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Business Record Lift IOWA Weekly | February 12, 2018
Guest Opinion: Talking to your children about money
By Brittany Heard | Financial Planner, Foster Group

As both a mom and a financial planner, I want my 1-year-old son, Brock, to grow up to be financially independent and make wise financial decisions. There are two significant truths that can help. First, the best way to learn to handle money well is to handle money. Second, the best way to learn to make good financial decisions is to — you guessed it — make financial decisions.

I grew up as the oldest of three daughters. My mom, a part-time piano teacher, always shopped the bargains and used coupons. My dad, a pastor, taught me how to live frugally. In elementary school, my mom gave me four Tupperware containers labeled Tithe, Give, Save, and Spend. I was required to divide all money I earned or received into the four categories: 10 percent, 10 percent, 10 percent and 70 percent, respectively. My parents gave me a small allowance for completing chores to encourage me to practice classifying money into the different categories. This taught me the value of giving back to the Lord, giving to others, saving, and I certainly enjoyed the spending category the most! Classifying my money into the four Tupperware containers laid the groundwork for the financial decisions I make today.

My parents often did not have money to get me things above and beyond the basics, so I learned how to buy those things with my own money. As women, we often feel the need to buy everything for our kids, but I learned many valuable lessons from not having everything I wanted.

In high school, my parents entrusted me with bigger financial decisions. They purchased a $500 1988 Jeep Cherokee for me that was a rust bucket, but I loved it! I was required to pay for the gas and oil changes, and even had to purchase four tires for the car. I learned the importance of a summer job and how to spend carefully to buy the things I both needed and wanted.

In college, my parents scaled back even more by only paying for my medical expenses, cellphone and part of the tuition bill. This gave me more opportunities to practice living frugally so I could stretch my summer earnings to cover the entire school year. They also helped me open a credit card, but encouraged me to only use it to purchase gas for my car and to pay it off each month.

In a society where men are often viewed as the financial decision-makers of the family, I appreciated watching my mom spend hours creating budgets and balancing her checkbook on Quicken, a financial management software package. Her example and guidance encouraged me to become confident making financial decisions. Eventually I became a financial adviser and planner, a career dominated by men.

My parents’ guidance and discussions about money growing up helped me become completely independent in my finances. You don’t have to use Tupperware or the 10 percent, 10 percent, 10 percent and 70 percent rule, but it is important to put some guidelines in place. Include your children in some of your financial discussions so they have both the knowledge and experience to make their own financial decisions and someday be completely independent.

Brittany Heard works with Foster Group clients to define and achieve their financial goals. She enjoys helping clients make small changes that benefit them long-term. Heard's opinions in this guest submission do not necessarily reflect those of her employer.
Survey: Since #MeToo, the number of male managers uncomfortable mentoring women has tripled
By Lift IOWA staff

New evidence from LeanIn.Org points to a potential downside of the #MeToo movement for women, one that further hinders their paths to senior-level positions.

Nonprofit LeanIn.Org recently partnered with SurveyMonkey to understand what men and women were feeling in the wake of widespread media reports of sexual harassment. The findings? Since #MeToo, the number of men who are uncomfortable mentoring women has tripled.

According to survey results, almost half of male managers are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone or socializing together.

Specific findings include:

  • Almost 30 percent of male managers are uncomfortable working alone with a woman — more than twice as many as before.
  • The number of male managers uncomfortable mentoring women has more than tripled from 5 percent to 16 percent. This means that 1 in 6 male managers may now hesitate to mentor a woman.
  • Senior-level men are 3.5 times more likely to hesitate to have work dinner with a junior-level woman than with a junior-level man, and 5 times more likely to hesitate to travel for work with a junior-level woman.
  • About half of women and men say their companies have responded to the #MeToo movement by taking action against harassers, updating policies, or offerings employees guidance or training.

In a Facebook post last week, LeanIn.Org founder Sheryl Sandberg explained that men’s increasing unwillingness to mentor their female colleagues "undoubtedly will decrease the opportunities women have at work." Sandberg said that, "The last thing women need right now is even more isolation. Men vastly outnumber women as managers and senior leaders, so when they avoid, ice out, or exclude women, we pay the price."

In response to survey findings, LeanIn.Org launched a new initiative called #MentorHer, which aims to educate about why mentorship is so crucial to achieving gender parity in the workplace. Learn more about #MentorHer.

A number of high-profile male business leaders have made the commitment to mentor women, including Oath CEO Tim Armstrong, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, reports.

