Conference Schedule: Thursday, April 4, 2024​


Please be advised this schedule may be subject to change

Registration/Lite Breakfast 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Conference Starts: 8:30 AM
Conference Ends: 3:00 PM



KEYNOTE: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

KEYNOTE: The Epic Adventures of Human Resources
Steve Fredlund


Working in HR can feel like an African safari, an ongoing experience of excitement mixed with stress. When we approach life like an epic adventure we become more engaged, less burnt out, and happier in work and our personal lives. Steve Fredlund is known as “The Safari Dude” and he uses compelling stories from the savannah to invite us into The Safari Way by choosing our experience, getting the right peeps in our Jeeps, doing the unright thing, taking in the view and embracing the adventure.  Learn how to find, attract, and onboard the right team members to become part of your epic organizational team. Unlock the power of employee behavior and discover the surprising root drivers of productivity, engagement, and retention.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how external pressures impact our decisions
  2. Five practical ways to become happier in every area of our life
  3. Be equipped to take tangible next steps to build a more productive team
  4. Discover the research that proved cultural alignment and connection are more powerful than skills, knowledge and abilities in driving productivity, engagement, and retention

Develop a strategic organizational strategy for selecting and onboarding the “right peeps for their jeeps” that will lead to success, happiness, and longevity

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Steve Fredlund (He/Him/His)
The Safari Way

Steve Fredlund earned the title of “The Safari Dude” after leading multiple African safaris. He’s an award-winning actuary with Fortune 500 leadership experience, as well as a business and nonprofit founder. A career shift provided the opportunity to discover a breakthrough link between employee happiness and productivity, engagement, and retention. This discovery fueled his personal journey toward happiness and success that he now passionately shares with others.

He weaves his vast experience and data-based evidence into memorable messages. He is a two-time TEDx speaker who has become a sought-after keynoter who captivates attention with humor and challenges audiences to embrace life’s adventures. He delivers energetic talks that empower individuals to become better leaders and happier people.


SESSION 1: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

The NLRB is Re-Writing Your Employee Handbooks, Severance, and Employment Agreements – Are You Ready?
Thomas Cunningham


The National Labor Relations Board has begun implementing its aggressive agenda to makeover the non-unionized workplace. Recent NLRB decisions have negatively impacted the continued validity of many standard employee handbook policies, standard confidentiality and non-disparagement terms in severance agreements, and when an employer may be deemed a “joint employer” with a temporary worker provider or franchisee. Learn about these developments and how to effectively address them.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn about the recent NLRB decisions invalidating many standard employee handbook policies and severance agreement terms
2. Learn about recent NLRB decisions impacting who is a joint employer
3. Learn strategies for effectively addressing these decisions and keeping your organization legally compliant

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Thomas Cunningham (He/Him/His)
Attorney / Shareholder
Nyemaster Goode, PC

Thomas M. Cunningham is the Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department at Nyemaster, Goode, P. C. in Des Moines, Iowa.   Tom’s experience and skill has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Iowa Super Lawyers, Great Plains Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA Leading Lawyers for Business, all in the area of Labor & Employment Law and related litigation.  He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of IowaHe is admitted to practice in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska.  His practice consists of representing private and public sector management clients in all areas of labor and employment law, with an emphasis on trials in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including discrimination and civil rights cases, and FMLA, ADA, wage/hour, OSHA, and affirmative action matters. In addition, Tom represents employers in the traditional labor law arena, having advised employers in union avoidance tactics and organizational campaigns and defended employers from unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board.

The Maverick’s Guide to Designing Evidence-Based Leadership Learning Journeys
Dan Topf


This session unveils the architecture behind YOUR next wildly successful yet unique leadership learning journeys. Learn to influence your stakeholders’ expectations about what works in leadership learning journeys and how to win their support for trying things a bit differently. Developing key talent, especially up-and-coming senior leaders, has been shown to directly correlate to retention. Explore the strategic integration of various design elements and learn the evidence behind why they work so well.

A short list of design elements may include in-person sessions, live online sessions, action planning, peer support, manager engagement, extended learning, executive faculty, action learning projects, exposure to executive level functions, volunteer activities, professional coaching, CEUs, developmental assessments, book clubs, and more. 

You’ll leave armed with a list of strong design options and evidence to win the support of your program sponsors and participants. 

