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Cavin Leeds October 27, 2016


Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and the Greater Des Moines Partnership unveiled speakers for the annual Celebrate Innovation Week or ciWeek 8 at a launch party October 26th at the Greater Des Moines Partnership in downtown Des Moines.

“DMACC is to be commended for once again securing an impressive line-up of transformational speakers for ciWeek,” said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “This annual event is yet another example of why Central Iowa is a great place to live, work and be inspired as attendees will hear from some of the country’s top innovators in music, movies, sports, technology and science—all at no cost.”

ciWeek 8 is Feb. 27th – March 3rd at the DMACC West Des Moines Campus. The event is free and open to the public. The event will be simulcast live in HD at all DMACC campuses.

The ciWeek 8 line-up includes:

Kevin Jorgeson has a reputation for going where no one has gone before. The world class free climber started dominating competitions at age 10 and hasn’t looked down since. He’s achieved the world’s most difficult free climb; the 3,000 foot Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park.

Ken Mattingly was Command Module Pilot of the 1972 Apollo 16 mission. The crew collected samples from the lunar service and during re-entry astronaut Mattingly preformed a one-hour spacewalk.  Mattinglywas also a primary member of the Apollo 13 mission, but was replaced three days before launch, due to concerns of exposure to German measles, which he never caught. Mattingly was portrayed by Gary Sinise in the 1995 Academy Award Winning Film, also starring Tom Hanks, Apollo 13.


Al Worden flew to the moon in 1971. The astronaut is credited with taking the first deep space lunar walk in 1971. Worden flew a record setting 196,000 miles from the earth while command module pilot for Apollo 15. During this flight he became, “the most isolated human ever,” according to the Guinness Book of World Records because at times his fellow astronauts were 2,235 miles away on the lunar surface.

Greg Russell is a sound engineer who has been nominated for 16 Academy Awards and worked on nearly 200 films. He’s mixed some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and earned Oscar nominations for his work on The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Spider-Man, and Transformers 1, 2 and 3.

Max Brooks is an author and screenwriter. His 2006 apocalyptic horror novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War was turned into a movie starring Brad Pitt. World War Z and his novel The Zombie Survival Guide made the New York Times Bestsellers list. His latest project is a novel based on the popular Minecraft game entitled Minecraft: The Lost Island. Max is the son of actors Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.


Kaila Mullady is the 2015 World Beatbox Champion and current America Vice Beatbox Champion. The New York City based musician performs all over the world.  She infuses beatboxing, singing, rapping, poetry and theatre into her performances.


Dan Gable is an Olympic Gold Medal wrestler, three-time Iowa high school state champion at Waterloo West and a two-time NCAA champion at Iowa State University. As a coach he led the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA team titles from 1976 to 1997.  The sought after motivational speaker has taken his messages of overcoming adversity and team building to everyone from high school students to Fortune 500 companies.

Joy Hakim breathes new life into history and science with her interesting and insightful narrative storytelling. Her ten-volume A History of US, published in 1993, was turned into a 16-part PBS series and earned several awards for non-fiction writing. One educator says of her series The Story of Science, “Hakim’s work is the best I can find. In fact, her books are far above the quality of anything else I have used. She emphasizes narrative and tries to tell compelling stories about historical figures.”

Go to  for more information on ciWeek 8 speakers and events.


Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 222 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation, new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC continues to experience solid growth. For more information, please visit

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