Speaker Biographies
(Adobe PDF File)

2019 Conference Speakers

Billie Bailey, Executive Director, Five Sullivan Brothers Veterans Museum and Grout Museum District.

Tina Bakehouse, Maple Edge Farm and Malvern Bank.  Chief Creative Officer for Malvern Bank, storyteller and TEDX speaker and communication coach, Tina Bakehouse uses her two BAs in communication and psychology and teaching English, speech, and theatre as well as her masters degrees in communication studies and professional writing to facilitate creative workshops for youth, professionals, and older adults, develop and perform storytelling shows in collaboration with Mary Swander of AgArts and Jude Treder-Wolff of Life Stage to enhance the arts and culture in Iowa. An IHSSA speech critic and Leadership Iowa participant, Tina uses her creative problem-solving skills to tell her life stories and help others share their stories.

Meghan Beverung, Assistant Producer, Bluewater Studio, received a B.A. degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a M.A. in Museum Studies from Baylor University. She has held several positions within the museum field in the areas of education, collections management, and curation. Having worked in higher education for the past eight years, she recently joined the team at Bluewater Studio and is excited to continue her work in such a dynamic field.

David Bright, Pugh Hagan Prahm PLC.. David practices in areas of law including business, corporate, real estate, estate planning, probate, nonprofit/tax-exempt organizations, franchise and distribution, anti-trust and trade regulation, and mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Dave has served on many community boards in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, including formerly as a member of the University of Iowa Museum of Art Members Council and currently as a member of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Board of Trustees. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is a frequent public speaker on issues related to business formation, estate planning, art and museum law, and nonprofit/tax exempt organizations.

Terry Poe Buschkamp is the Promotion Specialist for the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program. She also serves as the coordinator for the Iowa Downtown Conference and Main Street Iowa Awards, and recently worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibits program to facilitate a state-wide tour in Iowa Main Street communities. Previously, Poe Buschkamp served as Executive Director for Main Street Waterloo, the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau and Waterloo Downtown Council. Poe Buschkamp is recognized as a Certified Main Street Manager; has a Bachelor’s from the University of Northern Iowa; is a graduate of Iowa Association of Industry’s Leadership Iowa; and holds a Certified Tour Professional designation. terry.buschkamp@iowaEDA.com

Jon Childers, Executive Director, Amana Heritage Society, has been in his current position for three years.  His focus is on financial sustainability and currently the lead in the acquisition of the Ruedy Home Communal Kitchen Museum in Middle Amana, the only intact historic communal kitchen in the Amanas.  He has an M.A. in German Linguistics and Literature and an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa.

Rebecca Dickman, Curator, Amana Heritage Society,  graduated in 2016 with an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas.  Having experience at already seven museums throughout the Midwest, Rebecca’s focus has been on collections care, inventory processing, and exhibition.  She is currently in the middle of an extensive collections inventory project at the Amana Heritage Museum.

Laura Elfers, Educational Engagement Director, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of agriculture and is passionate about educating all ages on the history of farming and the agricultural industry in Iowa. Laura directed the development of Silos & Smokestacks award-winning traveling exhibit, “It Takes An Iowan.” The exhibit explores Iowans as leaders in the ongoing endeavor of providing food for our nation and world.

Lindsay Erhardt-Hansen, Director of Visitor & Volunteer Services, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.  Lindsay works with a great team to oversee the visitor experience, front of house operations, and volunteer and internship programs.  Her team includes exhibit docents, volunteers and front of house staff.  They work closely across all departments, so that everyone can do their best job.  During her session, Lindsay hopes to share some insights into how the NCSML is trying innovative ways of connecting with their community and beyond.

Jennifer Smith Hoesing is Chief Development Officer at EmBe where she designs and implements fundraising and philanthropic strategies that are consistent with EmBe's vision and mission to enrich the lives of women and families.  Jennifer is a native of Marcus, Iowa, and returned the Midwest to serve as the Founding Executive Director of Stockyards Ag Experience in Sioux Falls, raising more than $2.5 million to support capital and operational goals.  Her strengths include design and implementation of fund development strategies, strategic planning, branding, communications, and convening diverse groups of community collaborators to advance mutual goals.

Julie Huffman-klinkowitz is Collections Manager at the Cedar Falls Historical Society. She received her BA in Anthropology and MA in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. She has co-authored a number of books, including bibliographies and historical biographies.

Stefanie Kohn, Curator, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, holds a B.A. degree from Indiana University in anthropology and Germanic studies and has attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. She received a Certificate in Collections Management from The George Washington University. She was hired in 1999 by the NCSML as Collections Manager and was promoted in August 2007 to her current position. She has worked for a variety of museums in conservation laboratories, educational departments, as a curatorial assistant and as an interpreter.

