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of the Creative Corridor<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />

Meet Makenzie Kimm and<br />

other ALL STARS who are<br />

making an impact in the<br />

region’s business sectors.

Passion runs Deep.<br />


Congrats to our regional manager dave baker for being<br />

named as a creative corridor all-star honorable mention!<br />

Highway equipment company is proud of dave,<br />

and all our team members who have the passion to<br />

build the best today for a better tomorrow.<br />

2 800-363-1771 ALL • www.highwayequipment.com STARS of the • © Creative <strong>2017</strong> Highway Equipment Corridor<br />

Company. All rights reserved.

of the Creative Corridor<br />

Mick Starcevich<br />

President<br />

Kirkwood Community College<br />

Iowa’s Creative Corridor is a great<br />

place to live and work. Many different<br />

communities, businesses,<br />

organizations and people all come<br />

together like pieces of a puzzle<br />

to make a greater whole. One integral<br />

piece holding it all together is the area<br />

workforce. It’s central to everything that<br />

happens here in our seven-county area of<br />

Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn<br />

and Washington counties.<br />

For 50 years, Kirkwood Community<br />

College has understood the important<br />

connection between a talented workforce,<br />

employers, education and training, and the<br />

Corridor as a whole. Those four components<br />

form a relationship where each affects<br />

the other. That’s why Kirkwood works<br />

with local business and industry to develop<br />

relevant curriculum that puts our graduates<br />

in a position to succeed. When they<br />

thrive, employers flourish and so does the<br />

Corridor. When workers need retraining,<br />

Kirkwood supports area employers to make<br />

sure their employees have the knowledge<br />

and skills to take the organization, and<br />

their own careers, to the next level.<br />

Because the future of the Corridor is<br />

directly related to the success of this relationship,<br />

every single person has a vested<br />

interest in cultivating the area workforce<br />

and growing it to its potential. One way to<br />

encourage success is by celebrating those<br />

among us that are truly standing out in<br />

their field.<br />

In this magazine, you’ll be introduced<br />

to some of the promising Corridor<br />

employees making a huge impact today.<br />

It’s a glimpse of the younger workforce<br />

who will very soon become the movers<br />

and shakers of the future. These stories<br />

are inspiring. The best part is, they can<br />

encourage the next wave of talent whose<br />

time is fast approaching.<br />

These Creative Corridor All-Stars are<br />

proof that if you put in the time, and you<br />

work hard, you can accomplish any goal.<br />

I would encourage those inspired by these<br />

examples to take control of their future.<br />

When anyone is ready for the next step –<br />

whatever that may be – Kirkwood is ready<br />

to help them get there. Whether it’s career<br />

exploration and opportunities for our<br />

youth, or training for our more experienced<br />

workforce, Kirkwood is a one-stop<br />

shop for everyone in the Corridor when it<br />

comes to career development.<br />

Let the stories within these pages be an<br />

inspiration to motivate us as we move toward<br />

the bright future of our community. •<br />





Brandon Minick ............ 4<br />

Besnik Mucogllava.......... 6<br />


Cassie Ellis ...............10<br />

Amber Westemeier........ 12<br />



Amanda Wendling.........14<br />

Natasha Leiran............16<br />


April Golwitzer............18<br />

Sara Wattnem.............20<br />


Matt Lapka ...............22<br />

Samantha Dahlby..........24<br />


Phil Reges................26<br />

Makenzie Kimm...........28<br />


Trent Brandenburg.........30<br />



Pathway to an<br />

All Star Career......... 11<br />

How Can I<br />

Be an All Star?......... 15<br />

About Sector Boards ... 23<br />

All Star Honorable<br />

Mentions ............. 31<br />

Main Campus, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard<br />

Southwest, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404<br />

(319) 398-5411 • www.kirkwood.edu<br />

A print product of the<br />

Corridor Business Journal<br />

May <strong>2017</strong><br />

Shuva Rahim, Writer and Photographer<br />

Julia Druckmiller, Designer<br />

Rhonda Roskos, Media Consultant<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />





AND<br />


Brandon<br />

Brandon Minick<br />

Modern Piping, Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

The most rewarding part of the job would be the completion<br />

of a project, to be able to go home at night and tell<br />

your wife or your kids, ‘I helped build that building or I<br />

helped be part of the design team on that building.’<br />

What does your company do?<br />

Modern Piping is a full-service mechanical contractor. We do<br />

plumbing, piping, sheet metal, controls and also compressed<br />

air. We also have a service division we handle. We basically call<br />

it a “one-stop shop.”<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I lead and manage the Virtual Design team within the day-today<br />

operations. We have five locations. I oversee 15 employees<br />

at three different locations, including Cedar Rapids, Blaine,<br />

Minnesota and Oklahoma City. Modern supports the company<br />

from pre-construction all the way to final completion of a project.<br />

The projects we work on are typically commercial. We also<br />

do a very large amount of industrial projects. We just recently<br />

completed the Children’s Hospital project, along with the U of I<br />

Hancher Auditorium and the U of I Art Building replacement.<br />

What is most interesting about your job?<br />

The most interesting thing is the day-to-day challenges we have,<br />

specifically in the technology we use. The different software and<br />

hardware we utilize to complete a project – a robotic total station,<br />

3-D scanner and software – is pretty neat.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

I decided on this career path based on my childhood. My<br />

stepfather was a CAD designer in the Quad Cities. Really<br />

just watching him do it interested me and took me to the<br />

next level of wanting to do it myself. I went to Morrison<br />

Institute of Technology, a two-year tech school. I did CAD<br />

Design and Drafting with Engineering Technology. I also<br />

worked for another mechanical contractor before I got hired<br />

on at Modern Piping. I worked there for five years, and day<br />

to day kept learning and taking on more responsibility.<br />

What do most people not realize you do in<br />

your job?<br />

One thing people don’t realize would be juggling a lot<br />

of tasks, having many responsibilities and really keeping<br />

them all in motion at the same time. I’m doing a lot of<br />

other things with managing 15 employees, and working<br />

with the day-to-day operations within the company between<br />

the fab shop, the project management team, the IT<br />

department and within my own department. •<br />

ONLINE: Watch Brandon discuss<br />

working at Modern Piping.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

4 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Design - Build<br />

With our 69,000 s.q./ft., state-of-the-art fabrication facility in<br />

Cedar Rapids, IA we’re able to offer many plumbing, piping and<br />

duct fabrication benefits to our customers that are not<br />

provided by other mechanical contractors.<br />

Modern Piping, Inc. is ISO 9001:2008 certified, which is a<br />

third-party validation of our extensive quality control and<br />

continuous improvement processes used in our fabrication and<br />

VDC operations.<br />

15<br />

virtual<br />

designers<br />

on staff<br />

VDC Capabilities<br />

Our robust Virtual Design and Construction Department (VDC)<br />

is the largest of any mechanical contractor in the region. Our<br />

in-house engineers work closely with our VDC staff, estimators,<br />

fabricators, installers, and outside engineers to deliver the best<br />

designed and installed system for the customer’s budget.<br />

3D<br />

scanning<br />

capabilities<br />

Our Timble TX5 3D Scanner and Trimble Robotic Total Work<br />

Stations fully integrate with our 3D VDC software to provide<br />

extremely precise measurements, improve accuracy, and<br />

accelerate design and construction schedules.<br />

Stay In Touch<br />

modernpiping.com<br />

moderncompaniesinc.com<br />

(319) 841-1111



Besnik<br />

Besnik Mucogllava<br />

Woodruff Construction<br />

Tiffin, Iowa<br />

“Due to the<br />

experience<br />

I had in<br />

the past I<br />

progressed<br />

very fast.”<br />

ONLINE: Watch Besnik discuss his<br />

work at Woodruff Construction.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What does your company do?<br />

