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Thank YOU to Chamber Members, Volunteers, City of WDM, and Team!

Katherine Harrington

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

Dear Friends,

As I reflect on my fourth anniversary as the President & CEO of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and pride. These past four years have been an incredible journey, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve such an amazing community alongside a dedicated team of volunteers, staff, City, and supporters.

From the moment I stepped into this role, I knew it was a perfect fit for me. I am deeply passionate about our city, our team, and the meaningful work we do. Over these years, I’ve been fortunate to witness the resilience and strength of our community, especially during challenging times like the onset of the pandemic.

It’s hard to forget that my first day coincided with April Fools’ Day in 2020, a day that marked the beginning of an unprecedented global crisis. As the world around us grappled with uncertainty and fear, our Chamber faced a pivotal moment. Despite the challenges, we knew that our community needed us more than ever before.

In those early days, we made a conscious decision to focus on the positive, double down on our efforts and become leaders in virtual events and digital marketing. We embraced innovation, fearlessly trying new approaches and strategies to support our members and uplift our city. Through the power of technology, we were able to connect with our community in ways we never thought possible, doubling our events and programs virtually.

The results were remarkable. Over the past four years, we’ve seen tremendous growth and success. We’ve won numerous awards, tripled our budget, expanded our staff, and introduced countless new programs and initiatives. Some examples include the Best of the West Awards, Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, Raccoon River Rally, DEI Workplace Excellence Awards, TREK Days, Tina Talks, Latino Trade Network, West Des Moines Leads, Talent Attraction Campaign, CEO Insights, WDM News, The Influencer, 515 West Magazine, and much more. From creating over 20 committees and micro-groups to helping hundreds of members grow (a record number of 828 members), we have worked tirelessly to promote West Des Moines as the best place to live, work, and play. We help build life changing connections by organizing over 150 events & gatherings each year and producing 160+ newsletters, telling the story of our city and members.

As we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, I am filled with optimism for the future. Our city is thriving, and business is booming. But our work is far from over. We are committed to building a stronger, more resilient community for the next 100 years. I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has supported us along the way. Whether you’re a volunteer, a member, or simply a resident who loves our city, your dedication and passion have been instrumental to our success. I am incredibly excited for what the future holds. We’ve recently launched the West Des Moines Chamber Foundation, a new 501c3 organization aimed at ensuring the long-term strength of our community. We’ve also introduced new

initiatives like Civic Connect and the Visionary Leaders Forum, further solidifying our commitment to innovation and progress.

The WEST is indeed yet to come, and I am honored to continue this journey with all of you by my side. Thank you for the most exciting four years of my life, and here’s to many more years of growth, prosperity, and community.

With deepest gratitude, Katherine

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