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As one of the nation's fastest growing centers for business, Greater Des Moines (DSM) understands and endorses the importance of maintaining a vibrant and diverse workplace.

Inclusion Award

The Inclusion Award (formerly the Diversity Award) is awarded by The Partnership to honor employers who have championed diversity and inclusion at their businesses and organizations and in the community. To qualify for the Inclusion Award, organizations must be a regional Member or Investor of The Partnership.

Apply Today  |  Deadline for Applications: Aug. 21, 2020

Untapped Talent 2020 Series

The Untapped Talent 2020 Series provides an in-depth exploration about each of the untapped talent groups and how they can be key to meeting your workforce needs. More event details to come.

African Americans Untapped Talent Event (PASSED)

Returning Citizens Untapped Talent Event (POSTPONED, NEW DATE TBA)

Tentatively: March 2020

LGBTQ+ Untapped Talent Event

Tentatively: June 2020

Foreign-Born Untapped Talent Event

Tentatively: August 2020

Persons with Disability Untapped Talent Event

Tentatively: October 2020

Veterans Untapped Talent Event

Tentatively: November 2020

Inclusion Council


The Inclusion Council supports and elevates a diverse, vibrant and inclusive regional economy. Through education, promotion and public awareness practices, the council can create a community where all have the opportunity to connect, live, learn and thrive.

About the Council

The Partnership's Inclusion Council is compiled of members from regional businesses in addition to nonprofit and education representatives who are dedicated to creating inclusive corporate cultures and growing varied customer bases. The council acts as a catalyst to mobilize the business community toward a broad economic development vision that incorporates all people as valued contributors and valuable customers. The Inclusion Council works to provide access to inclusive educational resources to all organizations in the region. To this goal, The Partnership teams up with member organizations to host quarterly multicultural receptions that provide opportunity to recognize inclusion initiatives within member organizations and create a welcoming environment for all to gather and connect.

For information regarding the Inclusion Council, please contact:

Mary Bontrager — Executive Vice President of Talent Development  
P: (515) 286-4957

View the current Inclusion Council Members.

2019 Inclusion Award Winner



Learn more about previous Inclusion Award winners.

Global DSM: International Talent Strategy

Tapping into the global marketplace and taking advantage of international trade is essential to the success of Des Moines' business environment. Through the Global DSM initiative, The Partnership works to establish Des Moines as a global community, bolstering global trade and foreign investments and leveraging international talent. 

For questions about Global DSM, contact:

Sanjita Pradhan — Program Director of Talent Development 
P: (515) 286-4988 

INclusion Magazine

Reflecting the value and importance of diversity in Des Moines, INclusion celebrates the rich cultural traditions of the region's African-American, African, Asian, European, Latino and Native American residents. The magazine also includes sections about Des Moines' diverse faith community, accessibility for the disabled, opportunities for those in the military, veterans, young and retired professionals and the region's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

INclusion is a joint effort between The Partnership, Business Publications Corporation and dsm Magazine, along with several corporate sponsors. The sixth and most recent edition was published in 2018. The Partnership and area employers use INclusion to help attract and retain a diverse pool of talent to the local community.

To request copies of INclusion, call Mary Bontrager at (515) 286-4957 or view a digital copy of the latest issue of INclusion.

Multicultural Receptions

The Partnership's Multicultural Receptions are special hallmark events for the organization. The receptions began in 2003 as a way to connect new Iowans to the community through a local, inclusive networking event. These receptions offer a unique opportunity to connect with community leaders and organizations that have an inclusive focus, all with the hope that through an environment of connectivity and inclusion we can retain this very important workplace population in our community.

The Multicultural Receptions take place every February, May, August and November. Each reception attracts approximately 250 to 500 attendees and is hosted by regional members. The receptions in November include a formal recruitment element with a career fair.

