ciWeek 2015 Speakers

All ciWeek events are open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Keynote Speakers

LeVar BurtonLeVar Burton

Thursday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m.
LeVar Burton has been capturing the admiring attention of both audiences and his industry peers for three decades and continues to enjoy longevity truly rare within the industry. Launching his acting career in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series ROOTS, Burton found himself on the cover of TIME Magazine at the age of 19. [read full bio]

Dr. Sara SeagerDr. Sara Seager

Thursday, March 5 at 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Sara Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to the [read full bio]

Dr. Hugh HerrDr. Hugh Herr

Wednesday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Hugh Herr, head of the biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab, is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. In 2011, TIME Magazine coined Herr the “Leader of the Bionic Age” because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics–technology that marries [read full bio]

Dr. David GalloDr. David Gallo

Thursday, March 5 at 10 a.m.
Dr. David Gallo is an American oceanographer and Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution—a preeminent, globally recognized scientific laboratory. For more than 25 years, Gallo has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in [read full bio]

Dr. Niall McCannDr. Niall McCann

Wednesday, March 4 at 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Niall McCann was born in Victoria, Canada, into a family of adventurers and grew up in Shrewsbury, in England’s most rural county: Shropshire. Dr. McCann studied zoology at the University of Bristol and is currently completing a Ph.D. at Cardiff University, studying Baird’s tapir, the largest mammal in the [read full bio]

Cassie LeeCassie Lee

Wednesday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
Cassie Kloberdanz Lee is currently the Manager of Business Development for Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® Space System. In this capacity, Lee facilitates domestic and international relations for [read full bio]

Clayton AndersonClayton Anderson

Wednesday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
Clayton Anderson is simply out of this world! Recently retired after a stellar 30-year career with NASA, Anderson accumulated 167 days in space while living onboard the International Space Station for more than five months in 2007 and served as a Mission Specialist with the Space Shuttle 131 crew in 2010.[read full bio]

Dr. Anthony PaustianDr. Anthony Paustian

Wednesday, March 4 at 10 a.m.
Fifteen years ago, Dr. Anthony Paustian was given a rare opportunity in life…to develop and create a technology-focused college campus from scratch. Since then the campus and its innovative advances in technology-based instruction have appeared on CNN, CNBC, Wired, USA Today, NPR and other [read full bio]

Danny BeyerDanny Beyer

Monday, March 2 at 6 p.m.
Danny Beyer is a networking specialist and bow-tie aficionado. Through his network, he achieved success in both his professional and personal lives. He helped organize the Des Moines Area LinkedIn Social—an event that draws hundreds of professionals from throughout the Greater Des Moines area to build real-life connections. In 2013, [read full bio]

Tom EakinTom Eakin

Tuesday, March 3 at 6 p.m.
Tom Eakin is the founder of BoomLife, an organization that helps people achieve values-driven success, and author of Finding Success: Get What You Really Want. Through his writing, workshops, and inspirational speaking, Eakin helps people find and expand the sweet spot between [read full bio]



Jennifer ColemanJennifer Coleman

Wednesday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m.
A DMACC alumnus, Jennifer Coleman is a freelance photographer specializing in motor sport, commercial, and lifestyle photography, who has also taught photography classes. She currently serves as chief photographer for the Iowa Speedway.

Shawn FitzGeraldShawn Fitzgerald

Thursday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m.
Shawn FitzGerald loves telling stories of all magnitudes. So, it’s no surprise that he gravitates toward using technology and digital means to further the art of storytelling. Building on 20 years of writing, directing, and editing video, FitzGerald continues to produce visual communication for private- and public-sector organizations. He also consults with and provides training for companies looking to improve communication with employees and customers.

Kirk HartungKirk Hartung

Wednesday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m.
Kirk M. Hartung is a patent attorney practicing in Des Moines with McKee, Voorhees & Sease, an intellectual property boutique law firm with 18 lawyers. With more than 30 years of experience, Hartung advises inventors on the options for protecting their innovations and ideas. Hartung evaluates patentability, writes patent applications, prosecutes in the U.S. and foreign patent offices, negotiates and litigates patent disputes, and secures licensing and transfers of patent rights. His engineering and law degrees provide the technical and legal backgrounds to assist clients in their
intellectual property matters.

