Bonus Breakout at 7 a.m. – Ready to Venture Out? Real Truths About Raising Capital & Investing

Speaker: Megan Milligan
President & CEO
Iowa Center for Economic Success

Venturing out in business today demands capital! Whether you’re a visionary start-up with an idea, an angel investor or are curious about being an investor, Megan Milligan delivers straight-talk about seeking capital and investing in ideas in her early-bird break-out session called, “Ready to Venture Out? Real Truths About Raising Capital & Investing.” This session starts early because, in venture capitalism, if you’re not first, you’re last!

Angel investing guru and President & CEO of Des Moines’ Iowa Center for Economic Success, Megan Milligan, delivers straight truths about preparing for and pitching ideas to investors and venture capitalists. If you’re curious about investing, Megan hits on success stories of promising ideas and share the warning signs of when to walk away from potentially sinking ships. Don’t miss this early-bird session for both investors, curious would-be investors, and start-up visionaries.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. Discover Five Key Elements When Seeking Capital to Launch Your Idea or Business
  2. Learn What Investors Want to Hear
  3. Why “If You’re Not First, You’re Last” is Gospel in Venture Capital Investing
  4. Realities of Angel Investing
  5. Preparing for Life After Capital is Secured

Equipping Your Team for Organizational Change Efforts

Speaker: Cathy Belmont
Director of Training Operations
ATW Training Solutions

50-70% of change initiatives fail! How do we improve those numbers?  Consider that human biology wires us to resist change. Once we understand the way a brain functions during change, we can intentionally mitigate its effects and increase people’s adaptability and resilience.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. Recognize all change is not created equal, and identify 4 main types of change.
  2. Assess motivation for change.
  3. Identify brain structures involved with any change and how to mitigate their effects.
  4. Explore roles in leading change as well as strategies to equip and empower each role.

Leveraging Data & Innovation to Improve Workforce Healthcare Experience

Moderator: Ned Flynn, Oasis HR




Panelist: Dr. Christine Taylor, Iowa Clinic
Panelist: Dr. Teresa Sieck, CEO – Web Care Health
Panelist: Gabriel Glynn, CEO – MakeuSafe Corp.
Panelist: Lisa Gran, Founder & CEO – Splashlight Solutions

This power panel of Iowa-based companies will share best practices on applying data-driven decision making (DDDM) to improve processes, productivity, and health care experience of the workforce.

Attendee takeaways:

  1. Examples of how businesses are using health care technology to improve company effectiveness, efficiency and company culture.
  2. A list of strategies a business could use to mitigate or eliminate the risk of negative health situation with an employee
  3. Health strategies to improve business culture, efficiencies and cost.

Panel Discussion – The Path to Inclusion, Civility and Respect

Panelist: Daniel Hoffman – Zinnel – CEO, Proteus
Panelist: Omar Jordan – Founder, LenderClose
Panelist: Megan Milligan – President & CEO, Iowa Center for Economic Success
Moderator: Claudia Schabel – President, Schabel Solutions


The objectives of this panel is to understand how and why business leaders define and advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within their own organizations, explore current challenges and best practices as well as to learn about local resources to dive deeper.

Attendee takeaways:

    1. Participants will walk away with a better understanding about diversity, equity and inclusion challenges and best practices
    2. Participants will be introduced to some key concepts, ideas and resources.
    3. Participants will be inspired to take action.

Building a Business that Lasts:  How to Create and Maintain a Comprehensive Business Continuity and Succession Plan(BCSP)


Panelist: Todd Sommerfeld, Owner & Executive Chairman, Kreg Tool
Panelist: Marty Williams, Owner, Williams Construction & Integrator, Business Advisor, Provident CPA & Business Advisors
Panelist: Christopher Williams, Shareholder, Board Member & Project Manager, Williams Construction
Moderator: Alan Richardson, MBA, Business Coach and Certified EOS Implementer, Focused Facilitation, LLC



