community, so they can sustain meaning and allegiance through the transformation process. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, learning, and living a healthy and active lifestyle.   

Ramona Wink, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Motivational Public Speaker
515 Therapy and Consulting

Ramona Wink, LMHC, is a licensed mental health therapist and motivational public speaker with 515 Therapy and Consulting in West Des Moines. In her role as a therapist, Ramona sees a full caseload of adults and couples. She dedicates herself to helping her clients find solutions to live their best, authentic lives by focusing on their mental well-being. Before becoming a therapist, Ramona was a pastor, so she also enjoys working with clients who want to incorporate their faith into their healing journey. Recently, Ramona was appointed by Governor Reynolds to serve on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Ramona is passionate about her public speaking for one simple reason: There is an extreme shortage of mental health therapy providers in Iowa. When Ramona gets in front of an audience of any size, she has the opportunity to impact a larger number of people. In every presentation, Ramona shares the time-tested techniques that she utilizes with her therapy clients, along with the lessons that she is learning from her clients. Audience members consistently report that they are inspired by the client stories that Ramona shares from the stage, as well as Ramona’s captivating and engaging personality.

If promoting mental wellness in the workplace is a top priority, this session is a top pick.

Kristine Winter
Contract Marketing Manager & Coach
BrandSpec Marketing

Kristine is driven by a passion for marketing strategy and results. A successful branding and marketing leader for over 25 years, she is your guide to clarifying your message and improving the use of your marketing channels to reach your target audience.  Whether designing a marketing plan or coaching internal staff on how to run and manage a marketing system, Kristine’s results have attracted local, regional and national clients.

Clients who work with Kristine appreciate her direct approach to increasing marketing’s ROI.  Her years of experience in both corporate and agency marketing, including workforce development, leading the marketing department for a national manufacturer, and as the founder of her own full-service marketing agency, have allowed her to see what works and doesn’t work in her mission to deliver practical strategies and lasting results.

Kristine is a certified marketing consultant and an avid writer on marketing and branding. She speaks to groups across the country providing actionable steps on how organizations can grow through better marketing.

Learn more at BrandSpecMarketing.com or connect with Kristine on >LinkedIn

Daniel Zinnel, EdD

President and Founder
Growth & Joy

Dr. Daniel Zinnel is a facilitator, speaker, and learner. Authenticity, intentionality, humility, compassion, and joy are his leadership values. In 2020, he launched Growth and Joy, LLC to help individuals, businesses, and organizations develop proactive, practical, and purposeful leaders. He has trained and spoken to over twenty thousand individuals on a variety of topics including leadership, power and privilege, LGBTQ inclusion, and building your personal brand. Daniel was previously on faculty as an adjunct at Des Moines University and Iowa Central Community College. He developed One Iowa’s LGBTQ Leadership Institute, was part of a team that created the 4Equity Tool, and has previously served on the curriculum committee of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. Daniel has over 10 years of nonprofit administration and leadership including currently serving as the CEO of Proteus, Inc. and previously as the Executive Director of One Iowa. He serves as Tri-Chair of the Social Capital within Capital Crossroads, Vice Chair of the John Stoddard Cancer Center, Vice Chair of the Iowa Primary Care Association, and is on a variety of other community boards and advisory councils.