Tom HendricksenTom Hendricksen

Wednesday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m.
Tom Hendricksen lives in West Des Moines, Iowa. For the past fifteen years, Information Technology has been both his career and hobby. He currently works as a Development Services Manager at Zirous. Hendricksen also is a career coach, author and speaker at Hendricksen helps people find a career path they find rewarding and enjoyable.

Roz Lehman
Roz Lehman

Thursday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m.
As executive director for Iowa Rivers Revival (IRR) since 2007, Roz Lehman has a background in community and policy organizing, and she graduated from Drake University with a BA in sociology. In her current role, she is helping develop a statewide network of river leaders and supporters committed to the protection, restoration, and enhancement of Iowa’s rivers and streams through advocacy and education.

Jessie LowryJessie Lowry

Wednesday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m.
Jessie Lowry is a wildlife conservationist who has studied primates in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Uganda and cared for many species of zoo animals, from sea lions to snakes. Through her role at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, she raises funds and awareness for more than 50 wildlife organizations, develops creative events and fundraisers, and mentors others on how to channel their passions. The founder and leader of the pollinator conservation initiative: Plant.Grow.Fly., she also serves as a Steering Committee member for Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation (ZACC).

Edina NapreljacEdina Napreljac

Wednesday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m.
Edina Napreljac was born in Bosnia and is a survivor of the 1992 genocide. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1994. She has a degree in liberal arts from DMACC and a business management degree from Drake University. With more 13 years of business experience, she serves as a personal and a professional guide through her own company: Universal Intelligence Consulting, LLC.

Kristin RunyanKristin Runyan

Thursday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m.
Kristin Runyan is a product delivery expert currently living in Des Moines, Iowa, focusing on Agile implementations as an Agile coach and trainer. She co-authored a textbook on the Agile methodologies, targeted at undergraduate computer science, software engineering, and business students, published in 2014. During her tenure at CDS Global, Runyan served as a chief product officer, chief information officer, and several other roles within technology and product management, and her team launched six new products in less than three years. Runyan was the 2011 recipient of the Women of Innovation award from the Technology Association of Iowa. Runyan
earned her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University (TCU) and her MBA at Saint Louis University (SLU). She is an avid blogger at, and her Twitter handle is @KristinRunyan

Mike SchovilleMike Schoville

Thursday, March 5 at 8:45 a.m.
Mike Schoville is the President of The Business Brokers, Inc. (TBBI) located in Grimes,
IA. TBBI assists motivated business owners without a succession plan to quietly and
confidentially market their business to qualified buyers. Prior to this present role,
Schoville served as CEO of a publicly-traded manufacturing company that was sold,
and he also retired from a Fortune 100 company, where he spent much of his time
working with various dealer organizations. Mike has a BBA from the University of
Iowa and an MBA from St. Ambrose University.

Panel DiscussionPanel Discussion

Wednesday, March 4 at 8:45 a.m.

Lauren Rice
teaches writing, creative writing, and literature at the Newton Campus. Her MFA from the University of New Orleans focused on creative nonfiction, but these days she mainly writes really bad poetry. Many of her colleagues and students are jealous of the standing desk in her office.

Professor Matt Alberhasky teaches writing, literature, and film at DMACC Urban Campus. He holds a Master’s degree in Literature from Iowa State University. He as published three stories in online literary journals and is currently working on a novel.

Marc Dickinson’s work has appeared in the Shenandoah, Cream City Review, North American Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The MacGuffin, Saranac Review, South Dakota Review, Coal City Review, as well as other journals. He won American Literary Review’s 2011 Fiction Contest and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize on several occasions. He received his MFA from Colorado State University and currently teaches creative writing at Des Moines Area Community College.