2023 GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS:
Global Growth Evangelist
Keynote: Tiffani Bova | Author & Chief Growth Evangelist, Salesforce
Tiffani Bova is the chief growth evangelist at Salesforce and the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business.
Bova has been named to the latest Thinkers 50’s list of the world’s top management thinkers and is a welcomed guest on Bloomberg, BNN, Cheddar, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance, among others. She is a change maker whose thought-provoking and forward-thinking insights have made her a frequent guest on a variety of industry-leading podcasts and live broadcasts. Having delivered over 700 keynote presentations on sales transformation and business model innovation to over half a million people on six continents, Bova is highly sought-after keynote speaker.
Bova’s time on the front lines of sales, marketing and innovation, combined with her insightful candor, has resulted in a unique perspective that continues to inspire businesses and individuals to get smarter about the choices they make, think forward and increase their Growth IQ.
Legendary Life Movement Founder
Keynote: Tommy Breedlove | Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the book “Legendary” & founder of the Legendary Life Movement
Tommy Breedlove is an accomplished author, and renowned speaker, with his book “Legendary” being a bestseller in both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Having started his career at one of the world’s largest financial consulting firms, he climbed the corporate ladder for 20 years, eventually becoming a shareholder, International Practice Leader, and a member of the board of directors at a major public accounting and financial firm in the Southeastern United States.
However, at the height of his success, Tommy had a transformative moment that prompted him to leave behind the corporate world and embark on a journey to pursue his true purpose. He dedicates himself to serving clients and audiences worldwide, empowering them to create legendary lives. He equips them with practical tools to operate in their areas of brilliance, achieve financial freedom, and live a life filled with meaning and balance. With his honest, transparent approach to speaking, he gives his audiences permission to stop living their stories and start living their lives and become the Impactful Leaders they were born to be.
2023 LUNCH PANEL LINEUP:
Tanner Krause | Kum & Go, CEO
Tanner Krause is the CEO of Kum & Go, a convenience retail chain with over 400 stores across 11 states headquartered in Des Moines, IA. His work experience at Kum & Go dates back more than twenty years, holding senior leadership positions across the Operations, Human Resources and Marketing departments. In June 2018, he was named President, and in January 2021, he became CEO. Throughout his tenure, Tanner’s passion and commitment has always been to improve the lives and livelihoods of Kum & Go’s more than 5,000 Associates. Tanner also provides strategic direction and support to several other businesses in the Krause Group portfolio. Prior to his Kum & Go history, Tanner worked through the E. & J. Gallo Winery’s Management Development Program, working for Wirtz Beverage Group (IL) and Empire Merchants (NY). Tanner later went on to serve as President of the Italian winery Enrico Serafino. Tanner received Finance and Economics degrees from Loyola University in Chicago. Additionally, Tanner is a member of the most successful graduating class in Loyola Ramblers Men’s Soccer history. In 2016, hegraduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from DePaul University, concentrating in Business Strategy.
Living in Des Moines, IA with his wife, Hannah, the two share a passion for community betterment. Tanner is an Executive Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa, serves on the United Way of Central Iowa Board, the University of Iowa Tippie Advisory Board and chairs the DSM 4 Equity Collective. Hannah is a small-business owner and Chairwoman of the Board at the Food Bank of Iowa. The couple have two young children.
Hank Norem | Ramco Innovations, CEO
Hank Norem is the CEO for Ramco Innovations, an industrial automation products and services provider located in West Des Moines, Iowa. With a focus on high-tech automation solutions, he has worked to strengthen Ramco’s core offerings while expanding business opportunities through the launch of Maple Studios. At the heart of the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem, Maple Studios partners with industry-related startups to propel advanced manufacturing. Hank serves on the Iowa Innovation Council and co-chairs the Advanced Manufacturing sub-group, which helped launch the Iowa Manufacturing 4.0 grant program. Hank combines his passion for studying and executing strategic business transactions with his financial expertise to drive technology developments in Iowa and throughout the Midwest.
Ben Vallier | The Iowa Clinic, CEO
Ben Vallier is the Chief Executive Officer with Central Iowa based physician-owned healthcare clinic, The Iowa Clinic. His passion for healthcare lies with physician governed health systems and his focus has always been around process improvement, innovation, and physician leadership. He is passionate about continually improving the patient experience and providing the highest quality of care.
