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2022 Fellowship Cohort Makes Lasting Impression on DSM Community

2022 Fellowship Cohort

July 6, 2022

Over the course of the last two years, 21 individuals from seven Greater Des Moines (DSM) organizations graduated from the DSM Fellowship Program. This is the second cohort to go through the professional development program that concentrates on career development, community engagement, curriculum and social connections.

Through Capstone projects focusing on food insecurity, redlining and zoning, sustainability, child care and cybersecurity in the region, Fellows discovered more about opportunities for talented professionals to get involved in local initiatives like the Corporate Giving Garden or make a difference through working with foster children in the DSM community.

In 2021, Fellows had the opportunity to learn about what different cultures can bring to the table in the workplace by taking the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). This session included tips on improving cultural awareness from Tero experts who identified tips for diversity of thought in the workplace.

Other Fellowship experiences, like the opportunity to attend the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s annual DMDC Lobbying trip, helped guide the Fellows as they continued to expand their knowledge about local, state and federal policy initiatives and work being done by the Partnership, members of the greater DSM community and Iowa’s legislative delegation. . Attending the DMDC 2022 trip provided Fellows the opportunity to create and develop relationships with other members of the Partnership delegation as well as with each other.

Attending these events allowed Fellows to create and develop lasting relationships as they worked together with each other and executive mentors from local businesses, including DSM leadership Lisa Coate of Nationwide and Kristi McIntosh of Wellmark, to build towards the life and career they want to have in DSM. By tapping into their shared interests, Fellows found support and resources more efficiently and could build their network more rapidly.

2020-2022 Cohort

The following Fellows graduated in 2022:

  • Paige Bennett, Fidelity & Guaranty Life
  • Chelsea Hanson, John Deere Financial
  • Josh Hilliard, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Sukriti Jain, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
  • Austin Jensen, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Mark Marrano, Nationwide
  • Marina McMains, Farm Bureau Financial Services
  • Andrew Messerli, Fidelity & Guaranty Life
  • Tim Paulson, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Natalie Roberts, Fidelity & Guaranty Life
  • Brandon Rollefson, Fidelity & Guaranty Life
  • Kole Rudd, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Kuuku Saah, Bankers Trust
  • Cody Schluenz, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Robyn Steffen, Fidelity & Guaranty Life
  • Jessica Stough, John Deere Financial
  • Bryan Swon, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
  • Tyler Tebo, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Lexie White, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Gina Wrede, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
  • Alysa Younkin, John Deere Financial

Swon recently wrote about his time with the program in this recent blog post, reflecting on capstone projects, social events and more.

If you have interest in participating in the 2022-2024 class, find information here or contact me at spezley@DSMpartnership.com.

Looking for opportunities as a young professional in Greater Des Moines (DSM)? The DSM Fellowship Program is the preeminent professional development initiative attracting, developing and retaining a diverse community of top-tier graduates to the region. You can also connect with other young professionals and emerging leaders through Young Professionals Connection (YPC) events and committees.

Sidney Pezley

Sidney Pezley is the program manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.