Great content is very important and great design is even more important to achieve the business impact your sponsors require.   The winning formula is intentional design of content-rich learning experiences for meaningful leadership performance back on the job. I’ll provide you with tools and tips for designing a learning journey that bridges theory with practical, real-world applications. It’s not just about WHAT participants learn, but HOW they learn in ways to achieve tangible leadership growth and performance improvement. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Assess several design elements of a leadership learning journey for adoption or adaptation to your programs
  2. Explore the evidence behind high impact learning design elements in a leadership learning journey             
  3. Consider design elements, tools, tactics, experiences, and more that you may not have considered to inject some innovation and creativity into your programs

Intended Audience: Private Sector

Dan Topf (He/Him/His)
Topf Business Learning

Dan is the owner of Topf Business Learning, an Iowa-based business acumen and leadership development company.  With over 25 years of experience, Dan is passionate about helping people and businesses achieve dramatic performance improvement through business learning.

Dan is expert in helping leaders at all levels see the bigger picture.  Perspective changes everything.  When leaders see the big picture, they can play their part to make things happen.

Dan has BA and MA degrees and has served on the faculty of the Drake University School of Education. He has also taught in the Tippie Executive MBA Program at the University of Iowa.

He’s an alum of Leadership Iowa. He’s also an active volunteer in professional societies: The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), and the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

The Science of Public Speaking: Confidence in High-Stakes Communications
Erik Dominguez


Why do so many individuals grapple with the challenges of high-stakes communications? Have you ever found yourself extremely nervous or even avoiding crucial conversations? This one-hour talk is designed to address these common concerns in a professional context, exploring the underlying science of public speaking with an emphasis on high-pressure situations like pivotal business meetings, crucial presentations, and impactful dialogues. It aims to demystify the physiological and neurological reactions our bodies and minds undergo during public speaking, especially under significant stress. Participants will gain scientific insights and practical tools to manage and excel in these critical moments. Targeted at a diverse audience, including business professionals, leaders, educators, and students, this session offers invaluable skills and confidence-building strategies for anyone looking to enhance their competence in high-stakes public speaking and crucial conversations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the Neurological and Physiological Responses: Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the neurological and physiological mechanisms that are triggered during high-stakes public speaking. This includes learning about the brain’s response to stress, the release of stress hormones, and how these reactions impact speech and overall performance.
  2. Identify and Develop Strategies to Manage Anxiety: Attendees will learn to identify common fears and anxieties associated with high-stakes communications and develop practical strategies to manage these feelings. This objective covers techniques like mindfulness, breathing exercises, visualization, and positive affirmations, enabling participants to effectively prepare for and navigate high-pressure speaking scenarios.
  3. Enhance Skills for High-Stakes Conversations: The talk aims to equip participants with actionable tips and methods to improve their public speaking skills, particularly in high-stakes situations. This includes learning how to prepare and practice for crucial conversations, as well as techniques for maintaining poise and clarity under pressure, thereby enhancing their overall effectiveness as communicators in critical settings.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Erik Dominguez (He/Him/His)
Speaker and Facilitator
Speak Up Stories

Erik Dominguez is a communication and confidence expert with over 25 years of experience teaching thousands of individuals
from all walks of life how to speak up for themselves. As an immigrant who grew up between two cultures and mixed messages, his familiarity with communication fears fueled him to learn and share the mindsets and tools to be seen and heard. His team-oriented approach has centered around a philosophy that everyone has a unique story and believes that everyone can share their minds and hearts with confidence, power, and – yes – a LOT of fun!

Love to Laugh: Looking for Humor at Work
Libby Roberts


Carol Burnett, one of the funniest people to walk the earth, once said, “I’m really not that funny in real life. But I am the best audience one could find. I love to laugh.” This attitude toward laughter led Burnett to great success on her self-titled comedy variety show, where she taught us how laughter can enrich and enliven the workplace.

What roles do comedy, humor, and laughter play in your organization? In your department? On your team? How can more fun lead to more productivity, team cohesion, and better results?

In this session, we’ll discuss the benefits of humor at work and introduce you to different types of humor. We’ll give you strategies to effectively use different types of humor to uplift colleagues and improve culture, teamwork, and creativity. Most importantly, we’ll share some laughs!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the benefits of humor at work
  2. Identify types of humor and when to use/not use each type
  3. Use humor more effectively to improve workplace culture, teamwork, and creativity

 Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Libby Roberts (She/Her/Hers)
Training Manager
ATW Training Solutions

Libby joined ATW Training Solutions in 2016 after spending nearly 10 years in banking, where she started in customer service and moved to management and talent development. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and holds a master’s degree in Adult Learning and Organizational Performance from Drake University.