For questions about or to inquire about hosting a Multicultural Reception, contact:

Mary Bontrager — Executive Vice President of Talent Development
P: (515) 286-4957

For a list of upcoming Multicultural Receptions, visit the events page.

Diversify DSM

Diversify DSM is a coalition of small and medium-sized financial services companies that are committed to helping increase diverse and female representation in the DSM community. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the Midwest and an unemployment rate among the lowest in the nation, the DSM job market is on the rise — which means our community, as well as the financial services industry, is in need of top talent. Diversify DSM is committed to investing in the expansion of our workforce.

Diversify DSM was proudly launched by Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines in collaboration with The Partnership and other area financial service organizations. If you're interested in learning more about Diversify DSM, email diversifyDSM@fhlbdm.com and follow us on social by using #diversifyDSM.

Diversify DSM Members

Inclusion Webinars

In an effort to promote inclusion best practices in the community, The Partnership's Inclusion Council offers a Webinar Educational Series. Presented by the Inclusion Council, the webinars are free and open to all Regional Members and the public. Visit the event registration page to view all upcoming webinars.

Access past webinars and resources from the Inclusion Webinar Educational Series below:

Having a Courageous Conversation

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Facilitated by Marta Codina, Wells Fargo Bank & Julie Uehling Popken Wells Fargo
Presentation  |  Handouts  |  Webinar

Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Friday, November 4, 2016
Facilitated by John Forsyth, Chairman and CEO, and Rona Berinobis, Vice President, Inclusion and Organization Development, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Black/African-American Employment Opportunity

Friday, November 4, 2016
Facilitated by Marvin DeJear, Director, Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, and Phil Hall, Employee Relations Leader, Wells Fargo
Presentation  |  Program

Radical Acts of Civility

Friday, November 4, 2016
Facilitated Donna Red Wing, Executive Director, One Iowa, and Heather Schott, Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Principal
Presentation  |  Program  |  An Unlikely Friendship

Untapped Talent Treasures

Friday, November 4, 2016
Roundtable Discussions: Homeless, Immigrant/Refugee, Ex-Offender, Veterans and Special Needs

Invisible Disabilities and Caregivers in the Workplace

October 2016
Facilitated by Easter Seals Iowa Becky Pospisal, Chief Compliance Officer
Presentation  |  Program

Women, Leadership and Opportunity

Friday, August 19, 2016
Facilitated by Amy Campos, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Presentation   Program

LGBT 101: Exploring Identities, Discrimination, Laws and Inclusion

Thursday, June 30, 2016
Facilitated by Keenan Crow, One Iowa
Presentation  |  Program

Having USERRA Training Webinar

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Facilitated by Tony Smithhart, U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service and Becky Coady, ESGR
Webinar  |  Program

Executive Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Keynote Presenter: Mark Tillman, Hewlett-Packard and Alpha Phi Alpha General President

Thriving in a Talent War: Innovative Solutions through Iowa's Untapped Workforce

November 4, 2015
Facilitated by Kyle Horn, America's Job Honors Awards

Empowering People with Disabilities on the Job and Setting Expectations

October 28, 2015
Facilitated by Stephanie Sessions, Candeo and Amanda Banks, UnityPoint

The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities

October 21, 2015
Facilitated by Dr. Bob Strensrud, Drake University

Multi-Generational Workplace

June 3, 2015
Facilitated by Joe Collins, Iowa Workforce Development
Webinar |  Presentation

LGBT 101: An Introduction to Gender and Sexuality

Facilitated by Keenan Crow One Iowa

Untapped Potential: Refugee Resettlement and Workforce Opportunities

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Presented by Nick Wuertz, Director of Refugee Community Services at Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI)
Webinar  |  Presentation

Executive Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Video of Guest Speaker  |  Presentation

Guest Speaker: Sandy Harris, Vice President Corporate Diversity Strategy & Internal Operations at Sodexo

Breakout Sessions:

