Category: BigWig Lunch Talk

BigWig Lunch Talk Preview | Stefanie Munsterman-Robinson


Have you ever been to one of our BigWig Lunch Talks? Today is very exciting because we will have Stefanie Munsterman-Robinson from the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission in the house! We thought it might be nice to have a little preview with Stefanie before her talk over the lunch hour.

First of all, what brought you to Cedar Rapids from Kansas City in 2000?


My parents and younger brother moved to Cedar Rapids due to my father’s job transfer. My daughter Ali and I came up to visit and we loved it! I began searching for a job in Iowa immediately and we moved up two months later.

What is your favorite thing to do or place to go in the Creative Corridor?

My daughters and I are big fans of theater, music, and dance. We enjoy the performances at Theater Cedar Rapids, The Old Creamery Theatre, the Paramount, CSPS, and Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

What is your job title and what are your daily responsibilities?

I am a Civil Rights Investigator and Mediator. I investigate allegations of discrimination in our community as well as attempt to resolve disputes through mediation. I also provide presentations to a variety of audiences (children and teenagers, landlords, college students, employers, social service agencies architects, etc.) on numerous topics including civil rights, Americans with Disabilities Act, poverty, homelessness, employment law, and fair housing.

How did you get to where you are today in your career?

Tenacity, taking initiative, building relationships, and being passionate about my work.

Is there an aspect of Civil Rights that you are especially passionate about? Why or what experiences have driven this?

There continues to be strong gender-based inequalities in our society. I have witnessed and been the target of these inequalities and stereotypes personally as well as professionally. This holds great significance to me as a woman, as a mom of two daughters, a Civil Rights Investigator, and as a Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Advocate. There should be no room for discrimination in our community.

How can young professionals become more active in supporting Civil Rights in our community?

What is important to you? There are many non-profit agencies in our community that continually seek volunteers and financial resources. Find your niche and commit to it!
Advocate for yourself and for others around you. Be willing to stand up for other people!

You are quite involved in the community, how do you balance your work/home life with school/social/volunteer opportunities?

It comes down to prioritization, adhering to your values, and understanding your strengths. If something does not match then you must say no. Logistically, it is about having a strong plan and very good apps! Hmm… I wonder what apps she uses?

What advice do you have for young professionals?

Do not deviate from your values or beliefs; stay true to yourself. Remember that neither significance nor success comes from your status. Secondly, learn something new every single day – be ever curious!

Thank you so much Stefanie! We can’t wait to hear more from you later today. If you are attending today’s BLT, be sure to bring your own questions for her. See you there!

Editors Note: The registration for today’s BLT is closed. For future BLTs and ImpactCR events, please see our event calendar.


BigWig Lunch Talk – John Bloomhall

If anyone else is feeling the same way as I am, you’re ready for Spring to be here anytime now.  Since when did Mother Nature decide it would be cool to make Iowa a winter wonderland in March?  Am I right?  Although, if nature repeats itself, St. Patrick’s Day will be here in 5 short days and we’ll all be in t-shirts getting sunburned while partaking in SAPADAPASO’s annual parade and other green festivities downtown.  This white stuff just needs to melt and disappear.

I know we’ve been a little quiet on the blog front, but we’re back and have some great partnerships and new initiatives launching in the next month or so, and I hope to have lots of great stuff to share soon!

For those of us who prefer immediate gratification, you will be happy to know that we have a fantastic event lined up tomorrow, Wednesday, March 13th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  I’ve talked about our BLT’s before here, and it’s back!  We are happy to have Diamond V CEO John Bloomhall at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance over the lunch hour.

John Bloomhall

If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Bloomhall, I’ll have you know he’s a pretty busy man and is very passionate about the community.  Mr. Bloomhall is the third generation of his family to lead the worldwide animal feed ingredient company. He has fulfilled his passion for community over the years having served on various boards, including Brucemore, Kirkwood Community College Foundation, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Tanager Place, Indian Creek Nature Center… the list goes on!


He has received many honors, including the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award by the Iowa Biotechnology Association for his commitment to supporting the industry through facility expansion, job creation and product innovation. He also received the 2010 Ernst & Young Entreprenuer of the Year award in Agriculture for the Central Midwest Region.

Pretty impressive, right?  We thought so!  This is just a little snapshot of what he has accomplished throughout his professional journey, and we invite you to learn more and see how his journey may impact your own.  Who doesn’t want to know how a BigWig became… well… a big wig?  Come prepared with questions and your lunch (a BLT perhaps?).  See you then!

BigWig Lunch Talk – Kraig Paulsen

Have you ever heard of ImpactCR’s BLTs?  Not of the Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato persuasion. YUM!  The BigWig Lunch Talk kind of BLTs.  Although, it kinda makes you hungry just thinking about it, right?  Good thing our BigWig Lunch Talks happen over … um… lunch. 😉

I digress…

This Thursday, October 25th our Leadership and Service Committee will be hosing Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen over lunch.  Have you ever wanted to rub elbows with a top dog, a head honcho, the Boss Man, el Cap-i-tan, the Godfather?… Ok, that might be going a little too far.  How ’bout a swell Iowa elected leader?  Works for me!

[Kraig Paulsen]

Speaker Kraig Paulsen, who resides in Cedar Rapids, has served District 35 since 2002.  He currently works as an attorney for CRST International, Inc and has previously served as the House Judiciary Chair, the House Minority Whip (2 Years) and the House Republican Leader.  He received his BBA from Iowa State University, MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and JD from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Join us at our BLT (with your BLT!) at the Metro Economic Alliance from 12 – 1 p.m. for a conversation with Kraig Paulsen.  It’s totally free!  Just like many of our other events.  I hope to see you there!

Another HUGE thanks goes out to our sponsor University of Iowa School of Management MBA – PM program.  I’m starting to think they really like us!  They have continued to support many of our events and I foresee a very exciting future between ImpactCR and the University of Iowa MBA- PM program.

Also, don’t forget about the Judicial Retention Forum at the National Czech and Slovak Museum from 6 – 7:30 p.m.  If you haven’t already, check it out here.