My company does general contracting and<br />

design-build services for commercial, corporate<br />

office and health care industries.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

As superintendent my job duties are to<br />

plan, schedule and coordinate with other<br />

trades and also delegate work to our employees<br />

and subcontractors.<br />

What is the most interesting thing<br />

about your job?<br />

The most interesting things about my job are<br />

learning new things and ideas, and the continued<br />

improvement of ways things are built.<br />

What is the most rewarding part<br />

of your job?<br />

The most rewarding part of my job is the<br />

finishes toward the end of the project. For<br />

instance, now I’m running a project at the<br />

University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, and<br />

we’re at the finish part right now and it’s very<br />

exciting to get stuff done. It’s a rewarding<br />

part that you see how things are finished.<br />

How did you decide on this<br />

career path?<br />

I like construction, and I wanted to do<br />

something that is field-related but with<br />

more office responsibility. So superintendent<br />

gives me the opportunity to<br />

have both.<br />

I came to the U.S. in 2009 from Greece.<br />

I did construction in Greece for almost<br />

10 years. When I started with Woodruff,<br />

the construction was slightly different<br />

compared to Europe. So I started as a<br />

laborer even though I had experience.<br />

But due to the experience I had in the<br />

past I progressed very fast. Also, I have<br />

a degree in construction management. I<br />

graduated in 2014 from Kirkwood Community<br />

College. I’m currently at UNI pursuing<br />

a bachelor’s degree, to graduate<br />

next spring in technology management.<br />

What do most people not<br />

realize you do in your job?<br />

I’d say coordination between the other<br />

trades is easy for people not to notice,<br />

especially on this latest project (the UI<br />

Children’s Hospital). It’s very time-consuming.<br />

I personally don’t even know<br />

where my time goes. •<br />

6 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />


Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE)<br />

Median hourly<br />

earnings in the<br />

ACE Sector in the<br />

Creative Corridor:<br />

$27.52<br />

In Iowa,<br />

Construction<br />

occupations are<br />

projected to<br />

grow by 24%<br />

from 2015 –<br />

2025 (EMSI)<br />

Careers with growth expected by 2020 in<br />

Iowa’s Creative Corridor (EMSI)<br />

Architects, Except<br />

Landscape and Naval<br />

Surveyors<br />

Architectural<br />

and Civil Drafters<br />

Cement Masons and<br />

Concrete Finishers<br />

Construction<br />

Laborers<br />

Drywall and<br />

Ceiling Tile<br />

Installers<br />

Construction<br />

and Building<br />

Inspectors<br />

+ 21<br />

%<br />

+ 10<br />

% + 10<br />

% + 26<br />

% + 12<br />

% + 36<br />

% + 9<br />

%<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

Don Hummer Trucking Salutes the<br />

<strong>2017</strong> CBJ<br />


Don Hummer Trucking is proud to help Eastern Iowa develop a<br />

sustainable workforce by offering great career opportunities. We<br />

thank the CBJ All Stars for their commitment to do the same—<br />

together, we can develop and foster local talent to make our region<br />

more competitive, successful, and a better place to work.<br />

888-323-6115<br />

donhummertrucking.com<br />

8 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Build your foundation for success with<br />

> Earn while you learn<br />

> Acquire no student debt<br />

> Receive regular pay raises<br />

Benefit with a<br />

Building Trades<br />

Union Registered<br />

Apprenticeship<br />

for a professional<br />

career in the<br />

Commercial<br />

Construction<br />

Industry<br />

www.builtbypros.com<br />

www.cricbt.org<br />

Must be 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent. Must have good<br />

attendance, a great work ethic and willingness to work in all conditions.<br />

“Earn and Learn” in a Registered Apprenticeship for<br />

Union Construction careers. Apprenticeships provide a<br />

unique combination of on-the-job training working with<br />

Union professionals and structured learning from certified<br />

instructors. And the rewards are tremendous:<br />

A Paycheck with Benefits. From day one, you are on<br />

the payroll with guaranteed increases as you master your<br />

craft. Benefits include healthcare and much more.<br />

Hands-On Career Training. Apprentices receive<br />

practical on-the-job experience and regularly scheduled<br />

training and instruction in their Union Apprenticeship<br />

Training Centers.<br />

A Long-Term Career. Once you complete your<br />

apprenticeship, you’re well on your way to a truly<br />

rewarding and successful career with competitive salary,<br />

benefits and no student loans to pay off.<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />




“The most rewarding part of<br />

the job is learning something<br />

new every single day.“<br />

Cassie Ellis<br />

Frontier Co-op, Norway, Iowa<br />

Cassie<br />

What does your company do?<br />

For Frontier, we bottle quality, natural and organic<br />

spices and seasonings. We also have a plant in Urbana<br />

that does essential oils and distributes them as well.<br />

Our products are distributed to natural grocery stores<br />

that sell organic products, such as Sprouts Farmers<br />

Market, 365, New Pioneer Co-op and Hy-Vees.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I operate the equipment. We have several different<br />

bottling and packaging lines. On any given day<br />

I can be on any of them. I’m in charge of setting<br />

up the capper,<br />

the sifter, the<br />

ONLINE: Watch Cassie discuss her<br />

labeler. We get<br />

job at Frontier Co-op.<br />

the spices in as<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

raw material,<br />

and then we put<br />

it in bottles, have all our QA checks and balances,<br />

and send it out the door for our customers. Each<br />

run is a different quantity. In eight hours, on any<br />

given line, we can get 10,000 bottles out. I’ve been<br />

here going on six years. I come a little bit early to<br />

drop my kids off at daycare. Our shift starts at 7:30<br />

a.m. We wear special coats, hairnets, earplugs,<br />

and special shoes, wash our hands coming in and<br />

going out for food safety. Other than that, you’re on line<br />

throughout the whole day.<br />

What is most interesting about your job?<br />

One of the most interesting things about my job is seeing all<br />

the different types of natural and organic products that come<br />

through. Some of them I’ve never ever heard of before.<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

The most rewarding part of the job is learning something<br />

new every single day. Frontier also is very good about giving<br />

back to the community. They’re active in the Honor Flight,<br />

Breast Cancer Walks, Junior Diabetes Walks, Heart Walk and<br />

Feeding Iowa First. So that’s very rewarding because they<br />

give us volunteer time to help serve our community.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

This job is a very family-friendly environment, and they<br />

have an on-site daycare. So it was a definite plus for me<br />

when I knew I wanted to start a family. It’s nice because<br />

you can just walk right down there, see your kid and<br />

go back to work. After high school, I went to the Army<br />

National Guard. When I decided to start a family, the<br />

environment is what attracted me here. I started as a<br />

production worker for Frontier. Everything I’ve learned<br />

has been hands-on. •<br />

10 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Pathway to an All Star Career<br />