A native of central Kansas, Vallier received his undergraduate degree at Kansas State University followed by a Master of Business Administration from Baker University. He is an active member in the community and recently served as the American Heart Association Greater Des Moines Heart Ball chair and has been involved with Stratum Med Inc., Stratum Med ACO, United Way of Greater Missouri and Medical Group Management Association. Vallier and his wife, Laura, were both raised in central Kansas and are the proud parents of three daughters.
Jay Byers | Greater Des Moines Partnership, President & CEO
Jay Byers serves as President & CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. The Partnership is the regional economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and a network of more than 6600 regional members.
Byers earned his Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and is a graduate of the U.S Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organization Management (IOM), the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OUEDI), and the ACCE Ford Foundation Regionalism and Sustainable Development Fellowship.
Byers is a past chair of ACCE and the Iowa Chamber Alliance. He previously served on the General Council of the World Chambers Federation and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Byers is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Professional Developers of Iowa and Young Presidents’ Organization. He serves on the boards of Simpson College, Catch Des Moines, Greater Des Moines Committee, Blank Park Zoo Foundation, and ChildServe. Byers is a graduate of Leadership Iowa and the Warren County Leadership Institute.
ACCE recognized Byers on their list of “40 Under 40 Rising Stars of the Chamber World” in 2009. He was a member of the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under 40” Class of 2006 and named the Business Record’s “Forty Under 40” Alum of the Year in 2012. Byers received the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Community Champion Award in 2014,the Simpson College Alumni Achievement Award in 2015 and the ACCE Chairman’s Award in 2020.
Prior to his current role, Byers served as The Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy. Before joining The Partnership, he worked as District Director for Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell and as an attorney at the Ice Miller Law Firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. Byers is a graduate of Simpson College and the University of Iowa College of Law. He resides in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Katie, and two daughters, Sophie and Charlotte.
2023 BREAKOUT SPEAKERS:
Christina Moffatt | Consultant & Growth Strategist
After owning her own small business for years Christina has served as Regional Director for Mid Iowa SBDC, Director of Small Business Development for the Greater Des Moines Partnership Jan2017-May 2022 and she recently helped launch a new division of a bank, focusing on women and minority businesses which is a passion. She currently focuses on growth strategies for all types on businesses and profits.
Christina, along with her awesome team, owned her own small business July 2010-May 2022. They had the opportunity to serve their product to many celebrities and politicians when visiting Iowa and continued to survive and thrive during Covid.
Christina is a graduate of DMACC, Iowa State University and University of Toledo Certified Business Advisor Program. She also devotes her time and talents to many local boards. Christina has won several awards for her business including DSM Top List for Best Bakery, Cityview’s Best Dessert, Sweet Equality Best Dessert, Runner up for the Iowa Mixology Competition and runner up on The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Christina has also been featured in Pastry & Baking North America in the Regional Showcase and Baker in Focus. Christina is also a Business Record’s Forty Under 40, 2012 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award Winner by the Iowa Small Business Development Center for the State of Iowa, 2013 Woman of the Year by the Metro Women’s Network, 2015 Women Business Owner of the Year by National Association of Women Business Owners Iowa Chapter, 2016 Finalist for Iowa Women Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership Award by Technology Association of Iowa, 2017
Outstanding Alumni of the Year by DMACC, 2018 Ivy Women in Business Inspiration Award by Iowa State University, 2018 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Distinguished Leaders Community Vision Inspiration Award, 2019 40 Women To Watch by the Iowa Restaurant Association and Winner of the Character Award for 2020 Inspiring Women of Iowa by the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa.
Christy Jones | Certified Business Coach
Christy Jones is a successful business coach with the Accelerate ActionCOACH team, bringing years of experience as a business owner and community leader in Urbandale. After a brief stint in teaching and working for an engine builder in NASCAR, Christy returned to her roots in the auto body industry in 2001. Growing up in the body shop, she watched her dad, mom, and uncle provide a necessary service to those in need. In 2015, Christy became the first female-owned body shop owner in Des Moines when she purchased the business from her family. She worked tirelessly to build a strong team of employees and expand her business, eventually partnering with another body shop owner to buy a third shop in Grimes. In March 2021, Christy sold all three shops and briefly retired before joining the Accelerate ActionCOACH team.