Jennifer Kovarik, Registrar and Youth Educator at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.  She helps manage, interpret, and provide access to the museum's object, library, and archives collection.  She also has helped to create and currently facilitates the museum's youth programs which are based on or rely heavily upon the museum's collections, including its demonstration collection. Kovarik has a B.A. in English and history from Luther College and a M.A.T. in elementary education from Hastings College.

Amanda Lensing, Senior Living Communities Program Coordinator, University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art.  Amanda Lensing moved back to her hometown of Iowa City in 2016 after graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2004 and having a vibrant career in the entertainment and literary industries on both coasts.  It took some time for her to figure out how to translate her skill set to local business.  Today, she splits her time as the Senior Living Communities Program Coordinator at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and the Development Director at Riverside Theatre.  Her roles at both organizations allow her to promote the arts in the community and develop programs that will benefit senior citizens and adults of all ages, interests, and ability levels.  She's come full circle in location while finding a new purpose in her career in the arts.  She's proud to be presenting at the IMA conference to share the SLC Program and represent the Stanley Museum of Art.

Heidi Lung, University of Iowa Museum Studies Program. Heidi Lung joined the University of Iowa Anthropology department in 2015 as lecturer of Museum Studies.  When teaching, Heidi encourages students to engage with the historical, social, cultural, artistic, and scientific dimensions of heritage and community, both tangible and intangible.  Heidi holds degrees in art history, museum studies, and education and earned her PhD from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She brings with her twenty years of experience working in museums including the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Saint Louis Science Center. She is the President of the Iowa Museum Association.

Lenore Metrick-Chen, Curator, Art & Cultural Historian, Drake University. Lenore Metrick-Chen is a cultural and art historian and curator whose work centers on changing and challenging borders of identities, and the way imagery and display is used in creating, defining and defying identity. She is the author of numerous articles and her recent work has focused on Black history in Iowa and its relationship to national issues, with essays published in Hyperallergic, International Sculpture Magazine and the International Review of African American Art, among others. Her book Collecting Objects/ Excluding People: Chinese Subjects and the American Arts Discourse was published by SUNY Press. For the last decade she has curated issue-orientated art exhibitions at Drake University such as Are We Global Yet? and Apparatus: The Technology of Seeing/ Worldviews. She also specializes in curating small exhibitions, such as The Signifying Object, created for two vitrines at Stony Island Arts Bank, Chicago.

Kris Patrick, Main Street Fort Dodge. Kris is Executive Director of Main Street Fort Dodge.  Kris has worked in economic development and preservation for seven years.  She recently completed national certification as a historic real-estate development financial professional.  She is a NCCAP certified activity director and recreational therapist.  Kris is a former small business owner, business consultant - acting as SBDC affiliate for Chariton, tourism director of Lucas County, Iowa and was a staff writer for Chariton Newspapers.  kris@mainstreetfd.org

Melissa Porter, Museum Program Manager, Brucemore.  Melissa Porter has served as Museum Program Manager at Brucemore for two years.  She has a BA with majors in history and classical studies from Iowa State University and MA in Museum Studies from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.  Melissa has worked and interned with museums including the Iowa State University Museums, Dumbarton House (DC), the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and the State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

Kay Schroeder, Dubuque Museum of Art. Katherine (Kay) Schroeder has more than a decade of experience working with arts and cultural organizations, including the Dubuque Arboretum, the Dubuque Museum of Art, and Fly-by-Night Productions, a theatre company based in Dubuque.

Angela Stanford, Curator of Collections and Registrar, Museum of Danish America.  Since 2004, Angela Stanford has acted as Curator of Collections and Registrar at the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa.  She has a combined 18 years of experience in collections including cataloging and inventories, deaccessioning, proper handling and storage methods, and database management.  She has participated on numerous boards, and currently serves the Midwest Registrars Committee of the Association of Midwest Museums and the Iowa Museum Association where she previously served for two years as president.  She is also a peer reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums’ MAP and Accreditation programs.  Angela received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, and her Master of Arts in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. 

