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2023 Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: FuseDSM

Fuse DSM 2023 Update

August 11, 2023

Chamber Name + Website


Elected leader for 2023

Daniel Willrich, AIA – Director of Architecture, Business Development, Pelds Design Services

Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber

Trish Flaherty-Barnes, President/CEO

Number of Members


How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?

Joining FuseDSM is simple — the application is on our website at fusedsm.org. Once an application has been received, chamber staff will contact you and set a time to meet. We will recommend those benefits, programs and events that most align with your goals of membership and pain points for your business.

What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?

I was already working within the chamber industry when I began hearing about the changes going on within the FuseDSM footprint. The challenge of taking such a large, diverse footprint and combining it into one chamber intrigued me. I have a passion for connecting people and helping businesses grow. I truly believe the success of a business is two-fold — building relationships and telling your story. The FuseDSM footprint has so many unique businesses with wonderful stories to tell, they were the reason I was inspired to get involved.

What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?

While we have a few programs that are unique to our chamber, including the MakeDSM manufacturing program and the ImagineDSM entrepreneurial track program — both new in 2023, I would say the signature offering of our chamber is a bit less tangible, but is 100% the culture and our decision to collaborate versus re-creating the wheel.

Having been in the chamber industry, I have never experienced a culture like this chamber has. A total commitment to helping each other grow their businesses. The volume of member referrals is something I’ve never seen before. The sincere desire to promote each other is incredible to watch. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, business size and industry come together to create a unique welcoming community.

COLLABORATION is key to our chamber’s success. The diversity of business size within our chamber makes finding the balance of what programs/events to roll out within the capacity of chamber staff, very challenging at times. We simply don’t have “one” size of business that we focus on primarily — we aim to find the pain points of all size of businesses. To accomplish this, we collaborate — all day, every day — with other people and organizations that can provide the talent and skills necessary to provide the best resources and knowledge for our members.

Fuse DSM Annual Dinner

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

Rolling out MakeDSM, a program that supports the manufacturing and distribution sector, is our biggest accomplishment this year. We will begin with a “launch” event on Thursday, Sept. 14 at Grand View University, followed by the first program in October. These programs, called Quarterly ReMake, will provide valuable resources, services and networking opportunities for participants to share best practices, solve critical problems and access transformational information, while fostering collaboration and growth within the industry.

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

We look forward to rolling out the ImagineDSM™ Entrepreneurship Program in October. Entrepreneurs, even successful ones, often don’t know what they don’t know. While they may be excellent at providing their respective products or services, they may also feel somewhat isolated when it comes to making the many business-related decisions frequently thrown at them. Worse yet, after spending countless hours providing those excellent products and services, the thought of innovating and planning for future growth can seem both daunting and exhausting.

The ImagineDSM™ Entrepreneurship Program through FuseDSM and Bookpress Publishing will equip entrepreneurs and small business managers with tools that can be immediately applied for enhanced outcomes and increased long-term success.

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

I would say the partnership of being an Affiliate Chamber is a very powerful bonus to our members’ chamber membership. Not only do they receive additional SEO in being listed in a regional directory but having access to programs such as the Small Business Success Summit, and data via surveys conducted, is business changing for many. The Greater Des Moines Partnership also makes a concerted effort to utilize our chamber member businesses — whether they are looking for speakers, venues, catering, gifts or planning outings — they go to chamber members first.

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.

Trish Flaherty-Barnes

Trish Flaherty-Barnes, President/CEO of FuseDSM, graduated from Drake University in 1993. With a passion for community, connecting people and helping businesses grow organically, leading FuseDSM is a natural fit for her. Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for Starts Right Here, an organization helping at-risk youth in our community.