2022 Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Name + Website
Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce
Elected Leader for 2022
Julie Mangels, Chairwoman of the Board
Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber
Melisa Cox, President/CEO
Number of Members
How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?
A business can join the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce by reaching out to Jamie Anderson, our Senior Director of Membership & Partnerships or visiting our website at ankeny.org.
What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?
Honestly, my company was already a member of the Chamber when I started working there but they were the ones that encouraged me to get more involved in the events and programs they offered. I attended a couple of events early in 2019 and fell in love with them and the people involved. After a business or person joins the Chamber, we always tell them “Welcome to the Chamber Family” and I believe this a very true statement. I believe we are a family, always looking out for one another and making connections to everyone that we can.
What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?
Networking, advocacy and business promotion through networking, social, educational and community events.
What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?
Our biggest accomplishment in the last 12 months would have to be hiring a new CEO, Melisa Cox, after our CEO of nearly 20 years, Julie Todtz, retired. The second closest would be moving our largest festival, Ankeny Summerfest, to a new location.
What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year?
There are a couple of different projects that I am excited to see unfold as we look to the future. The first one that has already started is the Chamber’s internship program that helps students get involved in the Chamber and have a hands-on experience on how the different aspects of the Chamber work — i.e., social media, event planning, office work, etc.
Secondly, AYP has been reworking its annual Summer Bash event by moving it to Uptown Ankeny. In years past it has been in Sunrise Park in Ankeny with 200+ attendees. This year AYP Summer Bash is a free, family-friendly community event in Uptown Ankeny that provides food and numerous activities for families to enjoy, such as a petting zoo, face painting, balloon artists, mascots, princesses and superheroes. There will also be a scavenger hunt around Uptown.
The third project is Ankeny Summerfest moving to The District at Prairie Trail. Since the beginning of Ankeny Summerfest, it has been located near Prairie Ridge Middle School and we are excited to see how this move to The District plays out.
What Partnership Tools/Resources Have Been Most Beneficial to Your Chamber Members?
Advocacy. Knowing that we have people advocating on behalf of small businesses to help with workforce development and supply chain issues is very important. The Small Business Success Summit was very valuable to our members as a resource for running their businesses better.
What Are Your Upcoming Events?
Along with numerous Ribbon Cuttings for our recent Members!
The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the fourth largest regional Chamber of Commerce in the nation. Learn more about Partnership Affiliate Chambers, browse the Membership Directory and read additional Affiliate Chamber spotlights.