chrysalis conversations speaker series


Chrysalis' annual opportunity to hear from local people whose personal, professional, and community leadership provides wisdom and inspiration. 100% of event proceeds are used to support Chrysalis' work to improve the lives of girls and women in Greater Des Moines. 

2023 Speakers

march 7 2023 


Dr. Amy Bingaman, Broadlawns OB/GYN Clinic
Cheltzie Miller-Bailey, Social Justice Advocate

Inclusivity is a word that we hear commonly these days – but we may not completely understand what it means. More importantly, we may not know how inclusivity translates into personal behavior, social interaction, or cultural change. Our speakers are not only familiar with inclusivity – they embrace, practice, and exemplify inclusivity in their lives and professions. Join us to learn how these professionals make inclusivity a habit, and how it can make our world a fairer and more equitable place

april 4 2023 


Christina Moffatt, Certified Business Advisor and Consult
Blanca Plasencia, Co-Owner, El Fogon Mexican Grill 

In his book Drive, author Daniel Pink suggests that the best motivators for career success are the ability to direct our own lives, learn and create new things, and do better for ourselves and the world around us. This is what prompted our speakers to create businesses that expressed their inner passion and purpose while creating profitable enterprises. We will learn how to use our own intrinsic drive to find fulfillment in our work and careers.

may 2 2023 


Perlla Deluca, President, Southeast Constructors Inc
Taufeek Shah, CEO, Lola's Fine Hot Sauces 

Entrepreneurship has been described as the oldest form of business structure in the world, yet its origins are based on risk and reward. Today's speakers recognized a business opportunity and found new and innovative ways to meet the needs of their customers. Hear from them about the process of discovery, development, and deployment of resources that led to their significant success. 

2022 speakers

march 8 2022


Sikowis (Christine Nobiss) and Geneviève UmÄ™ndaterih Salamone
Indigenous Women Leaders

In 2016, the National Crime Information Center reported over 5,700 missing Native American and Alaskan Native women and girls in the U.S., but cases of both missing and murdered Indigenous women are significantly under-reported. Indigenous women are murdered ten times more frequently than the national average, and experience violence, rape, and suicide at an alarming rate. Learn from two Indigenous women who are using their voices to call attention to this critical issue and work toward a society where there are “no more stolen sisters.” 

Learn more about Sikowis and Geneviève.


april 5 2022


Thao Pham and Sid Juwarker
Corporate Professionals and Comedians

Our perceptions about people are subjectiveaffected by many variablescharacteristics, traits, situations, and personal life experience. But perception is only part of reality, and each of us has individual skills and talents others may not see or know about. Our speakers will share how they chose to utilize their own unique talents, and how personal creativity adds joy and fulfillment to their already-successful lives. 


may 3 2022


Marie MillerThe Traveling Bean, and
Teresa Zilk, “Stories to Tell My Daughter”

Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, noted Maya Angelou, but no more difficult than remaining in a situation that is not nurturing to the whole woman. Each of us has life experiences that challenge, educate, and encourage. Our speakers recognized that a new direction in their lives was not only important, but essential. Hear about the courageous steps each woman experienced in her personal evolution and how each created a new path for her future. 

2020 speakers

april 29 2020


Representative Ruth Ann Gaines and Dr. Karen Leroux
Moderated by Terry Hernandez

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 


Miyoko Hikiji and Vanessa Espinoza

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


Christine Hensley and Shekinah Young

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


Kimberly Stamatelos

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 Stamatelos refocused 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.