Iowa Communications Alliance Leadership Academy


Applications Now Being Accepted for 2023-2024 Leadership Academy

The ICA Leadership Academy was developed in response to requests from members for additional, in-depth leadership development opportunities for member company employees. 

Program Goal
The ICA Leadership Academy will raise up leaders who desire to take the next step into a leadership role both in their companies and the ICA through networking opportunities, mentorship, and leadership skills training.

Target Audience
Member company employees being considered for, working towards, or new to leadership positions within their organization.  The class size will be limited to no more than 12 participants and only one participant per member company.  The limited class size will allow for maximum participation and networking.  Applying does not guarantee a spot in the class.  Selection of the Leadership Academy class is competitive and involves thoughtful consideration by a review committee. 

Program Dates (unless otherwise noted, all classes will be held in the Des Moines metro area)
  • October 11-12, 2023 - Session the afternoon of Oct. 11, group dinner that evening, and session the morning of Oct. 12
  • November 15, 2023
  • December 5, 2023 – At Minburn Communications in Woodward, IA
  • January 9-10, 2024 – In conjunction with the Executive Pathways Conference and Legislative Welcome Back Reception.  Leadership Academy participants will also attend the legislative reception and then have a group dinner on the evening of Jan. 9.
  • February 7, 2024
  • March 24, 2024 – Evening – Graduation dinner
  • March 25, 2024 – Programming the morning of March 25.  Participants will be recognized during the Annual Meeting of Members at the ICA Annual Meeting & Expo that begins the afternoon of March 25.
Program Content
The Leadership Academy will include a mix of presentations, interactive workshops, and participant discussions.  Each year, content is reviewed and adjusted as needed to provide participants with the most relevant contact possible.  Topics to be covered include:

  • Leadership Personality and Strengths Workshop
  • Human Resources Basics
  • Time Management and Delegation
  • Building Successful Teams
  • Leading Effective Meetings
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Goal Setting
  • Presentation Skills
  • Importance of Legislative and Regulatory Involvement
  • Community and Economic Development
The cost to participate in the ICA Leadership Academy is $750.  This fee includes:
  • All session content and trainer fees
  • All participant materials
  • Meals during the scheduled class times
Any travel-related expenses would be the responsibility of the member company.
Participant Expectations
  • Attend and actively participate in ALL scheduled sessions.  Emergency situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Complete any homework assignments given to the class. 
  • Participate in at least one ICA committee meeting/conference call during the course.
ICA places a high priority on full participation.  All applicants should consider personal and professional calendars and make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the program schedule.  All sessions will be held in person. 
Application Process
There are two parts to the application.  Part 1 should be completed by the applicant.  Part 2 is to be completed by the applicant’s supervisor.  If the applicant is the GM/CEO, Part 2 should be completed by the Board President.  Responses provided in both parts of the application will be considered in the review and selection of class participants.
  • Applicant and Supervisor complete the attached application.  The application is provided in a Word document format, allowing you to type your responses directly into the application.
  • Submit the completed application by July 31, 2023 to: [email protected]
  • Applications will be reviewed and scored by a committee.  Please note that simply submitting an application does not guarantee you a spot in the class.  Selection of the Leadership Academy class is a competitive process.
  • Applicants will be notified by September 1, 2023.
Click Here to download Application Packet

Contact Melissa Primus with any questions.


Congratulations to the ICA Leadership Academy Graduates

2022-2023 ICA Leadership Academy

  • David Brown, Minburn Communications
  • Kellee Dawson, IAMO Communications
  • Brad Dorman, Calix
  • Sarah Hagen, Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association
  • Aaron Horman, F&B Communications
  • Robyn McDowell, Premier Communications
  • Katie Miller, Sharon Telephone Company
  • Erin Nelson, Wiatel
  • Justin Schneider, Coon Valley Telephone Cooperative
  • Carey Stover, Aureon
  • Curtis Thornberry, Panora Fiber
  • Adam Welp, MTC Technologies

2021-2022 ICA Leadership Academy

  • Marcie Boerner, Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association
  • Brittany Bonnicksen, Iowa Communications Alliance
  • Ray Fear, Farmtel Communications
  • Jeremy Gugel, KCTC
  • Andrea Hansen, Butler-Bremer Communications
  • Steve Hanson, Northeast Iowa Telephone Company
  • Lisa Koerselman, Premier Communications
  • Mary Phillips, Minerva Valley Companies
  • Dominic Schnell, Northwest Communications
  • Kayla Sperfslage, Cascade Communications
  • Angie Thompson, Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association
  • Matt Tippett, Mahaska Communication Group

2019-2020 ICA Leadership Academy

  • Devan Amdor, Cumberland Telephone Company
  • Mike Baker, Danville Telecom
  • Jamie Daubendiek, Jefferson Telecom
  • Chris Dodd, Evertek, Inc.
  • Rachel Hamilton, Marne Elk Horn
  • Ryan Joynt, Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association
  • Chris Lovell, CL Tel
  • Lee Mellema, Premier Communications
  • Kristine Mohning, WesTel Systems
  • Erin Petersen, Palo Cooperative Telephone Association
  • Jillinda Thornton, IAMO Telephone Company
  • Johnathon Tuvera, Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative