Christina Gaard, PharmD

Every day, Christina Gaard works with the rest of her medical team to make sure our veterans are receiving the highest quality care. As a Clinical Pharmacist at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Milwaukee, Wis., Gaard makes sure that patients receive the right medications and understand what they’re taking.

“I really like interacting with patients and with providers,” Gaard said. “And I especially like educating patients.”

Jerry Stone

If you've ever made a batch of Betty Crocker brownies from a box, Jerry Stone might have had something to do with it.

As a floor manager at the General Mills Avon plant in Carlisle, Iowa, Stone oversees the production, packaging and shipment of a number of different Betty Crocker flours and products.

Emma Rose Carson

It all started in a little dance studio in Taos, New Mexico.

That’s where six-year-old Emma Rose Carson learned her first pliés and relevés. Now 23 and a professional modern dancer with a company in New York, Carson said she’s living her ultimate dream.

“I just was absolutely fascinated by the language of movement, and it just captivated me. I think I just had this innate passion for it.”

Kelly Davis

As a morning news anchor at WDRB-41 in Louisville, Ky., Kelly Davis starts her days early. Really early.
 
The show starts at 6 a.m., so that means Davis is in the newsroom at 3 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday morning, gathering stories and preparing for the show. Not only does she anchor the show, she is also the executive producer. The station’s weekend morning show just started this year.
 
“It’s been a really big learning experience for all of us.”
 

Melissa Palma

Improving others’ quality of life is Melissa Palma’s way of life.
 
Palma is a third-year medical student at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine.This fall, she spent six-weeks in Des Moines as part of her inpatient pediatrics rotation.
 
When she’s not logging long hours at Unity Point Methodist Hospital, she volunteers at  La Clinica de la Esperanza, a Des Moines clinic dedicated to providing healthcare to non-English speakers and those without health insurance.
 

Jennifer Ortega

From the tennis court to the operating room, Jennifer Ortega is constantly on her toes and thinking two steps ahead.
 
Ortega is a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. Every day in the operating room is a little different than the day before. She works with doctors from all different disciplines, and provides the highest quality care to those undergoing operations.
 
For Ortega, it’s all about staying collected in high-pressure situations.
 

Justin Welsh

Justin Welsh can’t sit still.

Whether he’s working on a multi-billion dollar portfolio for a major company or scaling Mount Cook in New Zealand, Welsh said he’s always looking for that next mountain to climb.

“You have to have that desire to always be active and engaged,” Welsh said. “You have to have that hyperactivity, and you have to be able to funnel it into things that you enjoy.”

Welsh now lives in Seattle, Wash., and just joined the digital finance team at Amazon.

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