2011 Forty Under 40 Winner: Cassandra Halls
Friday, March 18, 2011 7:00 AM
Age 34 | President, 2 The Top - Career Advancement Strategies
Cassandra Halls has become the go-to person for community organizations that are working to enhance career development initiatives in Central Iowa. Through her consulting firm, 2 The Top, Halls manages several programs that provide opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged job seekers to connect with employers.
As project manager for the Central Iowa Works Funding Collaborative, Halls oversees grant programs that nonprofit organizations use to fund training programs to help people gain new skills and receive placement assistance. She also serves as project manager for the Evelyn K. Davis Project, a job-training, education and support program for low-income residents that will be located in the former Top Value Foods building at 801 University Ave.
“To be able to expand into the project management realm and touch the number of people we’ve been able to reach in the last two years has just been awesome,” Halls said.
She launched 2 The Top in 2007, initially focusing on assisting clients who were completing their education and making career transitions. “I had gotten my degree as an adult as well, and there really wasn’t any services or support there to help me figure out what my next steps would be,” she said.
Halls began her working life in local government. When she was just 20, she served as the city clerk of her hometown of Nora Springs. She continued her career in public administration as city manager of Hampton, and later became city clerk and and chief financial officer of Grinnell.
Prior to starting 2 The Top, Halls was vice president of strategic accounts with ISGN Solutions Inc., a Waukee-based technology services company serving the home mortgage industry. She graduated summa cum laude from William Penn University in 2006 with a bachelor of arts in public administration.
Halls enjoys playing six-on-six basketball with the Grimes Mustangs and is an avid Iowa Hawkeyes fan. She and her husband, Montey, have three children. She also owns “the world’s only career coaching canine,” her French bulldog, Duke Balboa Halls, who provides comic relief to clients.
“There’s nothing better than having a resonating snore in the middle of a coaching session,” Halls said. “He relaxes people and makes them smile.”
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