Speaker Date Topic
Alysa Goethe, JDRF Jan 18, 2022 12:00 PM
Advocating for Type One Diabetes
Advocating for Type One Diabetes

Crowned in August of 2021, Miss Greater Des Moines 2022 Alysa Goethe is currently serving the Des Moines/Metro area while gearing up for the Miss Iowa competition this coming June. As she holds the title, Alysa is working closely with her initiative of advocating and fundraising for Type One Diabetes. Diagnosed at 11 years old, this cause is incredibly personal, and is a project she has been bringing awareness to for a decade.

David Leto, President of The Palmer Group Jan 25, 2022 12:00 PM
Staffing and Workforce Challenges
Staffing and Workforce Challenges

I am a Des Moines native and after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa, my career started in Chicago working in the healthcare staffing and placement business. In 2004, my wife, Joann, and I started our family and decided to move back home to Des Moines. We have three great children that keep us more than busy outside of work. We enjoy spending time watching their sporting, band and other extra-curricular events. I am an avid runner and enjoy following my favorite sports teams (go UNI Panthers, Hawkeyes, Cubs and Bears!). I also take great pride working as a volunteer in my children’s school, in our church, and with various boards, committees and organizations around the community.

Mike Vallely, Professional Skateboarder Feb 01, 2022 12:00 PM
Street Plant
Street Plant

Mike Vallely is a musician, professional skateboarder, father, dog-dad and business owner.

We moved from Southern California to Des Moines, Iowa, a year ago. I had become aware of the city many years before, while passing through on tour, and made a mental note at that time: I could see myself living here. From the Sculpture Park downtown, across the Des Moines River into the East Village, I found the city to be welcoming and with a positive, energetic pulse. When I learned of the bicycle culture throughout Iowa, specifically in Des Moines, I knew this was where I wanted to live, put down roots, and make a life. The Lauridsen Skatepark opening downtown this past spring was serendipitous and more proof of the city’s dedication to not just being a political capital but a recreational one. My wife Ann and I are so happy to call Des Moines home, run our Skateboard Company, Street Plant, here in Iowa, and be a part of a soulful business community. We are Thankful for the Friends we have made since moving here, and we are Grateful for all of the support we have received throughout Iowa and the Midwest.

Watch him on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L0UE3pdCvXw


Karla McCollum, Executivve Director Feb 08, 2022 12:00 PM
Iowa Sister States and Citizen Diplomacy
Iowa Sister States and Citizen Diplomacy

Karla McCollum is a firm believer in citizen diplomacy and understands the role citizen diplomacy has in developing Iowa's relationships with our Sister States: economically, culturally, socially, and relationally in the world.  She has previously worked directly with the ISS in her role as Director of International Affairs at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa and developed relationships with the Kosovo Consulate to bring Kosovar students to Iowa.  She has, as well, traveled to Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan with the help of the Iowa Sister States.  Karla has a keen awareness of the important role ISS plays in citizen diplomacy, including our strategic relationships and programs we develop for the State of Iowa. 


Karla's most recent role was as Director of International Affairs at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, where she developed relationships with over 36 countries and traveled to 25 countries to bring students to the US. Karla has developed and opened new markets by seeking out, developing, and maintaining key local, state, regional, national and international relationships, including forming partnership agreements with other higher education institutions in intra- and inter-state wide, building relationships with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the US Department of Commerce, US Department of State Education USA offices, foreign country Ministries of Education and US and foreign Consulates and Embassies.  


Karla will continue with the tradition of ISS, with a large focus on recruiting volunteers and continuing to develop existing volunteers to assist ISS in its goals and mission. 


Kay Maher Feb 15, 2022 12:00 PM
DMACC Workforce Training Academy

The Workforce Training Academy (WTA) empowers you to move toward a better paying job in industries that are in need of qualified employees:

  • Advanced Manufacturing

  • Business/IT​

  • Healthcare

  • Skilled Trades

  • Transportation  

No matter what your prior education is, even if you need help with the first step of earning your high school diploma or HiSET (high school equivalency exam) - WTA provides the opportunity to get from wherever you are now to a promising career that provides a livable wage and prospects for advancement.

Steps to Success

If you're willing to put in the work needed to find a better career for yourself and your family, WTA will help you every step of the way.  We offer everything you need to move from unemployed or underemployed into a job that pays a livable wage and has room for advancement. 
Click here to see our step-by-step guide to starting your career.