Women in Safety Conference

Women in Safety Conference

Iowa Women in Safety Conference 2022: Resilient and Ready - How to Thrive Through Change

Take a break from your busy day and gain tools to become resilient and learn to thrive through change at the Iowa Women in Safety Conference. The day will be filled with training, motivation, and information geared specifically toward women safety professionals. Choose your path with Professional Development or Safety tracks to customize your experience. Vendors with women’s PPE will also be available at the conference.

Come join us October 20, 2022 for an inspiring day to connect, engage, and learn with other women in safety!

We will also take the time to recognize the 2022 Safety Woman of the Year and the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominate a candidate today! Nominations are due no later than October 3, 2022.ce_women_safety_conference_logo_2021.jpg

Register Now Submit a Nomination

Date: October 20, 2022

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Fee: $40 per person

Location: Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, IA 52233

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:

2022 Safety Woman of the Year

2022 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 October 3, 2022.

The Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center is located at 1770 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, IA 52233. This facility is located near I-380 taking exit 25.

Conference Schedule

Arrive at KCETC to check in for the day.

Opening Remarks

Speaker: Celina Peerman, Ph.D.

The responsibilities, priorities, and weight of leadership are heavy and exciting at the same time. Let's examine the steps to take from where you are to where you want to be, whether it is promotion, being a better leader, or juggling multiple priorities. We know that change will happen but being change ready is a choice. Make the next move with more insight and tools to make it your best step across the gap yet to reach your goals. 

About Celina:

Celina Peerman, Ph.D., currently serves as an organizational psychologist with over 27 years of experience from front line to senior level positions, in a wide range of industries and organizations. She is passionate about engaging our human resources in new ways to achieve even better organizational results. Celina is a strategist with a sense of humor and a love for building capacity in organizations. Celina holds a Ph.D. in psychology, a master’s degree in business, with undergraduate degrees in psychology and international studies. She is a two-time TEDx presenter, podcaster, and writer. She usually sees over 250 groups a year or about 6000 people, including large and small groups with many one-on-ones. Her content is aimed at helping teams maximize potential for an even more positive impact on those around them.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track

Assert Yourself!

Speaker: Megan Crawford

Whether you are a young professional or seasoned safety expert, communicating with confidence and assertiveness within the male-dominated field of safety can be a challenge at times. In this interactive session, you will learn how to prepare, execute, and debrief crucial conversations that you may have been avoiding out of fear or lack of confidence. Additionally, you will gain valuable insights and perspective shifts regarding asserting and communicating your needs (and wants!) within the workplace. You will also have the opportunity to practice these new tools and perspectives to increase your confidence to engage in upcoming crucial conversations that impact your daily work as well as your career trajectory. It’s time for YOUR voice to be heard!

About Megan:

Megan thrives on helping others one-on-one as well as teams within the fields of mental health counseling, life coaching, higher education, 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, transformative counseling, and dynamic leadership to help others reach their personal, professional, and organizational goals. Megan is currently a mental health counselor at Covenant Family Solutions at their Marion Blairs Ferry Rd location.

Safety Track

The Best Way Employers Can Reduce Workers' Compensation Costs

Speaker: Abigail Wenninghoff

This session will focus on strategies to reduce fear, which drives injured workers to lawyers and multiple doctors who increase the value of even a bad claim by an average of 15K. Participants will learn best practices related to reducing costs for worker compensation.

About Abigail: 
Abigail is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association, American Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, and Defense Research Institute. Her practice area is Insurance Defense and Workers’ Compensation in Iowa and Nebraska. She has served as a board member of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Nebraska Bar from 2000 to today; and was President from 2014-2015. In that capacity, she has spoken to peers on specified topics on several different years at the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Annual Meeting. Over the last 20 years, Ms. Wenninghoff has provided workers’ compensation seminars and training for insurance companies, brokers, TPA’s and employers for both Iowa and Nebraska. She has also testified in the Nebraska legislature on pending workers’ compensation legislation.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track

Impaired Workers and Workplace Safety

Speaker: Terri Davis

In this session we will discuss issues related to identifying, preventing, and dealing with impaired employees in the workplace. We will discuss the current state of cannabis laws and how they are impacting employee safety, other drugs and alcohol impairment issues, as well as ADA concerns and what steps employers can take to safely (and legally!) address impaired workers in order to improve workplace safety.

About Terri:

Terri C. Davis is an Attorney and Senior Vice President at Shuttleworth and Ingersoll. She focuses her practice in Employment Law and Litigation, including employment related litigation. She handles workers compensation cases for employers, and advises employers on employment matters, including assisting with policy review and development, absence management, performance management, employment contracts, and handling of investigations and complaints, both internal and before civil rights commissions. She serves as chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Practice Group.

Safety Track

Empathy: The Missing Link in Injury Recovery

Speaker: Melissa White

Are you doing everything you can to improve worker wellbeing physically, mentally and socially? How do you follow up with injured workers and ensure their safe return to work? Let’s walk a mile in their shoes, building empathy and learning about the psychological and social challenges faced by injured workers. Get examples and tips for developing proactive return-to-work strategies to have a positive impact on Total Worker Health. Show you care while empowering employees to take control of their overall safety and health!

About Melissa:

Having struggled to recover from a serious car accident, Melissa White became an occupational therapist to help others who have suffered injuries. Today, she has a mission to empower people, cultivate change and improve health by educating and motivating people to own their wellbeing. She founded Balanced Fitness & Health in 2015, leveraging her experience in the medical system and knowledge of psychosocial factors to apply a proactive approach to injury prevention and recovery from surgery and pain. Her focus on prevention has reduced recordable injuries while improving ergonomics, employee morale, worker safety and total worker health.

Break and View Vendors

Professional Development Track

Secrets of a Storyteller: Creating and Presenting Compelling Stories

Speaker: Joe Korpi

Many say they’d love to utilize the power of storytelling in their safety training, but they’re just not “good at it.” This session will show you how to take an average case study and craft it into a compelling story that can bring your point to life in the mind of your listeners. You’ll also learn some secrets about dealing with stage fright and the jitters that come from public speaking, and we’ll even throw in a few “9-1-1” tips for when you suffer a temporary brain freeze while you’re up in front of everybody.

About Joe:

Originally a professional radio broadcaster, Joe Korpi brings energy, humor and colorful storytelling to passionately make safety concepts real, pertinent, and impactful. His goal is to translate OSHA regulations and industry standards into the language workers understand. Joe completed a bachelors in Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University and attained the Certified Safety Professional designation from the BCSP.  He has also completed OSHA train-the-trainer courses for General Industry, Construction, (along with the HazWoper 40 hour training), lead numerous OSHA 30 hour training sessions, is active on the board of the ASSP Hawkeye Chapter in Central Iowa (now serving as Past-President), serves on the ANSI Z490.1 committee, and currently is a Senior Manager of Safety and Health at Chevron Renewable Energy Group in Ames, IA.


Safety Track

OSHA 101

Speaker: Nathan Berry

This session will focus on best practices for OSHA 300 logs, dive into the subject of “is it a recordable,” and best practices when OSHA comes to visit.

About Nathan:

Nathan has been a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) since 2013. He is the past President of the Hawkeye Chapter after serving for four terms. Nathan worked at the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities where he oversaw and coordinated the safety with municipalities and cities throughout Iowa. He then took on the safety coordinator role, with the City of Des Moines being the main focus. Nathan has acquired an extensive knowledge of safety, compliance, and commercial insurance. His subject matter expertise lies in both construction and general industry, and he has a great ability to communicate with members and build a strong rapport with them. His energy sets him apart from others in the industry which leads to action and unparalleled results. Nathan’s number one priority is to provide top quality service and affect positive change. He has over 15 years of valuable and extensive experience in the construction industry before joining the insurance industry in 2009.


Lunch and Award Ceremony

Professional Development Track

Flying Solo: Getting Buy In

Speaker: Cherrie Spurlin

Are you looking for ways to influence change, improve collaboration and productivity with others, or just get your ideas heard? The ability to gain commitment from others is vital to your success as an influencer (with or without formal authority). In this session, you will explore strategies to increase your role as an influencer, practice techniques to effectively exert influence to achieve results, and plan effective approaches for real-life situations you are facing.

About Cherrie:

Cherrie Spurlin is an Executive Director at MRA—The Management Association. Those who have worked with Cherrie describe her as a very positive person. She is often told that her enthusiasm is contagious. Cherrie believes people are a company’s greatest assets and true leadership is about taking the time to mentor, coach, and develop others Before joining MRA, Cherrie led Human Resources departments in healthcare and nonprofit. Cherrie says that she enjoyed serving those who serve the community, and that servant leadership is at the core of who she is. Cherrie has a master’s in strategic leadership and is currently working on her Doctorate Degree.

Safety Track

The Importance of Ergonomics and Stretching

Speaker: Caley Ploessel

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 workstation improvements and get to participate in different stretches to help reduce fatigue and improve productivity - be ready to follow along! You will learn about and practice effective stretches to help reduce fatigue and increase productivity and other interventions for everyday aches and pains.

About Caley:

Caley Ploessel works at Balanced Fitness and Health and is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and has a B.S.E. Biomedical Engineering and is a Ergonomic Specialist. As a physical therapist, Caley loves helping others find balance and live a life with less pain. After all, we are all unique, and it takes an individualized approach to find this balance and improve the human experience. Her engineering background has strengthened her ability to address and correct suboptimal movement patterns, preventing injury and rehabilitating patients after an injury or surgery has occurred.

*Additional Safety Track Session

Lessons Learned in 30 Years as a Safety Professional

Speaker: Cheryl Wiese

Learn best practices and hear safety stories as Cheryl Wiese, Modern Companies, shares her learned experiences as a safety professional over the past 30 years. Cheryl’s sense of humor and great story telling will lead to lots of laughs and even some surprises.

About Cheryl:

Cheryl has been in the safety field since 1998 working in general industry, government, and most recently, the construction industry. In addition to Cheryl’s role as Safety Director at Modern Companies she currently serves on the East Central Safety Roundtable board and is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals.

Break and View Vendors

Speaker: Lisa Schaeffer

When crisis arises, the first person people look to is the leader. Are you prepared? So that you aren’t consumed by the stress, anxiety and reactions of others, it will be important to act based on your core values, and with emotional intelligence. Your job as a leader is to provide psychological safety by creating an environment in which team members feel comfortable discussing potentially frustrating and stressful situations.

About Lisa:

Lisa Schaefer is an Edutainer and knowledge broker. For the past 25 years, she has been engaging audiences with leadership and laughter. As a certified John Maxwell Speaker and Coach, Lisa teaches the importance of trust and influence in leadership. She is passionate about creating cultures in organizations that help people SHINE. Lisa is a certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, holds a School and Community Counseling license with WI-DPI, and has served as a professor of Human Services, Psychology and Director of Student Services.

We wrap up the conference with some closing remarks and award door prizes from the day!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

LAPCO logo

logo for Airgas, an Air Liquide company logo for Balanced Fitness and Health  logo for CIS onsite Comprehensive Industrial Services, Inc. - Prevention, Therapy, and Case Management logo of Grainger - for the ones who get it done logo for Inseer - Seeing People Clearly logo for The Peerman Group logo for University of Iowa Health Care