Morning Session Speakers 10:00-11:00 A.M

Kimberley Baer
Kim BaerKimberley 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 Skadden Arps, 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.




Foulis Peacock
Foulis-Peacock photoA veteran immigrant entrepreneur himself, Foulis Peacock is uniquely qualified to produce this site. Foulis worked on Fleet Street in London before immi­grating to this country 20 years ago. Upon arriv­ing in New York City, he used his own “foreign advantage” to become a contractor with Fortune magazine. In 1994 Foulis started a media representative company with a business partner. Their clients included Fortune, Money, and Forbes magazines. Foulis and his part­ner then launched Diversity Inc Media LLC in 1998. In 2009 Foulis sold his inter­est in Diversity Inc to produce



Lori Young

Lori-young photoLori Young is the Marketing & Compliance Manager for the Targeted Small Business (TSB) Program. She spends time marketing the program across the state in a variety of ways. Lori is also responsible for monitoring how much spending state agencies do with targeted small businesses. Prior to joining the State of Iowa in December 2008, Lori had a 22-year career at Principal Financial Group® in various capacities, most recently as a Sr. Communications Analyst.



Carlos Rios

carlos-rios photoCarlos 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.

Amelia Lobo

amelia-logo photoAmelia Lobo is the Director of the ISED Women’s Business Center. She helps entrepreneurs in the Des Moines area make smart decisions: from deciding whether to start a business to deciding how to market and grow their businesses. The Women’s Business Center sponsors classes and lectures for small business owners. Amelia has spent the last 10 years working with small businesses. She is passionate about helping small businesses succeed and is excited by the ability of small business owners to create wealth for themselves and their communities. A native of Costa Rica, Amelia studied Economics in college and has an MBA. She splits her time between Des Moines and Iowa City.



Herb and Kathy Eckhouse

herb-and-kathy-eckhouseHerb and Kathy Eckhouse founded La Quercia and work in all aspects of the business: selecting and buying pork, salting, trimming, and handling hams and leading the small group of dedicated staff who participate in our production. The Eckhouse family work the full shift for first and second salting; they developed our own spice blends for our pancetta, lonza, bacon, guanciale, coppa, lardo, and prosciutto piccante; and whenever they can, they leave their desks to get our hands into the meat of the matter.

La Quercia has received numerous awards from the past. More than fifty presses and social medias including the New York Times Magazine, the Vogue Magazine and Bon Appetite Magazine had written articles on their high quality meat products.


Morning Session Speakers: 11:15-12:15 A.M.

Kathy Hill

kathy-hill photoKathy Hill has been with the International Division/Office since October 1990. Hill came to the IDED with 13 years of private industry experience in international trade. This included the position of export manager and assistant distribution manager for a global manufacturing company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hill is the Manager of the International Office, Business Development Division of the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), along with responsibilities for the Asia/Pacific region trade programming. At the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), Hill works with Iowa companies interested in developing or expanding their international markets including one-on-one consulting, in-house seminars, trade and educational missions and international trade shows. Hill has organized and led trade and educational activities to over 25 countries.

Patrick Marks

patrick-marks photoPatrick E. Marks, a lifelong Iowa resident, has been involved in the financial and estate field since 1986. Pat implements the same high level of integrity, work ethic, and drive to help people succeed. His career began in the late 1980’s where Pat founded a retail/catalog business and later involved himself in the hotel and land development business within central Iowa. Married for 17 years and 3 children, Pat belongs to many organizations and clubs to receive the satisfaction of helping and educating.



Doug Mitchell

doug-bio-headshot photoDouglas Mitchell is a native Southern Californian who moved to Des Moines in 2005. Doug has spend most of his career in early stage and startup companies.  He created, built, and sold his own virtual marketing agency between 2007-2010.

In 2011 Doug published his first book The MultiThread Marketer and he recently published “From the Ground to the Cloud“, the story of his reinvention of a cloud computing company into a total customer experience.

