AIWP Annual Conference Speakers

2017 AIWP Annual Conference

Mike Fazio, CEO/Founder - Workforce180

Mike is a well known keynote speaker at state, regional and national conferences, as well as, for training thousands of WIB, Youth, School, Academy, One Stop, DOL, Non-Profit and Government staff from all 50 states + Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Guam!  He has enjoyed a 20+ year career focused on Sales, Management, Marketing, Training and Recruiting, with a definitive belief that enthusiastic Coaching and Leadership Development provides individuals and organizations the tools needed to reach higher levels of performance!  Everything he shares is in workforce language for workforce professionals.


Abigail Bohling


Abigail Bohling grew up in Carroll, Iowa, and graduated from Carroll High School. She then went to college in Indianola at Simpson and there double majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice. During the fall of her junior year she studied abroad in London, England, and took history courses. She graduated from Simpson in April of 2013 and started her first full time job with Youth and Shelter Services at Rosedale Shelter in Ames. While at Rosedale, April was able to experience three different roles and spent three and a half years working there. In the fall of 2016, April was hired on as the Emergency Bed Case Manager for Iowa Homeless Youth Centers and has been working with those participants since mid-November.


Joe Collins


Joe recently began working with the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) in the newly developed position of Education Program Consultant for Sector Partnerships.  In this role he will have the privilege of helping to plan, build, and maintain sector partnerships across the state, earning the unofficial title of “Mr. Sector Partnership” by his colleagues.  Prior to joining the IDOE, he worked as a Training Facilitator for IowaWORKS-Central Iowa through a partnership between Iowa Workforce Development and Indian Hills Community College.  He developed and led workshops on topics such as resumes, interviewing, work ethic, and conflict resolution to a wide range of audiences. Before diving head first into the public sector, he also worked in Human Resources, Account Management, and Marketing in the private sector.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing, Spanish, and International Business from Iowa State University and a Master of Science degree in Adult, Continuing, and Occupational Education from Kansas State University.  He believes in continuous improvement and tries to earn at least two new certifications or licenses per year, the most recent being the Bridges Out of Poverty Trainer certification and attending the Next Generation Sector Partnership Academy. 


Marvin DeJear


In his time with the Evelyn K. Davis Center in Des Moines, DeJear has held several leadership roles, including his role as Operation Manager to finalize process and policies before opening the Center on August 4th, 2012. Nearly a year later he was promoted to Director, solidifying the Des Moines Area Community College and United Way of Central Iowa partnership within the Center.  Since then, DeJear has collaborated with nearly 40 other community-based organizations to partner with the Center in efforts to maximize services that promote income support, as well as educational and employment opportunities within the community. As a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., for over twenty years, DeJear holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and Strategy as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Iowa State University. He recently completed his doctoral dissertation for his Ph.D. in Higher Education, Educational Leadership.


Jan Dolan


Jan Dolan is employed with Eastern Iowa Community College, working as Operations Coordinator in the IowaWORKS office in Davenport, IA.  She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University, and has worked in human resources with PACE and GAP programs, manufacturing, and State employment.  She is PHR and SHRM-CP certified, and is the current President of Great River HR Association, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management.


Mike Fazio


Mike Fazio is the Founder and CEO of Workforce180. They are a National Workforce Training and Consulting organization, focused specifically on results-oriented activities. He and his team have assisted more than 400 workforce organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam and Canada, too! Mike hits the road all year long, as an in-demand speaker at local, state, regional and national conferences like NAWB and NAWDP. In fact, he is a previous AIWP keynote and excited to be back! He likes to say "I don't do speeches", but instead he makes presentations for the audience to decide the value of his message. His more than 25 years of sales, management and leadership experience allows Mike to bring specific, proven methods of success to workforce professionals, so they can achieve successful outcomes. Learn more about him at and


Noel Gordon


Wife, teacher, step-Mama, Grandma. Loves animals, reading and travelling. Her love for community colleges started at Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL. She has her MS Ed in Educational Psychology and Leadership from Western Illinois University. Noel is starting her 10th year at Indian Hills Community College where she is Department Chair of Learning Services whose responsibilities include Adult Education and Literacy, ESL, RISE (4+ program), Success Center and Testing Center.