Libby integrates instructional design, program development, and relationship building to her current role as Training Manager at ATW. Libby’s passion is people, and she strives to create a learning environment where all participants are welcomed, engaged, and challenged to move out of their comfort zones.

Outside of work, Libby enjoys spending time with friends and family, attending concerts, and enjoying the great outdoors with her family.

Unleash Your Brilliance: Bounce Back, Pivot, and Thrive in Any Situation
Steve Hughes


What do you do when something doesn’t go your way at work? What if you could remain calm and find your footing in short order? What if you were more resilient after setbacks?  “Unleash Your Brilliance” is a dynamic, hands-on program that gives you simple-to-use tools to unlock your EQ to be more present and think better on your feet. Borrowing from the latest scientific research as well as insights from improv performers, you’ll be equipped to stay cool under pressure when the stakes are high. Whether you’re dealing with a skeptical customer, presenting a bold idea, or frustrated trying to do your job in a hybrid environment, you can improve your ability to be more resilient.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Turn unexpected challenges into opportunities for connection and growth.
  2. Think better on your feet.
  3. Respond more effectively and positively when things go awry.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Steve Hughes
Hit Your Stride, LLC

Steve Hughes, CSP*, is president of Hit Your Stride, LLC, an international consultancy that helps people look and sound smart when they talk. A highly sought-after professional speaker, emcee, and author, he is called upon by Fortune 500 companies, national associations, leading universities, and non-profit organizations to electrify audiences and inspire more effective communication. Prior to founding Hit Your Stride in 2005, Steve spent 14 years in the advertising business and was a partner in a 50-person ad agency, where he made hundreds of presentations with millions of dollars on the line.

He is the author of Captivate: Presentations That Engage and Inspire, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek and on BBC World News, CBS, and National Public Radio. He is also the proud creator of “International Face Your Fears Day,” which is celebrated annually on the second Tuesday in October. Steve holds a BA in French Literature and European History from the University of Kansas and an MBA in Marketing from Washington University’s Olin School of Business, where he was awarded the prestigious Olin Cup.

* Certified Speaking Professional, a registered trademark of the National Speakers Association. The CSP is the highest earned designation from NSA and is held by less than 10% of speakers worldwide.

Navigating Yourself: Personality mindset as the key to overall wellbeing
Amy Boyce


​Numerous factors influence our health and overall wellbeing. Using tools like the well-researched NavigateYOU provides valuable insights that can shape work-life balance. While these traits are not our destiny, they can be important anchor points for our self-awareness and relationships with others. By utilizing these practical and applicable insights, we can manage our own wellbeing and positively impact those around us including co-workers.

As leaders you will learn to utilize the tools shared to ensure that your employees and your organization build and maintain a culture that promotes health and wellbeing at all levels in the organization.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Get into the Personality Mindset by exploring the fundamentals of what makes us…us!
  2. Connecting our personality to our overall wellbeing.
  3. Identify the guideposts of our cognitive, interpersonal, and motivational personality
  4. Gather the tools necessary to develop and maintain a culture of well-being for your employees and leaders.

Intended Audience: Private Sector / Public Sector

Amy Boyce
Director of People & Culture
Navigate Wellbeing

Amy Boyce is the Director of People & Culture at Navigate Wellbeing Solutions in West Des Moines, Iowa. Amy began her role with Navigate in 2022. Over the last 15+ years Amy has supported all areas of Talent and Organizational Development as an instructional designer, classroom facilitator, performance coach, and leader of culture and employee engagement initiatives.

Amy is a past president of Association for Talent Development (ATD) Central IA, where she led efforts to plan the annual Professional Development Day in 2021. Amy was also part of the Leadership Iowa class of ’20-’21 where she had the opportunity to connect with other leaders to tour industries within Iowa and discuss the challenges and opportunities within the state.

Amy is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a Minor in Coaching. She resides in Urbandale, IA, with her daughter, son, and Boston terrier puppy.

SESSION 2: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Labor Law for Non-Union Employers
Kay Oskvig


Many organizations believe if they do not have a union, the “labor laws” do not apply. This session will cover a variety of rules and regulations, using real-life examples. The presenter will also provide an overview of major lessons learned from 2023, often described as the “Year of Labor.”

