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WDM Watch List

Standout leader from the community featured each month

Meet Jake Kirpes.

A University of Iowa graduate with degrees in both industrial engineering and finance, Jacob has always enjoyed strategy, creating change and embracing innovation. He also went on to get his Masters in Engineering at Iowa State University. Jacob excels at working with business owners, their leaders, and organizations to identify, develop and convert what matters most to them into their business’ success. 

Locally known as a business doctor, Jake has found a lot of his passion in the business growth and value creation sector from Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor and business researcher who is responsible for coining the term disruptive innovation. “I’ve enjoyed his books and writings, one of which is on the subject of how to measure your life.  His observations for when business is treated as a noble profession and the rippling impact a well-run business has on employees, families, and communities is a core motivator for me to help business owners and leaders achieve the things that matter most.” 

Jacob grew up in West Des Moines and has come to love local events, recreation venues and the energy of the city. His favorite ways to decompress after a work day are to go to Racoon River Park, explore the West Des Moines library, as well as enjoy the new Hurd Amphitheater. He is a fan of stories in all forms whether it be a good conversation, movie, or book. He also enjoys new experiences including taking comedy classes, his newest endeavor to get him out of his comfort zone. 

Jacob is heavily involved in the West Des Moines community including serving on the board of the DMAM Rotary Club, being inducted into the 2021-2022 West Des Moines Leadership Academy, being an active West YP Member, as well as volunteering as a guest lecturer at University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. 

Kirpes lives each day reminding himself “The world is still turning” – a statement his mom told him often growing up. “Whether I am coming off a recent high or low, what matters is where you next chose to put your time, energy and focus. It’s a reminder that you cannot rest on past achievements and the next experience is ahead so it’s important to embrace each moment and live life to its fullest.”

West YP is full of young, up and coming professionals who are also current leaders in their own right. Being an active member of this group led Jacob to apply for West Des Moines Leadership Academy and is thrilled to be a member of the 2021-2022 class. This years’ class is on the front end of an exciting year of community based impact, personal growth and forging bonds that will serve the West Des Moines community for years ahead.  

Jacob welcomes the opportunity to connect with any interested in Rotary, West YP, and those who are involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Visit here to see a list of past WDM Watch List leaders recognized.