Doug Griffiths

Thursday, October 7
Opening Keynote
Sponsored by the Iowa Library Association Foundation

Doug Griffiths retired from politics in January 2015 to actively pursue his passion of helping communities, organizations and businesses grow stronger. In his best-selling book, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, Doug identifies challenges and opportunities that all our communities’ face. The lessons that come from those stories are applicable to all type of communities, whether they are towns, organizations, or businesses.

Growing up on a ranch outside of a small community was a great practical education for Doug, giving him a strong work ethic and critical thinking skills. He went on to also acquire an Honors B.A. Philosophy, followed by a B.Ed., and he recently completed the Executive MBA program at the University of Alberta. Education, whether he is learning or teaching, has always been an important aspect of his life.

After teaching and ranching for several years, Doug successfully served as an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Province of Alberta for four consecutive terms. In that time he served in two senior Cabinet portfolios as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Service Alberta, as well as three junior positions in Agriculture, Finance and Solicitor General.

He asserts our biggest challenge is not that we lack good plans, but that we lack the right perspective and attitudes. That is why Doug helps communities identify what is holding them back from finding success, and then helps them overcome it. Then, he helps to build them back up and works with them to find their pathway to success.


HutchinsonBaileeBailee Hutchinson

Branch Manager, Altus Public Library - Altus, Oklahoma
Vice-President of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)
Friday, October 8
Friday Morning Keynote

Bailee Hutchinson is the Branch Manager of the Altus Public Library in Altus, Oklahoma. Bailee is passionate about libraries, community engagement, and how the library is an important piece to a thriving community. 

Bailee’s background includes five years working in the mental health field as a mental health case manager. She honed her skills in customer relations, advocacy, and planning. She has spent the last five years working in libraries where she honed her skills in library leadership, marketing, and community engagement.  While working as Branch Manager Bailee helped plan, organize, and implement fundraisers for library programming, create a community StoryWalk®, oversee collection development, and more. 

Bailee currently serves as President-Elect of the Association of Rural & Small Libraries, Active member of the Oklahoma Library Association, and serves on the board for the Altus Rotary Club. 

Bailee is married to Kyle Hutchinson and together they have 2 girls. Hailee who is in 5th grade and Raelynn who is in Kindergarten. 



Sadagat Aliyeva and Andrea Wilson

Friday, October 8

Friday Luncheon Keynotes

Aliyeva WebSadagat Aliyeva

Sadagat Aliyeva was born and raised in the country of Azerbaijan. As a child she was fascinated by folk tales and legends she heard from her mother and read in books. Sadagat als
o loved art. She often expressed her emotions through her drawings. 

As grew older, Sadagat showed interest in theater. She has two bachelor’s degrees in theater from her native country, one for director of an amateur theater and another in theater criticism.

Prior to her immigration to the United States in 2004, Sadagat worked as a Literacy Manager at the YUG Theater for seven years, and also wrote poetry, plays, and articles about cultural life in Azerbaijan. Her articles and poetry were published in local papers. 

Today Sadagat lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her family. She worked in many public and school libraries since 2012. In her spare time Sadagat writes children’s stories and creates whimsic
al illustrations. Her stories and illustrations deeply connected to her culture and her personal life. She also directed two musicals at Des Moines Onstage.

Sadagat is one of the first recipients of the Bicultural Iowa Writers fellowship. In 2018 Iowa Writers’ House published four of her stories and illustrations in an anthology titled, “We The Interwoven.”

In 2019, her poems and illustrations along with her short story, "My Mother Is a Robin," were included in the anthology "Spark,” published by the Clive Public Library.


WilsonAndreacroppedAndrea Wilson

Founder and Director, Iowa Writers' House

Andrea Wilson is the Founder and Director of the Iowa Writers' House, a literary organization and publishing imprint, as well as the Bicultural Iowa Writers' Fellowship, Iowa's first writing fellowship for writers who identify as immigrants, as well as first- and second-generation Americans. She the series editor of We the Interwoven: An Anthology of Bicultural Iowa. Wilson created the fellowship and the series as a response to a national need for firsthand accounts of the immigrant experience in America and what she perceived as a lack of Midwestern voices in this important literary and humanitarian space.

Wilson is currently a candidate within the renowned program of Narrative Therapy & Community Work from the Dulwich Centre & the University of Melbourne.