Emerging Leaders Conference

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ELC  |  Conferences  |  All Levels  |  Scheduled

Special Notes

  • Overnight accommodations can be made at the Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown using ISCPA's group rate of $159/night. Reserve online by July 9, 2018, in order to qualify for the reduced rate. Accommodations include two-room suites, complimentary breakfast and nightly Manager's Reception (cocktail and snacks). Valet parking is available for $23/overnight or city parking garage (across the street) is available for $10/overnight.
  • We know sometimes the decision to join us at the conference is not just yours. You may need to convince your supervisor or managing partner, or there may be financial implications. We are here to help! Check out our justification toolkit which includes general tips, a detailed cost worksheet, conference benefits and a sample letter to send to your supervisor.


  • Accounting & Auditing
  • Communications
  • Management
  • Personal Development
  • Technology

Designed For

CPAs and accounting professionals 40 and younger seeking to enhance their career and stay current on issues facing young professionals today.

Your Price: $375.00

This is your base price and does not reflect any additional session fees, optional add-ons, or guest registrations. This price includes the early-bird discount. Full prices will be applicable to all registrations after July 26, 2018.

Members log in and save $50.00 on this event. Not a member? join today.


August 9, 2018

8:00am - 9:00am (Central Time)
9:00am - 9:30am (Central Time)
9:30am - 10:45am (Central Time)

In a perfect world, giving and receiving performance feedback would be easy. We'd be candid and caring, accurate and forward-looking, understanding and adapting. In reality, our emotions get in the way, and we feel uncomfortable with difficult messages. Our feedback loops often look more like five years of unreconciled bank statements than they do a polished set of financials. In this session Kristen will discuss ways to deliver effective feedback to your team members, and as leaders, how to tap into your team's feedback for you.

Speaker: Kristen Rampe, CPA | Kristen Rampe Consulting, Grand Rapids, MI


11:00am - 12:15pm (Central Time)

Slide Deck Improv is a high-energy experience that explores how thinking on your feet, storytelling and strong visuals give professionals an edge in daily communication situations and formal presentations. You’ll learn the basics of improv, and how these concepts help professionals connect with their audience to be more effective communicators. Then, a handful of participants (selected in advance) will take to the stage to improvise their way through a short PowerPoint deck they’ve never seen! The result is stronger confidence, impactful communication and pure fun. Check out this session in action here.

Speaker: Kristen Rampe, CPA | Kristen Rampe Consulting, Grand Rapids, MI


1:00pm - 2:15pm (Central Time)

 The supervisor position is one of the most critical roles in your company, since it involves the supervision of individuals in day-to-day operations. The combination of your technical specialty and your leadership ability is vital in your organization to function effectively. In this session you'll learn how to direct and delegate effectively, motivate and develop others, and how to work best with your manager. Even if you're not in a supervisor role (yet), you'll learn tips that you can apply in your current role.

Speaker: Michele Matt, CSP | Inspiring Solutions, Des Moines


2:30pm - 3:45pm (Central Time)

Conflict is all around us – at work and at home. It is inevitable because no two people are exactly alike. Conflict can be destructive, invigorating or draining. To manage conflict effectively and create a quality environment, people must be willing to understand why conflict occurs and demonstrate a variety of strategies.

In this session you'll learn:

  • To identify why conflict occurs.
  • The ways men and women deal with conflict differently.
  • How to manage conflict to benefit you, your department and your clients.
  • How to recognize your conflict management style.
  • Techniques to avoid, force, accommodate, compromise or collaborate.

Speaker: Michele Matt, CSP | Inspiring Solutions, Des Moines


4:00pm - 5:00pm (Central Time)

In this interactive session, Alison will explain how to master your story to create positive emotions that will move you towards effective dialogue and healthier, more productive relationships. You'll learn how to cut off unhealthy emotions, get back to the facts and retrace your path to take control of your story.

Speaker: Alison VanOtterloo, CPA | Vice President, Internal Audit | Pharmacists Mutual Companies, Algona


5:00pm - 6:00pm (Central Time)

Kick back, relax and get to know your fellow CPAs. Expand your professional network while enjoying a complimentary beverage overlooking the beautiful scenery at the Botanical Gardens.

August 10, 2018

8:30am - 9:00am (Central Time)
9:00am - 10:00am (Central Time)

Hear the latest news and hot topics in the accounting profession as they relate to young CPAs. Learn the initiatives AICPA and ISCPA are exploring to position the profession for the future and address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Speaker: Bill Reeb, CPA, CITP, CGMA | Succession Institute | Chair, AICPA board of directors


10:15am - 11:15am (Central Time)

Session description coming soon.

Speaker: Jeff Fagan | IT Audit Manager | Principal Financial Group, Des Moines 

11:30am - 12:30pm (Central Time)

Upstream communication is any communication from a staff person to someone above them hierarchically. It helps both managers and employees improve the workplace, but it requires knowing your audience, defining what you want and having an implementation plan to put into action.

Speaker: Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA | Vice President - Finance & Tax | 1st Financial Bank USA, Dakota Dunes, S.D.


1:15pm - 2:45pm (Central Time)

Ever get that feeling that if you have to sit through one more meeting without accomplishing something, you might die? Then this session is for you! Collaboration - not just a buzz word. Collaboration is about having meaningful interactions that engage team members and empower success. In this interactive session, Lindsay will explore what collaboration really looks like and how to inspire your teams to engage in collaboration on every project. The end result - no more unproductive meetings and a lot of fun in creating innovative and inspired solutions.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn how to use management by sticky note (MBSN)
  • Leverage MBSN as a facilitator, inspiring teams to collaborate more organically.

