Skip to main content

Speakers

Click on the speaker photos to view their bios and download resources.

Julie Allison

Child Care Bureau Chief
HHS

Child Care Bureau Chief
HHS
jalliso1@dhs.state.ia.us

Julie Allison serves as the Department of Human Services Child Care Bureau Chief. She is a graduate of UNI and received a Master Degree in Public Administration from Drake University. Julie has extensive experience in child welfare and child care policy which has enabled her to lead initiatives which have resulted in positive outcomes for children and families.

She has worked in the non-profit, for profit, and state government (Wisconsin and Iowa) sectors. In her role as Child Care Bureau Chief she leads a team of staff who are responsible for child care regulation, quality child care projects such as Iowa Quality for Kids (IQ4K), Child Care Assistance and the Federal Child Care Development Block grant provisions.

Most recently, Julie worked closely with federal, state and local stakeholders to develop and implement a variety of strategies, including the Governor Reynold’s Child Care Task Force recommendations to address child care challenges. Julie enjoys golfing, time with her husband and family and pampering two mini golden doodles, Sadie and Gabe.

Panel 1

Angie Duncan

Senior Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Senior Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
angie@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a Senior Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance, Angie Rae Duncan provides consulting to child care center operators, owners, nonprofit boards, and communities, in all aspects of financial and business analysis and planning. Her knowledge of funding sources has helped centers obtain loans and tap into federal, state and local assistance programs. Angie holds a BS from Iowa State University in Community and Regional Planning, has coursework in Master of Community and Regional Planning, and has completed Heartland Economic Development Course.

She has served as a community volunteer and on the board of several nonprofit organizations. With experience in economic development, business consulting, grant writing and administration, Angie has assisted business owners and communities in all stages of their child care operations.

Company Resources below:

Panel 3

Pam Ellis

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
pam@iowaaeyc.org

Pam Ellis is a T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association for Education of Young Child (AEYC). She has been with the team for 15 years and has previous experience in child care administration, training, and consulting.  Pam works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources below:

TEACH Marketing Booklet 2022

WAGE Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Todd Green

Managing Member
Green CPA PLLC

Managing Member
Green CPA PLLC
todd@greencpa.pro

Todd Green is your Taxation and Wealth Management Advocate.  He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant as well as a licensed Wealth Advisor.  His experience ranges from helping to manage companies with gross sales of multi-million dollars to helping locally owned companies make the right decisions based on their goals, the current economy, and prevailing tax rules. If your company has top line sales of $100,000 or $1,000,000, Green CPA is here to help you maximize returns.

Company Resources below:

Daycare Meals

Green CPA Daycare Income Expense

Green CPA Daycare Household Inventory

Panel 3

Tracy Hitchcock

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group
tracy@capitol-benefits.com

Tracy is a Co-Owner and President of Capitol Benefits Group (CBG), an independent benefits agency located in Iowa’s capitol city of Des Moines. CBG takes a strategic approach to analyzing employee recruitment and retention needs and budget, then develops a targeted strategy to satisfy those needs and add value to your business with insurance solutions and HR support.

Not one program that we design looks identical to another because we customize and tailor our recommendations to each individual client.  And most importantly – we are independent and non-captive which means that we represent you, the client, as your benefits advocate and advisor. CBG is a member of the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NABIP).

NABIP is a large grassroots association headquartered in Washington D.C. dedicated to lobbying for meaningful solutions to improve the cost of healthcare and reduce the burdens placed on businesses and individuals across the United States and in Iowa. Being an active NABIP participant means that we represent the top one percent of benefit professionals in the insurance industry, and we are committed to professional development, education and advocacy on behalf of each client that we serve.

Company Resources below:

CBG at a Glance

Panel 2

Wendy Hoogeveen

Child Care Program Manager, Team Lead
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Child Care Program Manager, Team Lead
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
whoogev@dhs.state.ia.us

Wendy has been in the child care field for over twenty years in various capacities. She has worked in child care centers, owned and operated her own Child Development Home, taught in-service and community college courses in early childhood education and been a child care consultant for Child Care Resource and Referral. In 2015 Wendy became a member of the Child Care Bureau at HHS. She has worked with both federal and state policy as well as managing numerous child care initiatives for the State.