An All Star Career does not have to be difficult. Through the many<br />

resources at Kirkwood Community College, it is possible to start a future<br />

in any of the industries represented in the Creative Corridor All Star<br />

magazine in several different ways.<br />

CAREER ACADEMIES: An option for High School Juniors<br />

and Seniors, Career Academies offer an opportunity for young<br />

adults to explore careers as part of their high school experience.<br />

In cooperation with area school districts, high school students<br />

land in hands-on technical programs and arts and sciences<br />

classes while earning both high school and Kirkwood Community<br />

College credit. Whether your interest is in Advanced<br />

Manufacturing, Engineering, Patient Care, Graphics Design,<br />

Business or in any of the other academies, Kirkwood Community<br />

College Career Academies are an excellent opportunity to<br />

move forward in your career exploration and development.<br />

For more information on Kirkwood’s Career Academies, visit: www.<br />

kirkwood.edu/careeredge and select your local Kirkwood County or<br />

Regional Center.<br />

KPACE: The KPACE program (Kirkwood Pathways to Career<br />

Education and Employment) is designed to provide a training<br />

opportunity for individuals that may need additional support<br />

in their journey through training and toward employment.<br />

Kirkwood Community College has developed four complete<br />

training pathways in health care, business and manufacturing<br />

so you can build skills for a new career. Whatever your personal<br />

situation, you can stop and start anywhere along the pathway.<br />

We’ll help you find funding, and provide the guidance, support<br />

and encouragement you need along your pathway to success.<br />

For more information on Kirkwood’s KPACE program, visit: www.kirkwood.<br />

edu/kpace<br />



Kirkwood’s Continuing Education Division offers short-term<br />

training options in all of the industries represented in this<br />

Creative Corridor All Stars magazine. Through strong employer<br />

relationships, Continuing Education creates the certificates and<br />

programs that employers want and need. This provides the<br />

education and connections students need as they move forward<br />

toward their All Stars future. From Certified Nurse Aid, to Class<br />

A Truck Driving, to CNC Machining, to Customer Service<br />

Professional, Kirkwood Continuing Education meets the needs<br />

of employers and individuals looking to start their next step in<br />

getting the skills needed to jumpstart their careers.<br />

For more information on the trainings offered through Kirkwood Continuing<br />

Education, please visit: www.kirkwood.edu/ce<br />



Students that start with a Career Academy, the KPACE program<br />

or Kirkwood Continuing Education often consider taking the<br />

next step in their education by considering a Kirkwood Community<br />

College Associates degree. For over 50 years, Kirkwood<br />

Community College has been serving the Creative Corridor<br />

through quality education that meets the needs of the region.<br />

More than 70,000 futures have started at Kirkwood Community<br />

College, yours can be one of them!<br />

To take your next step in exploring a possible Kirkwood Community College<br />

degree, visit: www.kirkwood.edu/academics<br />


At Frontier Co-op, we are all about openness, teamwork,<br />

and honest communication. With a positive and supportive<br />

work environment, our employees thrive personally and<br />

professionally. Our growing organization provides a wealth of<br />

opportunities that allow you to decide what balance of work<br />

and life is best for you.<br />

Visit our website<br />

www.frontiercoop.com<br />

3021 78th Street<br />

Norway, IA 52318<br />

Frontier is a growing provider of organic herbs and spices, and aromatherapy products, and<br />

we offer easy access to high-quality choices that are earth-friendly.<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />





Amber Westemeier<br />

Raining Rose, Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Amber<br />

What does your company do?<br />

My company produces organic lip balms, body lotions,<br />

soaps and hand sanitizers.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I basically do quality checks to make sure the correct<br />

ingredients got into batch, that we’re following<br />

all procedures – whether they are safety or FDA<br />

requirements. I also deal a lot with our production<br />

floor – getting the paperwork<br />

out to them, making sure the lines are<br />

organized, calendars are correct. I’ve<br />

worked a lot with our production planner<br />

to learn how to run MRP (Material<br />

Requirement Planning), which gives me the opportunity<br />

to help ensure we get the product out in time.<br />

ONLINE: See Amber talk about<br />

her work at Raining Rose.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What is the most interesting thing about<br />

your job?<br />

The most interesting thing about my job is getting<br />

to see the whole process of how everything is<br />

made. I get to see when the raw materials come<br />

in, when they actually go into the product, seeing<br />

it get filled and then labeled and sometimes even<br />

seeing it go straight out the door.<br />

What is most rewarding about your job?<br />

The rewarding part is knowing the quality checks I<br />

do on the paperwork side is ensuring what goes out<br />

to our customer is excellent. I am one of the people<br />

who sees the paperwork and can say, ‘OK, we put<br />

too much of one ingredient in the batch, let’s see<br />

what we can do to correct the issue.’ It’s being able<br />

to know everything that passes my desk is quality<br />

and done correctly. There’s definitely a big sense of<br />

pride on that, especially when you get to see the<br />

product out in the real world.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

My path leading up to this is actually just high school. I graduated<br />

in May 2014. I got onto Twitter one day, saw the ad and applied as<br />

a machine operator. I really wanted to broaden my knowledge of<br />

manufacturing, so I started doing different classes through Raining<br />

Rose University, a leadership program that helps employees learn how<br />

to deal with difficult situations in a manufacturing setting and how to<br />

be a proactive leader to your peers. In the future, I plan on attending<br />

Kirkwood for Business Management/Human Resource Management in<br />

hopes of becoming more knowledgeable of the safety processes/rules<br />

manufacturing facilities must abide by.<br />

What do most people not realize you do in your job?<br />

I’m highly involved in the safety committee. I’m a first responder here<br />

and I’ve worked very closely with our safety coordinator making sure<br />

everyone’s doing his or her job safely every day. We have a daily safety<br />

check I actually worked on which produced a guideline that everyone<br />

needs to follow throughout the shift. Safety is my No. 1 priority. I treat<br />

everyone here like family and make every effort possible to ensure they<br />

have a safe shift while producing a high-quality product. •<br />

12 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Advanced Manufacturing<br />

Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

Careers with growth expected by 2020<br />

in Iowa’s Creative Corridor (EMSI)<br />

Median Hourly<br />

Earnings in Advanced<br />

Manufacturing in the<br />

Creative Corridor:<br />

$18.06/hour (EMSI)<br />

Industrial<br />

Machinery<br />

Mechanics<br />

Maintenance<br />

Workers,<br />

Machinery<br />

Maintenance<br />

and Repair<br />

Workers,<br />

General<br />

Millwrights<br />

First-Line<br />

Supervisors<br />

of Mechanics,<br />

Installers, and<br />

Repairers<br />

Welders,<br />

Cutters,<br />

Solderers, and<br />

Brazers<br />

+ 19<br />

%<br />

+ 16<br />

%<br />

+ 9<br />

%<br />

+ 13<br />

%<br />

+ 6<br />

%<br />

+ 8<br />

%<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />





Amanda<br />

Amanda Wendling<br />

BerganKDV, Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

What does your company do?<br />

BerganKDV is a financial services firm.<br />

We have CPA services, wealth management<br />

and then a division we call<br />

our outsourced services, anything an<br />

organization would outsource – payroll,<br />

technology, accounting services.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I’m charged with building our brand<br />