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand which statutes and rules apply to non-union workplaces
  2. How to recognize a union campaign
  3. Lessons from 2023 – to apply in real life immediately/by end of FY 2024

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Kay Oskvig (She/Her/Hers)
Whitfield & Eddy Law Firm

Kay Oskvig delivers practical, efficient advice focusing on employment, union, corporate, and data privacy matters.

Kay counsels businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofit organizations on a wide range of workforce issues including civil rights complaints, hiring, discipline, internal investigations, terminations, health and safety, reasonable accommodations, non-solicitation and non-competition covenants, compliance with leave laws, responding to wage and hour audits. She drafts executive compensation, independent contractor, and separation/release agreements. Many clients rely on her guidance for compliance issues, and she regularly provides policies and procedures. Kay helps clients analyze a variety of federal and state laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. She also leads management-side union matters, negotiating collective bargaining agreements and handling grievances.

Kay regularly advises corporate clients on a variety of risk management topics and corporate governance matters, including buy-sell agreements, due diligence, data privacy, risk mitigation, cybersecurity, and nonprofit management issues. She counsels clients about workplace health and safety issues, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)compliance and investigations. In 2021, she attained the International Association of Privacy Professionals designation as a Certified Information Privacy Professional in United States law (CIPP/US). Kay fields questions from clients on data breach, information security, and risk matters often involving the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other state, federal, or international statutes. While Kay predominately works to help clients prevent and avoid litigation, she routinely defends agency complaints and advocates for clients in contested matters. She provides on-site and virtual training to clients and frequently presents to community and industry groups.

Kay has served on nonprofit boards across the state of Iowa and is actively involved in the Iowa State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She is a former member of the ABA House of Delegates. She is a member of Leadership Iowa class of 2022—2023, Chair of the Whitfield &Eddy Law Labor and Employment Practice Group, and past co-Chair of the Whitfield & Eddy Law Information Technology Committee.

Contact today Contact Kay today or call us at 515.288.2500 for more information.

Protecting Our Workforce
Wade Britt


A new wave of technical disruption is upon us with the advent of Generative AI. This presentation will articulate two challenges we must solve – a societal problem with a large portion of the workforce being placed at risk and an opportunity to expand business growth through revising existing operating models.

We will explore past disruptions and learn from them to describe solutions to these challenges. Firstly, a data-driven approach to designing the jobs of the future and the development path towards them to enable our community to adapt to the coming change. Secondly, a profitability and growth opportunity represented by leveraging this new technology to change the fundamentals of firms operating models so that unprofitable customers become an engine of growth.

We will also cover precise and actionable next steps for attendees to put in place at their organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to leverage skills inventories and future-casting of jobs so that our workforce can be deliberately managed through this disruption.
  2. How to assess profitability in a way that identifies new opportunities with existing clients to drive growth.
  3. An understanding of key features of disruption and how they can be leveraged to inform action, today.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Wade Britt (He/Him/His)
Partner & Managing Director
Bâton Global

Wade is a partner at Bâton Global and the firm’s Managing Director. Since 2016 he has helped clients improve their strategies, culture, and workforce skills.

Wade began his career in global logistics where he ran business units of DHL across Europe and Asia. In the education technology space, Wade has run several companies in Asia, South America, and the US prior to joining Bâton Global.

Wade has earned a Masters in International Business Studies and a BA in Philosophy from the University of South Carolina. A recovering academic, Wade has also taught Globalization and Strategy at Drake University.

Why it’s Critical for Leaders to C.A.R.E.
Erin Lego


We’ve likely all heard team members leave bad leaders. That hasn’t changed.

Our team members are our greatest asset. We work hard to get them in the door, and we should work hard to keep them there. So, what needs to change? Your leaders.

No doubt you have great leaders in place! What often happens is team members are promoted into leadership positions based on their technical skill as an individual contributor however they don’t know what they need to do when they move into a leadership position. Or they know what they should do, but they don’t know how.

Coaching your leaders to CARE is critical for their success and for the retention of your team members. In this session, we’ll talk about why it’s important to invest time coaching our leaders and break down how you can pass on CARE for them, and they can in turn model to their team members.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the impact if time is not invested in coaching leaders.
  2. Understand why it’s important to invest in coaching leaders through C.A.R.E.
  3. Provide questions they can use to start coaching leaders and share with leaders to coach team members.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Erin Lego
Leadership Coach
Erin Lego Coaching & Consulting, LLC

Erin is an experienced Leadership Coach with nearly 1,400 logged hours of formal coaching conversations. She’s passionate about helping leaders and teams work better together through gaining greater self-awareness, building trusted relationships through understanding how people relate to one another, and improving
communication along the way.

