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2022 Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Downtown Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Chamber

October 19, 2022

Chamber Name + Website

Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce

Elected leader for 2022

2022 Chamber President: Cheryl Tuttle, Prairie Meadows

Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber

Staci Harper Bennett, Executive Director

Number of Members

256 MembersDowntown Chamber Logo

How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?

Businesses can easily join by visiting our website and filling out the online application. Our board members and I are always willing to meet with prospective members to answer questions, and anyone interested the chamber is invited to attend one of our programs to see what it’s all about!

What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?

I have always been passionate about community involvement. A few years ago, I was working for a member organization and began attending the Downtown Chamber’s women’s education and networking events. When the executive director position became available, I was excited about the opportunity to engage with the community in a broader and deeper capacity.

What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?

The Downtown Chamber offers educational opportunities to its members who are looking to diversify their skillset and think deeper and differently about problems they address. This year’s sessions focused on the design thinking process and were taught by Joe Benesh, CEO of The Ingenuity Company and professor in the University of Iowa’s MBA program. We are proud to make engaging and interactive learning accessible to our members free of charge.

What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?

We have worked diligently and intentionally to strengthen our relationships not only with our member businesses, but with the many other organizations and entities who are invested in the success of Downtown Des Moines (DSM). From participating in the Downtown DSM: Future Forward plan to partnering with ADAPT DSM to develop a Green Chamber initiative for 2023, we want to ensure our members have a voice at the table for projects and initiatives that impact them.

What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year?

We are launching an afternoon women’s series called WINS, Women’s Intentional Networking & Sharing, featuring expert speakers and intentional discussion of current challenges and opportunities. We piloted the event in September at Dress for Success Des Moines and are excited to grow the program in the coming year.

What Partnership Tools/Resources Have Been Most Beneficial to Your Chamber Members?

The Partnership’s small business resources have been beneficial to individuals looking to start up or grow their small businesses and the DEI resources provide a great guide as businesses work to understand and engage more diverse audiences and develop inclusive practices. This time of year, we are also extra appreciative of the hard work from the Partnership’s Public Policy team in hosting candidate forums.

What Are Your Upcoming Events?

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.

Staci Harper Bennett

Staci Harper Bennett has spent the past year and half exploring new opportunities and partnerships as the Executive Director of the Downtown Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the boards of Living History Farms and Iowa Stage Theatre Company and is a doctoral candidate at Creighton University.