Our Speakers

Jessica Balsley
Founder and President - The Art of Education
Jessica Balsley is a passionate education professional, speaker, wife, mother, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of "The Art of Education" along with her husband, Derek Balsley. The Art of Ed is the largest professional development resource for art teachers in the world. Jessica and her team of 32 and growing, provides "Ridiculously RelevantTM Professional Development" to art educators all around the world. Including a robust catalog of 20+ online degree-level classes for Art Teachers, an online magazine which offers free daily articles, lesson plans, tips, podcasts, videos, and online events and conferences for Art Teachers.
Jessica on LinkedInKeep Calm and Teach ArtWhy Art Teacher Attitude is Essential
Matt Coventon
Innovative Software Engineering
Matt Coventon is a Senior Software Engineer and the practice lead for Big Data Services at Innovative Software Engineering (ISE), a professional services company with a keen interest in the intersection of vehicle telematics, mobile applications, and big data. His primary focus at ISE has been architecting and building Web, middleware, and analytics applications that are high performance, fault tolerant, and easy to scale. He's a father of four, and in his free time, he's a songwriter.
Matt on LinkedInTest Driving Streaming and CEP on Apache IgniteMeet Matt Coventon
Ying Sa
Community CPA
Ying Sa is the founder and Principal Certified Public Accountant at Community CPA. A native of China and former resident of Canada, Ying served five years as Vice President of Controllers for Wells Fargo Financial Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa, and six years as the Chief Financial Officer for the Iowa Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Iowa State University. She is also the Co-Founder and Chair of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (IES).
Ying on LinkedInCommunityCPA.com
Matt Arnold
ConnectFive and Handrail UX
Matt Arnold has more than 20 years of experience in user-centered design, interactive experiences, service design, and branding. He is the UX Director at ConnectFive. He has done strategy and design work for early- and late-stage startups, as well as for some of the country's most recognized brands including Allstate, State Farm, Discover Card, Best Buy, Capella University, and ACT. Matt earned his B.A. in Communication Studies from The University of Iowa and his M.S. from Illinois State University where his research focused the use of technology on improving team outcomes.
Matt on LinkedIn
Sherry Bonelli
Early Bird Digital Marketing
Sherry Bonelli started her first online business featuring pregnancy and baby products in 1998; her first e-commerce sale was an actual check she received in the mail from the U.S. Post Office. Sherry has appeared and featured in media outlets including the TODAY Show, CNN, ABC News, and Boston Globe. As a SCORE mentor, she presents at numerous digital marketing workshops and is associated with the Google Get Your Business Online initiative to help local businesses claim their Google My Business pages, and she is the owner of Early Bird Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses get found on the Internet.
Sherry on LinkedInEarly Bird Digital MarketingSpeaking Engagements
Ethan Anderson
Big Imprint
Ethan Anderson owns and operates Big Imprint, a website development, and marketing company. He has experience in working with organizations who require needing to maximize marketing budgets and see a high ROI on their marketing efforts. Ethan holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business.
Ethan on LinkedIn
Gabe Erickson
Flow Media
Gabe Erickson is the CEO and President of Flow Media. Gabe is passionate about bringing time-tested, universal storytelling principles into the realm of digital marketing. Before Flow Media, Gabe was the Director of Communication and Media Affairs for Diversity Focus, and he began his career as a television journalist.
Gabe on LinkedInFlow Media
Stacy Carlson
Stacy Carlson is the COO of SitStay.com, CEO of oneCanvas, and the founder of Gotta Pixel. She launched her digital scrapbooking supplies eCommerce business, Gotta Pixel, in 2005, and using viral marketing and bootstrapping; the company maintained profitability while creating a community of over 60,000 users. She is a 2014 Alumni of nMotion Accelerator and is currently co-facilitating nMotion's pre-incubator program, Prelaunch.
Stacy on LinkedInSilicon Prairie News
Max Farrell
Max Farrell is co-founder and CEO of WorkHound, a software platform built to help carriers keep drivers and improve the truck driver experience. Before WorkHound, Max founded an innovation consulting firm where he created employee engagement initiatives for startups, nonprofits, and Fortune 1000 companies. Max is also a facilitator for Startup Weekend, and in his spare time, he's an avid sportsman and sound hip-hop artist.
Max on LinkedInTEDxYouth Talks
Alan Feirer
Group Dynamic
Alan Feirer is a leadership trainer, Everything DiSC Authorized Partner, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Authorized Partner, organizational development consultant, and author of The Group Dynamic Field Guide: 51 Ideas You Can Use Today. For the last 18 years, he has done business as Group Dynamic, helping people embrace challenging work, and have less stress while getting more done. Feirer's other interests include competitive Scrabble, exercise, travel, dining, and anything Disney.