Erin serves on several boards:
Vice President with ABWA (American Business Women’s Association) West Des Moines Charter Chapter
Vice President with International Coach Federation (ICF) Iowa

The First 15 Minutes
Jim Roy


An originally created concept turned blog post, turned e-book, turned presentation, turned the KEY to increased retention. The First 15 Minutes of a new hire’s time with an organization are the most crucial moments to create a lasting first impression, leading to higher retention, reduced turnover, increased engagement, and saved training and development costs. We will break down what The First 15 Minutes should look like for new hires, what they should experience, who they should meet, and what they should receive in order to ensure they want to remain a part of your organization. Participants from this session will have access to a free version of The First 15 Minutes guidebook to take with them back to their organization as well as time for free advice and Q&A with an expert in the hiring and workforce industry.

Learning Objectives:

1. To objectively look internally at the shortcomings of their organization’s welcome practices for new hires and ways to improve those practices.

2. To implement best practices to retain talent beyond The First 15 Minutes including employees’ training schedules, touchpoints and meetings with the organization’s leaders, development plans, and more.

3. To learn and apply how a great First 15 Minutes and onboarding plan will impact their organization’s talent acquisition and utilize their employees to be recruiting brand ambassadors.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Jim Roy

Percipio Workforce Solutions

Jim Roy is the CEO of Percipio Workforce Solutions with 25+ years of experience in the fields of staffing, recruiting, and human resources.

After touring over 2,100 manufacturing and warehouse facilities, Jim has developed workforce best practices that can be utilized to improve retention and reduce turnover. The staffing industry has allowed Jim to learn many business lessons ranging from staff management to recruiting techniques and a healthy dose of acquisition activity, which he now passes on to clients and numerous mentees.

Jim earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a proud girl dad x 3!


Navigating the Assessment Landscape: Selecting the Best Tools to Meet Business Needs
Stephanie Smith


Determining the best assessments to meet business needs is a crucial task for Human Resource professionals. Assessments play a critical role in evaluating the skills, abilities, and attributes of potential candidates or existing employees. By selecting the most suitable assessments, HR professionals can gather valuable data to support effective hiring decisions, employee development, and overall business success. To determine the best assessments, HR professionals should consider assessment validity and reliability, ease of administration and scoring, and the availability of comprehensive reports. Taking these factors into account will ensure that the chosen assessments align with the organization’s goals and accurately measure the qualities needed for job performance.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understanding the organization’s business needs: HR professionals should be able to identify the specific business needs that assessments will address.
  2. Evaluating the validity and reliability of assessments: HR professionals need to develop the skills to assess the validity and reliability of different assessment methods.
  3. Considering the practicality and usability of assessments: HR professionals should be able to assess the practicality and usability of different assessment methods.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Stephanie Smith (She/Her/Hers)
Training Consultant
ATW Training Solutions

Stephanie Smith is a training professional with over 20 years of training and leadership development experience. She came to ATW from the banking industry where she specialized in both virtual learning and classroom facilitation.

She is skilled in designing and developing management programs that upskill and reskill leaders at all levels. Stephanie is versed in adult learning styles which increases learner engagement and enhances overall comprehension. Stephanie’s ability to work in a fast-paced, agile environment and commitment to building strong partner relationships has proven to lead teams and organizations to success.

Stephanie has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, College of Business, majoring in Marketing. She enjoys volunteering in the local community and spending time with her family.

A Unique Benefit That Is Proven to Improve Culture, Decrease Turnover and Attract Quality Talent
Ramona Wink


Based on the feedback from the IEC in the fall of 2023, HR professionals are hungry to learn more about how to beef up their benefit package. A top-of-the-line benefit package will improve culture, decrease turnover and attract quality talent. It will also promote mental wellness in the workplace- something all companies strive to do.

Ramona Wink is a licensed mental health counselor, motivational speaker, and business consultant. She will be joined by leaders and employees of Storey Kenworthy and Workspace. Ramona partnered with Storey Kenworthy and Workspace for the entirety of 2023 as a business consultant. She started out providing on-site coaching to the seven members of the Senior Leadership Team. That benefit was expanded to include all employees.  During this session, you’ll hear from Ramona on the work that she does, plus you’ll hear first-hand from the leaders and employees of Storey Kenworthy and Workspace about their experience.

