Conference Schedule

Final Schedule

Wednesday, April 8th


Dr. Jarik Conrad: "Understanding Your Emotional Intelligence: The Art and Science of Human Performance"

As AI, AR/VR, robotics, and other innovative technologies are automating and augmenting tasks that were traditionally done by humans, workers are increasingly expressing a desire for more “human” workplaces. To achieve this, the workforce of the future will need to be adaptable, collaborative, and inclusive. Underpinning these qualities is a cluster of skills that affect every workplace decision and influences every workplace interaction – Emotional Intelligence (EI).

Emotional intelligence is far from touchy-feely HR speak; it is based on years of tedious research in psychology and neuroscience. During this interactive session, Dr. Jarik Conrad will help you understand the science behind EI and give you some practical tools that you can use to grow personally and professionally. He will also give you some strategies for helping your organization become more “human.”

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

SESSION 2: 12:45 AM – 1:45 PM

Judge Scott J. Beattie: "Iowa Employment Litigation – A View from the Bench"

A person’s perspective matters. Perspective guides a person’s actions and understanding another person’s perspective can help you be a better advocate. This presentation will give you the view of the judge in the litigation of employment cases and administrative appeals. It will include:

  1. The unique pressures and considerations that influence judges in their handling of employment litigation and administrative appeals.
  2. How things such and venue and region can impact your handling of employment cases.
  3. What things you can do to position your case for success both before the judge and the jury.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Matt Brick & Erin Clanton: "Common Discipline Problems Employers Face"

Employers have a great deal of responsibility in maintaining a productive and satisfied workforce. During the course of operating a business, there will be challenges; however, you can minimize the impact of employee disciplinary issues by understanding the cause and how to correct them. This seminar will focus on common issues and helpful solutions to typical problems in areas, such as:

  1. Attendance and Punctuality;
  2. Violation of Company Rules; and
  3. Low Productivity or Insubordination.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Alan Feirer: "High Stakes Decision Making"

On the most basic level, decisions in the workplace range from low risk to high risk. Throw in various obstacles and lots of stress, and even the low risk decisions can seem daunting. Escalate that by adding time restraints, a need for team consensus, and company politics, the high-risk decisions can easily escalate to insurmountable.  So, what do you do when the pressure is on and the stakes are high?

The solution is to plan and prepare, and this session will give you the skills, tools, and knowledge specifically for those situations. When you’re well-prepared, the high stress, high risk decisions won’t seem like no-win impossibilities. They’ll still be difficult, of course, but you’ll go into the process with clarity and a practiced plan that will ease stress and create a more decision-making friendly environment.

  1. Learn and use strategies for prioritization.
  2. Effectively implement the WWW/TALA tool for project analysis.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Claudia Schabel: "Inclusive Leadership"

Leadership teams across the United States, and the world, have been investing into strategies designed to recruit, leverage and retain a diverse workforce more effectively. To fully attain these goals, leadership engagement, awareness and training are needed. Leaders will need to develop and sharpen their cross- cultural and communications skills to manage and inspire an increasingly diverse workforce in years to come.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Learn to identify inclusive leadership skills
  2. Understand how to address difficult conversations with practical tools
  3. Design an action plan to be adopted post-session.

Workshop Outcomes

Participants in this session will learn to identify behaviors and leadership commitments that can systemically enhance team performance and talent retention.

Time Commitment

In this 60-minute workshop, participants will engage in interactive exercises, and case studies to discuss key leadership concepts. Participants will benefit from a team building experience.

Who Should Participate

  1. Team leaders
  2. Business leaders
  3. HR leaders
  4. Leadership potential individuals
  5. Individual contributors
  6. Community leaders

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Tammy Rogers: "Tapping Into Your Employee Discretionary Effort"

Every day your employees make a choice.  Are they going to do just what they HAVE to do or are they going to do what they are CAPABLE of doing?  That decision — whether it’s conscious or not — can change the trajectory of a career, project, team, department or organization.   

