We, along with presenting sponsors TS Prosperity Group, Revela, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and Castle & Associates Inc. of American Family Insurance, are excited to bring a new event to the Council Bluffs area. LeadingWELL: Women Empowering Local Leaders, was created to empower local female leaders through a discussion focusing on balance, knowledge, networking and other tips to help women succeed in their career. Meet our four panelists and moderator for LeadingWELL 2019.
The sold-out event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.
Donna A. Dostal, MPA
President & CEO of Pottawattamie County Community Foundation
Donna Dostal joined the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation (PCCF) in late April of 2018. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Donna works closely with the foundation's Board of Directors to design and execute on the strategic direction for PCCF around community-wide engagement in philanthropy and community impact for southwest Iowa.
Prior to her role at the PCCF, Donna served as Chief Development Officer for Heartland Family Service, where she was responsible for oversight of the agency’s fundraising and sustainability efforts, volunteer involvement, marketing, communications, and public relations. Before Heartland Family Service, Donna spent 12 years with Bellevue University, where she was National Business Development Manager. Donna is a graduate of Bellevue University, with dual undergraduate degrees in Communication Arts and Liberal Art for Business, as well as a Masters of Public Administrations.
Donna is a graduate of Leadership Council Bluffs, class of 2015, serves on the Council Bluffs Symphony Guild Board, and is a member of the Noon Rotary Club in Council Bluffs and Rotary International. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, as well as the intercultural Senior Center in Omaha. In addition, Donna is the Membership Chairperson for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Nebraska Chapter, is involved in the Business Ethics Alliance “Speed Ethics” program, is a founding member of the Complete Streets Citizens Advisory Panel for the City of Bellevue, Nebraska, and is a member of the Omaha Retail Meat Dealers Association.
Donna and her husband Larry have lived in the Omaha metro area their entire lives. They have two adult sons, who also live in the metro area, and enjoy their pet Pomeranian, Ruby.
Dr. Vickie Murillo
Superintendent of Council Bluffs Schools
Dr. Vickie Murillo has served as the Superintendent of the Council Bluffs Community School District since July of 2017. She was selected by the Board of Education to be the 24th Superintendent of Schools in the district’s 160-year history.
Dr. Murillo brought extensive experience in teaching, school administration and educational leadership to the Council Bluffs Schools. Most recently, as the Chief Academic and Accountability Officer at Kansas City (Missouri) Public Schools, a district with 14,500 students, she led the district’s curriculum, instruction and professional development departments, as well as the effort to improve student achievement and accountability.
As Superintendent of the Council Bluffs Schools, Dr. Murillo has charted a course to ensure all students are future ready, with the vision that every student graduates with a high school diploma and “another piece of paper” - such as an Associate's Degree or trade certificate - therefore, making post-secondary education inescapable.
Through her leadership, the district now proudly offers an Early College Academy located on the campus of Iowa Western Community College, and the innovative TradeWorks Academy certified pre-apprenticeship program for high school sophomores and juniors. She has created partnerships and focused resources to expand early childhood/preschool opportunities and 21st Century after-school clubs and activities, generated collective support to approve a $37 million-dollar bond to renovate the two middle schools, enhanced the assessment tools to focus on academic achievement and growth, and established tiered supports for the social-emotional well-being, behavioral and mental health of students.
Dr. Murillo holds a doctorate of education in education leadership from Baker University, a master’s from the University of Missouri - Kansas City, and bachelor’s in education from Evangel University. She and husband Willie have two adult children.
CEO of the 712 Initiative
Sheryl Garst is the CEO of The 712 Initiative where she oversees the economic vitality in redevelopment areas (specifically downtown) in the built environment, activating public spaces and encouraging healthy lifestyles.
Prior to her current role, she was the Director of Redevelopment for the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce where she managed the day to day operations of the Pottawattamie County Development Corporation, a 501 (c) 3 public nonprofit with $10 million of net assets. The corporation later merged with other entities to form The 712 Initiative. She has led in the planning and implementation of redevelopment projects totaling more than $18 million in assessed value. She has also helped develop and manage with Council Bluffs Downtown Revitalization Fund, an $8 million gap financing program in the form of low interest loans and grants to achieve the city’s downtown goals.
Garst holds a bachelor of science degree in community and regional planning from Iowa State University and is AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) certified. In her career she’s served on numerous boards, commissions and professional organizations including the American Planning Association, Iowa Department of Economic Development Green Initiative Steering Committee, State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award recipient, Daily Nonpareil Difference Maker, Lincoln Fairview Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, Council Bluffs Historic Preservation Alliance Board of Directors, CHI Mercy Patient Family Advisory Council, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation Board of Directors and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency Citizen’s Advisory Council. She also was appointed to the Council Bluffs City Council in 2011 to serve a 9-month vacancy. In her "spare" time Garst spends time with husband Matt and three children George (10), Audrey (8) and Morgan (5).
President and Grant Writer of Fox Creek Fundraising
Lisa Fox is the founder and owner of Fox Creek Fundraising, a grant writing and fundraising consulting company located in Carson, Iowa. Lisa holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a bachelor’s degree from Simpson College, and 17 years of social service and nonprofit management experience.
In 2014 Lisa saw the growing need for many local nonprofits to increase funding and capacity without the resources to hire a full-time grant writer. Lisa founded Fox Creek Fundraising to serve these nonprofits, which has since grown into a full-service development consulting company. Along with her team, Lisa partners with nonprofits to provide fundraising consulting, grant research and development, graphic design and marketing. Her background, leadership, and strong team has assisted agencies in securing more than 6.2 million dollars in 2018. It is through vision, relationships, hard work, and perseverance that Lisa and her team have built the only full-service company of its kind in the Southwest Iowa region.
CEO of Revela
Obsessed with behavior change, Andrea’s personal mission is to help people “get it." To see things differently. To self-reflect. To never stop looking for ways to improve themselves on a personal and professional level. To be purpose-driven. To asks “why?" To give others a voice.
Because of Andrea’s background in human services and her work with organizational behavior, her knowledge spans across strategic planning, corporate university development, cultural change, team building and leadership and supervisory development. Passionate about results, she puts clients’ business objectives first.