Kimberley Baer is an attorney in Des Moines, Iowa with a general practice law firm. She is a trial lawyer with over 22 year’s experience. She formerly practiced law in Chicago with SkaddenArps, one of the world’s largest law firms. Ms. Baer is devoted to providing solid practical and quality legal advice. She practices in personal injury, medical malpractice, business and family law.
Michelle is the director of Business Education & Resources. Small business ownership has been a significant part of Michelle’s life in many different capacities. Michelle completed her Bachelor of Science in Family Services at Iowa State University. After graduating, she harnessed her own entrepreneurial spirit, first operating a medical transcription business for 10 years (1996-2006), then becoming an IRS-certified tax preparer. She is now on the Board of Directors for Polk County Health Services. Of her 10 years’ experience with tax preparation and planning, she has spent four years at The Iowa Center, allowing the organization to meet clients where they are and provide them one of its essential services. Michelle is also the partner of a small business owner, Michael, and together, they raise seven children: two at the University of Iowa and five teens (tweens) still at home.
Casey has had several roles in the Banking and Financing industry over the past 15 years. Moving back to Central Iowa and joining U.S. Bank in 2008, Casey has helped businesses thrive and grow by providing tailored financing and banking solutions to meet their specific business needs, from working capital, equipment and real estate lending needs to treasury management to help businesses operate more efficiently and effectively. Casey takes great pride in getting to know each business owner on an individual basis and providing solutions specific to their needs and not just making transactions.
Outside of work Casey enjoys all sports and outdoor activities and anything Iowa Hawkeyes, Denver Broncos, and St. Louis Cardinals related. Most of all he enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife and 5 beautiful children.
Lori Chesser is the chair of the immigration department and a senior shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines. With a background in finance and corporate law, she has been practicing immigration law for 20 years, and represents both businesses and families. She has been active in the community, especially in educating the public and leaders regarding the need for immigration reform. She has also been active nationally with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council. Ms. Chesser was named a Women of Influence by the Business Record, and is included in Best Lawyers and Chambers USA. She also received the Mary Louise Smith award for Human Rights from the City of Des Moines and the Footsteps Award for social action from Catholic Charities in the Des Moines Diocese.
Bo Dong was born in China and came in United States in 2007. Bo graduated from Drake University with Master of Accounting and Master of Business Administration. Bo is current the Corporation Tax Accountant at Community CPA. He has been practices in the tax and accounting area since 2011.
Will is special counsel in the Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning department. He joined Davis Brown Law Firm in 2016. He focuses on estate and tax planning for high net worth individuals and business owners, business succession planning, complex trust and estate administration matters, charitable giving and nonprofit organizations, and retirement planning.
Gregg Johnson is currently a professor of Business at AIB college. He has taught at colleges around the world. Domestically, he taught in North Carolina, New York, and Kansas. Internationally he has taught in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Estonia. He also spent several years working as a stockbroker on Wall Street. He is the founder and CEO of Lifestyle Fitness Health Clubs, Incorporated. Mr. Johnson has taught over 50 different college courses, including Corporate Finance, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Business Law, Sales, Sales Management, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Project Management, Business Statistics, Investments, etc. Additionally, he has presented numerous seminars/workshops on various topics including selling, management, and investing.
Laura Kinnardis the Digital Media Manager for the national architecture firm, BSB Design, and teaches as an adjunct at Drake University in the Entrepreneurial Management Program. She also developed and teaches a series of strategic social media marketing classes through DMACC Continuing Education. Kinnard also works as a Digital Strategist and Social Media Events Project Consultant. Shas had the great pleasure of hosting tweet-ups and meet-ups in Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, GA, and Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, she has coordinated and amplified sponsorships at the Recruiting Innovation Summit on the Facebook campus in Palo Alto, as well as at multiple venues during South-by-Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. Kinnard’s strength is in her ability to infuse an integrated marketing plan with interactive, online media elements, utilizing great content to tell a story and engage with target audiences. Kinnard obtained her MBA with an Internet Marketing Specialty designation from the Florida Institute of Technology and has an Advertising Management degree from Drake University.
