CICIL employees are skilled and talented at looking beyond regulatory requirements to incorporate the quality elements of life and provide opportunities for clients to be contributing members of the community and not merely recipients of services but as lifelong contributors to society.
MS, CRC, LMHC
Laura Gibson is the Executive Director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living. Laura joined the CICIL team as Director of Operations in January 2017. She comes from Candeo, where she coordinated the Project SEARCH program and was an employment consultant working with individuals to maintain their employment in the community before that. She has had a variety of experiences in the social services field, including job coaching, job development, coordination of residential services, providing respite services, case management, and direct care. Laura is the Past President of the board for Iowa APSE, former secretary of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association, sits on the Access Advisory Board for the City of Des Moines, is the secretary of the board for Fuse DSM, and is co-chair of the Fuse DSM Firestarter ambassador group.
Laura holds a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University and is a certified rehabilitation counselor and a licensed mental health counselor.
Director of Programs
In April 2017, Bronna joined the team at CICIL as the Director of Programs. Bronna came to CICIL from Candeo, where she was a Customized Employment Specialist. Her previous accomplishments include: assisting with coordinating, instructing, and providing customized job development with the REDI program and Project SEARCH at Unity Point instructor, job coach, and developer. Bronna enjoys writing curriculum, which is evident in her work with Try Transition at CICIL. Bronna is the Vice President of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association, on the board of Iowa APSE, and co-chair of the Fuse DSM Non-Profit Forum.
Bronna holds a degree in Business Administration and Finance, a degree in Human Services, and is a CESP and a Certified Benefits Planner.
Riley Jones is an employment specialist for Central Iowa Center for Independent Living. Riley joined the team in 2017. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Coe College and is a graduate of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Therapy Master Program at Drake University. Riley specializes in working one-on-one with clients and their employers as a job coach. Riley is working to develop the CICIL Peer Support program and is enthusiastic about connecting with others.
Paul is an employment specialist and started with CICIL in the spring of 2022. Paul holds an associate’s degree from Des Moines Area Community College. Paul comes to us with 17 years of business experience including supervision, management, and training background. Paul holds an ACRE certification that he received in the fall of 2022 which allows him to provide customized employment, job development, and discovery services. During his free time, Paul enjoys engaging in self-care and loves spending time with his dog, friends, and family. On a rainy or snowy day, however, it is not uncommon to find Paul taking a nice long nap.
Independent Living Intern
Jenna is a rehabilitation counseling student at Drake University. Jenna has completed a portion of her required internship with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and is completing her remaining hours with Central Iowa Center for Independent Living. With over 13 years of experience with spinal cord injury, Jenna is a dedicated advocate for disability access and inclusion. She is a current board member and peer mentor for the Iowa Chapter of the United Spinal Association, serving on the peer mentoring and social media committees. Jenna has also served a three-year term as a voting member of the legislative advocacy organization Iowa Olmstead Consumer Task Force (2016-2019) and had the privilege of serving as president of the Drake University Student Chapter of the Iowa Rehabilitation Association between 2016 and 2018. When she’s not at work or school, you might find Jenna practicing adaptive yoga, attending a concert (in ADA seating, of course), or spending time with her much-loved niece and nephews. Jenna is a proud dog mom.
Larry joined the CICIL team in 2021 as the Administrative Assistant. Larry obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in psychology from Iowa State University. Larry brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his previous career as a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims representative for the Social Security Administration. In his free time, Larry can be found walking, training his dog, or singing karaoke. Larry is a movie buff with his all-time favorite being the Wizard of Oz. Family is especially important to Larry. He loves being a grandfather and spending time with his family.
Peer Support Specialist
Molly Hamilton is a Peer Support Specialist and joined the team in January of 2023. You will see her face when you come into the CICIL Connection Center. Molly is attending Arizona State online for a Bachelor's in Counseling and plans to graduate in 2024. She has experience working in Supported Community Living and with individuals with Autism. Molly is devoted to mental health awareness and inclusion. In her free time, you will find her doing art, cuddling with her cat or spending time with friends at a coffee shop.