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2019 Women's Leadership Summit
to Sep 14

2019 Women's Leadership Summit

  • Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Registration is Open!

Save the date for the 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit in Minneapolis, MN September 12-14. To learn more about the event, click here!

The first AIA Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) began as a grassroots effort to bring together women principals of architecture firms, women in leadership positions, and women architects moving into leadership roles across the country for a‌n intense two-day summit focusing on leadership and design. Today, the summit spans a diverse spread of career stages and seeks to support all women in the profession.

Summit goals

  • raise the profile of women in the profession

  • explore new paths to leadership

  • create a learning environment that supports the needs of multiple career stages in one event

  • provide a space for women architects to learn from one another

Where women lead

WLS is one of the only gatherings where women architects and designers are surrounded by other women in a professional setting. That creates a candid, comfortable environment where women can contribute unique perspectives and facilitate conversations about challenges within the industry: Gaining respect on a construction site, negotiating, managing remote teams, getting promoted, and many others.

Session content addresses relevant topics within the industry and provides practical tools for attendees to implement at work right away. This year, AIA has combined continuing education with wellness activities, promoting the idea that health and professional development go hand in hand.

Although the architecture industry has historically struggled to retain women architects, more women today are finding ways to make the industry work for them. WLS exists to help you do just that.

Reframe, Rethink, Refresh


Registration can be found here and will remain open until August 30th or until the summit reaches capacity, whichever occurs first.

AIA members can use discount code AIAmember in order to receive the member rate during checkout.

Volunteer Opportunities:

There are currently over 80 opportunities for members to help out at the summit. Volunteers receive free admission to the event or activity at which they are helping out and those who volunteer for at least 6 hours will receive a 30% discount on sumitt registration.

How do I sign up?

  • Step 1: Use the following link to submit your contact information and agree to the waiver.

  • Step 2: Using this portal create an account to sign up for shifts to volunteer.

-Your account will give you access to all of our volunteer opportunities. This page will be your personal dashboard to view jobs, sign up or reschedule shifts, update profile information, and more.

As we get closer to the event more shifts and activities may become available and will be shown in this portal.

To receive 30% off conference registration, volunteers will need to fulfill a core requirement of 6 hours. You can fulfill this requirement however your schedule permits (i.e. in one block or spread out over the course of the summit). A registration link with a discount code will be sent after confirmation that you have signed-up for required number of hours.

To note, volunteering for ticketed summit events such as wellness activities, tours, or firm happy hours, secures your attendance at no additional cost to you. You will attend any ticketed events for which you volunteer for free. After signing up for the volunteer shift, you do not have to register for the event.

All volunteers will be required to attend the volunteer training that will take place Wednesday, September 11th at 6 pm at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis hotel. Dial-in information will be provided if you are unable to attend in person. Food will be provided.

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Female Focused Financial Planning with Sarah Madden
11:30 AM11:30

Female Focused Financial Planning with Sarah Madden

Sarah Madden.png


The world has changed, but many women's attitudes toward finance remains stuck in the patriarchal past. It's very important for women, regardless of their marital status — single, divorced, widowed or married — to take a much more active role in their financial lives.

Sarah Frieberg, Financial advisor with Principal Financial Group, realizes that financial wellness means different things to women and men. The increasing availability of education, coupled with shifting roles in the home for women, is not only changing women's lives but also reworking attitudes toward gender differences and equality. Traditional gender roles no longer retain much currency in contemporary households. Today more women are pursuing higher education, and female professionals and entrepreneurs are making great strides in business. Women are assuming more responsibility, such as managing careers and education in addition to family life.

We all may be planners, but Sarah asks the question – are your personal and business finances on course? By taking a more active role, we can gain more clarity, confidence and control of our lives. Empower yourself, and take control of your financial health with this seminar on financial planning. Questions encouraged!

About Sarah Frieberg:

Sarah Frieberg had financial “self-care” on her mind at an early age. From her first word of “moooney” to asking her mom to open a savings account for her at age 12, she has seen firsthand the power savings can have on overall wellbeing. Sarah, formalized her education in finance when she graduated from Drake University where she balanced three majors (Finance, Accounting and Marketing) with Division 1 volleyball and summer internships at Bankers Trust, Nationwide Insurance and Merrill Lynch.

After graduation, Sarah was accepted into an executive training program at Principal Financial group where she applied her education in structured rotations designed to accelerate her understanding of financial markets and risk-based solutions. For the last few years Sarah has been sharing the knowledge she’s earned, since her first savings account at age 12, through group seminars at local companies and organizations and with her customers in one on one coaching. She has a passion for helping women find financial empowerment.

Register Here!

Additional Details:

* Lunch will be provided by: In the Bag Corporate Cuisine. Please choose your lunch option at checkout *

The event will be held in Meeting Rooms #2/3, located on the first floor of the library.

Free underground parking is available at the Library, and can be accessed from Grand Avenue.

Water will be provided.

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The Best Practices: Implementing Policy in Architecture Firms
11:30 AM11:30

The Best Practices: Implementing Policy in Architecture Firms

  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join us for a moderated panel discussion about iaWia’s Best Practices Recommendations and engage in an honest discussion surrounding examples of adoption or difficulties with implementation of the BPR. Panelist from Iowa architecture firms will take a deep dive into company culture and the expectations and needs of the future workplace.


Tim Hickman, Principal - substance architecture
Sadie Kleppe, Partner - Simonson & Associates
Kerry Weig, Principal - INVISION
Sam Smith, Project Administrator - RDG Planning & Design


Jill Goedken, Owner - SPECctera

The luncheon will take place in the DuPont East room at the Botanical Gardens. Free parking is available and attendees receive a complimentary admission to the Gardens after the IAWIA event.

Lunch and beverages catered by Gateway Market will be provided.

Sign up here!


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Downtown Multi-Family Development Biking Tour
1:00 PM13:00

Downtown Multi-Family Development Biking Tour


May 14-18th is Bike to work week! IAWIA, in collaboration with ULI and CREW Iowa are sponsoring a bike tour of downtown Des Moines. Whether you bring your own bike or use one of the provided B-Cycles - you’ll get the opportunity to tour 6 of downtown Des Moines’ newest developments. The tour will end at Peace Tree Brewing Company for drinks, appetizers, and networking!

Time: 1:00-4:00 with Happy Hour from 4-6pm

1:00 Start at the Tea Room (8th and Walnut)

* B-Cycle’s will be available for pick up at the first location!

Tour 1) Tour The Wilkins (8th and Walnut)

Tour 2) Jackson Crossing, Nexus, Eagle View

Tour 3) Maxwell and 12th & Mulberry (121)

4:00 - 6:00 pm Social – Happy Hour at Peace Tree Brewing Company– appetizers and 1 cocktail will be provided as part of your registration!

Tickets cost $15. Please register here!


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Lead Like a Lady | March Education Event
11:30 AM11:30

Lead Like a Lady | March Education Event


Lead Like a Lady is a panel discussion with female executives in Architectural, Landscape Architecture, and Engineering firms. These accomplished women have worked their way from entry level to the C- suite. Come and learn about their path, their lessons learned, and their advice for women in the design profession.


Thursday, March 8th

11:30am - 1:00pm


Des Moines Central Library

1000 Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50309

  • Free parking is available in the lower level of the library, and can be accessed from Grand Avenue.

Guests:        iaWia Members and student members, non members



$15 for non members (LUNCH PROVIDED)


Anna Jones, owner, MODdesign


Brenda Nelson, PLA, Associate Principal – Confluence

Mindy Aust, AIA, Principal – substance architecture

Kelly Altes, PE, Associate Principal – IMEG

Melissa Spearman, Principal – DLR Group


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Networking 101 | July Education Event
11:30 AM11:30

Networking 101 | July Education Event

We're all networking all the time.  You do it in your workout class, while you’re grabbing a coffee and when you’re waiting for the bus.  Those who make it look effortless translate that casual attitude to their network and networking events.   

Join CREW Iowa and iaWia as we co-host "Networking 101" with Danny Beyer.  This fun and interactive luncheon will show how easy it is to network no matter how comfortable, or uncomfortable, you are with it.  Learn how to get through boring small talk and build relationships that will result in both professional and personal success; Find how easy it is to get out of bad conversations; Become conscious of the network you have and use simple strategies to utilize that network better. 

Danny Beyer

Danny Beyer is a networking specialist and bow tie aficionado. He helped organize the Des Moines Area LinkedIn Social – an event that draws hundreds of professionals from throughout the Greater Des Moines area to build real life connections.  In 2013 he co-founded the Bow Tie Ball, a charity event centered on bow ties and networking that has raised over $50,000 for Young Variety.  His first book, “The Ties that Bind:  Networking with Style” was published in 2015.

Danny is a keynote speaker on networking and building relationships. He has been a contributor to the Business Record and DSM Magazine and is currently the West Des Moines Chamber Board Chair.  In 2013 he was chosen as the Amy Jennings Young Professional of the Year through the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Young Professionals Connection and was selected to the 2014 Business Record 40 Under 40 group.

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