Panel 1

Rebekah Hungate

Financial Management Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa, Mid Sioux Opp.

Financial Management Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa, Mid Sioux Opp.
rhungate@midsioux.org

Rebekah Hungate is a Northwest Missouri State graduate. She has worked in early child care and education for many years. She has worked in all aspects of a child care center including teacher, cook, preschool classroom, and director. The last 12 years she has worked with Child Care Resource and Referral as a consultant and business development specialist. She has worked with homes, centers, preschool and communities on child care solutions. Now she is supporting childcare business by the new program Child Care Collaborative of Iowa Financial Management Consultants. Connect with her about her new program FMC@midsioux.org.

Company Resources Below:

108C benefits 

104C CCMS Application Fill

110C CCMS Provider SelectionTool

Panel 3

Mackenzie Johnson

WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
mjohnson@iowaaeyc.org

Mackenzie Johnson is a WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for almost two years and has previous experience in home visiting with Head Start. Mackenzie works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Debbie Kroksh

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
deborahk@firstchildrensfinance.org

Debbie Kroksh, Business Development Specialist As a Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance of Iowa, Debbie provides consulting to child care center operators, owners, nonprofit boards, and communities, in aspects of business analysis and planning. Debbie has over 28 years of experience in child care and education as a registered home provider, preschool teacher, and child care center director. Debbie acquired skills in the areas of enrollment, human resources, advertising, financial management, board involvement, building and playground design, grant writing, and fundraisers. Debbie earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Morningside College.

Company Resources Below:

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Panel 3

Haley Maffin

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children
hmaffin@iowaaeyc.org

Haley Maffin is a WAGE$ Counseling Specialist at Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for just over one year and has previous experience in child care and family support services. Haley works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation, and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Jana McCann

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
jmccann@iowaaeyc.org

Jana McCann is a WAGE$ Counseling Specialist at Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for two years and has previous experience in Child Care Administration. Jana works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Dana Miller

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
danam@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a member of the First Children’s Finance team, Dana brings over 20 years of customer service, marketing, training, and small business ownership experience. She provides training and coaching for in-home child care providers; as well as program coordination for First Children’s Finance’s Business and Financial Fundamentals© program. Dana honed her training skills as a Solutions Specialist with Inspiring Solutions in West Des Moines. Prior to that she owned her own marketing business for 10 years where she provided consultation to small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Dana earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Iowa State University.  She lives in a small town between Ames and Des Moines with her significant other, and is also where their three small grandchildren live.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3

Tom O'Meara

CEO
Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa

CEO
Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa
tom.omeara@iiaiowa.org

Tom O’Meara is the CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. Tom worked for the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services with the most recent title of Assistant Commissioner. Prior to the Insurance Division, Tom worked in claims for Allied/Nationwide. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Panel 2

Justin Mohning

VP Agency Strategic Officer
Central Insure

VP Agency Strategic Officer
Central Insure

Central Insure is owned by Central Bank. Justin has worked for Central Insure for the last nine years, starting as a sales agent and progressing to sales manager and agency strategic officer. Central Insure is a full-service agency that offers commercial P&C, business, personal home and auto, as well as employee benefits. Justin’s niche is specifically in commercial insurance and employee benefits. Justin’s favorite topic is employee benefits and individual health and life coverage.

With the ever-changing world of federal rules and regulations, Justin has found that providing detailed insight to regulations and coverage options has been extremely rewarding. Our goal at Central Insure is to provide solutions that offer our clients the best coverage for their own unique needs.

Panel 2

Doug Ommen

Insurance Commissioner
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services

Insurance Commissioner
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services
doug.ommen@iid.iowa.gov

Doug Ommen was appointed Iowa Insurance Commissioner in 2017. In his role as insurance commissioner, Ommen oversees the state regulation and supervision of all insurance business across the Hawkeye state. Prior to his appointment, Ommen served as the Interim Insurance Commissioner.

Commissioner Ommen’s dedication and desire for public service has spanned over the course of three decades and began when he worked in the Missouri attorney general’s office where he fought to protect consumers and fight fraud.Prior to joining the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Ommen served as Missouri’s insurance director from 2005-2008 and was instrumental in several key regulatory reforms.

