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 leveraging 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 goal setting for 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 2023 program is now closed.
  • Applications for the 2024 program will open in October 2023.
  • Do you know someone who would benefit from this program? Submit their name and we will invite them to apply!
  • Tuition is $400. Partial and full scholarships are available. Requests may be made upon acceptance into the program.

Participant Expectations

  • Attendance at all 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 2023 Session Dates

  • January 17, 2023, Kick-off, Session 1, 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • January 31, 2023, Session 2, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • February 21, 2023, Session 3, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 7, 2023, Session 4, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • March 28, 2023, Session 5, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
    • *all sessions are planned to be held in person.

Small Group Meeting Dates

  • February 7, 2023, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • February 28, 2023, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • March 21, 2023, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

*all small group meetings are planned to be held virtually.


We are currently securing our newest team of mentors for the upcoming program year. Here are the community leaders who served as mentors for 2022.

Kim Butler Hegedus, Community State Bank
Blake Campbell, Best Buddies International
Traci Galligan,
Nadilia Gomez, Iowa State University
Joe Gonzalez, Latino Resources and Latino Heritage Festival
Natali Justiniano Pahl, Retired
Tony Kioko,
John Deere

Matt McGarvey,
Telligen Community Initiative
Nader Nasseh
, QCR Holdings, Inc.
Elizabeth Presutti, DART
Barb Preuss
, Des Moines Performing Arts
Katie Roth, RC Search Group
San Wong, Iowa Department of Human Rights
Daniel Zinnel, Proteus

Thank you to our generous sponsor of the 2023
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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