– this ranges from graphic design to<br />

marketing planning – across all six of<br />

our markets. We’re in Cedar Rapids,<br />

Des Moines, Coralville/Iowa City, Waterloo/Cedar<br />

Falls, and in Minnesota in<br />

Bloomington and St. Cloud. So I work<br />

with all of our different divisions on<br />

how they can grow their service areas.<br />

What is the most interesting<br />

thing about the job?<br />

Day-to-day it’s never boring. We, the<br />

marketing team, get involved in pretty<br />

much all aspects of the business, and<br />

that means I work with our operations<br />

director a lot. I work with our talent<br />

team on recruiting and creative ways<br />

to do that, and each of our different divisions.<br />

We also assist with our merger<br />

and acquisition teams, which has been<br />

a pretty active opportunity within our<br />

firm the last few years.<br />

What is the most rewarding<br />

part of your job?<br />

I like to see the work I do have<br />

an impact on our clients and<br />

our people. It’s cool to see how<br />

marketing contributes to that<br />

growth and offers opportunities for our<br />

people. As the marketing director, I obviously<br />

love when I tell someone where I<br />

work and they know what it is, they have<br />

good connotations about what BerganKDV<br />

is and they’re excited.<br />

How did you decide on this<br />

career path?<br />

I knew in high school I wanted to go<br />

into advertising or marketing. I liked<br />

the idea of psychology and understanding<br />

how people think, but I also<br />

really liked writing. So I have a journalism<br />

degree in advertising. I worked at<br />

a couple different design firms early<br />

in my career, found my way to insurance,<br />

and actually BerganPaulsen (now<br />

BerganKDV) found me.<br />

ONLINE: Watch Amanda discuss her<br />

work at BerganKDV.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What do most people not<br />

realize you do in your job?<br />

We really get involved with the business<br />

in ways you don’t think a marketing<br />

department would. I work heavily<br />

with our merger and acquisitions team.<br />

So I manage our merger and acquisition<br />

opportunities. With this, we get<br />

our talent director and myself involved<br />

to look at the culture and people,<br />

which is key for us. •<br />

14 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

Financial Service, Insurance, Customer Service<br />

Careers with growth<br />

expected by 2020 in Iowa’s<br />

Creative Corridor (EMSI) ><br />

In Iowa, Finance and<br />

Insurance occupations<br />

are projected to grow<br />

by<br />

18 %<br />

from 2015-2025<br />

(EMSI)<br />

Claims Adjusters,<br />

Examiners, and<br />

Investigators<br />

+<br />

30 %<br />

Loan Officers:<br />

+<br />

11 %<br />

Credit<br />

Insurance<br />

Analysts<br />

Sales Agents<br />

+<br />

22 %<br />

Financial<br />

Examiners<br />

+<br />

12 %<br />

Bill and Account<br />

Collectors<br />

+<br />

11 %<br />

+<br />

32 %<br />

Insurance Claims<br />

and Policy<br />

Processing Clerks<br />

+<br />

21 %<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

How Can I Be<br />

An All Star?<br />

All Stars represent outstanding employees who are<br />

between the ages of 18-35 and have great stories to<br />

tell about their achievements. All Star and Honorable<br />

Mention winners represent careers within one of these<br />

industries:<br />

• Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE)<br />

• Advanced Manufacturing<br />

• Financial Service, Insurance, Customer Service<br />

• Healthcare<br />

• Information Technology<br />

• Transportation, Logistics<br />

All Stars can represent any career area within the six<br />

identified industries and are nominated by Creative<br />

Corridor employers and partners.<br />

Want to be a future All Star?<br />

Learn firsthand from the All Stars about their training<br />

and career paths by exploring videos of the All Star<br />

award winners on the online version of this publication,<br />

http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

Congratulations,<br />

Amanda Wendling!<br />

Thank you for all you do to live BerganKDV.<br />


bergankdv.com<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />






Natasha<br />

Natasha Leiran<br />

GreatAmerica Financial Services, Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

ONLINE: See Natasha discuss her work<br />

at GreatAmerica Financial Services.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What does your company do?<br />

GreatAmerica is a finance company,<br />

providing financing for various types of<br />

equipment. We have multiple business<br />

units, so anywhere from office<br />

equipment to telecommunications and<br />

health care systems. We have different<br />

value-add services we provide as well,<br />

such as HR consulting, remote desktop<br />

support and portfolio servicing.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

