Women in Safety Conference

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Women in Safety Conference

Iowa Women in Safety Conference 2021: Finding Your Balance

Take a break from your busy day and find your balance at the Iowa Women in Safety Conference. The day will be filled with training, motivation, and information geared specifically toward women safety professionals. Vendors with women’s PPE will also be available at the conference.

Come join us October 21, 2021 for an inspiring day to connect, engage, and learn with other women in safety!

Update 8/16/21 - Award nominations are now open! It's time to recognize the 2021 Safety Woman of the Year and the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations are due no later than September 10, 2021.ce_women_safety_conference_logo_2021.jpg

Register Now Submit a Nomination

Date: October 21, 2021

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Fee: $40 per person

Location: Kirkwood Continuing Education Training Center
101 50th Ave SW., Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Some sessions can be attended virtually via Zoom.

How To Register:

Register Online

Or call us at 319-398-1022.

Celebrate the magnificent accomplishments of remarkable women in safety who are dedicated to making workplaces safe and healthy for Iowa workers. There are two awards that are open to nominations:

2021 Safety Woman of the Year

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

Do you know someone who deserves recognition?

Click the link below for submission guidelines.

View Nomination Guidelines

Please submit your nomination no later than September 10, 2021.

The Kirkwood Continuing Education Training Center is located at 101 50th Ave SW., Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. This facility is 0.5 miles north of Kirkwood Community College, and is on the corner of Highway 30 and Bowling St. SW.

Click here to view a campus map.

*Note: Some sessions can be attended virtually via Zoom.

Continuing Education Training Center Map from Main Campus

Conference Schedule

Log in virtually or check in at KCETC!

Opening Remarks

Speaker: Celina Peerman, Ph.D.

Viewable Live and via Zoom

Sometimes the balancing act of continuous change feels more like a tug-of-war in many directions. Let's talk about what we can do to move forward stronger and better together as professionals in safety! This upbeat and interactive session will look at practical steps to stay positive during uncertainty, as well as how to prioritize and connect even more with your co-workers and colleagues. Take away a renewed passion, recharged for the work ahead, with new insight into opportunity for growth!

About Celina:

Celina Peerman, Ph.D., serves as an organizational behavior specialist with over 25 years of experience from front-line to senior-level positions, in a wide range of industries. She is passionate about engaging our human resources in new ways in order to achieve even better organizational results. Celina’s focus is to provide quality training and services that directly contributes to better service for all stakeholders, and in particular, the retention of front-line staff and strength of first-line supervisors. Her passion is for how people behave at work: the good, the bad, and the worst. She has seen hundreds of groups in Eastern Iowa alone and continues to bring that learning to our classroom with real life examples, tools to apply, and humor.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track (Live only)

Building Blocks to Career Success: Enhance and Advance Your Career in Intentional Ways

Speaker: Megan Crawford

Whether you are an active job seeker, young professional, or seasoned safety expert, creating a professional online presence and brand is an important aspect to advance your career. In this interactive session, you will learn ways to create a professional and authentic presence that is in alignment with your values, strengths, knowledge, and skills so you can engage with others in meaningful and intentional ways online and offline. Additionally, you will learn about common roadblocks that can often limit women in advancing their careers. Gain valuable perspective shifts and concrete tools to overcome these challenges to propel your career to a new level.

About Megan:

Megan has held various roles within her career that has focused on helping others one-on-one as well as in teams and organizations within the fields of higher education, counseling and life coaching, and nonprofit management. Over the past 15 years, she has utilized her strengths and skills of effective communication, relationship building, empowering coaching, intentional team building, and dynamic leadership to help others reach their personal, professional, and organizational goals at Grinnell College, United Way of Jasper County, Waterlily Life Coaching, and. Kirkwood Community College, She currently works at Mount Mercy University as an admission recruiter for graduate and adult programs.

Safety Track (Live/Zoom)

Basic Ergonomics

Speaker: Balanced Fitness & Health

As people are working from home or at work, those aches and pains are creeping in! Learn easy tips and tricks to help ease the ergonomic stress. You will learn about work station improvements and will participate in different stretches to help reduce fatigue and improve productivity - be ready to follow along! Discover and practice effective stretches to help reduce fatigue and increase productivity and alleviate those everyday aches and pains.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track (Live only)

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Speaker: Tracy McDowell

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of the hottest personal development topics in today's workplace and can be a game-changer on how supervisors and coworkers relate to each other. Understanding EQ is essential to one's personal and professional success. Learn how to get productive results when emotions are controlled, avoid reactive emotions you might regret, and manage others behavior through EQ.

About Tracy:

Tracy McDowell has been with Airgas for 28 years and is currently the Area Vice President for the North Central Region. She began her career in Fairfield, Iowa, as an HR Manager for three “hub” companies. Shortly after the 1998 Repositioning, she was promoted to what was then a Division Vice President, overseeing 9 branch locations in Eastern Iowa and approximately $18M in sales. Through subsequent acquisitions, her area later expanded into Wisconsin and Nebraska. In 2004, Tracy was promoted into the newly appointed Vice President of Medical for the North Central Region, responsible for integrating the Puritan Medical business into the regional company. In 2009, Tracy moved back into the industrial arena into her current role that services Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. From 2009 to 2014, the area doubled in revenue from $60M to $120M and expanded to 21 branches with 3 scratch start locations. In 2015, the area was split into what is now the Central and Western Areas in NOC. Tracy is currently the AVP for the Central Area, with $57M in revenue, 10 branch locations, and 78 associates. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.

Safety Track (Live/Zoom)

Safety Initiatives: How to Get Your Safety Culture Going

Speaker: Kristy Ryan

The safety of culture in an organization is the responsibility of all company stakeholders and should be viewed as an ongoing process. Companies with a true safety culture never stop trying to improve. Such commitment results in a positive attitude towards safety which leads to a reduction in injuries and accidents. In this presentation, we will discuss how to get started in building a strong and effective safety culture.

About Kristy:

Kristy Ryan brings several years’ experience delivering loss control and risk management services to commercial insurance clients throughout Eastern Iowa. She enjoys building meaningful relationships through delivering value-added support and services. She works to help reduce claims through risk analysis, mitigation, and training. She educates and helps develop programming for her clients on OSHA & DOT compliance and safety & workers’ compensation best practices with the goal of reducing risk and saving on the overall cost of insurance. Kristy is an OSHA Outreach Certified 10- and 30-hour Trainer and is a Northeast Iowa Chapter leader for the American Society of Safety Professionals.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track (Live only)

Finding Your Balance Day to Day

Speaker: Amy Roosa

Do you feel like you can never achieve a balance between work and personal life? Do you feel like all you do is work, or think about work? In this session, speaker Amy Roosa will share how you can start setting boundaries with work and prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. She’ll share her personal journey of what lead her to leave a high-stress, demanding position in the midst of a pandemic after a dire health crisis made her re-evaluate her priorities with work and her career. This session will provide you with many useful resources to start shaping your own individual plan and path to finding a balance that works for you.

About Amy:

Amy Roosa has worked the last 18 years in the field of safety, ranging from construction to general industry, and currently works with Amerigas as their Regional Safety Manager. She has worked with organizations such as the National Safety Council, helping create the Government and Public Sector Division, and has worked with the ASSP Hawkeye Chapter, most recently as Vice President. Her biggest accomplishment to safety is here in Iowa as co-creator and founder of the Iowa Women in Safety Conference. She is a regular speaker at conferences ranging on topics from training to leadership. 

Safety Track (Live/Zoom)

Building and Cultivating "The Safety Habit" in Yourself and Others

Speaker: Abby Ferri

The habit of safety is the elusive "common sense" that safety professionals chase. We say it doesn't exist, but we can influence its existence. Once "The Safety Habit" is built or discovered, no one can take it away from you or the person you have impacted. This session is your chance to learn from a total safety nerd and receive encouragement to listen to your own internal voice and nurture your own "Safety Habit" that's been there all along. 

About Abby:

Abby Ferri, CSP is a Senior Risk Control Consultant for Gallagher providing risk management solutions for multiple industries, including construction. She is the Vice Chair of the ASSP/ISEA Z590.6 Technical Report Committee on Guidance for the Fit and Selection of Personal Protective Equipment and Apparel Available for Women.  Abby is the Past-President of the Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), and Past-Administrator of the Women in Safety Excellence common interest group of the ASSP. She is a frequent conference speaker, podcast host, and guest, and is the author of "The Safety Habit," available on Amazon Kindle.

Lunch and a Demo for the Safety Track

Professional Development Track (Live only)

Managing Safety and Conflict

Speaker: Vapordeal Sanders, Ph.D.

This session intends to help safety workers better manage conflict in their work settings. Conflict is not always avoidable in the workplace; however, if we choose to avoid conflict, it should be done with awareness of it being one of five tactical options versus being driven by fear or complacency. Come understand the key terms and key factors related to conflict to help improve your methods of managing effectively.

About Vapordeal:

Vapordeal Sanders, Ph.D., has enjoyed applying her field of academic study of speech communication in corporate, academic, and spiritual settings. She has worked for Control Data Corporation in Marketing Communication, 3M Company in Training and Development, and is considered the first leader and one of the founders of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Currently, Dr. Sanders is a part-time professor at Kirkwood Community College and Upper Iowa University. She is also the founder and owner of Dr. Vapordeal Sanders and Asso. Proprietorship, which focuses on speech communication empowerment interventions in the form of consulting, keynote speaking, and seminars/workshops.

Safety Track (Live/Zoom)

Adapting Safety Training to New (Post-COVID) Work Places

Panel Discussion

What challenges are you facing when adapting safety training and your safety culture to the “new normal?” Our guest panel will answer questions and share their experiences of how they’ve adapted, as well as share suggestions and ideas with the group. 

Break and View Vendors

Speaker: Cherrie Spurlin

A title is just a title. It tells others what you do, but not who you are. A title can give you authority. . . but authority does not make you a leader. Anyone can decide to be a leader no matter where they sit. It is time to evaluate your purpose and lead.

About Cherrie:

Meet Cherrie Spurlin, an all-around enthusiastic leader. Cherrie is an Executive Director for the Management Resource Association (MRA). Those who have worked with Cherrie describe her as a very optimistic person.  Cherrie believes people are a company's greatest asset, and true leadership is about taking the time to mentor, coach, and develop others. Cherrie brings over 16 years of experience leading teams in multiple industries. She is currently a doctoral student in Strategic Leadership and a certified human resource professional. Cherrie is an Advisory Board Member for the Salvation Army and is passionate about volunteering in the community. She also led a human resources department which was a recipient of the Corridor Business Journal's Award in Nonprofit Talent Engagement.

Our Sponsors

Advanced Sponsor


Breakfast Sponsor
Air Gas


Award Sponsor



Basic Sponsor

Unity Point        Hawkeye Fire & Safety

Industrial Scientific    Cintas

        Iowa Illinois Safety Council            Triax