Christy is also a dedicated volunteer, serving with organizations like UCAN and SCORE, as well as the Urbandale Chamber, where she recently served as board chair. In her free time, Christy enjoys reading, learning about wine and whiskey, and traveling at least once per month. As a woman business owner in a male-dominated industry, Christy has worked hard to achieve success and is passionate about using her success, knowledge and experience to help others do the same.
Jennifer Simpson | EmpowerMentor
Jennifer Simpson is a wife, mother, 20-year quota crushing sales leader and EmpowerMentor with decades of been-there-done-that experience and let’s-not-do-that-again life lessons to share.
In the Midwest media and marketing industry, Jennifer has earned two consecutive Salesperson of the Year and frequent president clubs honors, as well as an Urbandale Chamber Volunteer of the Year accolade and an American Advertising Federation President of the Year distinction.
Her EmpowerMentor mission helps overwhelmed entrepreneurs, exhausted executives, and stressed sales producers uncover and unleash their natural sales superpowers. The cornerstone of Jennifer’s consulting approach is to understand profit pitfalls and remove revenue roadblocks in order to successfully systematize, strategize, and monetize an organization’s outbound sales efforts.
Jennifer grew up on a rural Iowa family farm and “went off to college in the big-bad city” earning a degree in graphic design and subsequently studying marketing at Grand View University while simultaneously driving student-led and corporate fundraising efforts for the college.
Life as an entrepreneur is rewarding, but wouldn’t be complete without her foundation of Faith, husband Brandon and two young children, Selah (Say-la) and Khyler in her corner. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys family camping, sun and pool fun, singing on a praise team, teaching workout classes, adventurous vacations, (out-of-state) karaoke, and binging audible books before breakfast.
Ryan Ford | VP of HR, W.R. Berkley’s Global Enterprise
Ryan Ford is the VP of HR for W.R. Berkley’s Global Enterprise Technology division. W.R. Berkley is a Fortune 500 Financial Services company with over 8,000 employees around the world. Ryan provides leadership around talent management, leadership development, team dynamics, organizational design, change management, organizational effectiveness, culture, and strategy; and is responsible for all functions of HR for teams primarily based in Iowa, Delaware, and London.
In addition to his role at W.R. Berkley, Ryan, consults with NCAA coaches and teams on leadership and team behavioral dynamics to optimize team performance. He has done work with teams at Iowa State, Gonzaga, University of Oregon, Oregon Tech, Texas Tech, Baylor, Samford University and has partnered with Under Armour in their All-American program.
He has a proven track record of over 20-years in leading Human Capital Strategies for businesses in a variety of industries. This includes businesses in vastly different industries from the global leader in agriculture and manufacturing, Cargill, to his current company in the financial services industry. He has a demonstrated passion for Human Capital strategies in driving business outcomes.
Julie Premo | Business Elevation Strategist
Julie Premo is a business elevation strategist with Onward & Upward Thriving. Julie’s diverse business experiences span 30+ years and include working with manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, education, and insurance just to name a few. Premo is highly sought after by seven and eight-figure businesses to implement business optimization strategies. Julie’s frontline experiences in business ownership to coaching teams for the largest privately held company in the world have resulted in extraordinary business acumen. Premo coaches and trains business owners and their teams to elevate, businesses results, develop teams of leaders and accelerate a thriving company culture. She has been coached by some of the most influential business and team-building leaders in the world, including Jack Canfield, Les and Fran Hewitt, Pro QB Neil Jeffery, and Garry Kinder. Julie is a passionate, dedicated, and thoughtful life enthusiast who approaches business coaching with grace and gravitas.
Mackenzie Walters | Marketing Strategist
Mackenzie is the CEO and strategist at StoryStruck Marketing, and a champion of using journalism techniques to tell brand stories and implement marketing strategies that targets a specific or segmented audience. She works with companies to increase revenue, reduce risk, and elevate customer satisfaction. She also works with nonprofits to advance their mission through storytelling and hosts the Nonprofit Marketing Stories podcast. A national award-winning journalist, Mackenzie lives in West Des Moines with her husband, Andy, and two boys. In her free time she enjoys gardening.
Todd McDonald |Founder & President, ATW Training Solutions
Todd McDonald founded ATW in 1999 after spending 15 years in various Human Resource and Training roles in industries such as finance, insurance, banking and manufacturing. He also served as Executive Vice President of American Media, Inc., the largest producer of training videos at the time with products in 72 countries and 27 languages.
