Creating High Performing Teams and Increasing Employee Retention through Servant Leadership

Ryan Ford | Vice-President of HR |W.R. Berkley’s Global Enterprise Technology Division

In this session on Servant Leadership, we will compare a traditional leadership model vs. a servant leader one and the psychology behind the differences and how they play out in employees. We will paint the vision for leadership and all the things that go into executing a Servant Leadership model. Participants will walk away with the understanding, ability, motivation, and tools to drive this in their organizations, creating high performing teams.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Learn why most people lead in a traditional manner as it relates to human nature.
  • Learn the things it takes to be a servant leader.
  • Explore traditional vs. Servant Leader models including the psychology behind why team members behave the way they do based on how leaders lead.
  • Review methodology and tactics to utilize Servant Leadership in organizations.

Common Myths About Cybersecurity for Small Businesses and What the Motivation of Criminals May Be (Witness Live Hacking!)

James Bierly | Owner | Secure Point Solutions

This cybersecurity presentation will help to address common myths about security for small businesses and what the motivations of criminals may be. During this presentation we will include a hacking demonstration to highlight a common method of attack and a method of defense.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Review of common myths as it relates to cybersecurity and other security issues for small business.
  • Explore common motivations of criminals and learn whether you fit the profile of what attackers want.
  • Witness how easy it can be to be hacked.
  • Learn what you can do to protect your company.

Search Engine Marketing for Your Organization: The Why & How

Andi Fagen| Founder Creative DSM Digital & Social Marketing

If you’re not quite sure if your time is well spent creating digital content for your organization, this is the program for you.

Andi Fagen, Creative Director of Creative DSM Digital & Social Marketing, will present on ways to simplify your SEO efforts and increase ROI.  Andi’s approach to business has always been in a “scale-up” format, and she will dive deep from DIY to deciding when it is time to outsource.

So if you want to learn about what platforms your business should have a presence in, how to create more engaging content, or the secrets of batching efforts, this is a don’t miss opportunity.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • What is SEO and how can local businesses leverage it?
  • How to batch content for a cohesive marketing strategy
  • What KPIs to measure in your digital marketing strategy

Lunch General Session: Preparing for the Next Big Disruption

Moderator: Joey Hinke | President | Miller, Fidler & Hinke






Reynolds Cramer | CEO | Fareway
Tony Coleman | President & CEO | Broadlawns Medical Center
Michele Wilkie | SVP Administration | Prairie Meadows

We’ve learned a lot from the past few years as our businesses were ‘disrupted’. The question isn’t whether it will happen again, or what the disruptor will be.  The question is what we learned so we can better prepare for the next big disruption.  Join a panel of business leaders as they share lessons learned that can be a foundation for future success.

Driving Sales Success (with the pandemic in the rearview mirror)

Pat Pithan | Sales Manager MMIT Business Solutions Group

Sales is a contact sport, you’ve got to make contacts to win!  Today’s world has challenged sales professionals to innovate and make contacts through different channels.  In this session we will explore innovative sales and marketing strategies to help drive key activities to make the right contacts that will lead to sales success.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Great Ideas and a playbook on how to create net-new business along with securing long-term clients
  • LinkedIn strategies and how to leverage this platform
  • Virtual selling and how to leverage virtual and video for the most impact.
  • Bonus: Time management tips

Shifting Your Perspective on Hiring & Retention

Danielle Rusch | Owner | Dynamic Talent Solutions

Participants in Danielle Rusch’s breakout session will be able to walk away with the following insights about their hiring and retention challenges and opportunities:

Breakout Takeaways: 

  1. The 5 most common hiring and retention challenges, including how to identify them.
  2. How to self-assess and identify your hiring and retention challenges and where to begin to solve those challenges.
  3. What the strong foundations of a successful company look like

Participants will also walk away with three specific questions to ask to support them as they continue to identify and work on their hiring and retention challenges and become self-aware of opportunities for growth and improvement.

Solving “People” Issues and Growing Your Business with EOS®

Rob Taylor | President EOS Implementer at EOS Worldwide

Over 80% of frustrations in running a business are related to “people”. This frequently manifests itself as employees not being “accountable”. Yet, has Leadership set clear expectations and are employees consistently held “accountable” to those expectations? As goes the Leadership Team, so goes the rest of the company. Tremendous business growth requires setting clear expectations along with the right people in the right seats.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Overview of EOS, and workshop stepping through how to strengthen the “People Component™” of your business.
  • Simple, practical methods on getting the right people in the right seats, setting and achieving clear expectations and goals, with routine, healthy feedback, issues solving and accountability.
  • Advice from experienced EOS Implementer™, leaders of companies running on EOS, on using EOS to grow your business the Right People, in the Right Seats.

