Category: Leadership and Service

All aBoard 2014


Bright man, that Mr. Ali!  I know you all do some form of service already because ImpactCR members are all rockstars.  However, your favorite local, state and national non-profit organizations are looking for your help.  They want need you to be advocates for their organization at a board level.

On August 9th, ImpactCR is hosting our annual All aBoard event.  Have you ever thought about being on the board of your favorite non-profit?  Ok… so maybe you’ve thought about it but don’t know how to connect with board members.  Well… again, that’s why we are so awesome.  We are bringing board members to you and you to them.  They want young professionals who are passionate about their organization to become leaders.

The morning will begin with a presentation on Civic Boards and Commissions by Cedar Rapids City Councilman Kris Gulick.  Following, we will host a roundtable networking session with local board members: Stephanie Musterman-Robinson (Diversity Focus), Lydia Brown (NCSML), Brad Hart (United Way), Diane Ramsey (Iowa Women’s Leadership Conference), Brian Globokar (Catherine McAuley Center),  just to name drop a few!

During this roundtable session, you can create authentic connections with experienced leaders and engage with local boards looking for new members.  Don’t forget to bring a copy of your resume, questions and an open mind!  You never know who you might meet or what organization will pull at your heart strings.  Find the “right way” to become a vital part of strengthening our community though nonprofit leadership and service!

Register HERE!  This is one of the few events that is not free to our members.  For $15 you get an awesome coffee bar, breakfast and a unique opportunity to network with some pretty amazing leaders in our community.  See you there and don’t forget to #makeyourmark!

Photo Courtesy of Heather Gierut



Make Your Mark Awards 2013


As you know, last Wednesday we held our annual Make Your Mark event at CSPS to celebrate you, our members and to recognize a few who are pretty outstanding in our eyes. Congratulations to the following members for all you do for our organization and for your local community:

Leadership Award | Rebecca Sullens

The Leadership Award is presented to a member who encourages others to connect to the community through ImpactCR programs and events. Rebecca consistently reaches out to all of our members and makes everyone feel welcome. She understands the importance of diversity in our community and makes a point to help every person find their place here. Rebecca’s upbeat attitude and constant dedication to Cedar Rapids makes her the perfect cheerleader for ImpactCR.

Service Award | Casey Ealy

As a Member of the Leadership and Service Committee, Casey has done some amazing things for our community: from leading an effort to obtain funding for a potential playground project at NewBo, to coordinating and participating in multiple Habitat for Humanity events, to always raising his hand to say, “whatever you need.” Casey works quietly and humbly to do what he thinks is needed to make the corridor a better place to work and live. He exemplifies the spirit of service in our community. (Read Casey’s YP Profile here.)

Make Your Mark Award | Jennifer Germaine

Our first ever Make Your Mark award winner is Jennifer Germaine. Jennifer has helped lead ImpactCR to a new level of engaging and educating the area’s now and next gen. population. As a two year co-chair of the Next Gen Summit steering committee, she has gone above and beyond in her commitment to making the event an empowering experience for all attendees. Jennifer is also a member of the ImpactCR board of advisors and serves as a constant advocate for the organization and for the corridor.

WOW! These three individuals are pretty amazing, don’t you think!? Well you can be too! Join a committee or nominate yourself or someone you think is pretty awesome to be on the ImpactCR board of advisors. (Nomination forms are due November 15th.) How will you Make Your Mark in 2014?

MOvember Mashup | SHAVE The Date


You may have noticed a plethora of beards and ‘stashes being sported for No Shave November or MOvember. While some beards and ‘staches may only be around for 30 days, some wearers hope to make a lasting impression. By not shaving for a cause.

Following a successful event last year, ImpactCR members Ben Anderson and Nate Holler are at it again and are hosting another MOvember party. Come for the mustaches and stay for the football!

Here are the deets:

WHAT | A MOvember party to watch Iowa vs Michigan and raise money for the Hayden Fry Prostate Cancer Research Center at the University of Iowa.

WHERE |Bata’s Restaurant | 1006 3rd St SE in the NewBo District

WHEN | Saturday, November 23rd @ 11:00 A.M.