Todd has authored 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.”
When not leading the efforts of ATW, you can find Todd volunteering and serving on numerous boards on a local and national level. And when there is free time, you can find Todd spending time with his wife, kids and growing family of grandchildren.
Andi Fagen | President & Creative Director, Creative DSM
Andi Fagen is the Creative Director and President of Creative DSM, a full-service marketing agency based out of Urbandale, Iowa.
Her background includes graduating from Iowa State University, developing digital marketing plans for successful startups in Los Angeles, and a Creative Director position at a consumer technology company in Miami that resulted in a nine-figure acquisition in 2018.
Andi’s role at Creative DSM is to leverage creative marketing strategies to enhance the impact of optimized search engine content, web design and inbound marketing efforts.
2023 PANEL GROUP:
Lisa Behrends | Business Strategist | Moderator
Lisa Behrends is a business strategist and an executive in the nonprofit sector. In addition, she has traveled the globe to 21 countries and has brought the globe home hosting countless international students. These experiences have equipped her to connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Organizations and individuals started to ask Lisa how to create connections and bring people together. In all of her work with organizations and individuals, she has realized the skills needed to connect people with different perspectives that work leaders need today in a hot button climate.
Lisa has 15 years skilled in presentation composition, and engaging, articulate audience presentations. She loves to speak and coach! Lisa energizes, encourages, and knows how to command a room. She loves building her social and professional network! Lisa is involved in her community and is an active member of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Community Leadership Program Class of 2023.
Courtney DeRonde | CEO, Forge Financial & Management Consulting | Panelist
Courtney DeRonde is a CPA and the CEO of Forge Financial & Management Consulting. Forge is a boutique management consulting and accounting firm for small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations. They help overwhelmed, successful leaders understand and maximize their information so they can achieve better results and continue growing their organization to the next level through intelligence in 3 core areas: Finance, Leadership, and Productivity. Courtney is primarily responsible for the firm’s vision and strategic direction. Her professional background includes two decades serving small businesses and nonprofits.
As an owner in her firm and CEO, she also has firsthand experience running and scaling a small business. She is recognized for her expertise and ability to make complicated topics practical and relatable as she speaks at various conferences, seminars, and on podcasts. Her expertise goes beyond finance, she speaks regularly on leadership, productivity, and decision making.
When Courtney isn’t leading or presenting, she enjoys time with her husband and three kids, traveling, and learning. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both EO Iowa and the Iowa Society of CPAs and recently completed a governor-appointed term on the Iowa Accountancy Board.
Jane Nady | Master Mindset & Trauma Coach | Panelist
Jane Nady, MCPC, is a Master Mindset & Trauma Coach, Mental Health Educator & Human Behavior Expert, who works with clients to create the life they want to live as the person they most want to be. Jane knows that with the right guidance anyone, regardless of confirmed or perceived limitations, can overcome any obstacles and successfully create a life they love. Over the last 15 years, she has garnered the respect of fellow Mental Health Professionals, clients, Military/First Responder communities, business owners, and community members throughout Iowa by building relationships on trust and open communication, providing effective training, education, and mental health support. Jane has been recognized for her work and volunteerism in the mental health field.
Jane was motivated by her own life experience, the determination to decrease suicide, end mental health stigma and to show others they are not alone. Jane holds a Master’s in Education from Morningside College. In addition to her masters, she is certified in many mental health therapies and coaching techniques: REBT, CBT, Master Mindset/Trauma/ADHD Coaching, and many additional niche specific coaching certificates. Jane is also a Certified ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) trainer. She has been a key speaker for NAMI’s Ending the Silence Program, served on an advisory panel for new law enforcement officers, and has been a consultant, trainer & key speaker across the U.S. for many companies/organizations addressing mental health needs.
Lori Vande Krol | Organization & Productivity Consultant | Panelist
Lori Vande Krol is a productivity consultant, speaker, and trainer who helps busy professionals and growing businesses implement systems to increase efficiency and success. Lori has developed programs that help her clients tackle overwhelm by better managing time, space, and information. Her work has resulted in savings of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours for her clients, in addition to a considerable reduction in stress and frustration.