"If we’re going to change the power imbalance that enables so much sexual harassment in the first place, we need to ensure women get more mentorship and sponsorship, not less," Sandberg said in her post. "That’s how we get the stretch assignments that lead to promotions. That’s how we build the networks that put us on the path to exciting opportunities. That’s how we get the respect – and recognition – we deserve."

Guest Opinion: Combat workplace harassment — and start by dealing with the office bully
By Kirsten Anderson | Communicator and advocate

Harassment has many forms and as we continue a much-needed conversation on the issue related to work, a good starting point is dealing with something everyone can relate to: the office bully. Everyone knows a colleague who is negative, judgmental, picks apart your work, and ensures their opinion is known without being asked. The office bully is everywhere and they seem to undermine everything you do.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 60 million Americans were affected by workplace bullies in 2017. The numbers are saddening: 70 percent of workplace bullies are men and 60 percent of targets are women. This issue is costly in many ways. There’s the mental toll on those being bullied and there’s the cost of lost productivity up to seven hours a week and $8,800 in lost wages annually for the target.

These statistics can and should change. Bullying is a form of harassment that can be summed up as exercising power and control over another person, regardless of the situation. It’s less about you, your work, and personal choices and more about making it about them – shifting the focus from you back to them.

What can you do about the office bully? First, verify that this person is singling you out and/or truly hard to work with. Most likely, you’re not the only one they are picking on. If others are going through similar experiences it’s worth knowing about. Do your verification process discreetly. Sixty-one percent of office bullies are managers so it’s important to understand your company’s HR policies. Remember, it’s not illegal to disagree with someone at work or to share an opinion of you; it’s when those opinions become frequent, how harsh the comments are, and to whom they are directed that becomes concerning.

Second, document the bullying. Keep a notebook close by and write down details of the incidents: who was present, what was discussed, how you felt. These notes will help you later. Once you start documenting, you’ll be able to see patterns or triggers you may have missed before and that are potentially helpful to you for future encounters.

Third, kill ‘em with kindness. This is a trick I learned from my mother that works to diffuse almost any situation. Kindness is like Kryptonite to the office bully. It’s unexpected and lightens the mood. Ultimately, you must decide on the severity of the bullying. Is it merely annoying or is it life-changing -- affecting your work and mental well-being? If it’s the latter, take steps by discussing the situation with a manager or human resources representative you trust. You may even consider seeking out a new professional environment through an internal transfer or employment outside the organization.

Finally, be kind to yourself. Reaffirm your self-worth by spending quality time with friends and family, and remember, even office bullies experience karma.

Kirsten Anderson is a passionate communicator who found herself an unlikely advocate for those facing harassment in the workplace after she took a stand against her former employer: the state of Iowa. On May 17, 2013, she was fired from her job as communications director for Iowa Senate Republicans just seven hours after formally complaining about repeated harassment and retaliatory behavior by staff and lawmakers at the Iowa Statehouse. She sued the state for wrongful termination, harassment, and retaliation, and was awarded a settlement by a jury of her peers. Anderson now works to support others who have experienced harassment in the workplace. She is determined to see all workplace harassment end in her lifetime through education, victim support and continued dialogue. To ensure a safe working environment, Anderson is advocating to end victim shaming and start a conversation on the issue.

Anderson has a degree in broadcast journalism from Northwest Missouri State University. Her professional experience includes running a nonprofit, working as a communication coach and trainer, and managing an award-winning professional development program. She is a 2008 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute graduate and former Leadership Institute Board of Governors member. She is currently president-elect of the local chapter of the Association of Women in Communications and in her free time enjoys sharing the hilarious random things her 8-year-old son says and enjoying just about any live music show with her husband. Anderson can be reached at

New cyber training partnership aims to inspire young women
By Lift IOWA staff

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced a new cyber training partnership between the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network and Security) Institute and the state of Iowa designed to inspire the next generation of female cybersecurity professionals, the Corridor Business Journal reported.

GirlsGoCyberStart is a free online game of discovery that offers young women in grades 9-12 the opportunity to learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their cyber aptitude. Participants do not need any prior cybersecurity knowledge or IT experience. Iowa's students will be competing against students from 16 other states and territories.

Registration is open now, and will run through Feb. 16. The first 10,000 young women to register may play the game online from Feb. 20-25, with prizes to include computers and a trip to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference in Chicago. The three schools in Iowa with the most participants will win awards of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000.

More information is available online.

Hunt named Cultivation Corridor executive director
DuPont government affairs veteran Billi Hunt has been named executive director of the Cultivation Corridor, the organization looking to make Central Iowa and other parts of the state a higher-profile center of bioscience research and business. Hunt, who has worked out of DuPont Pioneer’s campus in Johnston, will begin her new role Feb. 19. She replaces Brent Willett, who resigned to become president and CEO of the Iowa Health Care Association. Hunt was government affairs manager for DuPont in Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Read more

Former Mercy CEO, community leader Patricia Clare Sullivan dies
Longtime Greater Des Moines community leader Patricia Clare Sullivan, the former president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, died Monday near Orlando, Fla., where she lived, after a brief illness, Mercy reported. She was 89. A member of the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame, Sullivan served on the boards of what is now the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Casey’s General Stores, and was active in many community organizations. She retired in 1993 after 15 years as president and CEO at Mercy, which developed the Mercy Clinics system during her tenure. She also helped establish a new Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston and House of Mercy on Clark Street. The Sullivan Center on the Mercy College campus opened in 2005 to educate future nurses, health professionals and leaders. Plans for a local remembrance of Sullivan are under discussion.

Nominations sought for Women of Excellence Awards
Women Aware is seeking nominees for its Women of Excellence celebration. The goal of the Women of Excellence program is to recognize and celebrate Siouxland women who inspire and make a difference in their communities.There also is an award to recognize men whose efforts have positively impacted the quality of life for women. The deadline to nominate is March 2, and recipients will be recognized at a banquet on March 27. Women Aware is a Sioux City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the emotional and economic future of women and men in transition through advocacy, education, information, and referral. More information on the Women of Excellence Awards is available online under "Take Action."

Whitson to receive Robert D. Ray character award
Iowa native astronaut Peggy Whitson has been named this year’s recipient of the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award by the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University. Whitson, a NASA astronaut who holds the U.S. record for total days in space, will accept the award April 13 at the Ray Center’s All-Star Evening in West Des Moines. "Peggy is an inspiration to the next generation of leaders," Drake University President Marty Martin said in a statement. "Her groundbreaking work encourages students to challenge themselves and pursue their noblest dreams, while demonstrating exemplary humility and integrity." The award is the center’s highest. Past recipients include Norman Borlaug, Hayden Fry, Dan Gable, Fred Hoiberg, Shawn Johnson and Ashton Kutcher. Whitson called it a "huge honor" and added in a statement: "I really admire an organization like Character Counts! that promotes good ethical characteristics in our youth." Ceremony details are available here. Read our previous story based on an interview with Whitson. (Insider)


Feb. 20: Women of Worth February luncheon
Host: Women of Worth
About: Women of Worth is taking its monthly networking luncheon on the road to visit a selection of Des Moines’ women-owned small businesses. This month, the group will meet at McLaren's Resthaven Chapel & Cemetery for lunch and power networking. Speaker, trainer, success coach and author Carrie Copley will give a quick presentation about simple strategies to help businesses and individuals create their unique life vision statement. The cost is $20 for lunch or $12 for networking only.
When: 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: McLaren's Resthaven Chapel & Cemetery, 801 19th St., West Des Moines
Learn more

Feb. 21: Wednesday Workshop: De-Myth the Job Opportunity
Host: The Dostal House
About: Join others at the Dostal House with Certified Professional Coach Shannon Beck for strategies to go for that job you think is "out of your league." It's time to change that mindset that keeps women from the jobs and money they want.
When: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Where: The Dostal House, 1000 Third St. S.E., Suite 1, Cedar Rapids
Learn more

March 1: Elevate
Host: West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
About: Join others for the March Elevate event with Eileen Wixted, winner of the 2017 Real. Strong. Woman. Of Distinction award. Nationally recognized communication expert Wixted will discuss the importance of creating a public brand to advance your personal and professional growth.
When: 7:30-9 a.m.
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 205 S. 64th St., West Des Moines
Learn more

March 1: 32nd Annual Professional Women’s Network Colleague Event
Host: Professional Women’s Network - Cedar Rapids
About: The public is invited to this event hosted by Professional Women’s Network - Cedar Rapids, featuring national keynote speaker and author, Kathleen Caldwell. She will introduce attendees to using your success mind power for greater wealth, health, energy and fun. Breakfast, networking and check-in begin at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $35 for PWN members and $40 for nonmembers.
When: 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Where: The Hotel at Kirkwood, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. S.W., Cedar Rapids
Learn more

View all newly announced events or submit an event here.


The deadline for the Iowa Small Business Champion Awards has been extended to Feb. 20, the SBA's Iowa District Office announced. Corridor Business Journal

The Business Record has launched a new weekly innovationIOWA e-newsletter that will arrive in your inbox each Thursday. In addition, the BR launched a new companion website,, which will house innovation coverage. Des Moines Business Record

After feeling dissatisfied with the state of politics last year, 36-year-old Courtney Clarke decided it was time for her to step up and run for the Waukee City Council. Des Moines Register

Emily Meyer loves old things. Big old things, like buildings. And as owner of New Leaf Redevelopment Consulting, which she started in 2015, Meyer now gets to work as a consultant helping others navigate the complicated tasks related to restoring historically significant properties. Cedar Rapids Gazette

British home decorating guru Annie Sloan would have to look far and wide to find a better example of her shop local/have fun philosophy than RePurpose It in downtown Washington. Run by Main Street Washington board member Leslie Allender, the hobby-turned-business is an add-on to Carson Plumbing & Heating, and one of the few shops in eastern Iowa stocking Sloan’s line of hot-selling chalk paints. Corridor Business Journal


Women with disabilities have an especially difficult time getting funding to launch businesses, and they struggle with barriers to entry beyond what other women face. The University of Illinois at Chicago created a program, Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities, to educate the public and those with disabilities on ways to correct this, including improving access to mentors. Forbes

Nearly everything about Tracy Chou made it "inevitable" that she would work in software, she told Jeffrey Goldberg in a recent episode of "The Atlantic Interview." "Minus my gender." The Atlantic

'Wear more lipstick': What I heard as my state’s first female treasurer

Years before the #MeToo movement gained steam and incited women in all sectors to speak out against harassment, before the 2016 presidential election inspired a wave of women to run for elected office across the U.S., Janet Cowell was working her way up in politics – first as a member of the Raleigh City Council in North Carolina, then as state senator, and later rising to become state treasurer in 2007.

The first woman to hold that position, Cowell had a slew of successes during her tenure, which ended in 2016. Despite these wins, Cowell was challenging a deeply rooted status quo in North Carolina’s male-dominated political culture. To say it wasn’t easy is an understatement. Here’s what Cowell told Fast Company in her own words about being the only woman in the room for much of her career.

Read more

Being a female entrepreneur can be lonely. This founder is changing that.

Last year, TechCrunch released a study that contained a startling statistic. Only 17 percent of venture-backed startups had a female founder. Not only that, but the number had been completely flat for the last five year.

It was a fact that hit Kathleen Griffith, the founder and CEO of Grayce & Co, a 3-year-old brand and marketing strategy firm geared to women, every which way wrong.


Rachel Zeleny (pictured)
Pioneer Bank
Promoted to vice president/chief credit officer
Sioux City

Brittany Lumley
Hired as managing director of government affairs

Des Moines

Holly Kjeldgaard
Brokers International
Hired as marketing manager, consumer marketing


Susan Morgensen
Hospice of Siouxland
Promoted to quality manager
Sioux City

SUBMIT AN ON THE RISE: Know an Iowa woman who recently started a new management or executive-level job? Send her name, position and company, along with a photo, to
Comedy 'Caveman' explores the gender gap

Well, here's a riddle for you: How can a one-man show have three actors? Ponder that while we praise the insightful comedy "Defending the Caveman," the longest running solo play in Broadway history, coming to the Temple Theater Feb. 13-March 4.  

The Chicago Sun Times' description of "Caveman": "Outrageously funny and surprisingly sweet exploration of the gender gap." The show makes audiences laugh at themselves as it explores the ways men and women fight, laugh and love. Proving that these are universal themes, "Caveman" has been seen in 45 countries and translated into 18 different languages. Showtimes vary; tickets ranging from $28 to $55 are available here.

So back to our riddle: The show is here for three weeks with a different actor in the role each week. Ta-dah!


IWLC Siouxland Conference
FEB 15 | 7:30 AM
City Convention Center
Sioux City

Emotional Intelligence - What You Can Do to Improve Your EQ
FEB 15 | 11:30 AM
Hills Bank & Trust

Launch & Grow
FEB 15 | 6 PM
Pappajohn Business Center, NIACC
Mason City

Networking Mix and Mingle
FEB 20 | 4:30 PM
Novelty Iron Works Bar

Learn more about these events or submit an event here.

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