Kristy is a Tax Specialist with the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University. CALT supports itself through donations and tax law presentations, providing resources to the tax practitioner on various issues. Kristy retired from the Internal Revenue Service in March of 2014 after 27 years. A former IRS Tax Specialist, Revenue Agent and Practitioner Liaison for Iowa, Kristy has many years of experience assisting the professional tax preparation community solve issues and advising ways to maneuvering through the IRS bureaucracy.
Song Mo was born in China and grew up in Panama. His upbringing makes him very special at Community CPA. Song graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Song is currently the Director of Operations at Community CPA. He practices in the tax and accounting area, and also assist clients with IT implementation with inventory and cash registers.
Carlos Rios is the Chair and lead Executive Director of the Immigrant Rights Network of Iowa (non-profit organization). Originally from Perú, Carlos received an undergraduate degree in political science (1986), Juris Doctor Law degree (1989) and accreditation as Immigration Representative (2010). Before coming to Iowa, he worked for ten years with United Nations peace-keeping operations in Africa and peace-building in Central America. Carlos is one of the members of the United Nations awarded with one of the portion of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2006, he was featured by Point Blank Newspaper as “People Making a Difference” creating a better Central Iowa. And in 2010, he was awarded the Community Leadership Award from the State of Iowa.
The founder of Community CPA and one of the initiators of this wonderful event of Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit. Ying has the deep knowledge of tax and accounting and her tax planning strategies are the life line of multi million dollars companies located all over the country and in five different countries. Yet Ying gives her knowledge to everyone who is willing to learn. Ying’s firm – Community CPA is one of the fastest growing professional firm in Iowa.
Dan is the Managing Partner of EDGE Cultural Architects, as well as a Partner and Director in The Rawls Group; the Family Business Resource Center; and a founder of the International Succession Planning Association. He and his colleagues work with families, businesses, higher education, and other organizations to design, build, and implement emotional and logical business cultures, systems, and processes that increase human and financial capital, as well as stakeholder value.
Dan’s formal education includes a BA from St. Ambrose University and an MA in Legal Studies from Antioch School of Law. His continuing education maintains a focus on business, organizational psychology, and legal studies. He has served as Vice president of Development, Chief Operation Officer, and Executive Vice President of firms in the manufacturing, technology, financial, and advertising industries.
Lisa Ung is a Licensed Financial Professional with World Financial Group (WFG) in Des Moines, IA. She is also a Certified College Consultant with HIFE (Heartland Institute of Financial Education, a National 501(c)(3) non-profit organization). Lisa Ung is passionate about providing Educating today for a Better Tomorrow.
Multi-tasking, it’s one of life’s great challenges. But, if you’re Leng, then it’s a piece of cake. As a marketing professional, Leng provides branding, social media, public relations and market research services to a host of various clients. Leng started Akili Design in September of 2007 with a focus to serve small businesses and non-profits, and her experience extends into the entertainment industry and beyond. She is skilled in managing budgets and tight-timelines as well as establishing vendor relationships that ultimately serve her clients’ goals and creates seamless and smooth project coordination.
Mike Wagner is the founder of White Rabbit Group, a business consultancy begun in 2004. He is a skilled business consultant, facilitator and brand building strategist. Mike serves leadership teams in the creation of competitive advantage and growth strategies. His approach is a unique combination of leadership development and organizational culture, informed by the tools and process of “design thinking.”
LASHEILA S. YATES
LaSheila has been the Executive Director for the City of Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission since August 2014. In conjunction with her current position, she was appointed and serves as the City’s first Chief Diversity Officer in August 2015. LaSheila received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology in 2004 and Master of Arts in Social Science from Southern University A&M College (Baton Rouge, LA) in 2005, while also serving as a Heavy Construction Engineer in the Louisiana Army National Guard. LaSheila completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 2005. She then received a Master of Arts in Sociology for Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL) in 2007.
LaSheila has a background in public policy, civil rights enforcement, governmental financial management, organizational process improvement and development, team building, and cultural competency to the Commission.