Iowa Communications Alliance Leadership Academy


2024-2025 Leadership Academy Application Packet is now available.  The application deadline is July 31.

The ICA Leadership Academy was developed in response to requests from members for additional, in-depth leadership skills 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.  Leadership Academy participants are selected through a competitive and blind review process.  The committee thoughtfully considers all the information provided on the application.  

Program Dates (unless otherwise noted, all classes will be held in the Des Moines metro area)
  • October 16-17, 2024 - Session the afternoon of Oct. 16, group dinner that evening, and session the morning of Oct. 17
  • November 20, 2024
  • December 10, 2024 – At a member company location
  • January 13-14, 2025 – 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. 13.
  • February 5, 2025
  • March 23, 2025 – Evening – Graduation dinner
  • March 24, 2025 – Programming the morning of March 24.  Participants will be recognized during the Annual Meeting of Members at the ICA Annual Meeting & Expo that begins the afternoon of March 24.
Program Content
The Leadership Academy is highly interactive and will include a mix of presentations, workshops, and participant discussions.  Each year, content is reviewed and adjusted as needed to provide participants with the most relevant content 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
Cost - The cost to participate in the ICA Leadership Academy is $899.  This fee includes:
  • All session content and trainer fees
  • All participant materials
  • Participation in the ICA Executive Pathways Conference and the Welcome Back Legislative Reception
  • Meals during all scheduled class times
Registration to the ICA Annual Meeting & Expo is not included in the Leadership Academy fee. 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 blind 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, 2024 to: [email protected]
  • Applications will undergo a blind review and be scored by a committee of no fewer than three members.  Please note this is a competitive process and simply submitting an application does not guarantee you a spot in the class.
  • Applicants will be notified by September 4, 2024.
 If accepted, payment will be due by September 27, 2024.

Please contact Melissa Primus, Director of Membership and Operations, to learn more. 


Download the Application Packet Here


Congratulations to the ICA Leadership Academy Graduates

2023-2024 Leadership Academy

  • Ted Adams, Adtran
  • Samantha Carlson, Communications 1 Network 
  • Jay Duncan, Heart of Iowa Communications
  • Carissa Hoekstra, WTC Communications
  • Natalie Hopf, Mahaska Communication Group       
  • Matt Leisinger, East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative
  • Jordan Oja, Mi-Fiber
  • Mike Olsen, La Motte & Andrew Telephone Company
  • Dan Rosas, MTC Technologies
  • Nicole Schulte, Spring Grove Communications & Harmony Telephone Company
  • Jacob Slaubaugh, Kalona Cooperative Technology Company


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