This session will be interactive and audience members will benefit by having the ability to ask questions of all the panelists.  If you’re looking for a way to set your company apart from others, don’t miss this session.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand the mental health crisis in Iowa.
  2. Attendees will learn the difference between mental health counseling and coaching.
  3. Attendees will be inspired by the stories that the panelists share about their experience and how they value this benefit.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Ramona Wink (She/Her/Hers)
LMHC, Motivational Speaker, Business Consultant
515 Therapy and Consulting

Ramona Wink is a licensed mental health counselor, motivational public speaker, and business consultant with 515 Therapy and Consulting in West Des Moines, Iowa.

She graduated with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Drake University and with her BA in Mass Communications from the University of Iowa.

In her role as a therapist, Ramona sees both individuals and couples. You can read more about Ramona at

Ramona is passionate about her motivational public speaking and business consulting because this work allows her to make a positive impact on even more people. As part of her business consulting work, Ramona offers on-site coaching to both leaders and employees. Check out Ramona’s website at:

Ramona was appointed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and serves on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Ryan Boese

Ryan has 25 years of industry experience, 9 years with Workspace. Ryan provides a trusted partner in driving the ultimate customer experience by ensuring the customer’s vision comes to fruition. Ryan works diligently with the entire Workspace sales, design, and operations team to ensure we are on time and on budget. As a relationship-driven leader, Ryan understands the power of the partnership between Workspace and Ramona. He’s benefited from her executive coaching and witnessed the positive results her coaching has had on his team members.

Sarah Sorensen
VP of People & Culture
Storey Kenworthy / Workspace

Sarah is passionate about building relationships, working strategically to shape culture, and is energized by impacting organizational change. In her 10+ year career in Human Resources, Sarah has placed a strong emphasis on employee mentoring and coaching through workplace challenges. Sarah is thrilled to be partnering with Ramona Wink as the company continues to focus on being an Employer of Choice.

Christin Murphy
Strategic Design Specialist

As part of Workspace since 2004, Christin has had a diverse career with design projects.  As Workspace’s Strategic Design Specialist, she helps clients align and connect their workplace strategy with their culture and brand identity. Christin has found the partnership with Ramona to be very vital in maintaining a healthy mindset.

Drea Piper
Design Supervisor

Design Supervisor at Workspace in Des Moines. Drea has been with the company for 8 years.  When Drea started attending coaching sessions with Ramona, she was new in her role as a Design Lead.  While working with Ramona, she has tackled many goals and fast-tracked her professional growth.  She is so thankful for Ramona and is excited to share her experiences with others.

LUNCH & NETWORKING: 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM

SESSION 3: 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM

Private Sector Drug Testing
Lindsay Vaught


This presentation will cover Iowa’s Private Sector Drug-Free Workplaces statute, Iowa Code Chapter 730.5, including under what circumstances private employers are permitted to conduct drug testing, requirements and procedures private employers must follow, actions permitted and required upon receipt of a positive drug test, and civil liability for violation of the statute.  The presentation will include an in-dept review of recent Iowa Supreme Court case law interpreting Iowa Code Chapter 730.5.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the circumstances under which private employers are permitted to conduct drug testing
  2. Understand the private employers must follow when drug testing employees or prospective employees.
  3. Understand the consequences of failing to follow the statutory requirements.

Intended Audience: Private Sector

Lindsay Vaught
Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

Lindsay Vaught joined Ahlers & Cooney in 2013 and practices primarily in the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Groups. She works closely with both public and private clients, including institutions of higher education. She leads the firm’s Private Law Practice Area, and previously chaired the Employment Law Practice Group. Prior to joining the Ahlers firm, Lindsay served for three years as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ronald E. Longstaff and the Honorable Celeste F. Bremer of the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

She counsels clients on various employment law matters, including employee discipline and terminations, employment contracts, and drafting and revising employment policies. Lindsay conducts investigations for employers into internal employee complaints, such as complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and employment policy violations. She also conducts trainings for employees at all levels regarding harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. She represents employers defending all types of employment claims, as well as defending administrative complaints before the EEOC, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and local civil rights agencies. Lindsay represents employers, as well as employees, in non-compete contract matters. Lindsay has served as an investigator in Title IX matters for institutions of higher education. She has represented clients through jury and non-jury trials in state and federal court, and before administrative agencies. She also handles general litigation defense, including § 1983 litigation, personal injury, and contract claims.