My main job duty is to provide our<br />

GreatAmerica experience to all of<br />

our customers. That means providing<br />

exceptional customer service<br />

when communicating with the end<br />

users, who are the people using the<br />

financed equipment. I’m answering<br />

any questions they would have on their<br />

invoices, agreements or end-of-term<br />

information.<br />

What is the most rewarding<br />

part of your job?<br />

I’m always learning something new every<br />

day, especially while sitting with new<br />

business units or different teams. I’m<br />

able to find more process improvements<br />

just by listening to other people talk.<br />

How did you decide on this<br />

career path?<br />

I graduated from Coe College with a<br />

degree in business administration. I<br />

knew that I wanted to work with people,<br />

whether it be over the phone or face-to<br />

face. I enjoy talking to people every day,<br />

and so that was something I wanted in a<br />

career. But I also wanted to be working<br />

somewhere where I really enjoyed what<br />

I was doing, the people I was working<br />

with and what the company stood for.<br />

Touching on that, GreatAmerica strives<br />

to provide the best customer experience<br />

to all of our customers – vendors<br />

and end users – so that they’re going<br />

to come back and tell people about<br />

GreatAmerica. But they also believe<br />

highly in helping their employees grow<br />

wherever they have passion. I feel really<br />

lucky I got in early because I never want<br />

to leave GreatAmerica. I said that from<br />

the day I started.<br />

What do most people not<br />

realize you do in your job?<br />

Most people would think we are a call<br />

center. We do answer the end user’s<br />

phone call, but we work with them<br />

from the moment they call in, are following<br />

through and making sure they<br />

don’t need any other information. If<br />

they do find they need more, we’re the<br />

ones providing that directly. We get<br />

to do that and that’s really something<br />

that’s different. •<br />

16 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor


Geico continues to bring<br />

meaningful jobs to Corridor<br />

When GEICO opened its doors<br />

in Coralville in 1997, its mission<br />

was to do more than provide<br />

quality insurance and superior<br />

customer service. GEICO made it<br />

a priority to bring meaningful job<br />

opportunities to Iowans interested<br />

in building rewarding careers.<br />

Now 20 years later, GEICO<br />

remains true to that commitment.<br />

For the past three years,<br />

GEICO’s Coralville regional office<br />

has been named a Top Workplace<br />

by the Des Moines Register.<br />

Based solely on employee<br />

feedback, GEICO was selected<br />

for its unique culture that creates<br />

an atmosphere where associates<br />

can enjoy coming to work, have<br />

a healthy work/life balance, and,<br />

most importantly, feel valued<br />

and supported.<br />

Today, GEICO’s Coralville office<br />

has grown to employ more<br />

than 400 sales and customer service<br />

professionals. As GEICO’s<br />

policyholder base continues to<br />

expand, so does its team of talented<br />

associates. This year alone,<br />

GEICO’s Coralville team plans to<br />

hire 100 new associates to help<br />

keep up with the increasing services<br />

GEICO provides customers.<br />

GEICO’s Coralville associates<br />

demonstrate an ongoing<br />

commitment to not only serving<br />

policyholders, but also investing<br />

in the well-being and development<br />

of the local economy and<br />

community. As active corporate<br />

citizens, associates provide many<br />

volunteer hours to support such<br />

organizations as Habitat for Humanity,<br />

United Way of Johnson<br />

County, Iowa City Special Olympics,<br />

March of Dimes and the<br />

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,<br />

to name a few.<br />

“Here at GEICO, we understand<br />

the core strength of our<br />

GEICO’s Coralville<br />

office has grown<br />

to employ more<br />

than 400 sales and<br />

customer service<br />

professionals.<br />

organization is in our associates,”<br />

said Pete Rizzo, director<br />

of GEICO’s Coralville regional<br />

office. “We value the hard work<br />

and dedication our associates devote<br />

to serving our policyholders<br />

and the local community. We<br />

recognize that GEICO’s success<br />

is due in large part to our more<br />

than 36,000 associates across the<br />

country. I’m especially grateful<br />

for the team here in Coralville<br />

that supports our operations<br />

each and every day.”<br />

GEICO offers competitive<br />

starting salaries and a comprehensive<br />

benefits package. Many<br />

associates also participate in<br />

GEICO’s tuition reimbursement<br />

program, which is offered to encourage<br />

continuing education,<br />

personal development and career<br />

growth.<br />

GEICO is excited to continue<br />

to grow in Coralville and add<br />

new talent to the team.<br />

For job opportunities and information, visit https://www.geico.com/careers/office-locations/iowa-coralville<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />



NURSE<br />

April<br />

April Golwitzer<br />

UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

ONLINE: See April discuss her work<br />

at UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What does your company do?<br />

We are here to serve the community<br />

and take great care of patients.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

The first thing I do is I am a leader to<br />

the float pool staff. That means I manage<br />

and help lead 35 team members,<br />

a combination of IV therapy and critical<br />

care nurses, medical surgical nurses<br />

and patient care techs. Aside from<br />

that, I am the lead for pain management<br />

at St. Luke’s. I also assist with<br />

advanced practice work, so I help with<br />

education for the patient care techs<br />

and nurses who work our front lines<br />

on the units. I oversee the telecenter<br />

system, which is a video monitoring<br />

system. Finally, I attend committees<br />

and councils, and support three<br />

specific units within the hospital with<br />

quality-control metrics and educationbased<br />

topics.<br />

What is the most interesting<br />

thing about your job?<br />

The most interesting would be the<br />

variety of things I actually get to do. I<br />

get to see a lot of patients, but I also<br />

do a lot of chart auditing. So I get to<br />

see both sides of the spectrum. I like<br />

to be able to identify on both sides of<br />

‘What is the front-line nurse needing?’<br />

and then ‘What type of education can<br />

I and my colleagues help provide to<br />

be able to reach that goal or outcome<br />

that they’re working on?’<br />

What is the most rewarding<br />

part of your job?<br />

The most rewarding is when I’m able to<br />

see one of my team members succeed,<br />

or a team member from another unit<br />

I have coached or worked with on the<br />

side in regards to a skill succeed. I see<br />

everything click in their minds and then<br />

I watch them achieve what they wanted<br />

to. When I see the pride on their faces,<br />

their inner confidence starting to build<br />

– that’s most rewarding.<br />

How did you choose this<br />

career path?<br />

I had a grandmother in a nursing home<br />

and a grandfather who was in critical<br />

care and then went through hospice<br />

– I saw nurses at the bedside who did<br />

exceptional care, and I saw nurses who<br />

did not quite deliver on that family,<br />

patient-centered care. I wanted to figure<br />

out how I could make a difference.<br />

So I went to Mount Mercy College,<br />

and graduated with my bachelor’s. I<br />

worked in the hospital setting. Then I<br />

wanted to go back for my master’s. I<br />

completed my master’s in Leadership<br />

and Management at Allen College in<br />

Waterloo in December 2016.<br />

What do people not know<br />

about your job?<br />

I do a lot of data collection. I think<br />

when people think of a nurse or a<br />

nurse educator, they don’t always<br />

understand we link ourselves to data<br />

as well. We like to see specific metrics<br />

improving because we put in this quality<br />

initiative on this specific unit. We<br />

are very data driven. I do a lot of chart<br />

audits. I pull a lot of data to be able to<br />

support the work I’m doing. •<br />

18 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Why choose a career with<br />

UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids?<br />

As a team member, regardless of your position,<br />

you will have the opportunity to<br />

change lives on a daily basis, delivering on<br />

our vision of Best Outcome for Every Patient<br />

Every Time. That privilege drives employees’<br />

passion for making a difference in the lives<br />

of our patients, helping them create healthier,<br />

more rewarding lives. UnityPoint Health<br />

sets high expectations for team members in<br />

order to establish a trusted team capable of<br />

taking on the toughest of challenges.<br />

Our team members strive to work as one<br />

through four key values:<br />

1. Foster Unity<br />

– We use the skills and abilities of each<br />

person to enable great teams.<br />

– We collaborate across departments,<br />

facilities business units and regions.<br />

– We seek to understand and are open to<br />

diverse thoughts and perspectives.<br />

2. Own the Moment<br />

– We connect with each person treating<br />

them with courtesy, compassion,<br />

empathy and respect.<br />

– We enthusiastically engage in our work.<br />

– We are accountable for our individual<br />

actions and our team performance.<br />


Our Mission: Improving the health<br />

and lives of communities and<br />

patients we serve<br />

Our Vision: Best Outcome Every<br />

Patient Every Time<br />

Our Values: At UnityPoint Health,<br />

we know our collective actions<br />

determine the experience we<br />

create.<br />

3. Champion Excellence<br />

– We commit to the best outcomes and the<br />

highest quality.<br />

– We have a relentless focus on exceeding<br />

expectations.<br />

– We believe in sharing our results,<br />

learning from our mistakes and<br />

celebrating our successes.<br />

– We take responsibility for solving<br />

problems regardless of origin.<br />

4. Seize Opportunity<br />

– We embrace and promote innovation<br />

and transformation.<br />

– We create partnerships that improve care<br />

delivery in our communities.<br />

– We have the courage to challenge the<br />

status quo.<br />

UnityPoint Health team members come for a job, but stay for a career.<br />

When will you begin yours?<br />

Career Opportunities<br />

Our award-winning providers,<br />

specialists and care teams<br />

contribute to our communities,<br />

support patient’s family members<br />

in time of need and make a difference<br />

in the lives of our patients<br />

every day. And they wouldn’t<br />

have it any other way because<br />

that is why they are in this business<br />

in the first place – to care for<br />

others. To us, everything begins<br />

and ends with delivering an<br />

unparalleled health care experience<br />

for our patients. That begins<br />

with a culture that leverages our<br />

most powerful resource – our<br />

team members – who make a difference<br />

on a grand scale across<br />

our organization, regardless of<br />

the role:<br />

Clinical Opportunities<br />

Registered Nurse<br />

Certified Medical Assistant<br />

Home Care Coordination<br />

Hospice and Palliative Care<br />

My UnityPoint Nurse Call Center<br />

Pediatrics<br />

Pharmacy<br />

Laboratory<br />

Advanced Practice<br />

Therapy/Behavioral Health<br />

And More!<br />

Non-Clinical<br />

Administration/Clerical<br />

Billing Office<br />

Environmental Service<br />

Finance and Accounting<br />

Home Medical Equipment<br />

Human Resources<br />

Information Technology<br />

Patient Registration<br />

Procurement, Supply, Distribution<br />

And More!<br />

Come for a<br />

job, stay for<br />

a career.<br />

unitypoint.org/career<br />

All Stars Ad.indd 1<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />

3/2/<strong>2017</strong> 9:35:37 AM<br />



Sara<br />



Sara Wattnem<br />

Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics, Nursing & Rehab<br />

Vinton, Iowa<br />

“Dietitians like<br />

junk food, too.”<br />

ONLINE: Watch Sara discuss her<br />

work at Virginia Gay Hospital and<br />

Clinics. Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What does your organization do?<br />