Mary Swander is the Poet Laureate of Iowa, the Artistic Director of Swander Woman Productions, and the Executive Director of AgArts, a non-profit designed to imagine and promote healthy food systems through the arts. Her latest book is a collection of essays called The Sunny Side from Route 3 Press.
Her most recent book of poetry is The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative. Swander tours a performance of The Girls on the Roof for the stage with Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre.
     Currently, Swander is also touring her plays Vang, a drama about recent immigrant farmers and Map of my Kingdom, or Who’s Going to Get the Farm? Swander’s play Farmscape has been performed throughout the U.S. with a special performance for Secretary Vilsack at the U.S.D.A. Ice Cube Press published the play with a collection of essays in 2012.
     Swander has published scores of other books, essays, magazine articles and commentaries in such places as: The Nation, National Public Radio, National Gardening Magazine, The New Republic. The New Yorker. The New York Times Magazine, and Poetry.  She is best known for her narrative poem Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf), and her memoirs Out of this World (Viking) and The Desert Pilgrim (Viking).
     Ms. Swander has won numerous awards including an Iowa Author’s Award (2006), a Whiting Award (The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two Ingram Merrill Awards (1980, 1986) , the Carl Sandburg Literary Award (The Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (The Nation magazine, 1976) .
     Ms. Swander received her M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She is a professor of English and a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Emerita at Iowa State University. She lives in an old Amish schoolhouse, raises geese, goats and a large organic garden. She performs her own work playing the harmonica and the banjo.

University of Iowa Museum Studies Program Students Lyndi Kiple, Allison Steger, Julia Prime, Nichole Greazel, Jillian Shrader.  Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Heidi Lung

Lauren Watts is the Sports & Heritage Director at Silver Oaks. Lauren uses her background in strategic digital marketing and communication research to help clients create engaging and immersive interactive experiences. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and her master’s degree from Clemson University where her research focused on intergenerational communication. She has experience working with the USGA, 500 Festival and NBC Olympics.

Candy Welch-Streed, Director of Partnerships, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area. Candy has nearly twenty years of heritage development experience. She is currently Director of Partnerships for Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area and is responsible for helping the 37-county region and its partners preserve and share their agricultural stories.  She directly manages their grant and partner programs, interpretation, historic preservation and technical assistance efforts.  Candy is proud to be a part of preserving American traditions and stories and helping Iowans connect with their heritage. It is her personal mission to be a part of making Iowa a great place to live. 

Felicite Wolfe, Curator, African American Museum of Iowa.  Ms. Wolfe earned her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from that University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in Archives and Preservation Management. She’s had over 10 years of museum collections management and exhibit development experience, including positions with the University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Ms. Wolfe has been involved with the African American Museum of Iowa as a volunteer, consultant, and staff member since 2011, and has held the Curator position since 2017.

Tilly Woodward, Curator of Academic and Community Outreach, Faulconer Gallery. Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach at Faulconer Gallery, has been leading innovative museum programming at Grinnell College since 2007. Working with campus and community partners, she develops and oversees a full range of classes, lectures, tours, curricular partnerships, symposia, and performances in and with the Gallery. She also leads a team of student assistants who help take Faulconer’s outreach to schools and programs in the region, engaging with a wide range of audiences, from preschoolers to college students, and from neurodiverse adults to faculty.  

Amy Zeigler, Digital Marketing Manager, Iowa Tourism Office. Amy Zeigler is the Digital Marketing Manager at the Iowa Tourism Office and Iowa Economic Development Authority, where she is responsible for managing the websites, digital tools and digital marketing. Amy loves everything Iowa and grew up on a farm in Northeast Iowa. She earned her bachelor’s degree in corporate communications and media studies from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and now resides in Clive. She enjoys reading, baking, spending time with her family, of course, traveling Iowa.

Fred Zesiger, Main Street Ottumwa. Fred Zesiger had volunteered in various capacities for Main Street Ottumwa program prior to accepting the Executive Director’s position in 2015. Previously, Fred was employed by the Hotel Ottumwa as Director of Building Projects, supervising the adaptive reuse of two downtown buildings. Fred and his partner also developed another downtown building into a restaurant with four apartments that won Main Street Iowa’s best adaptive reuse of a building in 2010. Fred holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and MFA from Bowling Green State University.  director@mainstreetottumwa.com

Erich Zuern, Executive Producer, Bluewater Studio. For more than 30 years, Mr. Zuern has inspired, guided and led the production of successful museum projects across the United States and abroad – connecting people and nations throughout the world. His portfolio includes diverse cultural projects featuring interpretive storytelling, educational experiences and highly engaging activities.  As Executive Producer at Bluewater Studio, Mr. Zuern creates a team atmosphere that fosters excitement and success through a proven process of project planning, design, fabrication, and installation. A strong believer in planning and collaboration, he is a sought-after industry speaker and consultant on the process of developing exhibits for cultural institutions. He also contributed to the Manual of Museum Exhibitions (2nd Edition, 2015), a comprehensive guide to the entire process of planning, designing, producing, and evaluating exhibitions for museums of all kinds. ezuern@Bluewater.Studio