Setting a New Direction

The Wallace family believed that issues of the day could be solved by gathering people around the table for thoughtful, respectful discussion. Dialogue Dinners, Civility & Leadership Lunches and the Ground Breakers: Women Leading Change series have invited local experts to engage with the community, build greater awareness and understanding of current issues, connect people with local resources and inspire action. Past programs and discussions have addressed water quality, immigration, mental health, different faith communities, leadership skills, healthy brain aging, and cultural diversity.

WCI’s staff and board are reviewing past efforts, defining what civility means to our organization and considering criteria for future civility programming. If you have any ideas to offer, please contact Deb Houghtaling, CEO.

WCI’s Leadership and Civility Lunches received 2011 Better Together Award from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

There are no upcoming events.

Women Leading Change: 2019 Ground Breakers Speakers

Kirsten Anderson

Advocate, Trainer and Consultant for harassment-free workplaces

Kirsten Anderson is on a mission to end workplace harassment through education. She found herself an unlikely advocate for those facing harassment in the workplace after she was fired for complaining about sexual harassment and retaliation. She took legal action against her former employer, the State of Iowa, and won. Now a full-time advocate, trainer, and consultant for harassment-free workplaces, she works to empower others to stand up for what is right and show employers how to make easy changes to fix long-standing problems. Kirsten has a degree in broadcast journalism, is a 2019 Metro Woman of the Year and a 2018 Inspiring Woman of Iowa Finalist.

Beth Shelton

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Beth shared how she initiated a new “infants at work” policy at the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, part of a cultural transformation that led to GSGI being named a “Best Workplace in Iowa”. Parents can bring their babies to work with them every day for up to six months. Beth was named to the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40 list, coaches softball and basketball and co-leads a Girl Scout group of 33 girls. She recently received alumni achievement awards from Simpson College and Drake University.

Antoinette Stevens

Cybersecurity Analyst, The Principal Financial Group
Executive Director, Reboot Iowa

A computer science graduate of the University of Georgia, Antoinette explained how she found her way to Iowa and her efforts to help low-income adults transition to new careers in IT through coding. Antoinette was named a 2019 Person to Watch by the Des Moines Register.

Summaries from Additional Past Speakers

Rev. Minna Bothwell, Capitol Hill Lutheran

This diverse congregation includes members who are from 23 different countries and live throughout the metro area.

Pastor Minna’s comments:
Ethnicity in Our Community Minna Bothwell

Pablo Ortega, Des Moines Public Schools

Pablo Ortega stepped into a newly created position as Director of the English Language Learner program.

A summary of Pablo’s presentation:
Ethnicity in Our Community Pablo Ortega

Annique Kiel
Drake University

Annique is the executive director of global engagement and international programs at Drake and regularly conducts workshops on intercultural competency.

A summary of Annique’s presentation:
Ethnicity in Our Community Annique Kiel

Ying Sa
Community CPA & Associates, Inc  

As a successful immigrant woman with broad corporate and business experience, Ying blends her unique life experiences and perspectives into her professional work and her service to clients.

A summary of  Ying’s presentation:
Ethnicity in Our Community – Ying Sa