We make sick people better and enrich the lives of our long-term<br />

care residents. In the hospital and clinics we see different illnesses<br />

and disease processes. For our long-term care, we help residents<br />

who can no longer live in the community alone. Virginia Gay<br />

includes family practice clinics, skilled nursing, operating room,<br />

and a long-term care facility attached to the hospital. Virginia Gay<br />

also has home health services to which people can get referrals.<br />

If a patient needs to see me, their physician will refer them.<br />

Patients can see a dietitian for diabetes management, weight<br />

management, hypertension, autoimmune disorders, etc.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I’m responsible for the food service department (planning,<br />

organizing, coordinating in accordance with state, federal, and<br />

local standards governing the facility to ensure quality nutritional<br />

standards are provided daily and the department is maintained<br />

in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner). I supervise dietary staff,<br />

assess the nutritional needs and plan therapeutic diets to meet<br />

patients’ requirements, and provide patient instruction on diet<br />

therapy to patients and family members, if needed. Also, I provide<br />

outpatient dietary consulting and assessments.<br />

What is the most interesting thing about your job?<br />

I always get to do something different. No two patients or diseases<br />

or illnesses or nutritional needs for any two people are the same.<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

The most rewarding is when I get to see patients or<br />

long-term care residents get passionate about their<br />

health and their diet, whether it’s getting to plan a<br />

meal or how they can make their lives a little better<br />

through healthier nutrition.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

I became a dietitian later in life. I started working at a<br />

long-term care facility when I was 14. I worked my way<br />

up the ranks. When I became the supervisor, I was talking<br />

to the dietitian and she said, “Why don’t you just<br />

become a dietitian?” So I did. I always liked how food<br />

can impact your life. The education and training for a<br />

dietitian at a minimum is a bachelor’s degree. I have<br />

two: one in nutrition from Kaplan and one in dietetics<br />

from Kansas State. Then you complete a 1,200-hour<br />

supervised practice internship, and I completed mine<br />

at Iowa State.<br />

What do most people not realize you do in<br />

your job?<br />

Dietitians like junk food, too. People would be surprised<br />

to see the variety of options learned from dietitians.<br />

People think dietitians will take away food you<br />

like or make them eat rabbit food, and that’s not the<br />

case. We want to take your lifestyles and tweak them a<br />

little bit to help you with what you want to achieve. •<br />

20 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Healthcare<br />

Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

Health Sector occupations are<br />

projected to grow in Iowa’s Creative<br />

Corridor by<br />

12 %<br />

2014-2020 (EMSI)<br />

Median Hourly Earnings in<br />

Healthcare in the Creative<br />

Corridor: $23.74/hour (EMSI)<br />

Careers with growth expected by 2020 in<br />

Iowa’s Creative Corridor (EMSI):<br />

Personal Care Aides +27%<br />

Insurance Claims and Policy<br />

Processing Clerks +21%<br />

Nurse Practitioner +21%<br />

Surgical Technologist +17%<br />

Home Health Aides +16%<br />

Medical Assistants +16%<br />

Phlebotomists +15%<br />

Occupational Therapy Assistants +13%<br />

Medical Records and Health<br />

Information Technicians +12%<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />



SENIOR<br />




Matt Lapka<br />

MediRevv Inc., Coralville, Iowa<br />

Matt<br />

What does your company do?<br />

MediRevv is a revenue cycle management company in the health<br />

care industry. We partner with hospitals and physician groups<br />

all over the United States to help them with their revenue cycle<br />

needs, whether that’s working with insurance companies to make<br />

sure they’re paying what they’re obligated to or taking phone<br />

calls from patients or working in the medical coding division. We<br />

help our clients increase their revenue stream.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I oversee a team of three, including me. I was the only programmer<br />

when I started. It’s pretty exciting. Being in charge of the<br />

programming team, I get to set the practices we do. I don’t<br />

adhere to rigid standards all the time, because I want to be flexible<br />

enough to meet client A’s needs as well as client B’s needs.<br />

There’s a lot of different facets to our business, and being able to<br />

understand the uniqueness of it is very important in knowing how<br />

the technology we develop in-house can help the company. Coming<br />

up with different documentation and different elements a lot<br />

of people don’t see gives me quite a bit of creative freedom.<br />

What is the most interesting thing about your job?<br />

The most interesting thing about my job is translating the business<br />

needs into technical and programmatic requirements my<br />

team then can turn into applications.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

I was working in retail management and I was working<br />

40-50 hours a week. So I decided I needed to<br />

make a change. I’d always been around technology.<br />

Both my parents were programmers. But for some<br />

reason, I never saw that as a viable career option. I<br />

just was thinking one day, and decided ‘hey, I work<br />

with computers. Why don’t I do that?’ I decided to<br />

try out some online courses through MIT’s Open-<br />

CourseWare program, and I absolutely just loved the<br />

problem solving. So I went to Kirkwood and got my<br />

associate’s in computer software development. While<br />

I was finishing my degree I started at MediRevv.<br />

What do most people not realize you do<br />

in your job?<br />

I don’t think most people realize the planning,<br />

design, testing and documentation that actually<br />

go into application development and deployment.<br />

I don’t just start coding right away and then I’m<br />

done. There’s actually a lot of behind-the-scenes<br />

work. It’s also really important to help my team<br />

grow in their professional and personal lives, so<br />

there’s a lot of mentoring that goes on. •<br />

ONLINE: Watch Matt discuss his<br />

work at MediRevv.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

22 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

About Creative Corridor<br />



Employer members of the Creative<br />

Corridor Sector Boards work<br />

to collectively develop workforce<br />

solutions tailored to an industry<br />

sector. Workforce solutions include<br />

development and sustaining a comprehensive<br />

regional career pathway<br />

system that is targeted to meet the<br />

needs of the talent pipeline, employers<br />

and workers. Sector Boards<br />

use data to forecast labor needs<br />

and identify specific jobs and skill<br />

needs, develop career and training<br />

pathway maps, and develop workforce<br />

strategies that address supply<br />

and demand.<br />

These Sector Boards are employer<br />

led, and membership comprised<br />

of employers as well as economic<br />

development, workforce, nonprofit<br />

and community groups. The region’s<br />

six Sector Boards include:<br />

• Architecture, Construction,<br />

Engineering<br />

• Advanced Manufacturing<br />

• Financial Service, Insurance,<br />

Customer Service<br />

• Healthcare<br />

• Information Technology<br />

• Transportation, Logistics<br />

Through this partnership, the<br />

Creative Corridor Sector Boards<br />

are able to collectively promote<br />

the opportunities for training and<br />

employment for the region’s growing<br />

industry sectors through various<br />

activities and projects, such as the<br />

Creative Corridor All Stars. •<br />

If you are interested in learning more about<br />

the Creative Corridor Sector Boards, or want<br />

to become an employer board member,<br />

please contact:<br />

Architecture, Construction, Engineering (ACE)<br />

Erica.Bergfeld-Reed@kirkwood.edu<br />

Advanced Manufacturing<br />

Erica.Bergfeld-Reed@kirkwood.edu<br />

Financial Service, Insurance, Customer Service<br />

Judy.Stoffel@kirkwood.edu<br />

Healthcare<br />

Judy.Stoffel@kirkwood.edu<br />

Information Technology (IT)<br />

Gary.Vogt@kirkwood.edu<br />

Transportation, Logistics<br />

Chris.Kula@kirkwood.edu<br />

ANDREW J.<br />

Employee-Owner<br />

CHANGE<br />

YOUR LIFE.<br />

If you’re ready for more than a job, you’re ready to join our team. Everyone here is an<br />

employee-owner. That means your ideas are valued, your voice is heard and our success is<br />

your success. When we all come together as owners, it suddenly doesn’t feel like work.<br />



