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2021 Women Lead Change Central Iowa Announces Conference Line-Up and Presenting Sponsor EMC Insurance Companies

DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 2, 2021)—Women Lead Change is pleased to announce the 2021 Central Iowa Conference keynote speaker line-up along with returning Presenting Sponsor EMC Insurance Companies. The two-day hybrid Conference is scheduled for Oct. 27-28, 2021, at the Iowa Events Center with ticket options for in-person and virtual registration.

“EMC is proud to be Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Central Iowa Conference and to play a key role in supporting the mission of Women Lead Change,” Beth Nigut, EMC Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer said. “At EMC, we're committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive environment where everyone feels included, respected and heard.”

The 2021 Conference theme of Joining Voices: Leaders for Equity, will be highlighted with keynote addresses from Luvvie Ajayi-Jones, Jennifer Pastiloff, Selena Rezvani, Judi Holler, David Smith, Phd, W. Brad Johnson, PhD, Laura Vanderkam, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Mariana Atencio.

Founded in 1911, EMC is one of the largest property/casualty organizations in Iowa and was named a Top Workplace in Iowa by The Des Moines Register for the seventh time in 2020. EMC places an emphasis on enhancing the quality of life in the communities it serves. This emphasis has shown through its support of Women Lead Change as a sponsor of the Central Iowa Conference for eight years.

  • Luvvie Ajayi-Jones is a New York Times best-selling author and podcast host, whose newest book is titled Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual.
  • Jennifer Pastiloff is the author of On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real and Listening Hard, that recounts how years of waitressing taught her to seek out unexpected beauty and how deafness taught her to listen fiercely.
  • Selena Rezvani is a recognized leadership consultant, speaker and author. Her mission is to help women carve out paths to leadership on their own terms.
  • Judi Holler is a professionally trained improviser, alumni of Second City’s Conservatory in Chicago, and author of Fear is My Homeboy.
  • David Smith, PhD, is co-author of Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace and Associate Professor of Sociology in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College.
  • W. Brad Johnson, PhD, is co-author of Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace, professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Laura Vanderkam is a time management expert who shares her techniques for getting the most out of each day with audiences of busy people everywhere.
  • Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a journalist and an intrepid chronicler of strong and resourceful women, with books like Ashley’s War and The Daughters of Kobani.
  • Mariana Atencio is a Peabody award–winning journalist, best-selling author and viral speaker, as well as the co-founder of “GoLike,” a premium multimedia production company specialized in motivational storytelling.

As Iowa’s premier women’s leadership development organization, Women Lead Change has been making an impact on workforce development for women for 14 years. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Women Lead Change is a trusted partner to companies year-round that provides cutting edge research, programming and tactical tools focusing on the business imperative of advancing women at all levels, including on boards.

For more information and updates on the 2021 Central Iowa Conference and Women Lead Change programs, visit

About Women Lead Change

IWLC d/b/a Women Lead Change is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement, development and promotion of women, their organizations and to impacting the economy and future workforce. For more information visit

About EMC Insurance Companies

EMC Insurance Companies has more than 2,400 employees and is among the top 60 property and casualty insurance organizations in the country based on net written premium. Employers Mutual Casualty Company (EMCC) was organized in 1911 to write workers’ compensation protection in Iowa. Today, operating under the trade name EMC Insurance Companies, the company provides property and casualty insurance products and services throughout the United States and writes reinsurance contracts worldwide. EMCC is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit

Sarah Buckley, Assistant Vice President – Community Involvement
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EMC Insurance Companies Sarah Buckley, APR
Vice President – Corporate Communications & Community Impact

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