Ommen joined the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services in August 2013 serving as deputy insurance commissioner until December 2016. Commissioner Ommen obtained his law degree from the Saint Louis University School of Law and is a licensed attorney in Iowa and Missouri. He and his wife Sharon, have two children and four grandchildren.

Panel 1

Ryan Page

Director of Child Care
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Director of Child Care
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
rpage@dhs.state.ia.us

Ryan Page is the Director of Child Care for the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Ryan has been with DHS/HHS since 2007 and has worked in both child protection and child care policy. Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Iowa State University, a Masters of Criminal Justice from St. Ambrose and just recently obtained her master’s in Public Administration from Drake University. Ryan has also completed the White-Riley-Peterson Fellowship and holds certification as a Certified Public Manager and credentialing with the National Association of Regulatory Administration.

Panel 1

McKenzie Parker

T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC)

T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC)
mparker@iowaaeyc.org

McKenzie Parker is the T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for almost three years and has previous experience in family/mental health support and as an early childhood classroom teacher. McKenzie works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Sheri Penney

Employer Engagement Director
The Iowa Women's Foundation

Employer Engagement Director
The Iowa Women’s Foundation
sheri@iawf.org

Sheri Penney is a native Iowan raised in Williamsburg and now lives in Osage. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Iowa. Recently, Sheri was the Economic Development Director for Mitchell County.

She has experience working with businesses of all sizes and recently formed a team to look at ways to increase the availability of quality affordable child care in the county. Sheri has also been a child care provider and brings early care experience and knowledge to the position. She has extensive experience working with boards, committees, and volunteers.

She is described as a collaborator, connector, and visionary who is an excellent communicator, well received, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She is currently working with over 130 businesses across Iowa on child care solutions. Sheri is active in her community as president-elect of the Osage Rotary. She is a member of PDI and attended the Heartland Economic Development Course.

Company Resources Below:

IWF 2022 Employer Engagement Director Info

 IWF Child Care Partnerships

Compiled Toolkit

Panel 1

Jacqueline Penning

Financial Management Consultant Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa

Financial Management Consultant Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa
jpenning@midsioux.org

I have a BS degree in Child Development and Family Studies fromArizona State University with a focus on Early Intervention. I have worked in Early Childhood Education for over 20 years. My past experience includes being a Child Development Specialist, Preschool Teacher, QRS Assessor, CCR&R Consultant, and a Home Child Care Provider. My passion is working with children 0-3 years old, especially children with developmental disabilities or delays. I believe that all children should receive love, education, and quality child care. I also feel that everyone that works in Early Childhood Education should have access to trainings, resources, and support they need to work with our children. I am so excited about our new Financial Management Consultant program and I cannot wait to work with all the amazing providers in Iowa!

Barb Randall

Employee Benefits Strategist
AssuredPartners

Employee Benefits Strategist
AssuredPartners
barb.randall@assuredpartners.com

Originally from Camanche, Iowa, Barb Randall attended the University of Iowa, where she got her degree in journalism and mass communications. Barb spent her free time at Iowa as a member of the Hawkeye volleyball team for four seasons, earning several accolades.

She opened Benefit Plan Advisors in Cedar Rapids office in 2013. It was baptism by fire as two weeks after she started her business, the Affordable Care Act marketplace website issues happened, and consumers had more questions about insurance than ever. With a background in banking, operations, and building teams, Barb’s experience and “just keep swimming” philosophy has assisted her in building her book of business one client at a time over the past few years.

In 2017, Barb joined Group Benefit Partners, who strategically joined Assured Partners in 2022, to increase market share for group benefits in the Cedar Rapids metro area. Barb, and her husband, Dan, live on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids. Outside of work, Barb is active in Rotary, and volunteers many hours coaching kids in volleyball and baseball. She is a board member of NABIP – Iowa Chapter, Rider’s Club of America, and is on the University of Iowa Varsity Club Advisory committee. Barb works with small and large business health insurance, as well as individual coverage.

