Community Leadership Program Class of 2017 

Participants | Class Projects


  • Denise Attard Sacco,  Iowa Department of Public Health
  • Kristie Bell,  Kum & Go
  • Lilianna Bernstein,  Drake University
  • Mike Bonnett,  R&R Real Estate Advisors
  • Whitney Bouma,  Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Michele Brott,  Davis Brown Law Firm
  • Sara Brown,  Des Moines Business Record
  • Juan Cadenillas,  Polk County Health Department
  • Kristi Catrenich,  VA Central Iowa Health Care System
  • Libby Crimmings,  The World Food Prize
  • Pete De Kock,  Des Moines Social Club
  • Doug Dollison,  Massage Heights of Ankeny, Johnston, Merle Hay, West Des Moines, Ames
  • Kerri Gaule,  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Kristin Griffith,  Young Women's Resource Center
  • Brandon Grimm,  Gilbert & Cook Wealth Management
  • Heather Groben,  Simpson College
  • Nick Hansen,  DLR Group
  • Tim Heaston,  ITA Group
  • Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel,  One Iowa
  • Sara Hopkins,  RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts
  • Kristin Huinker,  Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS)
  • Paige Jaeger,  UnityPoint Health Des Moines
  • Anna Jones,   Shyft Collective
  • Amy Koenig,  Sticks, Power Life Yoga, and Amy Putney Koenig Art

  • Angela Kruse,  Wells Fargo
  • Jon Liebl,  Liebl Marketing Group
  • Kate Lyon, EcoTech, Inc.
  • Kat McClure,  Katherine McClure Photography
  • Reed McManigal,  Holmes Murphy
  • Keshia Meissner,  Beacon of Life
  • Brian Melhus,  Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Dylan Mullenix,  Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Abhay Nadipuram,  Principal
  • Crystal Olig,  Upward Brand Interactions
  • Martine Olson-Daniel,  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Marc Reed,  Global Atlantic Financial Group
  • Becky Reif,  Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
  • Michelle Rich,  State Public Policy Group
  • Claire Richmond,  Clarified Design
  • Cody Ritz,  NCMIC/Professional Solutions and CLenz Design
  • Mickey Ryan,  Des Moines Art Center
  • Beth Rydberg,  Disability Rights Iowa
  • Matthew Schultz,  Elevated Builders
  • Renee Sedlacek,  Drake University
  • Courtney Shaw,  Strategic America
  • Denise Smithson Green,  Des Moines Performing Arts
  • Brian Springer, Universal Printing Services
  • Mike Vaughn,  BDI Signs
  • Amanda  Wanke,  Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

Class Projects

The primary objective of the class projects is to provide class members with opportunities to develop meaningful leadership skills in real-world settings, while benefiting local non-profit organizations and ultimately preparing class members to effectively lead change in Central Iowa.

Participants in the 2017 Community Leadership Program have partnered with five local nonprofit organizations. Class members reviewed numerous proposals, choosing project partners based on project scope, individual interest, learning opportunities and the potential to meet organizational and community needs.

On With Life Image result for on with life

Conceptualized plans and developed a fundraising strategy for an outdoor music Zen garden to be used for patient rehabilitation.

  • Planned two videos for promotional purposes and education regarding music therapy.
  • Created stakeholder survey to determine use and interest in gardens and music therapy.
  • Completed research on individual music instruments, as well as garden and plant design.

Image result for art route des moines

Art Route 

Developed strategic recommendations and expanded marketing efforts to help raise awareness of Art Route.

  • Created framework for long-term strategic plan.
  • Developed “Art Route in a Box” toolkit.
  • Created educational curriculum for educators to introduce Art Route to schoolchildren.
  • Developed window clings for area businesses along the route to help connect the community to the route.

Image result for des moines area religious council des moines ia

DMARC (Des Moines Area Religious Council)

 Increased awareness of DMARC through beautification project of underutilized land parcel.

  • Partnered with ISU Design Lab and 32 landscape architecture students to create architectural renderings.
  • Facilitated discussions with City of Des Moines for purchase or lease of parcel.
  • Identified potential community partners and funding strategies.

Image result for a mid iowa organization strategy des moinesAMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy)

Developed a plan for sustaining and expanding the “Let’s Talk” restorative justice program to additional Des Moines middle schools.

  • Created a brand identity.
  • Developed materials for marketing and advocacy including brochures, video and other branded materials.
  • Formulated a sustainable organizational structure and expansion plan.

Image result for pinky swear des moines

Pinky Swear

Created strategy for increasing awareness of programming and mission of supporting families of children with cancer.

  • Researched and designed competitive analysis and presentation for scalable use and distribution.
  • Invested in marketing materials to create greater visual awareness.
  • Produced Iowa-centric brand video and plan for fundraising.


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