chrysalis conversations speaker series

Chrysalis Conversations is our annual spring speaker series featuring local outstanding women sharing remarkable, educational, and meaningful wisdom. Featured speakers share their stories about their lives, the experiences they have had, and the challenges they have faced. We learn new ways of thinking, handling successes and challenges, and how their life experience can inform our own.

Chrysalis Conversations is returning in 2022 featuring amazing Stories Worth Telling!

Be sure to save the luncheon dates: 

  • Tuesday, March 8, 11:30 am-1 pm
  • Tuesday, April 5, 11:30 am-1 pm 
  • Tuesday, May 3, 11:30 am-1 pm 

More details will be announced in February

2020 speakers

april 29 2020


Representative Ruth Ann Gaines and Dr. Karen Leroux
Moderated by Alyx Sacks

This year marks the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment. Explore the history and challenges of achieving this right—who was involved, who was left behind, and what have we learned?

may 20 2020 


Dr. Rachel Caufield and Dr. Kesho Scott

Women’s movements have always been powerful in changing our society. Gain insights on the secrets of successful movements and the motives, mediums, and methods behind them.


2019 speakers

march 27 2019 


Although it was well into middle age before Chrysalis founder Louise Noun launched into activism, her legacy of promoting social change can start at any age. For this event's guest speakers, it started with seeing injustice and stepping up to make a difference.
Military veteran Miyoko Hikiji brought awareness to the challenges and triumphs of military service in her book, All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq. Likewise, guided  by her own experience, Vanessa Espinoza reached out to help her community by teaching individuals to read, eventually creating her own scholarship fund to promote education.
These women will share how their own experiences prompted action above and beyond the norm to make a difference for others.

april 17 2019


Every voice matters. Every action counts. For Chrysalis founder Elaine Szymoniak, understanding the issues wasn't enough. She became a Des Moines City Councilperson, later a State Senator, claiming the power to make change and to mentor countless others to follow her lead.
For nearly a quarter century, Christine Hensley served as a citizen spokesperson through her position on the Des Moines City Council. By mentoring Shekinah Young in her role as Chief Communications Officer for the City of Des Moines, the two formed a bond recognizing public service as a vehicle to drive social change.
Listen and learn how each woman influences the other, crossing generations and political views for the betterment of their community.

may 22 2019


Chrysalis founder and attorney Barbara Barrett is a powerhouse. Her leadership, tenacity, and wisdom sparked passion in others, influencing the community to join her to create lasting change.
Frustrated with the philosophy that aggression and conflict produced the best legal results, Kimberly Stamatelosrefocused her approach to instill compassion in her family law practice. Integrating understanding and mediation, she has proven in practice and her book, The Compassionate Lawyer, that attorneys - and all professionals - can be compassionate and highly effective at the same time.
Hear how courage can mobilize new insights and provide tools to create a new purpose.