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.

"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 and Timeline

Applications for the 2019 program will be accepted October 8 - Nov 5.
Attend the upcoming Information Session on October 22, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

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 2019 Session Dates

  • February 11, 2019, Kick-off, Session 1, Noon - 6:30 p.m.
  • February 25, 2019, Session 2, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 11, 2019, Session 3, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 25, 2019, Session 4, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • April 8, 2019, 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

  • March 3
  • April 1

2018 Program Participants

Kristine

Anderson

Kum & Go

Haley

Babcock

Des Moines Art Center

Guillermo

Bailey

Principal Financial Group

Susana

Bello Salvo

Self employed

Clara

Bergan

Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity

Mari

Bunney

RBC Wealth Management

Janeth

Colina

Self employed

Yenny

Diaz Briceno

Polk County Attorney’s Office

Carson

Forst

Bearence Management Group

Stefani

Freeman

Wells Fargo

Thomas

Frelund

Quality Manufacturing Corporation

Benjamin

Handfelt

Strategic America

Adriana

Hernandez Mesa

Freeman

Bre

Horstman

United Way of Central Iowa

Kaylie

Hoyle

Iowa Donor Network

Emily

In

Mediacom Communications

Andy

Jennings

Mercy Medical Center

Alexander

Jones

MidAmerican Energy Company

Machelle

King

Polk County Central Senior Center

Philip

Kreznor

Value Wealth Management

Jon

Miller

Trilix

Steve

Mulligan

Clean Harbors Environmental Services

Greg

Padget

Practical Farmers of Iowa

Nicholas

Peterson

Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

Jon

Phillips

Wells Fargo & Company

Jon

Raftis

The Dana Company

Halley

Ryherd

Iowa Title Guaranty, a division of the Iowa Finance Authority

Megan

Schneider

Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity

Amanda

Shetler

Des Moines I Have a Dream Foundation

Anita

Unger

DuPont Pioneer



2019 Mentors

Representing various metro businesses and non-profit organizations, our mentors for 2019 are excited to share their knowledge and experience! This is a list of our past mentors for the Community Connect 2018 program. An updated list for 2019 will be published soon.

Kim ButlerCommunity State Bank
Jason Bassett, Kum & Go

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

Thank you to our generous sponsor of the 2018 Community Connect Program:



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