Panel 2

Sonya Sellmeyer

Consumer Advocacy Officer
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services

Consumer Advocacy Officer
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services
ssellmeyer@iid.iowa.gov

Sonya attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a B.S. in Sociology, and Kirkwood Community College where she obtained her paralegal degree. Sonya worked at the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services for nine years assisting Iowa consumers with investment complaints before moving to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office where she worked as an investigator on cases involving the civil commitment of sex offenders.

In 2017, Sonya returned to the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services and was later appointed as the consumer advocacy officer for the division. In her current role she advocates for Iowa consumers and is passionate about her duties involving consumer outreach and education.

Panel 1

Heidi Schlueter

Iowa Director
First Children's Finance

Iowa Director
First Children’s Finance
heidi@firstchildrensfinance.org

Heidi Schlueter, Iowa DirectorAs Iowa Director for First Children’s Finance, Heidi Schlueter leads operations to improve, grow, and sustain child care in Iowa. Heidi and the Iowa Team build partnerships and participate in child care business initiatives that improve the supply and sustainability of excellent child care.

Heidi has served on the Iowa State Child Care Advisory Committee for over 15 years as well as numerous non-profit boards and committees devoted to quality care for young children. Heidi’s educational background includes a BA in Economics and an MA in Education specializing in Early Childhood.

Prior to her current position, Heidi served for over 20 years in education, leadership, management, and fund development; including positions as fund development director, Head Start/Early Head Start director, child care center director, college lecturer/administrator, teacher, and as a family child care provider.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3

Scott Schroeder

President/Agent
Schroeder & Associates, LLC

President/Agent
Schroeder & Associates, LLC
scott@schroeder-associates.com

Scott Schroeder has been actively involved in the insurance industry since 1992, opening his own agency, Schroeder & Associates, in 2011. He is licensed in health, life, accident, property, casualty, and commercial lines. Schroeder & Associates is a full-service independent agency located in Mechanicsville, Iowa.

The agency has specialized in health and Medicare insurance solutions for both individual clients and employer groups since 2011. They strive to help clients navigate and find the appropriate insurance plans to best meet their needs. The staff at Schroeder & Associates has the experience to provide the knowledge and market wisdom clients need to effectively manage their insurance plans. They believe that experience, competitive pricing, and exceptional service wins and retains clients over time. They take pride in providing small town service while having vast resources with multiple insurance carriers, human resource tools, and compliance guidance.

Scott has been certified on the Affordable Care Act plans since they were introduced in January of 2014. He is a member of the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (formerly NAHU), Iowa Association of Health Underwriters Board member and currently serves on the IABIP Program committee. Scott was awarded the IAHU Member of the Year in 2022. Scott is an active volunteer in the community with the following organizations: Mechanicsville Lions Club, Mechanicsville Community Cupboard Food Pantry, Pioneer Terrace Board, Red Oak Church & Cemetery Board, and in his church. If you would like to contact Schroeder & Associates for your insurance needs, you can reach them by calling 563-432-7800 or visiting their website at www.schroeder-associates.com.

Panel 2

Tierney Sothman

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
tsothman@iowaaeyc.org

Tierney Sothman is a T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for one year and has previous experience in childcare.  Tierney works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation, and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

TEACH Marketing Booklet 2022

WAGE Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Marcie Strouse

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Marcie brings 20+ years of experience as an independent agent in the benefits industry and is a Partner at Capitol Benefits Group. Areas of expertise for her are working with employer groups to consult, educate and service their employee benefits as well as supporting the Medicare population. In 2018, Governor Reynolds appointed Marcie to the Medical Assistance Advisory Council (MAAC) for the State of Iowa working with Medicaid and MCOs. She is currently the President-Elect for NABIP Iowa, Co-Director of Advocacy for NAWBO & sits on the Leadership Council for NFIB.

