Amrit and Amy Gill Keynote Strong Destination: Leadership Program Feb. 2


Destination: Leadership

When Amy and Amrit Gill first looked at the Hotel Blackhawk in downtown Davenport, they didn't see an aging building in disrepair. They saw a near century-old palace whose history was worthy of renewal. And when the Gills introduced the completely remodeled hotel in 2010, more than just historic Hotel Blackhawk experienced a revival. Downtown Davenport did as well, much of that led by the Gills and their innovative company, Restoration St. Louis.

The Gills will provide the keynote address at the 2019 Destination: Leadership Conference on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Ballroom of the Rogalski Center.

The annual conference starts at 9:30 and will conclude at 2:30. It features a strong menu of breakout programs presented by community leaders, volunteers, and life coaches. It is free to students, faculty, and staff.

The Gills will present their keynote address at 12:30. Restoration St. Louis is recognized as one of the premier Midwest developers of historic properties, dating back to the Gills' first effort in 1990 as newlyweds "honeymooning" from their day jobs by renovating a six-unit apartment building in their adopted hometown of St. Louis. Today, Restoration St. Louis employs more than 700 people across the Midwest, including 300 in the Quad Cities. A long list of historic restoration projects includes six in downtown Davenport alone, most recently The Current Iowa, an upscale hotel in the historic Putnam Building.

Their work has focused on more than bricks and mortar. Revitalizing neighborhoods by updating substandard housing is the life-enriching work that makes their mission similar to the values that drive St. Ambrose.

A number of St. Ambrose alumni are among the impressive group of breakout presenters at this year's Destination: Leadership conference.

Breakout options include:

10:00am - 10:55am

"Financial Adulting 101 for Millennial Graduates" - Christian Jackson, Financial Adviser/Jackson & Peck Financial Group
Just graduated, have my first job lined up, now what? How do I get on the right track from the start when it comes to my budget, retirement savings, student loans, and my other financial goals.

"Argrow's House: Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship" - Dr. Kit Evans-Ford, Founder and Director, Argrow's House of Healing and Hope
Argrow's House is a healing house and bath and body social enterprise in Davenport, Iowa for women healing from violence and abuse. This presentation will highlight leadership insights to starting and growing a successful social enterprise.

"Volunteer...Why Not?" - Catherine Zamora Cartee, Cartee Law Firm
When one thinks about their future, it should be on how we can help others. Society could learn more from someone who gives of their time, then their money. Money is easy for some, time is precious to all. This is why we volunteer. The more we give, the more we receive.

"Background Checks and Entering the Workforce" - Jim Sweeney, President of InquireHire
Most employers are doing background checks on new and existing employees. This session should answer common questions about background checks, how they are done, your legal rights and what a student should expect.
• What are the tools employers are using to screen new employees?
• How background checks work
• What checks employers are using ...criminal checks, driver's license etc
• What if you have a record?

"Be Confident and Proud, Stand Out from the Crowd: How to Play it Cool in Professional Situations" - Emily Rollins, Career Adviser/Coordinator of Events & Marketing , Career Center, St. Ambrose University
Professional networking and negotiating can be difficult, time-consuming and just plain awkward sometimes. In this presentation, students will learn how to best present themselves in networking situations such as business dinners and career fairs, as well as how to negotiate for the salary they deserve. Attend this session if you want to learn how to positively stand out from others and land your dream job.

10:55am - 11:45am

"The Stuff They Haven't Told You About Owning a Small Business" - Colin and Jessie Cartee, Owners of CrossFit OC3
Many people don't know what it takes to become a successful small business owner. The time and energy you must put in fall well short of the mental time and stress induced. This presentation will dive deeper into what a small business owner does on a daily/yearly basis. It will outline the leadership, and the organizational and mental qualities a person must develop to run a successful small business.

"Eeney Meeney Miney Moe" - Curt Johnston, Vice President of Mortgage at IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union
You've been navigating this post-college life pretty well, but not everything is coming up roses. You have your student loans, and a whole new set of bills, but how do you manage it all when you want to buy a house, start a family, take a vacation or all the above? In this session, we'll explore ways to pay down your bills AND plan for the things that are important to you (a home, a family, vacation, retirement, etc.).

