Growing Your Mind

Growing Your Mind

Welcome to The G.Y.M. for Growing Your Mind

Become your personal best in a professional world. 

This series, called Growing Your Mind, provides opportunities to explore in-demand power skills and boost critical competencies. Flex your "muscles" with these concise classes targeted to build your own skillset with real life application. Our team of trainers are the best in the business and bring you specially-curated classes to showcase their expertise to the community.

You will come out of each session energized and ready to meet your goals. Jump start your journey into professional development and join The G.Y.M.!

View the Brochure

When: Sessions are scheduled year-round! View the Training Session schedule below for specific dates and details.

Where: All sessions are in-person and will either meet at Hiawatha or Coralville. Please view the class's registration page for details.

Who: The G.Y.M. series is perfect for driven professionals at any level, including individual contributors, informal leaders, future leaders, and current leaders.

How Much: Session prices vary ($129-$169 per class), and are priced at a community rate that's filled with incredible training and value.

How to Register: Register online using the links found in the Training Session schedule below, or register over the phone at 319-398-1022. Payment is due at the time of registration.

Training Sessions

We all have to do more with less in our daily lives - come learn how to maximize productivity with less effort. You will identify what time of day you're at your best, tackle common challenges, and discover simple strategies for effective planning and prioritizing. Join your personal trainer Terry Whitson and walk away with skills you can use right away with your team, others in your life, and most importantly - you!
*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

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Learn in the ins and outs of marketing your business! Tap into the magic of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to supercharge your marketing content and level up your social media presence with guidance from Tara Allen. Create a strong marketing plan to make your brand stand out and engage with your audience. Jump into the world of social media and ads, picking up practical skills to boost your business in the in the digital world.

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

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Unlock the secrets of effective time management through helpful tools such as a perspective diagram, time assessment, determining values, risk analysis, and goal setting. Transform your relationship with time and gain the tools to maximize both personal and professional aspects of your life. With the help of personal trainer Tara Allen, you will walk away with strategies you can instantly implement to create a more productive environment.

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

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Explore the ways change impacts you, your team, and productivity by learning how to roll with the changes. With the help of personal trainer Terry Whitson, learn to tackle change head-on with a positive attitude, gain insights in introducing change effectively, how to overcome resistance, and turn it into a powerful tool for your success. Embrace change and navigate the shifting tides with confidence!

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

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As new leaders embark on their professional journey, there are some indispensable skills that sometimes get neglected. Effective communication and relationship building are not just tools; they are the foundations of a thriving professional journey. As these insights become ingrained in leaders, success becomes imminent. This session is designed to help project managers of every skill level, and will be a great asset for new leaders hoping to start out their career on the right foot.

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

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This transformative course is designed to enhance your leadership effectiveness through clear communication, transparent decision-making, and empathetic conflict resolution. Leaders will develop mastery in effective communication, fostering a positive organizational culture. We'll also focus on decision-making transparency, guiding leaders to communicate the reasoning behind their choices, thereby building trust within their teams. Additionally, you will acquire skills in conflict resolution and feedback delivery, creating a workplace that values clarity and promotes growth.

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

Register Now

Discover your distinctive leadership style with a complimentary personality test, providing valuable insights into your strengths and tendencies. Join personal trainer Tara Allen to uncover the nuances of your personality and how they shape your leadership approach, gaining a deeper understanding of your unique strengths. Determine your communication style and unravel the complexities of group dynamics in the workplace, arming yourself with practical strategies to navigate and lead teams with confidence.

*This is a BOGO class - one registration pays for two people, so bring a friend or coworker!

Register Now

Terry Whitson is an independent training and development consultant with over 25 years’ experience in corporate training. She earned a Masters in Training and Development from Drake University and an undergraduate degree in business with a marketing emphasis from the University of Iowa.

Terry has been an adjunct faculty member at Kirkwood Community College since 1988 and Mt. Mercy University since 2010. She has worked as a training manager and corporate trainer for several large companies. She also gained valuable insight into customer communications from her early work experience as a customer service manager.

Terry Whitson

Paulette Milewski, founder of ConnectED Solutions, brings energy and 25+ years of experience in leadership, sales, customer service, and project management making training interactive and enjoyable. Through storytelling, real life examples, and thought-provoking dialogue, her workshops provide participants practical application. Paulette has facilitated training with clients in transportation, construction, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, consumer products and services, utilities, colleges and universities, and financial services.

She earned her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University and has picked up other certifications along the way, including Strategic Doing, Real Colors ® Temperament Profile, Mental Health First Aid, and Prime for Life © (drug and alcohol prevention).

Paulette Milewski

Brenda Meeker is passionate about supporting others in their personal and professional growth. As owner and president of Elevate Consulting, LLC, she provides learning and development, HR, and project-based solutions to meet organizational and employee development needs. She has worked in corporate and nonprofit settings and Division I athletics, providing a range of experience that informs her current work. Brenda has experience in training and meeting facilitation, human resources, managing projects and events, and developing communication plans and messages. She has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College and an MBA from Drake University.

Brenda Meeker

Lori Merlak is currently serving as an Associate Professor at Kirkwood and eagerly anticipates her return to the classroom on Kirkwood’s Cedar Rapids campus. With a strong background in business and a genuine passion for intercultural competence, she finds joy in assisting others in developing effective communication skills to foster collaboration and nurture healthy relationships.

Lori Merlak

Stephanie Kemmerer has worked in great companies that hold some of the country’s and world's leaders in their industries: MCI, Verizon, Collins Aerospace, Pearson Education (K-12 Assessments). Stephanie has built and led highly effective teams in complex arenas for over 20 years. She's been involved in Training, Training Design, Leadership, Change Management, and always strives to humanize corporate environments.

Stephanie believes relationships are what really makes organizations effective. She believes it is critical to have fun along with doing the hard stuff required with effective team leadership. Her advice: Don't take yourself too seriously and surround yourself with people who lift you up and with whom you can have honest conversations.

Stephanie Kemmerer

Brooke Strahn-Koller is a dynamic and highly energetic individual with a passion for leadership. With a passion for excellence, Brooke has a remarkable talent for rallying teams towards a common goal while creating a positive, supportive and collaborative work environment. 

For two decades, she contributed to Kirkwood Community College as both a professor as well as through multiple leadership positions. Brooke’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish Lucky Pawz Dog Daycare and Boarding, currently serving the Iowa City area for over 20 years. Currently, she holds the position of Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Doctorate in Education program at The University of Iowa.

Brooke Strahn-Koller

Jackie Pelland is a founding partner of the organizational design company Slingshot25 where she designs and delivers leadership learning programs and provides executive leadership coaching. For 25 years before starting her own company, Jackie held various frontline and strategic learning and development roles in large telecom and aerospace companies. This means she is no stranger to complicated work environments that are controlled by bureaucracy and office politics.

Jackie’s mission is to bring humanity and joy to the heart of the employee experience. Her message is consistent and singular: she believes every single employee deserves a great place to work. It’s this belief that drives Jackie’s insightful, fun, and welcoming approach to leadership development and makes her the designer of unique leadership programs that focus on the essential and often-forgotten truth of leading people.

Jackie Pelland

Kim Wilkerson is known as a real-time, high impact consultant and coach who creates both dramatic organizational progress and profound individual growth. Her clients, who engage her as a trusted advisor and partner, consistently achieve tangible, successful results in their mission to “get from here to there.” She is recognized for achieving mission critical, high stakes results.

Wilkerson Consulting was founded in 1990. Whether working with individuals, teams, or the entire organization, Kim provides a targeted focus on maximizing success. She specializes in executive coaching, leadership development, team dynamics, management consulting, and overall communications effectiveness. As a consultant, coach, and speaker, Kim’s clients value her expertise and straightforward approach in guiding and optimizing organizational success.

Ki Wilkerson

Steve Schick has had the privilege of working for some of the country’s greatest companies over the past 40 years including, Deere & Co, Boeing, Rockwell International, Collins Aerospace, ATI Physical Therapy, Kemin Industries, Slingshot 25, and Fidelity & Guaranty.

Steve is a master storyteller who has collected many stories through the years that will delight and educate audiences of all industries that are seeking to improve the way they lead. His casual, discussion-based style of facilitation engages the hearts and minds of his participants. Attend a session with Steve and be rewarded with engaging conversations, thought provoking concepts, and challenging goals to take back with you as you grow in your own professional personal development.

Steve Schick

Jeff Zahrt is an accomplished business owner and Project Management leader at the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics, known for his strategic thinking, process improvement skills, and project management abilities. He has a reputation for innovative problem-solving and has helped many organizations achieve their business goals through strategic planning and projects. With a background in organizational development and training, Jeff has held various leadership roles and has guided leadership and managerial teams involved in multi-million dollar projects focused on infrastructure and operations.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a PMP certification. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Jeff is an accomplished storyteller who was recognized with the Outstanding Industry Partner Award for his work on the award-winning wine documentary “Wine Diamonds.”

Jeff Zahrt

Arial Montag has established a reputation for driving strategic Talent Acquisition efforts at GreatAmerica Financial Services. With a strong background in employment branding, position advertising, candidate sourcing, and college relations, Arial has developed a comprehensive understanding of the recruitment process. She is a certified Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) through the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as a certified AVA Analyst and Predictive Index Master.

In 2018, Arial was recognized as an industry “Difference Maker” by ENX Magazine and an industry “Young Influencer” by The Cannata Report. Arial holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Sciences and Psychology from Coe College and a Master of Organizational Leadership from St. Ambrose University. In 2022, she was awarded the Young Alum Award by her alma mater for her career achievements and commitment to her community.

Arial Montag