Lindsay graduated from the University of Denver law school where she was a staff editor for the Law Review. While in law school, Lindsay worked for two years as a Research Assistant to a business contract law professor.

Keys to a High Performing Team
Monte Wyatt


This discussion explores the fundamental elements contributing to the formation and sustenance of high-performing teams. With a focus on effective leadership, common goals, established rules, actionable plans, a culture that encourages risk-taking, and inclusive participation, it serves as a comprehensive topic to building and nurturing dynamic teams.

  1. Identifying and Harnessing Effective Leadership: Understand the pivotal role of strong leadership in driving team performance and learn strategies to elevate leadership skills within the team.
  2. Creating a Collaborative Environment with Common Goals and Rules: Discover the significance of fostering a shared vision and clear rules to ensure alignment and promote a cohesive, highly productive team.
  3. Promoting Risk-Taking and Inclusive Participation: Evaluate the importance of nurturing a culture that supports risk-taking and holistic participation, leading to innovative solutions and a deeply engaged team.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Monte Wyatt (He/Him/His)
Executive Development Facilitator
AddingZEROS Executive Development

As CEO of AddingZEROS, an executive development firm, Monte creates leadership and management clarity to CEOs and their executive teams through strategic thinking and execution planning. Our team of facilitators help mid-market organizations align and engage their teams.

The purpose of AddingZEROS Executive Development is to Release the Potential of the Business World.

Monte wants to help you create a successful organization. One that is sustainable, predictable,
stable, consistent, and has an emotional connection.

How to Lose a New Hire in 10 Days
Todd Saffell


A look at the missteps many companies unknowingly employ that drive away new employees, then discussing steps and strategies to retain top talent.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Identify new hire mistakes
  2. Identify onboarding objectives
  3. Leveraging leadership as a retention strategy

 Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Todd Saffell
HR Director
Basepoint Building Automations

An experienced blend of military leadership and HR experience, Todd focuses his attention on addressing the number one people-issue affecting employers, disengaged workers. In addition to his daily work in the trenches of HR, he recently joined with a group of other HR professionals to create a HR community focused on Strategic HR and business impact. His practical tips provide leaders from the C-suite to the front line with a framework to improve workforce commitment and retention.

Recognizing & Addressing Patterns of Drama (Trauma) in the Workplace
Barb Ranck


Many organizations today desire to create cultures of psychological safety, defined as cultures where individuals feel included, safe, and willing to speak out and challenge status quo.

If your organization is struggling to effectively implement these concepts, you’re not alone. It’s difficult to implement safety and inclusion without first identifying and addressing common patterns of drama that will sabotage (intentionally or unintentionally) environments of trust, accountability, and respect.

This session will identify common patterns of drama in the workplace, reasons these patterns persist, and strategies to consistently reduce workplace drama as part of a larger strategy to increase psychological safety in the workplace.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Drama and Trauma – What Are They? What’s The Link?
  2. Understanding Common Drama Archetypes and Triggers
  3. The Role of Compassion as a Drama Antidote
  4. Strategies to Consistently Reduce Workplace Drama

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Barb Ranck (She/Her/Hers)
Owner, Coach, Facilitator
CI Coaching & Development

Barb Ranck is a life-long learner and educator, holding an undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s degree from Drake University.

Barb’s passion for learning & growth includes a 25+ year career in corporate workplaces, training employees and consulting with leaders, helping those she served become more professional and productive in – and out – of the workplace.

Barb coaches and trains individuals, leaders, and teams to become more productive and collaborative, using self-awareness, leading to more accountable outcomes.

  • ACC-Coach Certified
  • iEQ9 Enneagram Certified

From Transactional to Transformational: Embracing a Leadership Model That Engages and Retains
Steve Ott


​The labor market has shifted dramatically in the last few years. Labor shortages, remote work, and changing employee priorities has made employee engagement and retention a challenge for organizations. When it comes to long-term organizational success, employee engagement and retention is a key strategy. However, employee engagement is at an all-time low, leaving us with two key questions: how do we boost employee engagement and retention and why aren’t our current leadership models helping us do this?

