Session 2 — IGIA Women in the Industry

The Best You — At Every Stage of Life

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Join us, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thurs., June 8 at Johnson Brothers of Iowa, 6600 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, Iowa 50131. The event features Erin Kiernan and Sonya Heitshusen, founders of One Brain Wellness. In addition to being television anchors, Kiernan and Heitshusen have a passion for helping people reach their goals — physical, emotional and social. Learn to live healthy and happy despite life’s challenges when you attend their presentation: The Best You — At Every Stage of Life.

  • 11:30 – 12 p.m.         Registration | Lunch will be Available 
  • 12 – 2 p.m.                One Brain Wellness Presentation (Includes Q&A Session)
  • 2 – 3 p.m.                  Speed Networking Exercise
  • 3 – 4 p.m.                  Community Service Project – Summer Snack Packs for Kids (Optional)

Location: Johnson Brothers of Iowa, 6600 Merle Hay Road, Johnston (Complimentary Parking Available)

Fee: $20

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, May 31, 2107 (4:30 pm)


Sponsorship opportunities are available! 

Sponsor an IGIA Women in the Industry event to gain great exposure for your company. We are looking for companies to sponsor a speaker, a lunch and/or a service project. Please contact Stacy Horner at for more details about these and other sponsorship opportunities.

About One Brain Wellness

Here is what Kiernan and Heitshusen have to say about their program—One Brain Wellness:

We started talking about creating One Brain Wellness many years ago, but back then the focus was purely fitness. We still want to help people with that aspect of their lives, but we're older and wiser now. We've learned firsthand that a healthy body is just ONE part of this big, beautiful, complicated life and that all of the other parts need to be healthy for people to be WELL.

We're reporters by trade. That means we aren't experts in any one topic, but we know lots of experts on lots of topics. We want One Brain Wellness to be a sort of clearinghouse for all things wellness...your body, your mind, your spirit, your soul, your family, your friendships, your career, your get the idea.

Presentation Topics:

Health & Wellness

We are fitness professionals who have a passion for helping people reach their goals — whether it’s increasing strength, losing weight, competing in an event, or being able to keep up with kids and grandkids. We haven't always been healthy or well. Being your best you is a lot easier when you're treating your mind and your body and your spirit well. Learn about the holistic ways we try to do this and the pitfalls we will help you avoid. We don’t subscribe to a “one size fits most” approach.  Ours is tailored to our participants’ wants and needs, and most importantly — their LIVES.

Work/Life Balance

No, really.
The person who invented this concept is a fool, or at least someone who isn’t living in the real world. Our experience is that life is rarely in balance. The key is learning how to deal with the imbalances and live our best lives as much as we can.

Social Media

We are required to maintain multiple social media accounts for work and we are encouraged to post often. It’s a double-edged sword. While this sort of interaction can help boost our profiles and that of the TV station, it also opens us up to vicious anonymous attacks. We recognize that social media is powerful tool for building a brand and a business, but using it can feel overwhelming and frustrating.


We all face it at some point in our lives.  Adversity builds character. That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. You've heard these phrases, right? They may be clichés, but they're also true - even if you can't see it at the moment you are IN the adversity. These stages of life are some of the most brutal and being your best you during them can be a challenge. The big question:  How do we overcome adversity and emerge a stronger person?  We tell you how we got through our toughest times and give you tips about how to deal with yours.


About Erin

Erin Kiernan rejoined the Channel 13 News Team in June 2005 to play a major role in the station’s ongoing success. In June 2006, Erin started anchoring the 5, 6, & 10 o’clock newscasts.

In addition to anchoring, Erin has written and produced many of the station’s award-winning investigative and feature reports.

The recipient of several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting work, Erin earned a National Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012 with photojournalists Brandon McCauley and Randy Schumacher for a story about Iowan Mark Block overcoming impossible odds to climb Sears Tower in Chicago. Erin has also received regional Emmy Awards in the feature, consumer and instructional categories.

In 2008, the Iowa Commission of Persons with Disabilities chose Erin to receive its Media Award following special reports she produced on Iowans with disabilities.

Erin previously anchored the weekend news at KCCI, where she started in 1998. In addition to anchoring, she became known for her award-winning investigative work and special series pieces. In Spring 2004, she received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for her two-part series on date-rape drugs. In 2000, she also received a regional Murrow Award for her investigative series “True Colors,” which focused on racism at bars in the Des Moines metro area. She has also done investigative series reports on identity theft, sex offenders, arson, ecstasy, meth and unlicensed drivers.

Erin graduated from Drake University with a degree in broadcast journalism. While attending school, she worked as a part-time reporter at Channel 13 News. Next, she worked for WOI-TV as a reporter and photographer.

Born and raised in Chadron, Nebraska, she says her career in broadcasting really started when she imitated television news reporters while dressing up in her mother’s clothes as a child.

Erin is very involved in our community. She volunteers for various non-profits and teaches fitness classes at the YMCA. She is also an advocate for adoptive families and birth families and helped found “Adoption Advocates of Iowa”.

Erin loves the outdoors, animals, sports and music. Her favorite thing is spending time with her husband Michael and their son, Michael Francis.

About Sonya

Sonya Heitshusen grew up in eastern Iowa, near the Amana Colonies. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado from 1985 to 1987; The University of London in London England in 1988; and Iowa State University from 1989 to 1992.

Sonya earned her Bachelors of Science in 1992, majoring in journalism with an emphasis in electronic media studies and a minor in speech.

Sonya is a recognized figure for her work in the Des Moines television media as well as for her work in the Des Moines community. She worked as a reporter and anchor for ABC affiliate WOI-TV from 1991 to 2001.

In 2001 she left to pursue a different career path unrelated to media. However, it was not long before she realized that journalism was a strong portion of her life and felt the urge to return. “There is nothing like the daily adrenaline rush you get from working in a newsroom.” Sonya said. Now she reports and anchors for Channel 13 News at 5.

Actively involved in the community, Sonya has participated in events with: Variety Club, Big Brothers – Big Sisters, Ankeny YMCA Board of Directors, The American Diabetes Association, the Governor’s Conference on Aging and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Sonya has won five Emmy’s and received two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. She has also received multiple awards from the Northwest Broadcast News Assoc., IBNA and Associated Press.

In her spare time, Sonya enjoys running and exercise in general. She has completed several marathons and triathlons. She also enjoys drawing, painting and literature.

Erin Kiernan


Sonya Heitshusen