Alan on LinkedInAlan in ActionGroup Dynamic
Gale Mote
Gale Mote Associates
When people come to Gale's presentations and workshops, they usually leave with one fundamental question, "Where does she get that energy?" For over 25 years, Gale has been designing and delivering motivational workshops and training classes for all types of industry and organizations at her firm, Gale Mote Associates. Her sessions are creative, energizing, participant-centered and get results. She graduated from Coe College after studying Business, Economics, and Education, and she holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Iowa where she is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Tippie College of Business Professional MBA program.
Gale on LinkedInGale Mote Associates
Jordan Hobfoll
Iowa Innovation Corporation
Jordan Hobfoll joined the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IICorp) in 2015 as the Statewide SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator. Jordan has startup experience as the founder of Energy Simply, a concierge retail electricity management service targeting Illinois and Texas. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business, Jordan received his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jordan at LinkedIn
Aaron Horn
Aaron Horn is the Director of IT for the Iowa Interstate Railroad and the President and Co-Founder of BeatCancerToday.org, a nonprofit that sells Beat Cancer branded apparel to raise money for childhood cancer research and support programs. In the last three years, Beat Cancer Today has raised over $100k for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, Children's Cancer Connection, and Children's Oncology Group. Aaron studied Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurial Studies at Iowa State University. He also serves on the Boards for NewBoCo, Beat Cancer Today, Men's Style Lab, Miracle Travel Works, and Candlelighters NYC.
Aaron at LinkedInAaron at About.me
Jake Joraanstad
Myriad Mobile
Jake Joraanstad is the co-founder and CEO of Myriad Mobile. Jake is heavily involved in the #NorthOfNormal entrepreneurial community in Fargo, N.D. He co-founded Emerging Prairie, serves as a coach and participant at Startup Weekend Fargo, and helped launch 1 Million Cups in Fargo. When not pondering the next generation of mobile technology, you can find Jake's dogs walking him around the neighborhood and his race car ensuring his life insurance policy is up to date.
Jake on LinkedInPlatform First Approach to Mobile DevelopmentWFPS InSourced
Annie Wood
Emerging Prairie
Annie Wood connects people in Fargo and the Northern region, focusing on supporting entrepreneurs. Through Emerging Prairie, an ecosystem building organization, she runs a coworking and event space: The Prairie Den. Using a "student union" model to operate The Prairie Den, Annie applies concepts from universities to the community. Just as a student union on a college campus provides a place to do work that matters and move ideas forward, it also offers a gathering space, a learning space, and space for connections.
Annie on LinkedInKFGO.COM
Douglas Lewis
Holbrook Development, LLC
Doug Lewis is a senior global entrepreneur and business developer. He has extensive experience in Asia, Europe, South and North America, and he has worked within startup ecosystems on all four continents. Doug helps companies identify market opportunities and helps them develop new markets for products and technology.
Doug on LinkedInLinkedIn Articles by Doug
Patrick Luensmann
Center for Business Growth and Innovation
Patrick Luensmann is the Senior Program Manager at the UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation. He has been instrumental in the creation and growth of entrepreneur support programs in the state of Iowa. He currently directs the ISL platform, the Business Concierge, Dream Big Grow Here, the Regional Entrepreneurship Project, and local events like 1 Million Cups and Startup Weekend. He has a degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Northern Iowa.
Patrick on LinkedInIA Source Link
Heather Marquez
Mind Links, LLC.
Heather Marquez is an International Coach, Speaker, and Trainer, Think Buzan Mind Mapping Instructor, and Certified Human Behavior Specialist who helps individuals and teams drive results and overcome obstacles. She supports leaders in business by equipping them with the skills to raise employee engagement and build a strong culture within their company. With more than 25 years of leadership experience, Heather's mission is to help others unlock their potential.
Heather on LinkedIn
Joshua McNary
McNary Marketing & Design LLC
As a Marketing Technology expert and owner of McNary Marketing & Design LLC, Joshua McNary meshes business strategy, technology, and corporate savvy with an entrepreneurial passion for providing solutions to clients' problems. After over a decade of working in nonprofit and then the business world, Joshua acts on his knowledge about business, marketing, design, and web development to help business, startups, and organizations. He has done extensive work developing brands, marketing workflows, and business solutions.
Joshua on LinkedIn
John Meyer
John T. Meyer wants to help everyone do work that matters. He is co-founder and CEO of Lemonly, a millennial-staffed design startup with a specialty in visual storytelling. In the five years since its inception, Lemonly has created infographics, videos and microcontent for international brands like Marriott, Major League Baseball, Netflix, Under Armour, the Green Bay Packers, and the United Nations. JTM is a 2016 Finalist for EY's Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year and named as Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 10 Emerging Entrepreneurs in 2013.