Panel 2

Kristie Vasey

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
KristieV@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance, Kristie Vasey provides training and coaching for child care center directors and home providers; as well as program coordination for First Children’s Finance’s Business and Financial Fundamentals© program. Kristie holds a BS from Iowa State University in Child and Family Services. Prior to First Children’s Finance, Kristie has worked for over 20 years in the early childhood field; including positions as a child care center director, quality director, teacher, trainer, and CCR&R Child Care Consultant.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3

Julie Allison

Child Care Bureau Chief
HHS

Child Care Bureau Chief
HHS
jalliso1@dhs.state.ia.us

Julie Allison serves as the Department of Human Services Child Care Bureau Chief. She is a graduate of UNI and received a Master Degree in Public Administration from Drake University. Julie has extensive experience in child welfare and child care policy which has enabled her to lead initiatives which have resulted in positive outcomes for children and families.

She has worked in the non-profit, for profit, and state government (Wisconsin and Iowa) sectors. In her role as Child Care Bureau Chief she leads a team of staff who are responsible for child care regulation, quality child care projects such as Iowa Quality for Kids (IQ4K), Child Care Assistance and the Federal Child Care Development Block grant provisions.

Most recently, Julie worked closely with federal, state and local stakeholders to develop and implement a variety of strategies, including the Governor Reynold’s Child Care Task Force recommendations to address child care challenges. Julie enjoys golfing, time with her husband and family and pampering two mini golden doodles, Sadie and Gabe.

Panel 1

Wendy Hoogeveen

Child Care Program Manager, Team Lead
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Child Care Program Manager, Team Lead
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
whoogev@dhs.state.ia.us

Wendy has been in the child care field for over twenty years in various capacities. She has worked in child care centers, owned and operated her own Child Development Home, taught in-service and community college courses in early childhood education and been a child care consultant for Child Care Resource and Referral. In 2015 Wendy became a member of the Child Care Bureau at HHS. She has worked with both federal and state policy as well as managing numerous child care initiatives for the State.

Panel 1

Doug Ommen

Insurance Commissioner
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services

Insurance Commissioner
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services
doug.ommen@iid.iowa.gov

Doug Ommen was appointed Iowa Insurance Commissioner in 2017. In his role as insurance commissioner, Ommen oversees the state regulation and supervision of all insurance business across the Hawkeye state. Prior to his appointment, Ommen served as the Interim Insurance Commissioner.

Commissioner Ommen’s dedication and desire for public service has spanned over the course of three decades and began when he worked in the Missouri attorney general’s office where he fought to protect consumers and fight fraud.Prior to joining the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Ommen served as Missouri’s insurance director from 2005-2008 and was instrumental in several key regulatory reforms.

Ommen joined the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services in August 2013 serving as deputy insurance commissioner until December 2016. Commissioner Ommen obtained his law degree from the Saint Louis University School of Law and is a licensed attorney in Iowa and Missouri. He and his wife Sharon, have two children and four grandchildren.

Panel 1

Ryan Page

Director of Child Care
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Director of Child Care
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
rpage@dhs.state.ia.us

Ryan Page is the Director of Child Care for the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Ryan has been with DHS/HHS since 2007 and has worked in both child protection and child care policy. Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Iowa State University, a Masters of Criminal Justice from St. Ambrose and just recently obtained her master’s in Public Administration from Drake University. Ryan has also completed the White-Riley-Peterson Fellowship and holds certification as a Certified Public Manager and credentialing with the National Association of Regulatory Administration.

Panel 1

Sonya Sellmeyer

Consumer Advocacy Officer
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services

Consumer Advocacy Officer
Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services
ssellmeyer@iid.iowa.gov

Sonya attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a B.S. in Sociology, and Kirkwood Community College where she obtained her paralegal degree. Sonya worked at the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services for nine years assisting Iowa consumers with investment complaints before moving to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office where she worked as an investigator on cases involving the civil commitment of sex offenders.

In 2017, Sonya returned to the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services and was later appointed as the consumer advocacy officer for the division. In her current role she advocates for Iowa consumers and is passionate about her duties involving consumer outreach and education.

Panel 1

Sheri Penney

Employer Engagement Director
The Iowa Women's Foundation

Employer Engagement Director
The Iowa Women’s Foundation
sheri@iawf.org

Sheri Penney is a native Iowan raised in Williamsburg and now lives in Osage. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Iowa. Recently, Sheri was the Economic Development Director for Mitchell County.