In this interactive session participants will: 

  • Identify why employees don’t give their all
  • Determine how alignment impacts effort
  • Discover leadership behaviors that improves an employee’s emotional commitment to the organization

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Daniel Hoffman – Zinnel : "Using Your Privilege and Power for Good"

In this session, participants will reflect on their own experiences and identities as a starting point.  Participants will then learn about best practices and tools related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and how to leverage their privilege and power for good.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine experiences and identities that have shaped your worldview
  2. Learn best practices on how to use privilege and power for good
  3. Plan for the future on how to use privilege and power for good

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

SESSION 3:  2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Bill Judge: "Drug Screening in Iowa – Mandatory Regulations, Policy, Consent, and Training – OH MY!"

Employers wishing to conduct drug screening in Iowa must follow mandatory requirements. From the development of a written policy, to the implementation of procedures, collecting consent to test, and providing initial & annual supervisor training – we will guide you through the state-specific requirements and other critical issues employer should consider and be prepared for!

  • Review of the mandatory laws in Iowa
  • Policy vs. procedures
  • Importance of supervisor training
  • Other critical issues employers need to be aware of

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Hugh Cain & Brent Hinders: "Public Handbooks"

Public employers are different than private employers.  Conflating the two often results in needless and expensive litigation.  This presentation will walk employers through where handbooks should differ and what government-specific provisions should be included or excluded.  Specifically, this presentation will discuss:

  • When an FMLA notice is appropriate for public employers;
  • Notices to public employees regarding rights to hearings regarding employment;
  • Open Records requirements for public employees;
  • Public employer appropriate social media policies, and;
  • Changes in the law concerning notices to employees about the Iowa Whistleblower statute.

Intended Audience: Public Sector 

Kim Peterson & KC Claussen : "Visioning for Change"

In an environment of constant change, professionals need to be able to effectively conduct strategic visioning and planning for their team, department or organization.  Knowing where you want to go–your vision for the future–is only 10% of the work.  The other 90% is how effectively you lead the change initiative to bring all stakeholders on board through solid planning, communication and creating buy-in. 

Participants can expect to walk away with knowledge on:

  1. Facilitation tools and exercises for use in the visioning process
  2. Understanding project management planning techniques
  3. Building buy-in with relevant stakeholders

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Scott Burgmeyer: "Self-Awareness: Strengths and Blind Spots"

When we drive – we know what our cars can do, and we know where our blind spots are.  But do you know the extent of your personal power?  And do you know where your professional blind spots are? 

Many people don’t really know themselves.  And Carter Cast, professor of business management for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University says we have “blind spots because most of us have a hard time being objective about ourselves.” 

It’s time to find out!

At this workshop attendees will:

  1. Identify their personal strengths
  2. Identify their personal blind spots
  3. Learn how to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Tammy Rogers: "No Jerks at Work"

Jerk-like behavior in the workplace is on the rise.  Just type “bad boss” or “toxic work environment” into Google and see what happens.  Add our amplified focus on sexual harassment and hostile work environments – and you’ve got the perfect storm.

In this interactive session participants will: 

  1. Discover how jerks impact work
  2. Recognize the risks of ignoring jerks at work
  3. Understand our role in addressing jerks at work
  4. Consider how YOU might sometimes be a jerk at work

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Jason Haglund : "Mental Health First Aid: Is your workforce prepared to identify, understand, respond?"

Mental Health First Aid is a skills based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance use issues.

I will provide an abbreviated overview of the 8 hours course demonstrating why you need to invest in workforce wellness.

  • Review why mental health literacy is an important part of any healthy workplace culture
  • Recognize the potential risk factors and warning signs for a wide range of mental health concerns
  • Interpret the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced negative attitudes in the workplace
  • Assess your views and your organizations views of mental health problems

Intended Audience: Private Sector

SESSION 4: 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

Mike Staebell : "2020 Wage and Hour Developments and Highlights"

The USDOL’s Wage and Hour Division had an active 2019 and looks to be just as busy in 2020.  Final regulations are expected on several FLSA provisions:

  • regular rate of pay;
  • tipped employees;
  • joint employment;
  • child labor provisions

In addition, DOL will be issuing a request for information on changes to the Family Medical Leave Act regulations, plus revised FLMA forms and many more Opinion Letters covering FLSA and FMLA questions.

