515.288.2128

leadership forum

Iowa

Prioritize Your Leadership

to Build Better Leaders

Since 2010, tech leaders in Central Iowa have come together to learn from one another in an effort to become top performing leaders in IT. Today, the Forum boasts more than 400 participants across 60 businesses throughout Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. Designed to enhance the leadership skills of select information technology leaders, the Forum helps to strengthen organizations’ leadership cultures leading to improved attraction, engagement and retention of top-performing employees.

Join us in 2021 to learn from one another through shared experiences!

Monthly, half-day sessions focused on:

  • Foundational leadership
  • Building relationships through sharedexperiences
  • Transformative leadership development
  • Facilitated challenge resolution discussions based on existing challenges
  • Optional networking happy hour

Topics Will Include:

Creating and Building the Right Teams | Establishing Rules of Engagement
Maximizing Talent | Conflict Resolution | Creating a Foundation for Success
Creating Clarity and Alignment at All Levels | Managing Through Change
Being a Positive Disruption that Creates Growth | Ensuring Personal Growth
Level 10 Leadership | The Power of Feedback | Understanding Communication Styles

I'm interested!

89% of human resource leaders say their organization struggles to develop effective leaders.”

Board of Advisors

Andy Boerjan

Principal Financial Group

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bio

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Andy Boerjan

Principal Financial Group

Current Role:
Director of Engineering - IS Application Platform Services

Years of Leadership Experience:
10+

Why the Forum?
I have found it a great way to increase your leadership abilities, IT tech leadership and staff development are critical to a successful IT organization.

Leadership Style:
Honestly my philosophy is pretty simple:

  • Treat others like you would want to be treated
  • Get people to the right seat on the bus where they can do their best
  • Make people work hard but also allow them to play hard too

Gina Brown

ARAG

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bio

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Gina Brown

ARAG

Current Role:
Innovation and Strategy Advisor

Years of Leadership Experience:
6

Why the Forum?
In order to challenge our day to day thinking and explore new ideas we must continuously learn and expose ourselves to new perspectives. The Forum is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with other leaders and strive for continuous improvement. As leaders, we must strive for continuous improvement to create space for new perspectives, open our minds to exploration, and enhance our skills for those we serve. The Forum provides a well-rounded experience to challenge our thinking, create new connections, collaborate and learn.

Leadership Style:
We're all on a leadership journey, whether we are seasoned or new to the arena. Cultivating a mindset and environment for innovation takes not just leadership, but the right kinda of leadership. Go beyond what is expected and through actions and example, lead up.

     

Jeremy Comer

Corteva Agriscience

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bio

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Jeremy Comer

Corteva Agriscience

Current Role:
Data Science and Informatics Leader - Software Engineering

Years of Leadership Experience:
7+

Why the Forum?
The relationship and network you build are invaluable as you grow your career.

Leadership Style:
"Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others." John Maxwell

Julie Raveling

Principal Financial Group

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bio

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Julie Raveling

Principal Financial Group

Current Role:
Director - Engineering

Years of Leadership Experience:
7+

Why the Forum?
It is really nice to step outside the walls that you are used to working in to articulate and discuss your leadership questions, concerns and successes. Hearing perspectives from leaders across Des Moines is invaluable and refreshing. It gets new thoughts churning and at times, affirms your own ideas.

Leadership Style:

I believe leadership is a partnership. I am here to help you to navigate your career journey, but you have to chase it!

Rachelle Little

John Deere Intelligent Services Group

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bio

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Rachelle Little

John Deere Intelligent Services Group

Current Role:
Embedded SW Quality Manager

Years of Leadership Experience:
12

Why the Forum?
Diversity of thought and a growth mindset is key when trying to stay relevant when managing today’s IT teams. The forum provides an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals on relevant and timely topics, and learn from industry leaders.

Leadership Style:
My leadership style has evolved over time. I used to feel the need to know everything so that I could prove I was essential. Now I’m focused on curating teams of people that are smarter than myself, clearing the path so they can perform at their best, and helping them grow into future leaders.

Stephanie Kempf

Mittera

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bio

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Stephanie Kempf

Mittera

Current Role:
VP of IT

Years of Leadership Experience:
25+

Why the Forum?
I attended the forum more mid-career and can identify a number of benefits. My network was significantly expanded through practice and diligence, I honed my ability to interact confidently in a group of my peers, and I learned that others were facing similar leadership challenges just in different environments. Perhaps most importantly, learning different solution approaches from others taught me to flex my own response options.