She has experience working with businesses of all sizes and recently formed a team to look at ways to increase the availability of quality affordable child care in the county. Sheri has also been a child care provider and brings early care experience and knowledge to the position. She has extensive experience working with boards, committees, and volunteers.

She is described as a collaborator, connector, and visionary who is an excellent communicator, well received, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She is currently working with over 130 businesses across Iowa on child care solutions. Sheri is active in her community as president-elect of the Osage Rotary. She is a member of PDI and attended the Heartland Economic Development Course.

Company Resources Below:

IWF 2022 Employer Engagement Director Info

 IWF Child Care Partnerships

Compiled Toolkit

Panel 1

Tracy Hitchcock

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group
tracy@capitol-benefits.com

Tracy is a Co-Owner and President of Capitol Benefits Group (CBG), an independent benefits agency located in Iowa’s capitol city of Des Moines. CBG takes a strategic approach to analyzing employee recruitment and retention needs and budget, then develops a targeted strategy to satisfy those needs and add value to your business with insurance solutions and HR support.

Not one program that we design looks identical to another because we customize and tailor our recommendations to each individual client.  And most importantly – we are independent and non-captive which means that we represent you, the client, as your benefits advocate and advisor. CBG is a member of the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NABIP).

NABIP is a large grassroots association headquartered in Washington D.C. dedicated to lobbying for meaningful solutions to improve the cost of healthcare and reduce the burdens placed on businesses and individuals across the United States and in Iowa. Being an active NABIP participant means that we represent the top one percent of benefit professionals in the insurance industry, and we are committed to professional development, education and advocacy on behalf of each client that we serve.

Company Resources below:

CBG at a Glance

Panel 2

Tom O'Meara

CEO
Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa

CEO
Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa
tom.omeara@iiaiowa.org

Tom O’Meara is the CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. Tom worked for the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services with the most recent title of Assistant Commissioner. Prior to the Insurance Division, Tom worked in claims for Allied/Nationwide. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Panel 2

Justin Mohning

VP Agency Strategic Officer
Central Insure

VP Agency Strategic Officer
Central Insure

Central Insure is owned by Central Bank. Justin has worked for Central Insure for the last nine years, starting as a sales agent and progressing to sales manager and agency strategic officer. Central Insure is a full-service agency that offers commercial P&C, business, personal home and auto, as well as employee benefits. Justin’s niche is specifically in commercial insurance and employee benefits. Justin’s favorite topic is employee benefits and individual health and life coverage.

With the ever-changing world of federal rules and regulations, Justin has found that providing detailed insight to regulations and coverage options has been extremely rewarding. Our goal at Central Insure is to provide solutions that offer our clients the best coverage for their own unique needs.

Panel 2

Barb Randall

Employee Benefits Strategist
AssuredPartners

Employee Benefits Strategist
AssuredPartners
barb.randall@assuredpartners.com

Originally from Camanche, Iowa, Barb Randall attended the University of Iowa, where she got her degree in journalism and mass communications. Barb spent her free time at Iowa as a member of the Hawkeye volleyball team for four seasons, earning several accolades.

She opened Benefit Plan Advisors in Cedar Rapids office in 2013. It was baptism by fire as two weeks after she started her business, the Affordable Care Act marketplace website issues happened, and consumers had more questions about insurance than ever. With a background in banking, operations, and building teams, Barb’s experience and “just keep swimming” philosophy has assisted her in building her book of business one client at a time over the past few years.

In 2017, Barb joined Group Benefit Partners, who strategically joined Assured Partners in 2022, to increase market share for group benefits in the Cedar Rapids metro area. Barb, and her husband, Dan, live on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids. Outside of work, Barb is active in Rotary, and volunteers many hours coaching kids in volleyball and baseball. She is a board member of NABIP – Iowa Chapter, Rider’s Club of America, and is on the University of Iowa Varsity Club Advisory committee. Barb works with small and large business health insurance, as well as individual coverage.

Panel 2

Scott Schroeder

President/Agent
Schroeder & Associates, LLC

President/Agent
Schroeder & Associates, LLC
scott@schroeder-associates.com

Scott Schroeder has been actively involved in the insurance industry since 1992, opening his own agency, Schroeder & Associates, in 2011. He is licensed in health, life, accident, property, casualty, and commercial lines. Schroeder & Associates is a full-service independent agency located in Mechanicsville, Iowa.