Session attendees will learn the details of WHD’s new rules and opinions and how to prepare for them. 

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Kelsey Crosse & Nils Johnson : "Lessons Learned from Multimillion Dollar Litigation"

Unfortunately, trials and employment disputes are inevitable. We will evaluate how businesses can be better prepared for a trial, or any legal dispute, to help set themselves up for success. This presentation will be an interactive discussion of what some businesses learn the hard way. We will talk about how you and your company can implement best practices to help protect itself.

You will learn:

  1. Offensive strategies for your business: What your litigator will want you to know about the litigation process
  2. How to mitigate common mistakes employers make using actual cases and legal
  3. Settlements, Severance Agreements, and Trial – the pros and cons of each

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Amy Ratekin : "Avoiding Insult Turning into Assault"

Improve the safety of the workplace and empower your employees to effectively deal with any instances of workplace violence. Empowerment equals better mental health and productivity of employees. Participants will learn a comprehensive workplace violence plan.

The topics covered:

  1. Prevention plans that include recognizing the 5 types of violence.
  2. Pre-attack indicators with evasion/ de-escalation strategies.
  3. Defense techniques and escape strategies.
  4. Keep a simple insult from turning into a workplace violence incident.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Beth Shelton : "97% Workforce Engagement? One Real Example of Cultural Transformation and the Incredible Business ROI"

Upon facilitating an organizational transformation from 2016-2019 and seeing the incredible correlation of high workplace satisfaction and an increase in all key performance indicators, I became passionate about creating and sharing tools that benefit today’s workforce. Our cultural transformation included a healthy dose of risk taking and disruption.

This topic is incredibly relevant as unemployment continues dip to historical lows and talent acquisition is a mounting pressure for business owners.

I bring humor, passion, business insight, vulnerability and credentials to this important topic. I understand the nuances of creating excellent workplace culture while being responsible for the operational and financial sustainability of an organization.

My experience stems from real-world situations and my unique take on employee benefits has quite literally captured the attention of more than 130 million people across multiple television, online and in-person platforms.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understanding of barriers to achieving an engaging culture
  2. How to create a decision rubric for workplace innovation/ employee satisfaction
  3. Tips on embracing risk and disruption in creating cultural change

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector 

Liz Nead : "Embrace the Awkward: How to talk productively about politics and other tough subjects"

Talking about politics and world events is awkward. It doesn’t matter how it starts, inevitably you run into a crossroads: speak your thoughts or move on. Here’s what the research tells us:

  • 53% of Americans think talking about politics is generally stressful and frustrating.
  • 46% of social media users express fatigue from political posts and discussion.
  • Majorities on any side feel it doesn’t lead to common ground.

More than ever, it is important to embrace the awkward and master the art of dialogue. Constructive conversations do not require agreement, convincing, winning. Rather, the power comes from the ability to understand, connect and continue to develop our viewpoints in social excellence and respectful discourse.

In this talk, I share:

  1. Scientific facts around dialogue.
  2. Essential differences between discussing and arguing.
  3. Respectful language to diffuse conversations.
  4. Five behaviors to avoid when discussing difficult topics.
  5. Five strategies, which will increase your skill around discussion.
  6. Connections between constructive conversations and diversity.
  7. Real world examples of successful dialogue and training to handle situations they will actually face in their professional and personal life.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Kyle Horn : "A New Kind of Hero: Iowa’s Great Untapped Workforce"

Our nation’s dwindling workforce is cited as the chief threat to our future prosperity, but there’s good news: the solution may lie in our own backyard. America’s Job Honor Awards founder Kyle Horn provides unique insights into our workforce crisis, proposes innovative solutions, and shares the moving stories of honorees who have overcome significant barriers to employment.

Participants will:

  1. Learn the nature and size of Iowa’s untapped workforce
  2. Understand the business case and moral case for sourcing and hiring disadvantaged jobseekers.
  3. Review case studies of Iowa employers that have benefited from this innovative approach to recruiting.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector