Our Speakers

Learn more about the speakers who will be leading our sessions.

Christen Brandt

Conference Keynote Speaker

Christen Brandt is the co-founder and Chief Programs Officer at She’s the First, an international NGO dedicated to ensuring girls everywhere are educated, respected, and heard. She is also the co-author of Impact: A Step-by-Step Plan To Create the World You Want to Live In, which she wrote as a guidebook for readers to create sustainable change and build a better future. The book builds on Christen’s expertise in guiding clients, organizations, and women’s circles in their journey from intent to impact. Over the past decade, Christen has supported the efforts of grassroots organizations with the resources and training needed to support more than 140,000 girls. She is an alumna of Syracuse University, where she was a student during the conception of She's the First. She has worked as an impact consultant with brands including Barbie, Aerie, and Publics, and her work has been recognized by the United Nations, the Obama White House, the Drew Barrymore Show, and more.

Bernie Frazier, SPHR

Conference Breakout Speaker

Author of the book, “Your Success is in YOU!: Empowering and Equipping You to Create Your Best Career Ever!”, Bernie Frazier, SPHR is also a speaker, career coach/strategist, talent acquisition expert, and the President of CAREERCompass, LLC, a speaking and career coaching/strategy firm.

Bernie has shared her expertise as keynote speaker for numerous businesses and organizations, including Wells Fargo, Cisco, Emerson, Peabody Energy, Centene, Ameren, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Mercy Health, Drake University, and National Association of Workforce Development Professionals to name a few. She has coached clients globally from C-Suite executives to individual contributors regarding career development and the fine art of job search effectiveness. Bernie also served as the “Career Coach” on KSDK’s Today in St. Louis-the St. Louis NBC affiliate, shared timeless job search tips on SiriusXM and KTRS 550 AM radio in St. Louis, been featured in the New York Times, profiled in the St. Louis Business Journal, and is a contributing writer for Thrive Global. To learn more about Bernie, please visit her website at www.CAREERCompassLLC.com, and follow her on social media.

Joe Quinn – Nyemaster Goode P.C.

Conference Breakout Speaker

Joseph Quinn specializes in workers' compensation, primarily representing employers and insurance companies. He also litigates personal injury, ERISA, and employment cases. Additionally, Joe heads the Iowa Newspaper Association Legal Hotline, providing legal advice to newspapers across Iowa. As a mediator, Joe helps opposing parties in a lawsuit reach a resolution. Whether he’s working with a large insurance company or the owner of a small-town newspaper, Joe views every matter as personal, and he goes to great lengths to achieve the best outcome and offer the best value without sacrificing results.

As the son of a firefighter, Joe makes his own contribution to public safety through service on the Des Moines Civil Service Commission. He participates in hiring decisions and chairs hearings related to disciplinary issues for city employees. Joe also serves on the Polk County Compensation Board and on industry association committees. He volunteers as a facilitator for Powell Chemical Dependency Center.

Robert Frederick

Conference Breakout Speaker

Robert Frederick has been passionately working in Career Services at the University of Northern Iowa for over two decades. In addition to overseeing UNI’s Office of Career Services and Office of Student Employment, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses, been a student conduct administrator, directed community college relations for the university, provided oversight and direction for the reorganization of multiple departments, been the president of the professional and scientific staff council and served for many years on the president’s advisory council.  His area of research is focused on the future of work and alternative pathways to careers.  Professionally, he is also engaged with and has presented at various professional organizations including CPI, NACE, NASPA, AAEE & AAIE.  Prior to UNI, Robert worked in K-12 as a high school teacher, track & cross-country coach and a school principal.  Off-campus, Robert volunteers on numerous non-profit boards, is the current president of the board of directors for the Friends of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center and is a life member of AMVETS post#79.

Tyler Coe—Whitfield & Eddy Law

Conference Breakout Speaker

Tyler Coe is a family lawyer known for his honest guidance, approachable demeanor, and high-conflict cases. Tyler emphasizes collaboration and communication to understand and unravel his client’s often complicated situations, relationships, and work toward the best possible outcome for each client.