The agency has specialized in health and Medicare insurance solutions for both individual clients and employer groups since 2011. They strive to help clients navigate and find the appropriate insurance plans to best meet their needs. The staff at Schroeder & Associates has the experience to provide the knowledge and market wisdom clients need to effectively manage their insurance plans. They believe that experience, competitive pricing, and exceptional service wins and retains clients over time. They take pride in providing small town service while having vast resources with multiple insurance carriers, human resource tools, and compliance guidance.

Scott has been certified on the Affordable Care Act plans since they were introduced in January of 2014. He is a member of the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (formerly NAHU), Iowa Association of Health Underwriters Board member and currently serves on the IABIP Program committee. Scott was awarded the IAHU Member of the Year in 2022. Scott is an active volunteer in the community with the following organizations: Mechanicsville Lions Club, Mechanicsville Community Cupboard Food Pantry, Pioneer Terrace Board, Red Oak Church & Cemetery Board, and in his church. If you would like to contact Schroeder & Associates for your insurance needs, you can reach them by calling 563-432-7800 or visiting their website at www.schroeder-associates.com.

Panel 2

Marcie Strouse

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Partner
Capitol Benefits Group

Marcie brings 20+ years of experience as an independent agent in the benefits industry and is a Partner at Capitol Benefits Group. Areas of expertise for her are working with employer groups to consult, educate and service their employee benefits as well as supporting the Medicare population. In 2018, Governor Reynolds appointed Marcie to the Medical Assistance Advisory Council (MAAC) for the State of Iowa working with Medicaid and MCOs. She is currently the President-Elect for NABIP Iowa, Co-Director of Advocacy for NAWBO & sits on the Leadership Council for NFIB.

Panel 2

Angie Duncan

Senior Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Senior Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
angie@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a Senior Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance, Angie Rae Duncan provides consulting to child care center operators, owners, nonprofit boards, and communities, in all aspects of financial and business analysis and planning. Her knowledge of funding sources has helped centers obtain loans and tap into federal, state and local assistance programs. Angie holds a BS from Iowa State University in Community and Regional Planning, has coursework in Master of Community and Regional Planning, and has completed Heartland Economic Development Course.

She has served as a community volunteer and on the board of several nonprofit organizations. With experience in economic development, business consulting, grant writing and administration, Angie has assisted business owners and communities in all stages of their child care operations.

Company Resources below:

Panel 3

Pam Ellis

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
pam@iowaaeyc.org

Pam Ellis is a T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association for Education of Young Child (AEYC). She has been with the team for 15 years and has previous experience in child care administration, training, and consulting.  Pam works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources below:

TEACH Marketing Booklet 2022

WAGE Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Todd Green

Managing Member
Green CPA PLLC

Managing Member
Green CPA PLLC
todd@greencpa.pro

Todd Green is your Taxation and Wealth Management Advocate.  He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant as well as a licensed Wealth Advisor.  His experience ranges from helping to manage companies with gross sales of multi-million dollars to helping locally owned companies make the right decisions based on their goals, the current economy, and prevailing tax rules. If your company has top line sales of $100,000 or $1,000,000, Green CPA is here to help you maximize returns.

Company Resources below:

Panel 3

Rebekah Hungate

Financial Management Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa, Mid Sioux Opp.

Financial Management Supervisor
Child Care Collaborative of Iowa, Mid Sioux Opp.
rhungate@midsioux.org

Rebekah Hungate is a Northwest Missouri State graduate. She has worked in early child care and education for many years. She has worked in all aspects of a child care center including teacher, cook, preschool classroom, and director. The last 12 years she has worked with Child Care Resource and Referral as a consultant and business development specialist. She has worked with homes, centers, preschool and communities on child care solutions. Now she is supporting childcare business by the new program Child Care Collaborative of Iowa Financial Management Consultants. Connect with her about her new program FMC@midsioux.org.

