Community Leadership Program Class of 2023

Participants | Class Projects


        • Lisa Behrends, Meals from the Heartland
        • Abby Bogaards, One With Life
        • Christopher Bourbon, UnityPoint Health DSM
        • Isaac Bracher, OPN Architects
        • Claire Brehmer, Hubbell Realty Co.
        • Lia Brown, Greater Des Moines Partnership
        • Maria Brownell, Ahlers & Cooney PC
        • Marcus Coenen, Felsburg Holt & Ullevig
        • Lacy Covarrubias, Community State Bank
        • Dustyn Curran, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
        • Jana Daisy, Volunteer Iowa
        • Matt Davis, Neumann Brothers, Inc.
        • Joe Dolack III, DMARC
        • Tom Florian, West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
        • Jody Gifford, NCMIC
        • Josh Hemberger, Substance Architecture
        • Vanessa Howell, The Howell Solution
        • Christine Johnson, Wells Fargo
        • Dau Jok, West Des Moines Schools
        • Aaron Jones, Belin McCormick, P.C.
        • Karie Kading Ramsey, Kading/Kading Properties

        • Emily Karwoski, Principal

        • Latoya Lewis, Optum
        • Danielle Martin, United Way of Central Iowa
        • Wayne Middleton, Bankers Trust
        • Devon Moody, Confluence
        • Anna Nalean, Delta Dental of Iowa
        • Dave O'Loughlin, AECOM
        • Josh Palik, Felsburg Holt & Ullevig
        • Missy Reams, Bidwell Riverside Center - Hawthorn Hills
        • Maria Robinson, Community Champion
        • Kelly Royal, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
        • John Ryan, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
        • Cara Shindler, Gilbert & Cook
        • Rachel Summers, Blank Park Zoo
        • Anna Sunstrom, Everybody Wins! Iowa
        • Adrianne Towe, Waukee Community Schools Foundation
        • Anh Tran, Chevron - Renewable Energy Group
        • Jake Unruh, Commerce Bank
        • Dan Warfel, GDM Habitat for Humanity
        • Risha Weber, Nationwide Insurance

          Class Projects

          The Community Leadership Program prepares leaders from across Greater Des Moines to be effective stewards for our community’s future. Class members increase their awareness of local issues and develop leadership skills. They apply design thinking to develop solutions for their class project.

          Design thinking is a problem-solving framework that facilitates innovation by keeping humans at the center. The five, non-linear phases of design thinking are empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. The first three phases involve the class project teams using experiences shared by living experts and stakeholders to inform the direction of their possible solutions. They then develop prototypes to test with those individuals, using input to refine, or sometimes reimagine, their possible solutions.


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