Do you want your organization to thrive beyond your own tenure? The reality is, every business owner or leader will eventually leave the company or organization. Sometimes it is a well-planned departure, but it can also result from an unplanned, unfortunate event – an owner’s death, long-term disability, divorce, disagreements between owners, etc.  Unfortunate events don’t just affect the person, they impact family members, business staff, suppliers and customers. Even planned departures can impact the ability of an organization to maintain essential functions. Is your business ready for any unfortunate event that might occur? Do you know how you want to eventually exit your business or organization? There are six components to a Comprehensive Business Continuity and Succession Plan™ (BCSP). During this breakout we will identify the six components and discuss the tools you need to develop and implement a Comprehensive BCSP. You will also hear from business owners who have implemented their Comprehensive BCSPs and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Attendee takeaways:

  1. You will learn the six components of a Comprehensive Business Continuity and Succession Plan™ (BCSP)
  2. You will learn the proven process to create, implement and keep your BCSP updated.
  3. Learn from business owners who have created and implemented their BCSP and what they learned.
  4. Answer your questions and make connections with business owners and service providers who have experience implementing BCSP.

Managing Mental Health at Work: A Legal Perspective

Speaker: Emily Pontius

Equip yourself with the basic knowledge and skills to effectively and sensitively work with employees who are experiencing mental health issues, without running afoul of state and federal employment laws.  Learn how to support your employees, avoid legal missteps, and positively impact your business.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. Employers must reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and mental health conditions may qualify as disabilities under the law.
  2. Creating a positive workplace culture and supporting employees during difficult times demonstrates your loyalty to employees.
  3. A good supervisor training program empowers your leaders to recognize and respond when employees are coping with mental health issues.

The Brand Called You: Why Your Personal Brand is Your Most Strategic Asset in Business

Speaker: Emily Steele – Co-Owner Brand Launch

Every single day, people are making decisions about who to do business with, who to promote to a new role, and who they are referring. By getting clear on who you are and how you show up online and offline, you set yourself up to be top of mind for endless opportunities in life and business.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. How to add value to every relationship in your life.
  2. How a deeper connection to your core values will attract you to the right opportunities, the right people, and your sense of purpose in every decision you make.
  3. Why your growth and investment in yourself should be a priority in business.

Panel Discussion – How EOS® is Helping Organizations Gain Traction 

Panelist: Kim Augspurger, President, Saxton Inc.
Panelist: Wendy Sims, CEO, Schuring and Uitermarkt
Panelist: Adam Grubb, President, Jerry’s Homes
Moderator: Rob Taylor, Taylor Management Systems

Topic Summary: Gino Wickman, founder of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) which was featured in his book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, was the keynote speaker at the first Central Iowa Business Conference (CIBC).  Although many learned about EOS® at that conference, this operating system is 12+ years old.  Many companies implemented EOS® years ago and many companies are just now implementing. These organizations range in size, industry, and what phase of their journey they are in. This breakout will feature a few companies and organizations that have and/or are implementing EOS® and will share their experiences.  EOS Implementers™ will also be present to answer your questions about EOS® /Traction or problems you might be facing with implementing it in your organization.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. How EOS/Traction has and is being implemented by companies of different sizes and at different places on their journey of running on EOS/Traction.
  2. Answer your questions about how EOS/Traction can be implemented in your organization and what it will do for you and your company.
  3. Make connections with company leaders who have experience implementing EOS/Traction.

Relationship Marketing for Increased Performance and Profits

Speaker: Lorri Wright, VP of Operations and Director of Education
The Buyosphere

Technology is a great business tool! It helps us reach more people, more efficiently and at a lower cost. But has it enhanced our relationships? Are we getting closer to our customers, or further away?  Connecting with people and building trust, rapport and loyalty is the fuel that feeds everything. This session will cover crucial concepts involved in developing customer and employee relationships that make a difference. Participants will walk away with multiple strategies for enhanced relationship building that can be implemented immediately.

Attendees takeaways:

  1. Participants will learn what the three levels of relationships are and how each level impacts business
  2. Participants will understand how relationship marketing is their competitive advantage, the one that makes all the difference.
  3. Participants will learn and practice practical strategies to capitalize on relationship marketing opportunities.