Inclusion in the Workplace

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Inclusion in the Workplace
A College of Business Pride Week Panel Discussion

Join business leaders as they discuss the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in today’s workplace. Panelists from KPMG, DuPont, Caterpillar, John Deere and Kabel Business Services will help us understand the corporate-level implications of supporting communities of diversity, and their approach to making members of the community feel included and valued.


Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding will serve as moderator. He will introduce each panelist and invite them to share how their company is involved in LGBT issues, why it’s important for companies to incorporate strategies to employ, support and engage people from diverse backgrounds, and what future trends are anticipated. Questions from the audience will follow.


Tuesday April 12, 2016
4:00-5:00 p.m. Gerdin 1148    


This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in Bergstrom Commons of Gerdin Business Building, with appetizers and beverages. Parking is available in the Memorial Union on the Iowa State University campus. 



 CoB Pride Week Panelists

Brian Bledsoe_Caterpillar    

Brian Bledsoe is Designer in Caterpillar’s Product Development & Global Technology Division.  In his everyday role, he helps find solutions for Caterpillar’s engineering and support community.  Brian also supports many of Caterpillar’s engineering programs, and until recently, trained new employees on those programs and processes.  Brian is also the Global Chair for the Caterpillar Lambda Network, which is one of Caterpillar’s 13 Employee Resource Groups.  In that role, he guides the Lambda Leadership Team and creates strategy to change Caterpillar’s culture surrounding LGBTQ+ issues.


For 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. They also provide financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.

Danny Beyer

Danny Beyer is a networking specialist and bow tie aficionado.  Through his network he has achieved success in both his professional and personal life.  He helped organize the Des Moines Area LinkedIn Social – an event that draws hundreds of professionals from throughout the Greater Des Moines area to build real life connections.  In 2013 he co-founded the Bow Tie Ball, a charity event centered on bow ties and networking that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Young Variety.  His book, Ties that Bind: Networking with Style is available at


Danny is a keynote speaker on networking and building real connections and frequently blogs on those topics for the Des Moines Business Record.  In 2013 he was chosen as the Amy Jennings Young Professional of the Year through the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Young Professionals Connection and was selected to the 2014 Business Record 40 Under 40 group.

Chad Libertus

Chad W. Libertus is a Tax partner in KPMG’s Houston Federal Tax practice. He has more than 20 years of experience in providing tax planning and compliance services to public and privately held clients. Chad is responsible for a broad range of U.S. domestic, multi-national and foreign-owned clients doing business as consolidated groups, single entities or joint ventures.  Chad has worked with a wide range of complex tax matters relating to his clients’ businesses.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have more than 162,000 people working in member firms around the world.

Kris Voyna

Kristina (Kris) Voyna is the Manager of Global & Region 4 Learning Administration at John Deere. She has held a multitude of jobs over the past 15 years, mostly within the Human Resources function. However, John Deere has provided a wide variety of experiences, including a role on the factory floor to a position focused on dealers. Outside of work, most of her time is spent with her wife, Teri, and her son, Leo (2).


Deere & Company is a world leader in providing advanced products and services for customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.


Michael Patrick                                                                                                                                                                                     

Mitch Derr is an Information & Documentation Associate at DuPont Pioneer.  Prior to joining DuPont Pioneer in December 2012, he was the archivist at a contract research organization in Ohio for nine years.  For more than a decade, he has worked in a regulatory environment, ensuring record compliance with governmental regulations both in the U.S. and abroad.  He is a member of the DuPont Pioneer LGBTA employee resource group, having served as co-chair for the past two years, and is also a member of DuPont’s broader LGBTA group, BGLAD.  Outside of work, Mitch is a board member of the Capital City Pride organization which is responsible for the Pride festival held every year in Des Moines.  Mitch is also involved with several other LGBT groups in the community.


DuPont is dedicated to its core values of Safety & Health, Environmental Stewardship, Respect for People, and Highest Ethical Behavior.  The company is committed to building a diverse workforce and accepting and valuing diversity in the workplace, and aims to have an organization in which people of all backgrounds can contribute and achieve full potential in pursuit of personal and organizational excellence.















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