John on LinkedInLemonlyJohn Meyer
Marianne Worthington
Described as brilliant, awesomesauce, hilarious, and so engaging you will forget to eat your snacks, Marianne delivers a client experience sure to exceed your team building expectations. She is the founder of Work Warrior LLC, a company that helps small business owners build wildly successful teams where she has worked with over 5,000 managers in 23 states become better managers and lead more efficient teams. When she is not busy being a pseudo-superhero team builder, you can find Marianne running around in the Lincoln startup world working on her new project Revo, a one-stop shop for social entrepreneurs with a vision to change their communities using smart business models.
Marianne on LinkedInRevoNonprofit Hub
Zach Parker
Theatre Cedar Rapids
Zach Parker is the Education Director at Theatre Cedar Rapids. Zach helped create the Improv comedy program at TCR and fostered a home where students can learn, and audiences can love the spontaneity of life. Zach studied acting with Richard Glockner at the University of Northern Iowa, and upon graduation, Zach moved to NYC and studied long-form improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) theater in NYC.
Zach on LinkedInTCR.org
Chris Rouw
Far Reach
Chris Rouw is a software developer by trade and an entrepreneur by nature. With his role at Far Reach, Chris enjoys working with clients, the Far Reach team, and others to take projects from ideas to reality.
Chris on LinkedInIowa Entrepreneur: Far ReachTaking care of Business
Justin Schoen
Emerge Growth Strategies
Justin H. Schoen is a Managing Partner at Emerge Growth Strategies; a full-service marketing firm focused on startups and high grown companies. Justin is also the co-owner of Des Moines coffee shop, Mars Cafe, and a partner in the startup online flower delivery service, Goquets. He serves as a consultant and mentor to numerous small businesses, entrepreneurs, and students, and regularly speaks to groups about online marketing strategy.
Justin on LinkedInYP of the Year Finalist VideoImprove your Visibility in 2011
Alex and Laura Taylor
Woofables Gourmet Dog Biscuit Bakery
Laura and Alex are both entrepreneurs. Alex works and teaches at the Tippie College of Business, before that he has experience with several high-tech and startup companies. Laura works full time at Woofables, and before that had stints with JPEC, Tippie, and several Marketing Leadership roles for manufacturing companies.
Woofables on LinkedInWoofables
Brian Ardinger
Econic Co
Brian is the managing director of NMotion, a seed-stage startup accelerator, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NUtech Ventures, the technology transfer arm of the University of Nebraska. Brian is the co-founder of the podcast Inside Outside, a mentor in Pipeline Entrepreneurs and a member of the Startup Champions Network and Global Accelerator Network. Before his work in the startup community, Brian was Chief Marketing Officer at Nanonation working with clients including Pepsi, Target, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Royal Caribbean.
Brian on LinkedIn
Tim McDougall & Jason Nelson
50 Pound Boson
Tim McDougall and Jason Nelson are digital marketing growth hackers. They help clients increase market share and become leaders in their fields. They have been the voice for dozens of regional and national names, from contributing to get a new country music artist to rank on Billboard to increasing client sales on Amazon by 17x. They have also managed and created content for social media accounts reaching millions of consumers monthly.
50 Pound Boson
Erin Nathan
Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC
Erin Nathan represents clients accused of age; sex; race; disability and national origin discrimination; sexual harassment; retaliatory discharge; ERISA violations; Family and Medical Leave Act violations; defamation; fraud; tortious interference; infliction of emotional distress; breach of contract; and wage and hour violations. She handles matters in state and federal court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other state and local governmental agencies, as well as before arbitration tribunals. Ms. Nathan represents and counsels businesses and individuals on employment-related matters, including employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, trade secrets and non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. She regularly assists employers with protecting trade secrets and enforcing restrictive covenants.
Erin on LinkedInsimmonsperrine.com
Levi Bostian
Curiosity IO
Levi is an Internet entrepreneur and geek. He builds and sells products, primarily smartphone apps and online. Levi believes in creating quality products that speak for themselves. Levi is also a freelance app developer, blogger, environmentalist, and art nerd.
Levi on LinkedInLevi on About.me
Stacy Van Gorp
Stacy Van Gorp, Ph.D. is a self-described organizational strategy and innovation geek. Most days you’ll find Stacy serving as the leader of a private foundation aimed at inspiring young people. For nearly 20 years, Stacy has also provided consulting services in strategic planning, innovation, research, and program design. Her mission is to connect the people, resources, and ideas that will change the world.
Stacy on LinkedIn