How to Develop and Nurture the Culture of Your Business and Increase Retention of Your Employees

Roger Stalheim | Owner | RLS Inc.

Studies show that organizations that have strong cultures and leaders who lead by modeling the values of their organization are much more likely to retain employees for longer periods of time. In this session we will explore the top challenges that organizations face when building their culture. We will also look at how at how organizations that have been in business for a longer time can enhance what they have built over the years to meet the needs of a changing workforce.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • How to Trouble Shoot a Companies Culture and Enhance It
  • How to Get Everyone in the Organization Engaged in the Success of Business
  • How to Get the Right People in the Right Seats doing Their Best

Workforce Trends & Occupancy Study Results for Des Moines Area

John Economos | Consultant Baton Global
Stephen Smith | VP of People Analytics | Reworc

In January of 2022, the Greater Des Moines Partnership commissioned a study of knowledge workers in Des Moines to combat the pandemic-related “wait and see” pattern that had taken root in communities and organizations worldwide. This DSM Workforce Trends and Occupancy Study sought to deeply understand the needs and priorities of knowledge workers in Des Moines, both currently and in the future. Bâton Global and Reworc conducted digital interviews with over 5,000 workers across 18 organizations. Respondents were asked where they do their best work, what aspects of their work environment and organization that matter most to them, what activities form the core of their work, and how they define the current and desired states of culture. In this session, we will share insights from the study and engage with attendees to apply those insights to their respective organizations. Come prepared to share!

Breakout Takeaways:

  • What work behaviors do DSM workers deem vital to success? Furthermore, how much of their time is (and is not) being spent in this way?
  • What places and types of space do DSM workers feel are most effective for the types of work they do?
  • What kind of culture do DSM workers see within their organizations today? What shifts are they desiring?
  • What types of communications, policies, and investments will resonate with DSM workers?

Making Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Work for Your Business

Moderator: Claudia Schabel | Owner | Schabel Solutions Inc.






Marvin DeJear |SVP | Greater Des Moines Partnership
Gilmara Vila Nova-Mitchell|Director of DEI | IMT Insurance
Christy Jones | Business Coach | Accelerate ActionCOACH
Emmanuel Smith | PABSS Advocate | Disability Rights Iowa Legal Protection and Advocacy |

According to the 2022 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 33% of companies say the DEI is one of their top three priorities as an organization.  In this panel discussion, we will hear from panelist with a wide range of views and experiences in diversity, equity and inclusion.  Panelists represent bodies who are familiar with DEI strategies and how implementing these strategies can strengthen businesses.

Breakout Takeaways

  • Benefits of executing DEI practices
  • Learn best practices on incorporating DEI into your organization’s culture
  • Discuss how to overcome common challenges

Developing a Winning Culture in Times of Chaos, Complexity and Change

Moderator: Libby Roberts | Director of Training Operations | ATW Training Solutions





Drew Harden | President | Blue Compass
Rina Jensen | Business Resiliency Coach | Rina Jensen
Amanda Young |Bankers Trust

In times of chaos, complexity and change, it can be hard to stay true to your company culture.  Today’s changing workplace with more remote workers, flexible schedules and changing needs have challenged organizations to innovate how they created and engage their employees.  Join a panel of practitioners charged with leading culture building in their organizations.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Explore how organizations are creating culture in a changing, remote/virtual world.
  • Identify the role that individuals have within organizations to create their own personal cultures.
  • Review “best” and “bombed” practices in developing a successful work culture.

How to Lead & Coach Gen Z Employees

Moderator: Dr. Bill Withers | Speaker, Facilitator, Workshop Leader





April Niedermann | Senior Creative Strategist | Creative DSM Digital & Social Marketing 
Izzy Rohlfing | Youth Treatment Counselor | Orchard Place
Daycen Douglass | Assistant Financial Advisor | AO Wealth Advisory

While Millennials are currently the largest generation in our workforce, Gen Z is on track to become the largest generation by the year 2034. Leaders who effectively motivate, coach, and engage young professionals will be rewarded with workplaces filled with optimism and creativity. During this panel presentation we will hear from actual Gen Z employees on how organizations can create an environment that promotes success for individuals as well as the organization. Come with your questions and lean into your next generation of coworkers.

Breakout Takeaways:

  • Explore data on why dealing with Gen Z employees will be critical for organizational success.
  • Hear best practices for creating a culture of success for Gen Z employees, from Gen Z employees.
  • Identify how organizations can collaborate with individuals to provide the leadership need for both the individual and the organization.