Leadership Style:
You cannot change that which you do not measure. Whether in a meeting, phone call, presentation or a 1:1 - be here now. There is power in every member of your team knowing that above all, "you are important to me."


     

Todd Parson

Principal Financial Group

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bio

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Todd Parson

Principal Financial Group

Current Role:
Assistant Director Engineering

Years of Leadership Experience:
9

Why the Forum?
Learning from others' experience is essential to growing as a person and developing as a leader. Come for that and the group therapy that comes with it and stay to hear insights from experts and through leaders.

Leadership Style:
"Leadership is about helping people find their intersection of passion, talent, and value/need."

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Amanda is the director of consultant relations at Paragon. She has been with Paragon for over seven years with 11 years of industry experience. Her focus is on leading efforts managing our consultants in the field. Amanda’s previous experience in the industry was in sales/account management for some of Paragon’s top clients. Amanda graduated in 2005 from Simpson College with majors in Criminal Justice and Sociology with a Management minor. She has worked in London, England, Chicago, and now Des Moines. She lives in Waukee with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

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Nick Roach is the Director of Sales at Paragon. Nick leads the performance and execution of our sales and recruiting teams. He is passionate about protecting a culture of accountability built around Paragon’s Core Values. He first entered the SAAS and Outsourcing industry in 2009. Nick spends most of his free time outside of the office enjoying time with his two sons.

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Jessica's Biography

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Donna is the director of operations at Paragon. She is responsible for overseeing the functionality of the organization including finance, systems, HR and payroll. Donna is passionate about supporting the efforts of our military by volunteering with the Wingman Support Team and the Patriot Guard Riders. She is active in her community, as well as her church choir. Donna attended Iowa State University and is married with two children.

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Mark is a senior business development leader at Paragon. Mark manages a territory focused on supplying IT talent to central Iowa companies. Mark is actively involved in the community, lending his time to organizations such as Junior Achievement and the Technology Association of Iowa, as well as youth sports. Graduating from of the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Marketing in 1991, he is married with two sons.

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Joel Jackman is vice-president and co-founder of Paragon. Joel is responsible for new market development, strategic planning, and running the IT Leadership Forum at Paragon. He developed and leads the IT Leadership Forum, a leadership and development group for technology managers in Central Iowa. He also leads the non-profit Paragon IT Leadership Forum Scholarship Foundation, that awards scholarships to high school graduates that commit to Iowa colleges for STEM degrees. Graduating from the University of Iowa with a Liberal Arts degree in 1993, he is married and has two children.

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Craig is the president and co-founder of Paragon. His career in technology started in 1993. He is responsible for leading the Des Moines office and strategic planning and execution at Paragon. Craig is active in the Technology Association of Iowa, The Greater Des Moines Partnership and various charitable organizations. Graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Economics in 1989, Craig is married and has three sons.

Testimonials

"The IT Leadership Forum hosted by Paragon IT professionals is one of the best and most useful collaborations that I have participated in.  The speakers and topics that are discussed with other professionals in the field is something that very helpful for day-to-day operations to helping ideate strategic plans.  I have found the framework that Paragon has established encourages open and honest conversation that helps leaders grow by challenging preconceived ideology in a safe environment that encourages vulnerability and courage."

IT SERVICES MANAGER
LIFESOURCE

"My experience with the Paragon leadership program has been fantastic.  Joel does an amazing job bringing together a diverse group of IT leaders for the program and it creates a rich environment for learning and sharing from each other's experiences.  Tom and Joel do a great job weaving in their own experience and knowledge along with relevant and impactful outside speakers.  I would definitely recommend this experience for both aspiring and seasoned IT leaders alike."



CIO
POST CONSUMER BRANDSt

"The Paragon IT Leadership Forum provides members with the unique opportunity to meet several times a year to collaborate and share thoughts, ideas, best practices. The forum has given me time away from day-to-day business activities enabling me to dedicate time to grow personally and professionally. The immersion with thought leaders, both presenters and participants, have sparked fresh ideas and an opportunity to calibrate some aspects of my work so that I can be more effective and successful."


DIRECTOR, TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS
NORTHERN TOOL + EQUIPMENT

Let's
Connect

Whether you have a general question, are looking for that perfect employee, or looking for a great job - we can help!

Headquarters
220 SW 9th Street
Suite 150
Des Moines, IA 50309

515.288.2128

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