"Leadership = Global Citizenship" - Katelyn Horberg, Master of Public Health Program at St. Ambrose University
We live in a globalized world. You are leaders in our globalized world. I will share my journey to discover the meaning of global citizenship through my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, Africa. Understanding and embracing your role as a global citizen will break down barriers, expand your worldview and enhance your success as a leader in our modern world...and you can start today!

"Tear Down Those Barriers!" - Ann McGlynn and Sarah Rissler, Tapestry Farms and Dress for Success Quad Cities
Drive refugee women across town for English class, laughing and singing along the way. Set up a booth at the Mercado on Fifth to show women how some really outstanding clothing and professional development can change the course of their lives. It is these exact types of acts that are toppling systemic barriers in our community for women and their families. Meet two people who believe in the power of empowering others as they build new lives: Ann McGlynn, founder of Tapestry Farms, and Sarah Rissler, Project Lead for Latina Success Project with Dress for Success Quad Cities.

"Leadership, Mentorship and Mastery" - Jeff Wallace, CEO of Vision Leadership and Productions and S.T.E.P of the Quad Cities
Jeff will be discussing the dynamic nature of Leadership, Mentorship and Mastery. Jeff will explain how they are not exclusive and linear processes that operate completely independently of one another, but rather as an integrated process that enhances one another. Jeff will demonstrate this by using an interactive learning exchange using personal experience and current pop culture.

1:20pm - 2:10pm
"Lead Naked: How to Lose Your Layers and Find Your Voice" - Sarah Stevens, Founder/Creative Director: The Beautiful Project
Thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Brene Brown, vulnerability and authenticity have begun to emerge as conversational threads in leadership development. But how do we move these characteristics from conversation into the real world? Is it possible to lead from a strength-based center while utilizing a vulnerable approach? Join Sarah Stevens, Founder of The Beautiful Project as she uses her own experience leading teams of all sizes to uncover the power of finding your voice by leading without layers.

"Nice for What: How to Call Out Bias in Professional Settings" - Andrea Rivera, Area Coordinator, and Austin Quarles, Hall Director for Residence Life - St. Ambrose University
Part of being an advocate is naming systems of oppression & bias behavior. While we do this every day in our roles with students. It can be more difficult to have these conversations in spaces comprised of other pro-staff. Sometimes you gotta "pipe up"! Explore ways to facilitate tough conversations around bias w/ peers & supervisors, as we seek inspiration from 1 of Drake's latest hits.

"LEARNING Leadership - Because Simply Being "Born With It" Isn't Enough! - Jasmine Bozeman, Author, Speaker, & CEO of The Degree Experience, LLC
Sure, there's such a thing as being a "natural born leader." However, true, dynamic, and lasting leadership is LEARNED! You've crawled and walked, but now it's time to climb and soar with tools, methods, and models for your continued growth and development. Through skill building, self-assessments, and studying The Greats, you'll be able to refine and define the leader you always wanted to be!

"Financial Stability" - John Pavelka, Private Wealth Adviser, The Cities Private Wealth Group
Have you put thought into your future nest egg? Maybe. Maybe not. Saving for retirement is essential to building yourself a comfortable and reliable nest egg. In this session, you will also have the chance to learn about investment choices, the importance of an emergency fund, and the importance of working with a wealth advisor.

"Just Do You!: Discovering your Purpose and Leading with Integrity" - Dr. Ella Johnson, Assistant Professor, Theology Department, St. Ambrose University
"Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire!" These words, written by a medieval Christian woman, St. Catherine of Siena, still apply to us today. In this interactive workshop, we will reflect on how our passion might serve the world around us. Tips from spiritual writers will be given for discovering our passion and discerning how it might best serve others.

Share This Story

Institutional-Campus | News
darla with students

Darla Baumgarten, EdD, died suddenly on Thursday, September 19, four months shy of her 60th birthday and nine months after being promoted to professor in the St. Ambrose University Kinesiology Department. Service are pending.

Read More

Institutional-Campus | News
Building at St. Ambrose

The St. Ambrose University College of Health and Human Services and the College of Arts and Sciences will honor five alumni Sept. 20 for the many ways they've elevated their professions, communities, and alma matter.

Read More


The university’s highest position in the 2020 US News rankings is its No. 19 position in the Best Midwest Regional Universities for Veterans.

Read More

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 29 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!