After receiving a BS in Mathematics from Iowa State University, Lori worked 13 years as an Actuary and Risk Manager in a Fortune 500 company. During this time, she spent 10 years studying for and passing the rigorous series of actuarial exams. But eventually she realized being an actuary was not her true passion. Lori saw there was a need to help those that, like herself, often feel overwhelmed with work and life. In 2005, Life Made Simple LLC was born with the mission of helping others live more productively, feel less stressed, and have more time for what matters most.
After several years of working with productivity clients, Lori used her experience and expertise to create The ProAction Planner™, a weekly planner utilizing the ProAction Process™ and a simple, unique layout to encompass everything needed for busy professionals to attack overwhelm and reach their goals.
Lori’s expertise has been shared around the world through various publications, tv, and radio, such as Bloomberg Business, The Sydney Morning Herald, Des Moines Living Magazine, FedEx.com, AmericanExpress.com, WHOtv, ScanSnapWorld, CentralJersey.com, Des Moines Amplified, Blog Talk Radio, and Bing Bang Media, and as a contributing author for the Amazon Best-Selling book, One Habit for a Thriving Home Office: Killer Habits of the Happiest Achieving Home-Based Business People on the Planet.
Active in her industry, Lori is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and served on its Board of Directors from 2015-2018. She was honored with the NAPO President’s Award in 2019. Lori received her Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries in 2000 and graduated from the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Class of 2015.
Lori lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, three beautiful daughters, and two cats. When she isn’t working on new ways to find and help clients, Lori enjoys exercise, puzzles, reading, lounging by the pool, traveling with her family, and finding great new content on Netflix.
Jeremiah Terhark | Founder & President, Webspec Design | Moderator
Jeremiah Terhark has a talent for technology and an entrepreneurial spirit. Jeremiah founded Webspec Design in the fall of 2000. He is passionate about digital marketing and working with clients to see their goals achieved.
Jeremiah focuses his energies on managing upcoming website projects, interacting with clients, and programming. He graduated from Evangel University with degrees in Accounting and Political Science. When not working, he and his wife enjoy doing activities with their four children.
Joey Hinke | President & CEO, Vibrant Insurance Group | Panelist
Joey Hinke is the President and CEO of Vibrant Insurance Group, an independent insurance agency located in Waukee, IA. Since merging J.A. Hinke & Company with Miller and Fidler Insurance Agency in 2011, Joey has focused his energy on building a strong company culture, offering clients an efficient, supportive and fun experience.
Through Joey’s leadership, MF&H has more than quadrupled in size, both in number of employees and total revenue. The agency specializes in customized, personalized services in the Property & Casualty insurance space that puts valued relationships at the center of everything they do. As CEO, Joey’s days are spent refining the company’s strategy and vision, forging strong relationships and building his team of talented insurance professionals. He also drinks a lot of coffee and loves to tell great dad jokes.
Joey’s career in the insurance industry began in 2002, and in 2012, he was honored in the Forty Under 40 class by the Des Moines Business Record and earned his BA degree in communication studies from University of Northern Iowa.
When he’s not energizing his team or innovating ways to further improve the business, Joey loves to hike or do anything outdoors. He and his wife keep busy with the activities and sports of their three kids, Maggie (18), George (16) and Estelle (14.) He also loves good food, good wine and the company they both keep.
Scott Hardee | Management, Platinum Information Services | Panelist
Scott Hardee is an Iowa native with over 20 Years of experience assisting businesses with improvements to their customer service, growth, and operational efficiencies. Scott Hardee currently manages Platinum Information Services, which is an IT Managed Services Provider. He focuses on delivering real, flexible, scalable, IT solutions to the small & medium size businesses within our local communities in and around Platinum’s service areas. These service areas are currently in Iowa, Illinois, and Florida and coming to Kansas City soon.
James Bierly | Founder & President, Secure Point Solutions | Panelist
James Bierly is the owner and principal cybersecurity consultant for Secure Point Solutions in Central Iowa focusing on the smallest of businesses and their IT providers. With 13 years in the Navy operating on both surface ships and submarines as a Sonar Analyst, I have had an unusual transition from military to civilian; from physical security to selling cars, I ultimately found opportunities to learn Information Technology while working overseas. I began a series of positions with increasing responsibility working with the state lottery and technology giants like Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. I have spent the last 9 years supporting small businesses as part of a managed service provider and now running my own security company. I am married to an amazing woman and together raising 4 children and 3 dogs for the imminent zombie apocalypse.