Amy Herrig


Amy Herrig is a PACE Career Navigator/Advisor with Eastern Iowa Community College, Bettendorf, IA, where she currently assists students in Allied Health and Transportation programs.  She has a Bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose University and several years of experience teaching, working in social services, and State employment.


April Hughes


April Hughes is an Employment & Business Specialist at lowaWORKS. She comes to you with a great enthusiasm for working with the community and keeping local businesses thriving. She works directly with businesses, job seekers, employed individuals, and all partners through WIOA on the importance of seeing the whole picture for success. Through many targeted workshops and individual assessments, she has been successful in matching job seekers to their desired employment. Businesses utilize these services that are offered to save time as well as get the right candidates for their needs. April has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Management along with over 10 years of working with the public. With her education, assorted employment background, and personal experiences, April has proven to have the skills and passion to educate others.


Benjamin Humphrey


Benjamin was born and raised in Des Moines and is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University Law School. After three years in private practice, Benjamin worked for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission before joining Iowa Workforce Development as an attorney.


Richard Kennedy


Richard is a loyal and dedicated military veteran with over 10 years of experience in workforce development, training facilitation, and customer relationship management.  He is a highly energetic individual who brings a flair of vigor and excitement to both personal and professional endeavors.  Richard consistently receives positive feedback from coworkers and customers alike and is driven and hardworking, completing assignments on time, within budget, and understanding how they fit into the broader scope in the public and private sectors.  He is able to engage with diverse populations, building rapport and trust quickly and easily.  He is also committed to giving back to his community through various volunteer programs, such as coaching youth sports and assisting veteran support organizations. 


Keri Kono


Keri Kono, Career Pathway Navigator with Hawkeye Community College, holds a passion for collaboration and partnering with other programs to better serve each individual participant. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University in Psychology and Family Services. She has experience partnering with various programs and agencies including Vocational Rehabilitation, Adult Basic Ed, WIOA Adult/Dislocated Worker and Youth, Promise Jobs and the DHS E&T program.  Her dedication to customer service and communication has resulted in solid partnerships that support individuals on their pathway to success.


Steve Olsen


Steve is the Assistant Director for Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS). He also serves in the United States Army Reserves as the 949th Medical Detachment’s personnel officer out of Ames, Iowa. Prior to joining VETS, Steve served as a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist for the State of Iowa helping veterans prepare for meaningful careers. Steve spent a majority of his career working with college students in admissions and academic advising. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Graceland University and a master’s degree in leadership from Bellevue University. Steve has a strong background in customer relations and is very passionate at helping others.


Steven Ovel


Steve retired from Kirkwood Community College in 2013 after 30 years of service, most recently as the Executive Director of Governmental Relations. He continues to work on a part time contractual basis with Kirkwood and the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees as a legislative consultant.  During his 30 years at Kirkwood, he provided administrative leadership to the areas of development and foundations, community relations, economic development, business and industry training, grants, governmental relations and assistant to the president.


He was a 20 year member of the Board of Directors of the Iowa Workforce Development Department and was involved in the redesign of Iowa’s workforce development delivery system in 1996.  He has served on the national board of directors of The Workforce Alliance and is a member of the National Skills Coalition Priorities Council.  He received the Skills Champion Award from the NSC in 2011.


For the past 25 years, Steve has served the Iowa community college system as a lobbyist before the Iowa Legislature and Executive Branch specializing in job training, workforce and economic development, corrections education and career and technical education.


Steve served in an interim administrative capacity at Iowa Workforce Development on a temporary full-time basis from August 2015 to January 2016.  In that capacity, he provided leadership and support to the WIOA implementation process in Iowa.


Elizabeth Patten


Elizabeth grew up in West Des Moines and graduated from Valley High School.  She attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis majoring in Social Work with a minor in Sociology where she completed internships in School Social Work and Street Outreach services.  After graduating, Elizabeth worked for Hope Street Shelter for Runaway and Homeless Youth in Minneapolis. In fall 2013, Elizabeth moved back home to Iowa and started working for Iowa Homeless Youth Centers at the Buchanan Transitional Living Program. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the Youth Opportunity Center which includes Mobile Street Outreach services, Drop In Center and Emergency Bed Program.


