2022 Region III Conference

Bridges to CTE
June 15–17, 2022

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Download Agenda

Registration is closed as of June 8, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

Opening Keynote: Jessica Dunker, President and CEO, Iowa Restaurant Association and Iowa Hotel & Lodging Association

Jessica Dunker serves as an advocate, educator, and promoter for the restaurant, hotel and
hospitality industry with legislators, media, and the public. She also works with owners,
operators, purveyors, and related industry professionals to find ways to help Iowa’s
restaurants, bars and lodging businesses operate more effectively and profitability.
She has been an especially vocal and visible advocate for credentialing programs in the
hospitality industry and has helped oversee the exponential growth in the number of certified food protection managers in restaurants across the state, as well as the significant expansion of the ProStart Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management programs in Iowa high schools. Today she is working with other industry professionals to seek adoption of hospitality tourism curriculum in Iowa high schools. Once a Silicon Valley-based high technology marketing executive, Jessica never her lost her passion for working with creative spirits and entrepreneurs. She finds the same skills that once helped her develop outbound marketing and branding programs for personal computers, software and gaming systems have translated well into the highly competitive retail food, drink and lodging industries. Jessica sits on the Iowa State Workforce Development Board and is an often invited speaker for organizations across the state. Jessica and her husband have five children, including two sets of twins. Her life motto is “there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.” It is a reality she lives everyday.

Closing Keynote: Nancy Mwirotsi, Founder and Executive Director PI 515, Advocate

Founder of Des Moines based non-profit Pi515, Nancy Mwirotsi believes that access to
education, technology and active engagement with tech companies can unlock the potential of refugee and underserved youth and prepare them for future-ready IT careers and advanced education.

Pi515 partners with local companies for IT/coding apprenticeship that provide continuing
training beyond high school and facilitate full-time jobs. The program empowers Pi515 students through teaching technology skills and fostering supportive learning environments focused on innovation and critical thinking. A pay-it-forward mentorship for middle school students is a unique part of the program.

Well-known in the community for her advocacy work on behalf of underserved women, refugees, and low-income students, Ms Mwirotsi has spent time advocating at Iowa’s state capitol and delivers presentations nationally.

Embassy Suites
101 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Make your Embassy Suites Reservation Here

To get the group block rate, enter CTE under Special Rates Code.

Specifically, on the reservation form:

  • Go to: Special Rates
  • Go to: Group Code
  • Enter: CTE   Then the special rate of $159 will be indicated.

Room Rates:

  • One King or Double $159 per night plus 12% ($19.08) Tax = $178.08/night
  • Triple $169 plus 12% tax, Quad $179 plus 12% tax


  • Includes Free Made-to-order breakfast
  • Complimentary Evening Reception with drinks and light appetizers
  • Complimentary airport shuttle
  • Indoor pool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi for Hilton Honors members
  • Parking is $1 per hour or $10 per day in Parking Ramp across the street to the north.

Overflow hotel:

Staybridge Suites
201 E. Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Block Dates: 6/14/22-6/17/22
Last Day to Make Reservations: 5/17/22

or By Phone: 515-280-3828 with block code ACT.


  • Complimentary Hot Breakfast Buffet
  • Indoor heated pool and hot tub
  • Attached, covered garage parking available $20/day

Parking across the street from Embassy Suites and Staybridge Suites:
$1 per hour/$10/day maximum.
City of Des Moines Parking Garage
402 E. 2nd St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Exhibitor and Sponsor Registration

Download Exhibitor and Sponsor Information

Registration Due June 1

Iowa ACTE invites you to be an:

  • Exhibitor and
  • Breakout Session Sponsor and/or
  • General Session Sponsor
  • Special Event Sponsor

We appreciate your support in the past and sincerely hope that you will continue to support Career and Technical Education through exhibit space and sponsorship of our conference. This conference is a premier conference for leaders in career and technical education in the 6-state region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin). Attendance usually ranges between 90 to 125 attendees from administrative, agriculture, applied sciences, business, family & consumer sciences, health, information technology and work-based learning positions in middle school through post-secondary education.

THANKS to our 2022 sponsors and  exhibitors!