People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their 

overall purpose in life. -John C. Maxwell

Greater Des Moines thrives when purpose meets service. Community Connect inspires and teaches participants that levering their purpose improves their lives and our community. The program has two key objectives:

  • To provide a curriculum that helps participants uncover and leverage their personal values and purpose, leading to intentional engagement in the community.  

  • To connect participants with experienced community leaders, so they may learn and benefit from the mentors' wisdom and networks.
The five-session program, facilitated by Dr. Christi Hegstad and program alumni, offers a dynamic learning environment and ensures interaction with each mentor as well as other program participants. Between sessions, participants meet in small groups to build relationships and to support momentum toward goals.

"The most meaningful part of this program was connecting with my purpose and values. It gave me time to sit down and evaluate who I am, where I spend my time and how these two areas of my life interconnect. This program has given me the confidence to take more risks to find joy and to believe in myself because my purpose and values will always be a guide."

Kaylie Hoyle, 2018 Community Connect participant.

"I was a bit lost before this program. I wanted to know more about myself in order to start helping others, but I didn't know how or where to start. This program encouraged me to find my best self, connect me with so many new people I never would have met before, and inspired me to be more bold and courageous in my personal and professional life. I'm more excited than ever to see what my future has in store." 

Haley Babcock, 2018 Community Connect participant

Application, Timeline, and Cost

  • The application period for the 2020 program is now closed. We will accept applications for the 2021 program in October 2020.
  • Tuition is $400. Partial and full scholarships are available. Requests may be made upon acceptance into the program. 

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 or sharing personal experiences.
  • Creating and expecting a foundation of trust, which includes confidentiality of conversations and information that is shared. 

Community Connect 2020 Session Dates

  • February 10, 2020, Kick-off, Session 1, Noon - 6:00 p.m.
  • February 24, 2020, Session 2, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 9, 2020, Session 3, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 23, 2020, Session 4, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • April 13, 2020, 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
(please reserve this time block, although small groups are not required to meet for 3 hours)

  • March 2, 2020, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 30, 2020, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • April 6, 2020, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Honors and Distinguished Leadership Awards Luncheon

  • May 13, 11:00a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

2020 Mentors

Representing various metro businesses and non-profit organizations, our mentors for 2020 shared their knowledge and experience.

Doug Bickford, Alzheimer's Association
Blake Campbell, Best Buddies International
Traci Galligan,
Joe Gonzalez
, Latino Resources and Latino Heritage Festival
Nadilia Gomez, Iowa AgriTech Accelerator
Eric Idehen
, Wells Fargo
Natali Justiniano Pahl
Judy McCoy Davis, JMD Consulting
Michael Morain,
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Nader Nasseh
, Wells Fargo
Elizabeth Presutti, DART
Barb Preuss
, Des Moines Performing Arts
Katie Roth, RC Search Group
Mike Wilson, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
San Wong, Iowa Department of Human Rights
Mee Yang-Lee, Principal

Thank you to our generous sponsor of the 2020
Community Connect Program:

About Dr. Christi Hegstad,

Program Facilitator

The Community Connect Program is facilitated by Christi Hegstad, PhD, PCC. Christi coaches achievers to reach Bold Goals, make a positive difference, and lead a life of meaning and purpose! Since 2003 Christi's firm, MAP Professional Development Inc., has coached leaders across the globe to achieve extraordinary success while focusing on their values, contribution, and positive, purposeful impact. Christi is a Forbes Coaches Council member, NAWBO Iowa Business Owner of the Year winner, Forty Under 40 recipient, and past president of the International Coach Federation - Iowa Chapter. In addition, her work has been published in a variety of books and resources including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace (Pfeiffer). Christi is also a book addict, literacy advocate, and mom to three amazing children. Learn more at .


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