Jennifer Reha


Jennifer Reha is a Regional Manager for Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) with geographical responsibilities for the Des Moines One-Stop Center that serves eight counties in Central Iowa.  She began her career with Iowa Workforce Development in April 2009.  The objective of the IowaWORKS one-stop is to ensure Iowa has enough workers with the necessary skills to meet current and future workforce needs.  She works closely with business leaders to promote services and create opportunities for Iowans. Jennifer has spent the past four months as a Product Sponsor for the new case management system, working with various teams and entities to ensure a smooth transition for all Iowans. 


Ashleigh Richmond


Ashleigh Richmond is the Lead Instructor for Language Arts in the Community Education Center at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa. She has taught literature and communications classes for eight years and adult education and literacy for two years. Ashleigh’s educational and professional background includes a B.A. in English from Central College, an M.A.T. in English from the University of West Alabama, and several years’ experience in public relations, recruitment, and marketing.


Lilia Rundquist


Lilia Rundquist is a Workforce Advisor/Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) for Iowa Works of Greater Siouxland. Lilia began working as a Workforce Associate for the State of Iowa in 2005 and transferred to a Workforce Advisor position in 2008. She began as an OWDS in 2014.  Lilia’s primary area of expertise is assisting offenders make informed decisions about workforce upon re-entry.  Lilia provides assistance helping identify occupational opportunities and by preparing the offender for the realities of the working world so that there is a successful re-entry.  Lilia holds a Bachelor Degree, with a major in both Business and Education and minors in Tourism and English as a Second Language.  Lilia successfully completed the OWDS training presented by The National Institute of Corrections on December 8, 2014.


After completing the OWDS training, Lilia has cultivated a strong partnership with the State, County, and Federal Probation and Parole officers in the Siouxland area.  She currently teaches the Job Readiness Workshop at the Woodbury County Jail once a week and at the Yankton Federal Prison Camp once every quarter.  Lilia has also developed a strong partnership with Dismas Charities, a federal halfway house, where she facilitates “Take this Job and Love it” groups every other Wednesday. Lilia is a current and active member of the Dismas and Woodbury County Re-entry board.


Cabrielle Rutledge


Cabrielle Rutledge graduated from Buena Vista University with a double major in Business Administration and Management with a Human Resource emphasis. She has a passion for helping others that has brought with it working with the public for the over seven years starting in the banking field, then assisting low income mothers before working with job seekers at Iowa WORKS for the last four years by assisting them to make informed decisions about work, training, and understanding employer expectations. Along with serving clients directly, Cabrielle is assisting with businesses' needs including training staff, mapping out career opportunities for employees, and assessing their future needs. Cabrielle is a high energy worker who displays initiative and embraces change while maintaining a positive team spirit.


John Spinks, Jr.


John is the Project Director for the Oakridge Neighborhood’s 21st Century Learning Communities After School Program. Serving nearly 200 children daily through the OASIS, BE REAL, SWAGG Students With A Graduation Goal, and YSEP Youth Summer Employment Programs, he supports the academic, career exploration, employment and college preparation needs of each of its clients.


April Stotz


April Stotz began her career with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) 11 years ago as a Rehabilitation Associate.  During this time she obtained her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University and moved to a Counselor position within IVRS where she covered three counties in Northwest Iowa.  Recently, April moved to a new role as a Training Specialist with IVRS.  In addition to her work at IVRS, April also has a background in Employment Specialist at Temporary Staffing Agencies, Residential services with a Community Rehabilitation Provider, and an internship as a Human Resource Assistant. 


Heather Stubbe


Heather Stubbe is a WIOA Title 1 Employment & Training Specialist with North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City. She earned her bachelor's degree from Morningside College after studying abroad in Caen, France and working at the US Embassy in London. She worked for US Senator Tom Harkin and the State Police Officers Council before joining NIACC in 2007. As a workforce professional, Heather specializes in working with job seekers with disabilities and criminal backgrounds. She facilitates a three-day workshop at lowaWORKS in Mason City called Second Chances, which has significantly grown in popularity since it first began in 2014 due to its high placement rate. Heather enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband, Beau, and their two daughters.


Michelle Wilson


Michelle Wilson has over 15 years of experience in client support and program management, with 10 years in employment services programming including five years as a WIOA youth program specialist. Michelle is innovative in program development, a skilled workshop facilitator, and offers exceptional customer service to both employers and job seekers. She has experience in researching and understanding labor market information and brings a wealth of knowledge to the business service team as a former WIOA employment specialist. Michelle earned her Non-Profit Management Certification from Duke University.

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