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100-Year Anniversary Celebration and Annual Dinner

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From Katherine Harrington, President & CEO | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

Thank you to the 500 people who came out to support the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebration on May 16th at Val Air Ballroom. To see the smiles on everyone’s faces was a true testament to why I love this beautiful city. I am bursting with pride as the President and CEO of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, and it is an honor to celebrate the remarkable journey of our chamber and community and the boundless potential that lies ahead. It was incredible to see all the beautiful people in the room as we embarked on our 100th year anniversary, a testament to the resilience, innovation, and unwavering spirit of this great city and most importantly the fabulous people in it. The ‘roaring ‘20s theme’ was a hit and so fun to see everyone really lean into the theme for the night. From the VIP Speakeasy, the Casino Experience, Incredible tunes from Lauren Vilmain, and more, it was a night to remember forever.

Thank you to the Annual Dinner & 100-Year Celebration sponsors who helped make this memorable night a reality including Sammons Financial Group, Google Fiber, Trilix, Casino Entertainment, JP Party Rentals, Markey’s, Skeffington’s, and Polk County Board of Supervisors!

West Des Moines is not just a place on the map; it’s a beacon of opportunity, a haven for dreams, and a testament to the power of community. We are together committed to making West Des Moines the ultimate destination, the epitome of excellence in every facet of life – where living, working, and playing and as the mayor says, retiring.

At the heart of our mission at the Chamber is community placemaking, supporting our members, workforce development, and unwavering inclusivity. We believe that diversity is our strength, and regardless of who you are, where you come from, or who you love, you are welcome in West Des Moines.

Our achievements speak volumes about our dedication and passion. At 840 members strong and growing, we have been honored with 15 prestigious awards, and have orchestrated 150 events and gatherings annually, and ensure there is something for everyone in our vibrant community.

Our commitment to storytelling extends beyond events, we produce 160 newsletters annually, showcasing the triumphs and milestones of our members and community. But our impact goes beyond accolades and publications; it’s about making a tangible difference in the lives of those around us. Through sponsor support and fundraising efforts, over the last 10 years, we are proud to have donated over $450,000 to uplift and empower others in our region.

As we celebrate this centennial milestone, we unveil ten new programs and initiatives. From the inception of the WDM

Chamber Foundation, the establishment of a new government affairs committee called Civic Connect, and the creation of the Visionary Leaders Forum, the future is ablaze with possibility.

And, we have some fun celebrations that you can be part of. As a mini fundraiser for the WDM Chamber Foundation, you can make a donation and receive our limited-edition whiskey and commemorative gift set that Chamber investors hand selected during our June 2023 taste test event (we only have 100 bottles and several from our board of directors purchased them already), you can purchase one of our 100 limited edition, Chamber prints designed by local artist John Bosley, and you can donate to our Habitat for Humanity build – a beautiful home in Valley Junction that will soon come to life. In addition, we have a fun new digital program called Visit 100 Places to Celebrate 100 Years where for $100 you can ‘sponsor’ a location or business and put yourself on the WDM map.

But our journey is far from over. We are on a mission to expand our Chamber family to 1000 members by the end of this year, inviting individuals and businesses alike to join us in shaping the future of West Des Moines.

And here’s the beauty of it all – 30% of our members are not located in West Des Moines. Our reach extends far and wide, because, my friends, the West is yet to come, and together, we will chart a course towards an even brighter tomorrow.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the stellar Chamber team Kara Matheson, Tom Florian, Anna Eichinger, Meredith Murphy, Everett Mullican, and Tiffany Piper, and to our hundreds of volunteers that participate in over 30 committees, subcommittees, and micro groups, including the 100 Year Anniversary Committee, the WDM Chamber Board of Directors, and Foundation Trustees who help to make our Chamber a success. Thank you to those whose unwavering dedication and passion breathe life into our programs and initiatives.

We are proud to recognize our Presidents Council Members. This is the highest level of membership, and we appreciate their dedication to helping keep our chamber and city strong. These companies include Aureon, Casey’s Eide Bailly, Hurd Real Estate, Hy-Vee, IMT Insurance, Iowa Realty, Legacy Bridge Private Family Offices, Merchants Bonding Company, NCMIC, The Iowa Clinic Principal, Sammons Financial, Principal Financial Network of Central Iowa, Wellabe, and West Bank.

So, let us forge ahead with courage, conviction, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Together, we will write the next chapter of our story, one filled with hope, prosperity, and boundless possibilities. Thank you, West Des Moines, for being the beating heart of our collective dreams. Cheers to YOU because the WEST is indeed yet to come!

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