Thursday, December 20
Downtown Embassy Club - Ruan Building
11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Chris Wood serves the mission of Make-A-Wish® Iowa as the Chief Development Officer. He brings a diverse mix of professional experience in business development in the private sector cultivating partnerships on both a local and a national level. Chris has lived in the Des Moines metro for nearly 17 years with a variety of stops along his career journey including roles at Dwolla, Meredith Corporation, KCCI-TV, and the Des Moines Register. He has been an active member of the community through volunteer efforts for multiple nonprofit organizations and in leadership positions on local boards. He is a current member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute – Community Leadership Program. Having had a personal heart condition as a young child, he has a passion to focus his professional life on helping other children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Make-A-Wish Iowa creates life-changing wishes for children in Iowa with critical illnesses. The Foundation has granted wishes to more than 3,500 children in Iowa with critical illnesses since 1987. A wish come true empowers children which can replace their fear with confidence, anxiety with joy, and sadness with hope. For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses.
Jessica Dinh has served as a Volunteer Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish® Iowa since 2015. In this role she serves as an advocate and voice for wish children and provides family support from the beginning to the end of their wish experience. In 2016 she was awarded the Make-A-Wish® Iowa Rising Star Award and the Governor’s Volunteer Award for her dedication to Make-A-Wish® Iowa in 2017. Jessica also serves as an executive committee member for Inspire Iowa’s Future.
Jessica has worked as a nurse in a variety of areas including pediatrics, obstetrics and organ donation. She currently works as the Pediatric Simulator Educator for Blank Children’s Hospital in the Center for Advocacy and Outreach. Her nursing experience has given her valuable experience working with children and their families in difficult and life changing situations. This experience has fueled her passion for Make-A-Wish® Iowa, as she has seen first-hand the impact a wish can have for not only a child, but everyone around them.