Tyler is experienced in managing cases involving divorce, child custody, modifications, and high conflict disputes. He is adept with the unique needs and issues that arise in a mid-to-high asset divorce. He routinely represents young professionals, established professionals, business owners, executives, and stay-at-home spouses.

He assists in matters involving children and can help establish plans that prepare for their future. Tyler also understands that family frequently includes pets, and the issues families face regarding custody.

Tyler focuses his practice on his client’s personal needs they may have both during and after dissolution. He often works closely with clients’ financial advisors, accountants, and therapists to provide a full spectrum of services and assistance.

Dean Erin Lee Schneider – Drake Law School

Conference Breakout Speaker

Erin E. Lee Schneider is the Assistant Dean for Student Services at Drake University Law School. Erin teaches family law and supports students during their time at Drake Law. Prior to joining Drake Law, Erin served as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Story County. Previously, Erin served as the Vice President of Operations for Censeo Solutions, Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Iowa, a literacy and mentoring program, and as a staff assistant and caseworker for former United States Senator Tom Harkin.

Erin is a graduate of Iowa State University and Drake Law School where she was honored as a Drake Public Service Scholar.

Erin currently serves on the Iowa State Bar Association’s Legal Access Committee and on the Attorney Grievance Commission. She has previously served on the National Advisory Council for Equal Justice Works and as the President of the Story County Bar Association. Erin has been honored as one of the Des Moines Business Record’s 40 Under Forty. She lives in Ankeny, Iowa with her husband, two children, and two fat cats.

Craig Johnson – Dentsu

Employer Panelist

Craig Johnson is currently the SVP GM with the Merkle B2B agency, under Dentsu, overseeing the Chicago operations and multiple client relationships. Craig oversees a portfolio of clients, providing strategic business and marketing guidance as well as team oversight and leadership to more than fifty employees. In previous roles, Craig has worked on all sides of the digital media landscape and has held instrumental roles with start-ups, digital agencies, brand marketers and publishers, helping guide such brands as Oracle, HP, Ford Motors, Intel and others deliver on their business goals. Craig Is a ’93 SJMC grad from Drake University and received certification in direct and interactive marketing from the Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul.

He is passionate about team leadership, mentoring and acting as an advisor to help both individuals and brands evolve and succeeded.

Katie Brabon – Wells Fargo

Employer Panelist

Katie Brabon is a Recruiter on the University Recruiting team where she leads the intern and full-time analyst recruiting efforts for Wealth and Investment Management (WIM). Katie has worked in the Financial Services industry for the past 13 years as an experienced and respected Recruiting, Talent Acquisition and Project Management professional.

Katie joined Wells Fargo in 2014 as a Project Manager, supporting Wells Fargo Advisors, in a pioneering role to create a strategy to bring home office roles to a broader undergraduate population. Areas Katie supported include the WFA Digital Financial Relationship Advisor group, Compliance, Operations, and our Investment Contact Center. Katie also led the efforts to create a diversity strategy and week-long event in partnership with our B/AA TMN for a Leadership Diversity Summit. She also supported the efforts of our HBCU Harris-Stowe State University Practicum Program and Programming development for Insight St. Louis. During her time at Wells Fargo, Katie also was on the B/AA St. Louis TMN Leadership Council as the Recruitment Chair. In addition, served on a short-term assignment in 2017 as a Project Manager for the “Change for the Better” Initiative with the Community Bank. Outside of work, Katie dedicates her time to her husband and her son, Teddy, who was born mid-pandemic in June 2020. In addition, she currently serves on the board of Career Development Resources Center at St. Louis University.

She resides in St. Louis, Missouri and is a graduate of Truman State University, with a Bachelor of Business Administration focusing on Marketing and Management.

Boyd Higgins – CVS Pharmacy

Employer Panelist

Boyd Higgins is a PharmD/MBA graduate from Drake University in 2013. A passionate Retail Leader, he has a People First mentality that has brought success while leading high performing teams spanning different companies and different geographies. He currently oversees 21 pharmacies and 9 retail stores spanning central and western IA with gross revenues of $160m. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children especially during the summer months when they have the chance to do some boating on the lake!

Darren Nealy, J.D. - Assistant Dean of Students, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Conference Breakout Speaker

Darren Nealy joined The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2017 as Assistant Dean of Students. He previously spent four years with the University of Michigan Law School as Director of Student Services and five years with Capital University Law School as Director of Multicultural Affairs. He served as both Executive Director and Legal Director of the Tobacco Public Policy Center at Capital University Law School as well. Prior to working in higher education, he was an associate attorney for Zeiger, Tigges & Little LLP in Columbus, Ohio. His community engagement has included a role as secretary of the board for the National Association of Law Student Affairs Professionals (NALSAP), and chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Student Services section. Nealy received his B.A. from the University of Dayton and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Kayla Bell-Consolver, LMHC, MS

Conference Breakout Speaker

Kayla has worked in the mental health field since 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Drake University in 2016 and received her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Drake University in 2019. She is trained in EMDR Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but utilizes person-centered therapy to remain present with the individual and determine which treatment approach feels most helpful for them. Kayla specializes in trauma informed practices, especially as it relates to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC experiences. She believes that individuals often have the tools within themselves to heal and utilizes therapeutic tools to help individuals uncover this to enhance their sense of self and ability to feel secure, confident, and peaceful within their lives. Kayla has experience in depression, anxiety, stressors related to BIPOC experiences, LGBTQ experiences, relationship issues, low self-esteem, and grief and loss. In her free time, Kayla enjoys dancing, singing, playing basketball, lifting weights, and baking.

Dave Bower, J.D. - Partner with Nyemaster Goode P.C.

Conference Breakout Speaker

After earning a bachelor's degree in history and business/economics, David spent five years working in production management and exploring career options. He considered pursuing a graduate degree in history. Instead, in studying law, he found the intellectual challenge he desired. David began his legal career as an associate in the Chicago office of an international law firm and then as a clerk for the Hon. Ronald E. Longstaff, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa. There, David developed his approach to the practice of law. “I’ve been fortunate in that a lot of the things that I’ve been able to do since I graduated from law school have been in areas that I’m interested in and the type of work I like to do, and I’ve been lucky to have had tremendous mentors,” David says. Now in his Nyemaster practice, he continues to apply those qualities and good judgment to solve his clients’ litigation problems.

Maureen De Armond, J.D. - Executive Director, Drake University Human Resources

Conference Breakout Speaker

Maureen De Armond serves as the Executive Director of Human Resources at Drake University. Earning her law degree from the “other” Iowa law school in 2004, she practiced in the areas of labor, employment, disability, and discrimination before making the switch to HR leadership. While in law school, Maureen was a research assistant at the University of Iowa’s Health, Law, and Disability Center for two years and has worked with the ADA in one capacity or another ever since.

Stacey Warren, J.D. - Partner with CashattWarren Family Law, P.C.

Conference Breakout Speaker

Stacey Warren is a focused trial attorney who has established herself as a leader in and out of family law courtrooms during her 25 year career. She provides practical and sound advice to clients with strong dedication to their financial and emotional well-being. Stacey takes on high-conflict custody cases and complex financial cases, working to negotiate successful settlements or litigate to positive outcomes for her clients. As lead trial counsel in Anderung v. Anderung, an international child abduction case tried in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Stacey obtained a successful return of a child to the Swedish father. She takes pride in being a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), a worldwide association of practicing lawyers recognized as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries. A life-long learner, Stacey stays up on current trends, changes, and caselaw in family law, and is an avid reader of anything historical or political. She teaches trial lawyers how to try family law cases and mentors young attorneys who have an interest in family law. Stacey has enjoyed over 20 years of being an active co-step-parent to her children, who are now adults with their own families, and she also thinks being a grandparent is the best thing ever.