Past Conferences

2023 Mayor's Youth Conference

Grow Here

You've planted roots in Cedar Rapids; here's your chance to now envision yourself growing and thriving in this community.

On Monday, October 9, 2023 Cedar Rapids-area high school students attended the first-ever Mayor’s Youth Conference at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library. Thank you to all attendees, chaperones, speakers, and volunteers for participating in this inaugural event and making it a success!

Help Us Improve

To make next year's conference even better, we would love to hear feedback from the attendees and speakers who participated in this year's event! You should take our exit survey:

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Event Details & Materials

2023 Program



Session Materials

  • Keynote Address: Expect the Unexpected
    • Keynote Speaker: Jade Ploessi, ICR Program Coordinator, Women Lead Change
    • Slide Deck
  • Track A: Plan Your Future
    • Session 1: Career Fit: Assessment & Workshop
    • Session 2: Next Steps: Local Employers & Job Opportunities Panel
      • Panelists included: Rachel Powell, Career Coach, Kirkwood Community College; Jenny Abernathy, Chief People Officer, CRST; Brianne Cummins, AVP Director of Sales & Marketing, UFG Insurance; John Meyer, Talent Acquisition Regional Manager, Unity Point Health St. Lukes; Danielle Monthei, Community Impact Specialist, Van Meter Inc.; Mike Sadler II, Business Manager, Built By Pros; Troy Weier, Principal Quality Program Manager, BAE Systems
  • Track B: Make Your Voice Heard
    • Session 1: Local Government Involvement
      • Presenter: Angie Charipar, Assistant City Manager, City of Cedar Rapids
      • Slide Deck
    • Session 2: Explore Council Goals & Case Studies Workshop
      • City Staff presenters included: Mitch Ahrendsen, Parks Superintendent; Sara Buck, Housing Services Manager; Rob Davis, Flood Control Program Manager; Ken DeKeyser, City Engineer; Mike Duffy, Assistant Public Works Director; Brenna Fall, Assistant Public Works Director; Patricia Hall, Solid Waste & Recycling Manager; Scott Mather, Economic Development Coordinator; Jennifer Roberts, Sergeant, Community Outreach; Ana Stomp, Economic Development Specialist; Jeff Wozencraft, Planner II, Community Development
      • Session Materials
      • Recap Briefing
  • Track C: Be Your Own Boss
    • Session 1: Learning from Local Entrepreneurs: Panel Discussion
      • Panelists included: Kaitlin Byers, Capital Access Manager, NewBoCo; Jordan Bergren, Founder & CEO, Simplate Inc., Freelance Creative Director; Carter Rieckhoff, Founder & Co-Owner, Almost Famous Popcorn Company; LeShawn Smith, CEO, Shawnniecakes
    • Session 2: Start Me Up: Hands-On Entrepreneurial Challenge
      • Presenter: Dawn Bowlus, Jacobson Institute, University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
      • Slide Deck
  • Library Resources Overview
    • Presenter: Kevin Delecki, Programming Manager, Cedar Rapids Public Library
    • Slide Deck
  • Keynote Panel: Make the Most of Your Fifth Season
    • Panelists included: Mayor Tiffany O'Donnell, City of Cedar Rapids; Jasmine Almoayyed, VP of Continuing Education and Training Services, Kirkwood Community College; Anthony Betters Jr., NewBoCo Community Engagement Manager & Podcast Host; Kenyon Murray, CEO, Podcast Host, Basketball Coach; Julie Stow, Associate Director of Cedar Rapids Tourism
  • MUSIC MATTERS! Check out the 2023 Mayor's Youth Conference playlist.
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