  • Global Talent Development — Presentation
    • Michael Patrick, Director of Human Resources, DuPont Pioneer
  • Being in Iowa — Interactive Dialogue Series
    • Rob Dillard, Interim News Director & Correspondent at Iowa Public Radio
  • OpportUNITY: Creating Prosperity for All — Presentation
    • Bob Brownell, Polk County Supervisor
    • Tom Narak, Retired Superintendent of West Des Moines Schools
    • Kris Schechinger, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Nationwide
    • Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Director of Oakridge Neighborhood and Des Moines School Board Member
    • Elisabeth Buck, Chief Community Impact Officer at United Way of Central Iowa  

Beyond the Binary: Gender Issues in Employment and Practice

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Presented by Keenan Crow
Webinar  |  Presentation

What Did You Say? Messaging Effectively Across Cultures

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Presented by Deborah Rinner Godwin
Webinar  |  Presentation

VUCA and the Diversity Imperative

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Presented by Dr. Laura E. Bernstein, ED. D, GPHR

Employee Resource Group/Networks: Top 10 Must-Haves!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Nu Huynh, Executive Director of Iowa Asian Alliance
  • Kim Elsberg, Iowa Representative for Central Regional Diversity Board, Aerotek
  • Shirley Burke, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Principal Financial Group

The Global Impact of You: Personalities and Capabilities of Global HR Leaders

Thursday, November 14, 2013
Presented by Chris Wildermuth, ED. D, SPHR
Webinar  |  Presentation

Executive Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


  • Jay Byers, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Avid Modjtabai, Senior Executive Vice President of Consumer Lending for Wells Fargo and Company
  • Fred V. Buie, President of Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Company
  • Dr. Angela L. Walker Franklin, President of Des Moines University
  • Suku Radia, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bankers Trust
  • Jeff Austin, Vice President, Business Planning, Communications and Market Intelligence for DuPont Pioneer 


Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Business and Personal Success

Monday, September 9, 2013
Presentation (Recording was not available by the presenter)

Diversity is Everyone's Business

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Road to Inclusion

Friday, February 20, 2013
Webinar  |  PowerPoint

Hiring Our Heroes

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Presented by Bob loter
Webinar  |  Presentation

The Business Case for Leveraging and Developing Diversity and Inclusion Councils

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Presented by Rona Berinobis 

The Fabric of HR

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Presented by Chris Wildermuth, ED. D, SPHR
Other resource: The Big Five Place

Understanding Diversity Trends

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Webinar  |  Presentation

Diverse Suppliers — Grow Your Business

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Webinar  |  PowerPoint
Other resources: Iowa Women's Business Center; Women's Business Enterprise Council

Cashing in on Generational Diversity: From Culture Clash to Valuable Business Asset

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Presented by Laura E. Bernstein
Webinar  |  Presentation  | Perspective Paper

Supplier Diversity

September 22, 2011
Webinar  |  Presentation

Building Bridges Toward LGBT Diversity in the Workplace

June 23, 2011
Presented by Patricia Baillie from Out & Equal Workforce Advocates

Generational Diversity

April 28, 2011
Presented by Joe Gerstandt, Diversity and Inclusion Speaker, Author and Advisor

Engaging Leaders in the Diversity and Inclusion Journey

January 27, 2011
Presented by a business panel led by Jacquie Easley, Director, Community and Diversity Services, Mercy Medical Center — Des Moines

Diversity Recruitment & Retention

February 24, 2011

Defining Diversity

September 23, 2010
Presented by Joe Gerstandt, Diversity and Inclusion Speaker, Author and Advisor

The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion

October 26, 2010
Presented Joe Gerstandt, Diversity and Inclusion Speaker, Author and Advisor

Developing a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

November 18, 2010
Presented by Eric Peterson, Senior Consultant, Cook Ross

Implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

December 16, 2010
Presented by a business panel led by Jacquie Easley, Director, Community and Diversity Services, Mercy Medical Center — Des Moines