Community Connect: Mentors Inspiring Success

Leveraging the wealth of knowledge in our community and cultivating our community's leaders are important to perpetuating the strength and uniqueness of Greater Des Moines. Community Connect sustains and expands leadership throughout the region by inspiring community champions through self-discovery and meaningful mentoring connections. The program has two key objectives:

  • To help participants connect with their personal values and purpose, leading to intentional action and engagement in the community.  

  • To connect participants with experienced community leaders, so they may learn and benefit from the mentors' insight and wisdom. 
The five-session program occurs in a small-group setting, which ensures interaction with each mentor as well as other program participants. In addition, participants are encouraged to meet with the mentors and small groups between sessions to fully benefit from their experience.

Community Connect provided the time and space for me to reflect on my values and purpose at a time when I otherwise would not be able to. That personal work, along with exposure to established community leaders and other Community Connect participants provided an invaluable opportunity and learning experience.

— Jeffrey Czerwiec, 2017 Community Connect participant.

Community Connect was referred to me at a time when I was really questioning the "why" in my life. My heart told me that I am meant to do something greater, but I had no idea what. 

— Amy Sturm, 2016 Community Connect participant


Application and Timeline

Applications for the 2018 program will be accepted October 9 - November 6. Apply for the program.

There will be an information session on October 23, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. There is no cost to attend the information session, but we ask that you pre-register.

Participant Expectations

  • Attendance at all five sessions is required for graduation of the program. Up to one absence will be allowed if an appeal is approved by the program leaders.
  • Active participation is expected in each session. This may include coming prepared to discuss short assignments for each session or sharing personal experiences.
  • Creating and expecting a foundation of trust, which includes confidentiality of conversations and information that is shared. 

Community Connect 2018 Session Dates

  • February 5, 2018, Kick-off, Session 1, Noon - 6:00 p.m.
  • February 19, 2018, Session 2, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 12, 2018, Session 3, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 26, 2018, Session 4, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • April 9, 2018, Session 5, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

All regular sessions will be held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Small Group Meeting Dates

  • February 26
  • April 2

2017 Graduates


Kimberly

Broderick

The Integer Group

Jamie

Burch Elliott

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Tess

Cody

Drake University

Jeffrey

Czerwiec

Drake University/AmeriCorps VISTA

Austin

Fisher

RBC Wealth Management

Brenna

Fujimoto

Integer Group

Nadilia

Gomez

DuPont Pioneer

Breanna

Gordon

General Mills

LaVerne

Greenfield

Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity

Kale

Halder

Principal Financial Group

Kimberly

Hanken

American Heart Association

Jenna

Herr

City of Waukee

Donya

Jenkins-Harvey

Volunteer Iowa

Allissa

Johnson

Channel Prime Alliance

Bradie

Kuehne

Lincoln Savings Bank

Amanda

Laverman

Ruan Transportation Management Systems

Becca

Lee

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Dara

Madigan

Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children

Michael

Malone

R&R Realty Group

Ryan

Martin

General Mills

Michelle

Mueller

Principal Financial Group

Jennifer

Nelson

Delta Dental of Iowa

Collin

Nelson

NAI Optimum

Emily

Nichols

Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Marie

Procyk

Wells Fargo

Tony

Raymer

Next Step Counseling Services

Will

Signs

CDS Global

Emmanuel

Smith

Disability Rights Iowa

Erin

Sunde

Kum & Go





2018 Mentors

Representing various metro businesses and non-profit organizations, our mentors for 2018 are excited to share their knowledge and experience! Please welcome the mentors for the Community Connect 2018 program:

Kim Butler, The PrivateBank
Jason Bassett, Kum & Go

Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Oakridge Neighborhood Services
Blake Campbell, Best Buddies of Iowa
Carrie Clogg, Kum & Go
Ty Doggett, RMS US LLP
Nolden Gentry
, Brick Gentry
Joe Gonzalez, Latino Resources and Latino Heritage Festival
Eric Idehen, Wells Fargo
Joseph Jones, The Harkin Institute
Tina Mowry Hadden, Mowry Strategies
Vinh Nguyen, Des Moines Public Schools
Barb Preuss
, Des Moines Performing Arts
Julie Stewart, Prairie Meadows
San Wong, Iowa Department of Human Rights
Mee Yang-Lee, Principal Financial Group






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