Doug is the CEO of Scale Faster in Clive and enjoys reading, coaching soccer, and generally causing trouble for the status quo.


Song J Mo

song-j-moSong J 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 Audit Manager at Community CPA. He practices in the tax and accounting area, and also assist clients with IT implementation with inventory and cash registers.



Himar Hernandez

himar-hernandezOriginally from The Canary Islands, Spain, Himar came to the United States as an exchange student at the age of 15. He holds a B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science from Buena Vista University. Mr. Hernandez was the Director for the New Iowan Center in South East Iowa before joining Iowa State University Extension as an Economic and Community Development Program Specialist. He covers the State of Iowa providing leadership development training for new immigrants and diversity trainings to communities. Himar has worked for the last six years with Latino business owners in Iowa to become successful. Himar is also involved with Main Street at the local, State and national level. He is co-author of “Cultural Impediments to Trust Development: A Network Analysis of a Hispanic Business Network.” presented at the Midwest Sociological Society Meetings in Chicago, IL and his interview on Latino impact in small rural communities appeared in Good Morning America. He is also the Chair for Iowa State University Extension Diversity Committee.


Robert Reinard

Rob is the Vice President, Business Banking Manager for Bankers Trust Company. He has over 26 years of banking experience with the last 17 years at Bankers Trust. Rob has been in commercial and business banking for 22 of those years. Rob managed two branches for 7 years prior to taking on the role of Business Banking Manager. He completed his undergraduate degree and graduate work at the University of Northern Iowa and serves on Bankers Trust’s CRA committee. He volunteers his time serving as the Treasurer of the Noon Optimist Club of Western Des Moines (a Service Club for youth) and the Treasurer for the Waukee Community Foundation Board. Other positions he has served include Past President and Board Member for the Clive Chamber of Commerce, Board Chair for the Iowa Community Capital Corporation, the Make A Wish Foundation of Iowa fundraising committee, the board for the Mid-City Business Center, and the Minority and Women Business Conference and Expo Committee.


Afternoon Session Speakers: 2:00-3:00 P.M.

Lori Chesser

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. Lori 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.


Gregg Johnson

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.

Anita Messerschmidt

Anita Messerschmidt was born and raised in South Dakota.  Anita’s passion is her Information Technology Company; EmbarkIT, Inc. EmbarkIT is an 8(a)/SDB Federally Certified company and because of 8(a) has continued to branch out into other government markets.  In the corporate business area, Anita holds the Women Business Enterprise Certification (WBE).EmbarkIT is available to help customers with temporary service staff. The EmbarkIT Training classroom holds up to 14 students per class.  Adobe, Microsoft Office, Web Design, and QuickBooks training are standard classes taught.



Carlo Kalid

Carlo Kalid is the Executive creative directors of Chaverk Group Inc. Carlo works as a trilingual (French, English and Spanish) graphic designer. He has several years’ experience in management. At the same time, He is and artist, painter, photographer, sculptor, filmmaker, editor, writer. He has written three books as the novel “Erika” and “Photoshop básico.” Carlo is the general director of design, production and postproduction of multimedia material (video commercial, short films).



Hector Armando

Hector Armando is one of the executive directors of Chaverk Group Inc. At the same time, Hector is an excellent trilingual graphic designer. He is highly self motivated and goal oriented professional committed to pursuing a long-term career in computer graphics and web design. Hector develops a personality that is strong analytical and problem solving skills, computer proficiency, and ability to follow through with projects from start to the final stage. Throughout his career, Hector has completed high-impact graphics and projects including posters, logos, photo-restoration, menus and more.



Kristy Maitre

Kristy Maitre is the Senior Stakeholder Liaison at Internal Revenue Service. Before this job, she was an auditor with the IRS. Kristy has more than 25 years working experience with the IRS and is a tremendous the resources for tax professionals to whom she frequently give seminars and speeches.