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The West Is Yet to Come! Chamber Momentum Celebrating a Century of Success.


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

We are midway through the year and 2024 continues to be a year of breaking all the records in a multitude of ways. As we celebrate serving our community for over 100 years, we are excited to present our 2024 Success Metrix so far and say thank you to those who have been supportive and critical to our work of helping to position West Des Moines as the best city in America to live, work, and play!

1) West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Foundation – We have completed all the documents required to start filing the paperwork for the new foundation that will serve our community for another 100 years. A big thank you to 13 Board of Trustees and 7 Advisory Committee Members who have gotten us this far in the process.

2) Visionary Leaders Forum – This group of Presidents Council Members and key regional leaders will have met four times and as of June 20th and have learned best practices to propel business forward from Dan Houston, Doug Jacobson, Tim Coonan, and Josh Budke.  

3) Civic Connect Government Affairs Committee – Regional leaders converge and have had the opportunity hold the Legislative Breakfast, host David Young at our first ‘Meet Your Legislatures” event, and work on gatherings that helps our community plug into the legislative process.

4) Exclusive Mix & Mingle Events at WDM Leader’s Homes – Top level leaders, board & trustee members, and CEO’s have had the chance to build stronger relationships and forge new connections with important community leaders including at the homes of Joanie & Dan Houston and Mary & Suku Radia.

5) 100 Year Celebration at Val Air Ballroom – A sold out crowd of 500 enjoyed a multitude of celebrations during the evening including the Citizen of the Year honoring Al Womble and Emerging Citizen of the Year honoring Caitlin Clark. Attendees enjoyed a ‘roaring 20’s theme’ filled with Casino experiences, VIP speakeasy lounge, candle lit dinner, and so much more.

6) Limited Edition Whiskey from The Foundry – Investor’s ‘taste tested’ this special treat and the wait is now over. This special whiskey and multi-item gift set can be yours for $250 and proceeds benefit the WDM Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

7) WDM Chamber Mural Print Designed by Artist John Bosley – We are so happy to see this come to life. Limited Edition of 100 numbered and signed prints from local artist John Bosley, depicting the best of Chamber service that decorates any wall or office in bright colors and modern motifs. This can be yours for $100 and proceeds benefit the WDM Chamber.

8) 100 Year Video Capturing the Essence of the Growth of WDM – This stunning video was produced by Trilix and features Chamber & City Champions who have been vital to the growth of the Chamber and community.

9) Mentoring for Women Mega Event – This regional event drew top level leaders from around the state of Iowa who learned from 80 mentors, enjoyed a fashion show at lunch, and mingled with 340 attendees.

10) Visit 100 Places for 100 Years – Organizations have the chance to sponsor their favorite WDM location for $100 and be part of this exciting campaign that encourages everyone to explore WDM.



YURtern for College Interns – For the first time in the history of this program, we have over 362 college interns who have signed up to be part of this free summer program that consists of 7 events that combine life skills & learning with socials. This year the interns are from 18 colleges and universities in 10 states.

West Des Moines Leadership Academy – The 16th annual 2023-2024 class raised a recording breaking over $61,000 for Youth Justice Initiative provides a better solution to the ever-growing numbers of repeat juvenile offenders.

West YP – This group continues to be the largest YP organization in the State of Iowa with over 270 members who learn how to build leadership traits, make an impact on the community, develop lasting connections, and have memorable experiences. There have been 10 events and meet ups so far this year.

Talent Attraction Campaign – This new program started in 2023 and during its inception 14 organizations have partnered with us and have been part of the outreach to new talent across the Midwest through career fairs and club meetings, Trek Days where we bus students to area businesses and attractions, newsletter promotion and outreach, and much more.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – We continue to pave the way in the region for work in this area. Currently, we have 50 Minority Businesses who are members of the Chamber (four years ago we had 2), we have created a DEI Statement, and our DEI Committee continues to work on efforts that move the needle for an inclusive community including the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, DEI Workplace Excellence Awards, and more.

Athene Black & Brown Business Summit – Just Under 700 attendees, 50 sponsors & partners, 100 presenters & panelists, and 25 breakout sessions were part of this year’s event. The Pitch Competition saw over 100 applications from around the nation that was narrowed down to 7 who split a $50,000 pitch purse. This year we featured a new Minority Business Expo and Welcome Party where 25 businesses highlighted their work.

Latino Trade Network – The Latino Trade Network (LTN) is a program designed for Latino entrepreneurs, business owners, and working professionals to connect, collaborate, and grow together on a regular basis. This group of 80+ have met 6 times this year so far and are accelerating business growth.

DEI Workplace Excellence Awards – This fourth annual, statewide event is set for September 10th and is already seeing groundbreaking records with more applications than ever before, a new judging committee, and more sponsors than in previous years.


Chamber Luncheons Sell Out – This year, we are continually breaking all attendance records and selling out. The January INSPIRE 2024 event saw 125 attendees, February Uplifting LGBTQ Workforce saw 80 attendees, March Real Estate Trends & Investments sold out at 135 attendees, April Top Digital Marketing Trends sold out at 105 attendees, and June State of the City Luncheon also sold out at 95 attendees.

Breakfast B4 Business and Rush Hours Events – The community has enjoyed 5 Breakfast B4 Business and 4 Rush Hour Events where Chamber and community members meet new members, learn about Chamber businesses, and make meaningful connections. Each event has seen groundbreaking, nearly 100 attendees join the fun.


Record Attendance at Raccoon River Palooza – A combination of the Racoon River Rally and Park Palooza Events, the WDM Chamber and City of WDM combined efforts with the Explore WDM Committee to create a park wide experience for all to enjoy. We estimated that near 10,000 people attended during the 8:00am – 8:00pm day on June 8th.


West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors – This is one of over 20 committees and micro-groups who are helping Chamber member businesses grow. This year we have seen tremendous growth in this group and are proud to say we have 36 active ambassadors (11 are new this year), who have visited 63 businesses this year, and welcomed 24 new business in our region with celebratory ribbon cuttings.

New Chamber Members & Investors – 101 New Members have joined since January, with 13 of them signed on at investor level. As of today, we have 839 members and are closer to our goal of 1,000 members by the end of 2024 – our celebratory year of the Chamber.

New Presidents Council Members – We currently have 16 Presidents Council Members and have added new Council Members this year including Eide Bailly, Principal Financial Group, and Wellabe.

Social Media Presence – The WDM Chamber continues to exponentially grow and expand its presence and influence across the community and metro telling the stories of our area businesses and organizations. Our total followers across social media and communication platforms is 123,335

Telling the Stories of Member Businesses – We are well on our way to producing 166 newsletters in 2024 with the weekly WDM Newsletter, weekly Coming Up, bi-weekly Destination WDM, monthly Influencer, monthly West YP newsletter, and much more. Open rates continually to be very high in the 30%-40% range.

If you are interested in learning more about the West Des Moines Chamber, let us know. We welcome new members of our growing community and region because the WEST is yet to come!

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