Company Resources Below:

108C benefits 

104C CCMS Application Fill

110C CCMS Provider SelectionTool

Panel 3

Mackenzie Johnson

WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
mjohnson@iowaaeyc.org

Mackenzie Johnson is a WAGE$ and PAEYS Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for almost two years and has previous experience in home visiting with Head Start. Mackenzie works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Debbie Kroksh

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
deborahk@firstchildrensfinance.org

Debbie Kroksh, Business Development Specialist As a Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance of Iowa, Debbie provides consulting to child care center operators, owners, nonprofit boards, and communities, in aspects of business analysis and planning. Debbie has over 28 years of experience in child care and education as a registered home provider, preschool teacher, and child care center director. Debbie acquired skills in the areas of enrollment, human resources, advertising, financial management, board involvement, building and playground design, grant writing, and fundraisers. Debbie earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Morningside College.

Company Resources Below:

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Panel 3

Haley Maffin

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children
hmaffin@iowaaeyc.org

Haley Maffin is a WAGE$ Counseling Specialist at Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for just over one year and has previous experience in child care and family support services. Haley works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation, and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Jana McCann

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

WAGE$ Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
jmccann@iowaaeyc.org

Jana McCann is a WAGE$ Counseling Specialist at Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for two years and has previous experience in Child Care Administration. Jana works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Dana Miller

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
danam@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a member of the First Children’s Finance team, Dana brings over 20 years of customer service, marketing, training, and small business ownership experience. She provides training and coaching for in-home child care providers; as well as program coordination for First Children’s Finance’s Business and Financial Fundamentals© program. Dana honed her training skills as a Solutions Specialist with Inspiring Solutions in West Des Moines. Prior to that she owned her own marketing business for 10 years where she provided consultation to small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Dana earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Iowa State University.  She lives in a small town between Ames and Des Moines with her significant other, and is also where their three small grandchildren live.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3

McKenzie Parker

T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC)

T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator
Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC)
mparker@iowaaeyc.org

McKenzie Parker is the T.E.A.C.H. Coordinator at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for almost three years and has previous experience in family/mental health support and as an early childhood classroom teacher. McKenzie works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

FY23 WAGE Booklet

TEACH Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Heidi Schlueter

Iowa Director
First Children's Finance

Iowa Director
First Children’s Finance
heidi@firstchildrensfinance.org

Heidi Schlueter, Iowa DirectorAs Iowa Director for First Children’s Finance, Heidi Schlueter leads operations to improve, grow, and sustain child care in Iowa. Heidi and the Iowa Team build partnerships and participate in child care business initiatives that improve the supply and sustainability of excellent child care.

Heidi has served on the Iowa State Child Care Advisory Committee for over 15 years as well as numerous non-profit boards and committees devoted to quality care for young children. Heidi’s educational background includes a BA in Economics and an MA in Education specializing in Early Childhood.

Prior to her current position, Heidi served for over 20 years in education, leadership, management, and fund development; including positions as fund development director, Head Start/Early Head Start director, child care center director, college lecturer/administrator, teacher, and as a family child care provider.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3

Tierney Sothman

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC

T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist
Iowa AEYC
tsothman@iowaaeyc.org

Tierney Sothman is a T.E.A.C.H. Counseling Specialist at the Iowa Association of the Education of Young Children (AEYC). She has been with the team for one year and has previous experience in childcare.  Tierney works to serve the early childhood workforce by helping individuals increase their education, compensation, and retention in the field.

Company Resources Below:

TEACH Marketing Booklet 2022

WAGE Marketing Booklet

Panel 3

Kristie Vasey

Business Development Specialist
First Children's Finance

Business Development Specialist
First Children’s Finance
KristieV@firstchildrensfinance.org

As a Business Development Specialist for First Children’s Finance, Kristie Vasey provides training and coaching for child care center directors and home providers; as well as program coordination for First Children’s Finance’s Business and Financial Fundamentals© program. Kristie holds a BS from Iowa State University in Child and Family Services. Prior to First Children’s Finance, Kristie has worked for over 20 years in the early childhood field; including positions as a child care center director, quality director, teacher, trainer, and CCR&R Child Care Consultant.

Company Resources Below:

First Childrens Finance Programs Services

Business Financial Fundamentals Brochure

Panel 3