Join us for “From Transactional to Transformational,” as we explore how the transformational leadership model can build a culture of engagement, retain the best employees, connect daily task and department goals to organizational strategies, and give you the clarity and confidence to know how to best lead your team.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Build an understanding of why transactional leadership is detrimental to employee engagement and retention
  2. Introduce the transformational leadership model to all levels of organizational leadership
  3. Share why transformational leadership builds employee engagement and retention
  4. Explore ways to ensure that leadership goals are linked to organizational strategies.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Steve Ott
Ott Leadership

Steve Ott is the founder and owner of Ott Leadership. He helps leaders reduce organizational friction caused by growth and success. He does this by working with leaders to “level up” in three key areas: leadership, culture, and strategy. His goal is to help leaders gain the clarity and confidence to maximize their organization’s mission impact.  By utilizing a combination of impact-driven development, coaching, and consulting, Steve wants to help you move your organization from stuck to thriving.

Steve holds a master’s degree in Transformational Leadership from Bethel University. Since 2019, he has worked with a wide variety of growing small and mid-sized organizations, from non-profits to nationwide retailers.  Steve resides in Davenport, Iowa with his wife, two daughters, and a yellow lab named Marley.

Separating Executive Employees
Beth Coonan


Beth will discuss the various implications of separating an executive employee from employment. She will cover the current status of the law relating to the composition of separation agreements and discuss strategies to mitigate business risk.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Identify legal and reputational risks associated with separating executives
  2. Learn strategies for compliance and risk mitigation
  3. Determine what documentation is necessary and enforceable

Intended Audience: Private Sector

Elizabeth Coonan (She/Her/Hers)
Dentons Davis Brown, PC

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.

Beth represents businesses across a variety of industries including technology, manufacturing, and agriculture and partners with employers of all sizes to find solutions to their workforce-related challenges in a rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Hiring, Discipline and Discharge
Beth regularly works with employers to prepare enforceable employment agreements and when relationships break down, she devises creative solutions for separating employees while minimizing risk.

Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Workers’ Compensation
With an extensive background in workers’ compensation, FMLA and ADA, Beth helps her clients manage medical leave and return to work issues without falling out of compliance.

Discrimination, Retaliation and Harassment
Beth partners with her clients to develop workable policies to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and regularly provides training on these topics. She also serves as an independent investigator and is a certified mediator.

Restrictive Covenants
Having enforced and defended non-compete, non-solicitation, and other restrictive covenants on behalf of employers and employees and with talent management at a premium, Beth crafts these arrangements to protect her client in this highly competitive labor market.

Beth works with employers to develop plans for recruitment and compliance when foreign-born talent is necessary. She guides employers through the business visa process and also advises on policies and procedures related to immigration.


The Upside
Jack Stahlmann


​By examining the science behind negativity, this presentation provides a two-step solution to an age-old problem. The first is better detecting when negative thinking creeps into our own psyche and how we can manually override those thoughts. And the second step is better navigating the negativity of the Debbie and Donnie Downers that we interact with in our personal and professional lives. Negativity is creeping into our workplaces at an alarming rate and as leaders we need to have the tools to teach our employees and upper management to recognize negativity both in themselves and in the organization.

Ultimately, this program will give you a template for taking action now. Because as the GI Joe Fallacy (yes, that GI Joe) demonstrates, simply seeing the silver lining is not enough. It’s the doers who find the upside. Because in a world with so much downside, you can always find a way to… up yours.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the science behind Hans Rosling’s Negativity Theory. You will get a better understanding of why some people are more negative than others, and how to navigate those workplace fun killers.
  2. Develop the “yes and” state of mind that drives productivity by taking the word “no” out of your vocabulary to create more productive conversations.
  3. Hone your consistency by going streaking. Don’t worry, all clothes will be staying on as we dive into the art of going on winning streaks.
  4. Learn the takeaways that will keep negative thinking from overrunning your workplace.

Intended Audience: Private Sector/Public Sector

Jack Stahlmann
Don’t Flinch, LLC

Jack Stahlmann’s entertaining and informative presentations are built around his experiences in Los Angeles as an actor, producer, director — and of course, a waiter.

In Hollywood, he launched his own production company which created several films that enjoyed international success and was an Assistant Director for the Margaret Cho stand-up show, Cho Revolution.

As an actor, his shining moment came in a co-star role on the CBS drama Cold Case, where he played a wimpy park ranger. He also appeared on Days of Our Lives and several commercials.

Jack has been a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.