Speaker: Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA | Vice President - Finance & Tax | 1st Financial Bank USA, Dakota Dunes, S.D.


3:00pm - 4:00pm (Central Time)

During this interactive panel discussion, bring your questions and learn from successful financial leaders who have already "been there, done that." Get their insights on career goals, turning points and lessons learned.


Don Seibel | CFO | FBL Financial Group, Inc, West Des Moines
Tessie Johnson | Partner | PwC LLP, Des Moines
Monica Sullivan | Partner | TD&T CPAs and Advisors PC, Pella
Heidi Kleve | Financial Consultant | Wells Fargo Bank Iowa NA, West Des Moines
Moderator: Dwayne Vande Krol | Shareholder | Nyemaster Goode PC, Des Moines


William L. Reeb

Show Bio

Bill Reeb, CPA, is co-founder and CEO of Succession Institute LLC. He has been consulting for three decades to all sizes of business, from mom and pop operations to Fortune 100 companies, working in areas of strategy, governance, accountability, compensation and business improvement. Bill is an award-winning public speaker lecturing throughout the U.S. and Canada to executives and CPAs each year. He has published hundreds of articles and columns including his bi-monthly column called "In the Bill-iverse." He has authored and co-authored numerous books on succession planning and consulting. Bill is an active volunteer within the profession having served in many leadership roles in both state and national organizations. He is a past member of the AICPA Board of Directors, past and current member of AICPA Council and past Commissioner on the AICPA’s National Accreditation Commission. He has been recognized by CPA Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners" and Accounting Today has recognized him as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential CPAs Inside Public Accounting." [2017]

Alison A. VanOtterloo

Show Bio

Alison VanOtterloo is vice president, internal audit at Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company in Algona, Iowa. Prior to joining Pharmacists Mutual, Alison was with Ernst & Young, LLP as a financial auditor. Alison received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, in accounting, from the University of Northern Iowa and has earned her CPA, CIA and AIAF designations. In addition to her audit duties, Alison leads several learning and development initiatives at Pharmacists Mutual. Alison serves on the board of directors for the Iowa Society of CPAs, Kossuth County Economic Development and the Algona Community School Foundation. She is an active member of the Algona Rotary Club. Alison is a graduate of the 2014 AICPA Leadership Academy. She lives in Algona with her husband and their four children.

Kristen Rampe

Show Bio

Kristen got into accounting the way many people did: she liked math. She joined the Big 4 out of college and held on for three enlightening years in audit. After finding the long-hours-lifestyle to be more than she was after, Kristen quit public accounting for the first time and ended up in industry at one of her clients.

18 months later, she jumped back into public at a regional firm in San Francisco. This time she eased out of audit to help form a SOX compliance team from the ground up, and led a variety of intriguing and unique consulting projects.

Fast-forward seven years, she realized her strongest technical talents were those in the areas that were not considered "technical" as a public accountant; you know the ones: communication, client service, building great teams, etc. Kristen decided to use her strengths to bring these essential skills back to the industry she's known from the inside.

Her work now enables deeper client relationships, stronger team collaboration, and increased efficiency; all leading to higher profitability for CPA and professional services firms. She loves what she does and welcomes the opportunity to work with people who value relationships and communication as a component of success. [2018]

Michele Matt

Show Bio

Since starting Inspiring Solutions in 1991 in Des Moines, Iowa Michele had the privilege of working in a wide-variety of industries, specializing in healthcare, long-term care, insurance and financial services by designing and facilitating strategic planning, leadership development, customer service initiatives and team building.

In 2011, Michele was awarded the “Impact to Business” from the Association of Talent Development – Iowa Chapter for the work she’s done to improve patient satisfaction through a workforce engagement process at Matagorda Regional Medical Center in the Houston area.

Each year, Michele is asked to speak at numerous local and national conferences. She has earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) from the National Speakers Association, a designation earned by fewer than 10% of professional speakers worldwide. Other honors include Iowa Up and Comer and Outstanding Young Iowan.

Michele is appropriately recognized as “The Attitude Adjuster” because she has written several books and training resources on the topic, including the best-selling book "Attitude: The Choice is Yours" and the award-winning training video "Bad Apples: How to Deal with Difficult Attitudes."

She has provided state and national leadership for the National Speakers Association and the Association for Talent Development. She served on several boards including her alma maters Upper Iowa University and AIB College of Business. [2018]

Lindsay Stevenson

Show Bio

Lindsay is vice president - finance and tax at 1st Financial Bank USA in North Sioux City, S.D. She is the 2017 AICPA Outstanding Young CPA Award recipient, vice chair of the AICPA Young Members Leadership Committee and was recently named by CPA Practice Advisor as a 2017 40 Under 40. As a CPA, CGMA, Lindsay is passionate about helping individuals tap into their potential to positively impact the innovation and success of their organizations and their professions at large. She enjoys sharing her knowledge on influence, motherhood and leadership with others by speaking and writing for the AICPA, state CPA societies and other organizations. Lindsay is also a great lover of mystery novels and a shameless braggart about her three boys. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in accounting. [2018]

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