2018 Spring Conference

IowACE is excited to be back in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for our Spring Conference!  We are planning for a great line-up of speakers covering an assortment of topics including verbal judo, economic development and code enforcement in small communities, tiny houses, and a hands on course on fire extinguisher.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of IowACE!  Please join us in celebrating our Anniversary following the conference on Thursday evening.  IowACE President, Richard Bright, will be cutting cake and drawing for prizes at the party.  The party will be held from 5-6pm in the Bar/Reception area of the Double Tree.  We look forward to seeing you there!





Meet our Speakers!

The following is a list of speakers that will be presenting at the Spring 2018 Conference.  Stay tuned as we continue to add to the list!

Bryce Davis, City Administrator with City of Eagle Grove, Iowa.

Bryce Davis joined the City of Eagle Grove as the City Administrator in December 2017. Bryce was instrumental in establishing a Capital Improvements Plan/Paving Management Plan for the city, determining timelines and stakeholder meetings to gain input on the new downtown revitalization project, drafted for public consideration key ordinances establishing new parameters for landscape requirements, developed new downtown district zoning provisions, and reorganized the city’s code enforcement priorities and procedures. Previously, Bryce was the Economic Development Director for Wright County Economic Development, where he continues to assist projects that are developing in rural Wright County with a combined new capital investment of over $400 million. In 2014, Bryce received a Master’s of Science in Economics degree from Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Management and Economics and Finance from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Topic Highlights – The landscape of many small, rural Iowa communities can be associated with a declining population, capital disinvestment, a diminishing quality of the housing stock, and the lack Municipal Code enforcement within the community. The City of Eagle Grove (pop. 3,427) faced similar trends, which were a catalyst for a new focus on improved standards for City Administration, the volunteer Chamber/Development Corporation, and current and future residents to pursue. The City of Eagle Grove continues to revamp its code enforcement procedures, implement new rental housing inspection and property maintenance protocols and standards, and invest new funds for the demolition of dilapidated/abandoned properties. The city even fought for the legal enforceability of Iowa Code Chapter 657A.10A.: Petition by City for Title to Abandoned Property, that was defined in the City of Eagle Grove v. Cahalan Investments, LLC, ruling. While the City of Eagle Grove has moved in a positive direction, there is still much more to be done to protect our future Quality of Life.

Kevin Ciabatti, Director of Building Services, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Kevin Ciabatti joined the City of Cedar Rapids in 2011 as Assistant Manager of the Code Enforcement Division of the Fire Department. Kevin was named Director of the Building Services Department in 2012, when a stand-alone Department was formed.

Since his arrival, Kevin has been heavily involved in the development of codes which impact the quality of life of the community. Kevin played a vital role in the development of Chapter 22A Nuisance Property Code and the Vacant and Neglect ordinance of the Property Maintenance Code. He has also been heavily involved in maintaining the City’s ISO rating by adhering to a consistent building code adoption and amendment policy. Kevin also acts as the ICMA performance metrics coordinator for the City.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Kansas, School of Architecture. Prior to his move to the City of Cedar Rapids, Kevin has worked in the field of architecture for firms in both Tulsa, Oklahoma and Rockford, Illinois. He also served as the Plans Examiner, Assistant Director of the Building Department and Code Official in Rockford Illinois, and the Code Official in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He has over 20 years of code enforcement experience.

Topic Highlights – The concept of tiny homes have been around for years, made popular by television programs and television channels such as HGTV. This building type has not been recognized by the International Codes, until now. The history and philosophy behind tiny homes will be discussed, as well as the code requirements set forth in 2018 International Residential Code. How are communities, such as Cedar Rapids, adapting to the new code requirements?

Vance McKinnon III, Fire Marshal, Cedar Rapids Fire Department

Vance McKinnon started with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department on September 7, 1993.  He spent seven years as a fireman and then entered into Public Education in 2000.  Vance was promoted to Captain in the Inspection Bureau in 2002 and to Assistant Fire Marshal in 2008.  In 2012, Vance was promoted to Battalion Chief, Fire Marshal.

Topic highlights – It is important to understand what factors will influence your decision to use a fire extinguisher; we will discuss the proper fire extinguisher to use for certain types of fires, the different types of fire extinguishers out there, understanding the limits of fire extinguishers. We will also discuss the four steps to life safety when determining the use of a fire extinguisher and how to properly use a fire extinguisher using the PASS method.

Al Pansegrau, Chief Housing Inspector, City of Cedar Rapids

Al Pansegrau has worked as a Housing Inspector for the City of Cedar Rapids since 1999.  In 2010, he was promoted to Chief Housing Inspector.  He is certified in the IPMC and the IRC.

Topic Highlights – Requirements to become a landlord in Cedar Rapids. Topics include code required background checks of tenants, legal rights for tenants, certificate of compliance and possible reasons to have a rental unit use suspended.

Victoria Syverson, City of Cedar Rapids Police Department

Topic Highlights – Verbal Judo and Dealing with mental issues as a code enforcement officer.

SuAnn Donovan, Neighborhood Inspection Zoning Administrator – City of Des Moines

SuAnn Donovan joined the City of Des Moines as a Legal Assistant in June of 1992.  She processed code enforcement litigation generated from a variety of codes.  These included rentals, junk and debris, zoning code violations, traffic code violations and other miscellaneous issues.  She helped draft the administrative appeals ordinance currently being used for the city junk and debris clean ups.

She was then hired to be the Deputy Zoning Enforcement Officer where she supervised three field inspectors.  The division also had counter duties to answer permit questions.

About seven years ago, SuAnn was hired as the Neighborhood Inspection Zoning Administrator.  The City decided to combine the Neighborhood Inspection Division and the Zoning Division.  The move was designed to have the two divisions work more closely on neighborhood issues.  This has worked out and staff is better able to address issues that have both rental code and zoning issues.

Topic Highlights – General overview of rental codes outlining our new processes.  General overview of our zoning codes and the direction we are headed with a form based code.  Presentation will be a question answer format.


Thank you to our Cedar Rapids area business sponsors for their door prize donations!

  • Applebees
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Starbucks
  • Wendys
  • Godfather’s Pizza
  • Home Depot
  • Bills Brothers Furniture