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Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Des Moines East + South Chamber of Commerce

East and South Chamber in DSM USA

August 9, 2017

Elected leader for 2017: Chair, Abbey Gilroy, Neighborhood Development Corporation

Professional staff leader of the Chamber:  Sadie Trytten, President/CEO

Number of members: 400

Des Moines East + South Chamber Q&A

Why should someone join your Chamber? 

The Des Moines East + South Chamber is a 55-year-old organization that connects businesses throughout the city as we are not consolidated in one specific area. Our reach covers the east, south and north sides of Greater Des Moines (DSM). We have a diverse offering of programs and events of which provide different business owners access to resources for improving and building their business.

What is your Chamber’s biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months?         

Over this past 12 months, we have accomplished a few of our long term goals: diversity, growth and retention. We have done this by implementing a Spanish speaking arm called Empresarios, meaning Business Owner in Spanish. From the standpoint of growth, it did not only come through new Members in our existing regions, but by creating the North Des Moines Business Initiative that met with businesses on Des Moines’ north side. Until now, the north side has not had representation or means of connecting with businesses through the city. We were able to engage this group by holding socials and listening to their needs as business owners. Lastly, just as important as growth is retention and we initiated a Retention Committee of which is made up of board members and ambassadors. This group focuses on making time for existing Members and thanking them for their unwavering support year after year.

Any initiative or project that you are looking forward to in 2017?  

One partnership/project that we thoroughly enjoy year after year is our work with the Friends of Southwest 9th. The Des Moines East + South Chamber acts as their staff liaison implementing programs such as the annual façade improvement program, coordinating the annual DSMOpen Street event, which brings in over 90 vendors and 8,000 supporters.

One large task of which brings loads of excitement is the opportunity to rebrand our Chamber throughout this next year. This is obviously a large item of which will require a lot of time and thought, but it is important to us that we rebrand to embrace the businesses on Des Moines’ north side.

What upcoming events should people watch for?    

We just held our annual golf event, which was our largest turnout ever. Next on our calendar is the Celebration of Progress on Sept. 14. This event was created to focus on a newly renovated, or brand new, facility on the east side and “Celebrate the Progress” being made on the east side of Des Moines. We also present a $5,000 check to Des Moines schools for scholarships and award an educator of the year. The 2017 event will feature Kemin Industries world headquarters.

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.

Abbey Gilroy

Abbey Gilroy is director of real estate development for the Neighborhood Development Corporation. She is also involved with the Des Moines East + South Chamber, a 55-year-old organization that connects businesses throughout Greater Des Moines (DSM).