AND MORE<br />

With branches across the Midwest and openings in operations,<br />

delivery and more – Van Meter is ready to help you OwnUp.<br />

Contact us today at vanmeterownup.com/contact<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />



K-12 EDUCATION<br />


Samantha Dahlby<br />

NewBoCo<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

Samantha<br />

What does your company do?<br />

NewBoCo’s mission is to accelerate world-changing ideas<br />

from Iowa through many initiatives. I’m part of the Imagination<br />

Iowa initiative, which encourages K-12 students to<br />

get excited about STEAM (Science Technology Engineering<br />

Art & Math) and foster the technical and creative<br />

talent for future startup leaders.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

My primary role is with our Code.org partnership. Code.<br />

org advocates computer science for every student in every<br />

school, and selects regional partners. Our region is all<br />

of Iowa. Through this, we can offer free (no subscription),<br />

high-quality teaching training through Code.org’s curriculum.<br />

We get to help teachers implement it and provide<br />

support so they aren’t alone. I also get to work with K-12<br />

students through events. Coder Dojo, which is free for<br />

elementary students every first and third Saturday from<br />

1 to 3 p.m., has volunteer-run stations that include Lego<br />

Robotics, coding and electronics. I also enjoy our Summer<br />

Challenge Camps for second through eighth graders. The<br />

focus is STEAM and entrepreneurial experiences. Some<br />

unique camps are Young Authors Accelerator, Social Robotics<br />

and Fashion Business.<br />

ONLINE: Watch Samantha talk<br />

about her job at NewBoCo.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What is the most interesting thing about your job?<br />

The variety is interesting to me. I’m teaching programming or<br />

basic circuits one day, talking with our state computer-science<br />

working group another, or strategizing with other regions on a<br />

national level a different day.<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

I love seeing when students conquer challenges and actually<br />

build things and are excited about it being hard. Also, I like<br />

knowing I’m spreading that impact through Iowa by providing<br />

teachers the tools, training and support to help them succeed.<br />

What was your career path?<br />

My degree is in computer engineering and was an embedded<br />

software developer with Bluetooth. I loved the tinkering<br />

and solving problems. But at the end of my maternity leave,<br />

I wanted a bigger purpose to drive me. While home with my<br />

daughters, I kept active with software development through<br />

doing side projects and our family attending Midwest industry<br />

conferences. As our oldest started preschool, I began volunteering<br />

at Imagination Iowa Coder Dojo events. I realized<br />

I wanted to show kids what is possible in STEAM relating to<br />

jobs they may not think about.<br />

What do people not know about your job?<br />

I work part-time. I do a lot of stuff and I fit it in. It works because<br />

as a nonprofit, budget is important and as a parent, I’m<br />

easing back into the workforce as our kids get older. So this is a<br />

great marriage where I can do something I’m passionate about<br />

and still provide the time my family needs. •<br />

24 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Information Technology<br />

Careers with growth expected by 2020 in<br />

Iowa’s Creative Corridor (EMSI)<br />

+ 3<br />

%<br />

+ 9<br />

%<br />

Computer Systems<br />

Analysts<br />

+ 5<br />

%<br />

Information<br />

Security Analysts<br />

Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

In Iowa, there is a projected growth<br />

in jobs of 8.3% from 2014-2020 in<br />

Information Technology (EMSI)<br />

Median Hourly Earnings in the<br />

Information Technology Industry (EMSI):<br />

Computer and Information<br />

Systems Managers $58.72<br />

Computer Systems Analysts $35.96<br />

Network and Computer<br />

Systems Administrators $34.36<br />

Web Developers $33.55<br />

Computer User Support<br />

Specialists $20.69<br />

Computer User<br />

Support Specialists<br />

Median Hourly Earnings in<br />

Information Technology in the<br />

Creative Corridor: $37.48/hour<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />

Congratulations<br />

<strong>2017</strong><br />

All Stars<br />

of the Corridor<br />

Supporting and Inspiring<br />

creativecorridor.co<br />

www.cedarrapids.org<br />

www.icadgroup.com<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />






Phil<br />

Phil Reges<br />

CRST Expedited, Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

ONLINE: Watch Phil talk about his<br />

work at CRST Expedited.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What does your company do?<br />

Our company provides a service by moving goods for customers<br />

across the country. Cedar Rapids is the headquarters<br />

for CRST International and CRST Expedited.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

My job is to facilitate the operations for anything outside<br />

the normal business hours of Monday through Friday 7<br />

a.m. to 5 p.m. I have four managers who directly report<br />

to me. Then, they have each individually underneath them<br />

anywhere from 10 to 20 people who report to them for<br />

different job duties, such as customer service, load planning<br />

or accounts. Between me, the four managers and the<br />

people who work for them, we all help to manage all the<br />

customers and the 4,000 different drivers working for us at<br />

any given time.<br />

What is most interesting about your job?<br />

The most interesting thing about the job is no two days are<br />

the same. Every day is something different and there’s always<br />

a curve ball. So you never know what you’re going to<br />

get, but that makes it interesting and fun at the same time.<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

The rewarding part is seeing people coming into this industry,<br />

growing and being successful within their own specific<br />

job function, especially in the After Hours. We hire a lot of<br />

college grads and they don’t know anything about the<br />

transportation industry. Watching them grow, knowing<br />

everything there is to know and progress to their next<br />

role is really the most rewarding part for me.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

In college I talked to a recruiter who talked to me about<br />

supply chain management. From there, I researched it<br />

and started off working at Target as a logistics manager.<br />

Then I transferred into CRST in 2009, and have<br />

been doing it ever since.<br />

What do most people not realize you do in<br />

your job?<br />

We provide a service for everyone, especially with the<br />

After Hours. Most people don’t realize all of the things<br />

we do and all the things we measure are geared to our<br />

service level to our customers. We still have to provide<br />

a service to answer the phones for our drivers and answer<br />

the phones for our customers as well as meet their<br />

expectations for on-time delivery. Also, everyone is our<br />

customer. We consider ourselves more of a triage center<br />

because we are here to execute from A to B. When<br />

something goes wrong – whether a truck breaks down<br />

or a driver has an emergency – we figure out a quick<br />

fix for it, and output almost the same result as far as<br />

execution goes. •<br />

26 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Got “Moxie”?<br />

mox·ie (mok-see) • n. Slang<br />

Dictionary Definition:<br />

1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit, courage and determination<br />