Sport your best looking ‘stashe or preferred facial hair (no one said it has to be real 😉 ) and join them to watch the Hawks beat the Wolverines. There will be some Hawkeye Trivia, prizes, and complementary appetizers. Don’t forget to bring your checkbook and help them reach their goal of $1000 to donate to cancer research.

Need more info? Email Ben Anderson ( or Nate Holler ( or check out their Facebook event page for more.

Make Your Mark


This has been quite a year for ImpactCR! From the Casino Vote Forum in March, to the many Siren Wednesdays and BLTs to last month’s Next Gen Summit. While the year isn’t quite over, what better way to round out a successful year of networking, service and professional development than with an extra special Siren Wednesday to celebrate you, our members and those who have helped us develop programming and supported our events over the last year?!

How is this event different from our regular Siren Wednesdays? At 6 p.m., we will have a short program that will look back at our accomplishments over the last 10 months and share insights into exciting new programing and changes coming in 2014. We will also acknowledge our outstanding members with a two awards to be presented at the ceremony. Help us congratulate the members who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate volunteerism by participating in our events, committees, etc. and exemplary leadership skills to support and help develop ImpactCR events, by awarding them with our Service and Leadership Awards.

Please join us Wednesday, November 6th at CSPS from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for free appetizers, cash bar and cake! (No party is ever complete without cake!) Please RSVP and register here, to let us know you will be joining our celebration.

A HUGE thank you goes out to our three sponsors: Mediacom, as our presenting sponsor and our two supporting sponsors, Hatch Development Group and RuffaloCody!

Big on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Please use the hashtag #makeyourmark while posting about ImpactCR!

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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.

Young Professional Profile: Casey Ealy


Our last Young Professional Profile featured our fearless leader, Katie Johnson. Even though we think our board members are pretty sweet, there are other YPs active on our committees that are pretty awesome as well! This week, we are featuring one of our Leadership and Service Committee members, Casey Ealy.

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

I am the service manager and chief operations officer at SPS, Inc. My responsibilities are to oversee the day to day operations including accounting, service, sales, purchasing and inventory.

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

Oddly enough I was hired here at SPS 12 years ago to answer the phones. Since then I have moved from position to position throughout the company the where I am today. I never turned down a task or opportunity to excel.

What are your top tips for other young professionals?

Take advantage of opportunities as they are presented to you. You never know what might help you grow professionally down the road. GET INVOLVED!!!!!

How many miles away are you from your hometown?

I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids.

What is your role with ImpactCR?

I attend the committee meetings and assist in setting up nonprofit events such as Habitat Build Days. I am also the interface between ImpactCR and the NewBo Market for the playground build project.

Besides being active with ImpactCR, what are some of your favorite things to do in Cedar Rapids?

I enjoy spending as much time with family and friends as possible. The NewBo Market is one of my new favorites.

Thank you so much Casey! I truly believe that getting involved can lead to some pretty awesome opportunities, personally and professionally. The board, as well as the members of ImpactCR, appreciate your time and dedication to the Leadership and Service Committee.

Do you have a young professional that you think is totally awesome and deserves to be featured on our Young Professional Profile? Leave a comment or send your recommendations to

All aBoard


Have you ever wondered how people come to be on a board of local businesses or non-profits? We thought you might be interested in learning more about this kind of service, so drumroll please…

ImpactCR and Iowa State University Extension Office are pleased to announce the return of All aBoard: Leadership through Committees, Boards, Commissions, which is dedicated to educating individuals with a desire to serve the community through leadership.

All aBoard is a high-value, no-cost opportunity to advance the leadership skills of the next generation of community leaders in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor and is geared towards any young professional wanting to get more involved in local committees, boards or commissions.

Agenda topics will include networking opportunities, a keynote speaker and round table discussions from area experts that will discuss their own experience as well as address:
• Application Process
• Board Expectations
• Identifying Professional and Personal Skill Sets for Board Service
• Balancing Volunteer Commitments with Professional Obligations

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, there will be no cost to attend this event, however, registration will be limited to the first 40 participants. Register here, today and we’ll see you there!