ISAC University

January 20-21, 2016
West Des Moines Marriott

Please join us January 20-21, 2016 for ISAC University, an exciting two-day conference that will give you essential information and training on how to effectively lead and manage. This conference will provide unique content that is packed with powerful success strategies and tactics for improving your leadership skills. The conference will encourage you to examine and evaluate your current leadership practices, launch new initiatives, and share ideas. It’s the role of a leader to help drive and direct the accomplishments within your county. The agenda (included below) provides a diverse mix of keynote and seminar presentations that will give you tools you can immediately use when you return home.

Presentation Materials


Please contact Kelsey Sebern, for more information.

Who Should Attend

Everyone, but more specifically: supervisors and all department heads, county leaders and anyone interested in discovering leadership practices and learning how to create successful results in county government. This conference is a great networking opportunity for county officials from various backgrounds to come together and learn from one another.

Conference Registration

Registration will open at 8:30 am on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.  Please register at  Registration will close at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

The registration fee for ISAC University is only $195 if you pre-register by January 12. Normally the at-the-door registration rate is $215. Your registration includes all meals, refreshment breaks and an agenda full of dynamic speakers. Space is limited at this great conference, so please pre-register.


West Des Moines Marriott (Grand Ballroom)
1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

For directions, please click here.

Hotel Reservation Information

The West Des Moines Marriott is located directly off of Interstate 80 West at Jordan Creek Parkway.  Please call 515.267.1500 or 866.202.9771 before Tuesday, January 5, 2016 to reserve your room within the ISAC University room block.  The room rate is $104/night plus tax.

The newly renovated West Des Moines Marriott provides complimentary on-site parking and wireless high speed Internet in every room, as well as a smoke-free environment. The hotel features a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant and lounge, Two Rivers Grille and Lounge. Check-in begins at 3:00 pm, and check-out must be completed by 12:00 pm.

Additional Hotel Rooms

An overflow block will be available near the conference hotel at the newly renovated Hampton Inn West Des Moines, 7060 Lake Drive, West Des Moines.  The ISAC rate is $89/night plus tax.  Please call 515.223.4700 before Tuesday, January 5, 2016 to make your reservation.

The Hampton Inn West Des Moines provides a complimentary hot breakfast, evening social (Monday-Thursday), business center, on-site parking and wireless high speed Internet access. The hotel also features a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool. Refrigerators and microwaves are available upon request.  The hotel will provide complimentary shuttle service to/from the West Des Moines Marriott. Check-in begins at 3:00 pm, and check-out must be completed by 12:00 pm.

Conference Agenda (Printable Version)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  Registration

1:00 pm – 1:15 pm  Welcome Remarks by Bill Peterson, ISAC Executive Director, and Joan McCalmant, Linn County Recorder and ISAC President

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm  Opening Keynote: “Focus on the Good Stuff” by Mike Parker

Within every department, organization or group there are many “Good Things” taking place every day.  So often we spend so much of our time focusing on the bad stuff, the things we don’t like or want to change that we miss so much of the “Good Stuff” that is going on all around us.  Mike will help every individual clearly understand how working together as a team will allow you to be more innovative and productive.  He will share a few simple but very important techniques needed to help you make a habit of focusing on the good stuff.

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm  Refreshment Break

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm  Seminar: “It Won’t Happen Here is Not a Plan: Preparing for Violent Incidents at Public Facilities and Events” by Lt. Eric Dickinson, Vinton Police Department

Domestic and international terrorist attacks regularly lead the headlines and public facilities and events are common target locations. Each assailant tries to outdo the others in terms of body count, destruction and generated fear. Every responsible citizen should have a plan in the event such an event erupts around them. This informative session will provide an overview of lessons learned during prior attacks on public facilities and events, provide realistic considerations for limiting attacks, review likely injuries and treatment, and suggest simple steps you can take to respond to a violent attack.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Dinner and Closing Keynote: “From the Bottom Up” by Chad Pregracke

Chad Pregracke is living proof that an average person can make a big difference. He holds the title of 2013 CNN Hero of the Year. He is also the Founder & President of the internationally recognized not-for-profit organization, Living Lands & Waters. His adventures and challenges will translate leaving you inspired to take action. Chad exemplifies how one person can make a difference in the world.

Thursday, January 22, 2016

8:00 am – 8:30 am  Morning Refreshments

8:30 am – 10:00 am  Opening Keynote: “Memory Power” by Paul Mellor

In today’s business world, having the ability to remember names and faces, beat absent-mindedness, and recall facts and figures puts you at the head of the pack. You’ll learn techniques on organizing your thoughts, remembering names and faces, and overcoming absent-mindedness. When you’re skilled in memory all your other skills get better.

10:00 am – 10:15 am  Break

9:45 am – 11:15 am  Seminar: “The Manners that Move Your Career: Etiquette for the Management Minded” by Callista Gould, Culture & Manners Institute

The higher you go in an organization, the more visible you are and the more expectations people will have of you. Find out some of the etiquette and behavioral rules that set managers apart.

11:15 am – 12:30 pm  Seminar: “Running Effective Meetings” by Michael Blaska, Parlimentarian and Chief of Staff, Wisconsin Counties Association

Understanding parliamentary procedure is one of the keys to running an effective meeting. Learn more about motions, common misconceptions and rules of decorum. Following rules of order will lead to a more civil and productive debate.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm  Lunch and Closing Keynote: “A different Kind of Career: Under Cover in the CIA” by Jim Olson

Imagine living a lie for 31 years. That’s what James Olson and his wife Meredith did while spying for the CIA. Spying for his country was the furthest thing from his mind when Olson, a farm boy from Iowa, received a mysterious phone call that changed his life forever.