2. Aggressive energy; pep, initiative, guts or attitude<br />

3. Skill; know-how and expertise<br />

We’re looking for it!<br />

If you’ve got moxie, we’d love to hear from you.<br />

Apply today at www.crst.com/careers


HUMAN<br />



Makenzie<br />

Makenzie Kimm<br />

JMS Transportation Co. Inc.<br />

Cedar Rapids, Iowa<br />

“We continually problem solve and grow to make our customers happy.”<br />

What does your company do?<br />

My company is a trucking and brokerage company. It was<br />

established in 1992, and primarily hauls corrugated products<br />

through the Midwest.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

I do accounting and human resource functions. I interact with<br />

multiple employees on a daily basis. In our company, we have<br />

our brokerage, dispatch, billing and accounting [departments],<br />

and I handle all those areas. I also assist the president and<br />

owner of JMS with the business‘s day-to-day activities.<br />

What is the most interesting thing about your job?<br />

The most interesting thing about my job is in the trucking<br />

industry there are new changes every day, so it keeps you on<br />

your toes and challenges you on a daily basis. Some examples<br />

of new changes in the trucking industry would be new DOT<br />

regulations and rules, as well as new employment laws.<br />

What is the most rewarding part of your job?<br />

The rewarding part of my job is rewarding employees and giving<br />

them recognition for the work they do. We reward employees by<br />

compensation or letting them know how good they’re doing.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

I decided on this career path when I went to Mount<br />

Mercy College. My degree is in Human Resource<br />

Management and Business Management. While I was<br />

in college, I worked for a bank. I was in banking for<br />

quite some time until I received a call one day from<br />

JMS. I didn’t have any background in trucking. It was<br />

overwhelming in the beginning. Trucking grows on you.<br />

The employees grow on you. The drivers grow on you.<br />

We are a family in this industry. We continually problem<br />

solve and grow to make our customers happy.<br />

What do most people not realize you do in<br />

your job?<br />

One thing people do not know I do is I handle IT issues,<br />

so any computer issues that come up I try to figure out<br />

what‘s going on before I send it out to the outsourcing<br />

company that we use. •<br />

ONLINE: Watch Makenzie discuss<br />

work at JMS Trucking.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

28 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor

Transportation, Logistics<br />

Quick Facts about All Stars Industries<br />

Careers with growth expected by 2020 in Iowa’s Creative Corridor (EMSI)<br />

Industrial Truck and<br />

Tractor Operators<br />

+9 % +13 %<br />

Transportation, Storage<br />

and Distribution Managers<br />

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers<br />

In the Creative Corridor, the<br />

transportation and logistics<br />

sector is projected to grow<br />

6.6 %<br />

(EMSI)<br />

+33 % 2014-2020<br />

Cargo and Freight Agents<br />

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck<br />

Drivers, is projected to grow by<br />

20% with median earnings at<br />

First-Line Supervisors of Transportation<br />

$41,454. It is the fastest growing<br />

+15 % and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle occupation in the Creative<br />

Operators<br />

Corridor (EMSI)<br />

+30 %<br />

EMSI occupation employment data are based on<br />

final EMSI industry data and final EMSI staffing<br />

patterns. Wage estimates are based on Occupational<br />

Employment Statistics (QCEW and Non-QCEW<br />

Employees classes of worker) and the American<br />

Community Survey (Self-Employed and Extended<br />

Proprietors). Occupational wage estimates also affected<br />

by county-level EMSI earnings by industry.<br />


Congratulations from<br />

JMS on being named an<br />

All Star! We’re lucky to<br />

have you on our team!<br />

Please visit our website at<br />

www.jmstransport.com<br />

and “like” us on Facebook<br />

@jmstrucking!<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />




INTERN<br />

Trent Brandenburg<br />

Hall & Hall Engineers Inc.<br />

Hiawatha, Iowa<br />

Trent<br />

What does your company do?<br />

They are a civil engineering firm. They specialize in<br />

four main areas, which include municipal engineering,<br />

landscape architecture, land development and land<br />

surveying. So that includes designing things like trails,<br />

roadways, sewer systems and parks. Other things that<br />

we do include traffic engineering, drainage, site development<br />

plans and erosion control.<br />

What are your job duties?<br />

Currently, I’m an intern. I’m at Kirkwood Community<br />

College right now, my sophomore year. Some things<br />

I do around the office are CAD (Computer-Aided<br />

Design) work. Currently I’m mapping several subdivisions<br />

in the city of Urbana onto CAD. I prepare and<br />

deliver plan sets and submittals. During the summers,<br />

I’m mainly out with the survey team doing things like<br />

pavement staking, finding property boundaries, and<br />

creating topographic maps. Some other things I’ve<br />

done include traffic studies, inspections, career fairs,<br />

and posting signs for rezoning.<br />

What is most interesting about your job?<br />

My two favorite parts of this job are working with<br />

CAD – getting to know the program, all the ins and<br />

outs and everything – and going with the survey crew.<br />

My favorite part’s probably the survey crew because I<br />

actually get to go out into the field. It’s a lot of manual<br />

labor, but it’s very rewarding because at the end of the<br />

day you know you’ve done something to help out your<br />

community, which will be there for a very long time.<br />

How did you decide on this career path?<br />

Growing up I was always interested in building things<br />

out of K’nex and Legos. I always liked building dams<br />

out of mud,<br />

sticks and<br />

rocks. So,<br />

I kind of<br />

knew I was<br />

interested<br />

in designing and building things.<br />

ONLINE: Watch Trent discuss his<br />

internship at Hall & Hall Engineers Inc.<br />

Go to http://bit.ly/CCAllStars<br />

What do most people not realize you do in<br />

your job?<br />

One thing most people don’t realize I do is probably<br />

going out in the field and doing lots of manual labor,<br />

such as pavement staking. Most of the time during<br />

the summers I’ll be out with the survey crew unless it’s<br />

really slow or it’s cold and rainy. •<br />

30 ALL STARS of the Creative Corridor


The following individuals are All Star Honorable Mentions and should be<br />

commended for the contributions they make toward their industries:<br />

Leslie Allred, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity Dave Baker, Highway Equipment Company<br />

Sam Jones, McCreedy Ruth Construction<br />

Kari Pollard, NIS<br />

Kip Opheim, Rapids Foodservice Contract & Design Gabriel Glambo Akpalo, Raining Rose<br />

Spencer Osborn, Shive Hattery<br />

Brad Dockendorf, GreatAmerica Financial Services<br />

Kyle Faille, Shive Hattery<br />

Cheryl Paradiso, Veridian Credit Union<br />

Mayra Barajas, ACH Foam Technologies<br />

Jenni Kasper, Pleasantview Home<br />

Amanda Russell, Bazooka Farmstar<br />

Stephanie Brady, Pleasantview Home<br />

Andrew Witte, Centro<br />

Rachel Bowers, St. Luke’s Hospital<br />

Craig Radnich, Centro<br />

Jessica Bertling, NewBoCo<br />

Wendi Kafer, Clickstop<br />

Benjamin Joseph Kreger, Iowa Department of<br />

Belgica Murillo, Engineered Building Design<br />

Transportation<br />

Arice Lefebvere, Frontier Co-op<br />

Erin Cowden, CRST Logistics<br />

Congratulations!<br />

MAY <strong>2017</strong><br />



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visit today.<br />

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