Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce
Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce
Elected leader for 2019
David Pargulski – Board President
Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber
Darrell Sarmento, Executive Director
Number of Members
What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?
As a wealth management banker at US Bank, I work with many business owners to help them grow. I am passionate about business development on the west side. Giving time and leadership to the Chamber gives me the opportunity to serve the business community and my neighborhood in a practical way.
What’s a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?
Along with all the regular networking and educational events that most Chambers offer, our highlights include:
Economic Development Bus Tour
The Economic Development Bus Tour is an annual “can’t miss” event. This year we hosted two bus tours of the West Side highlighting more than $200 million in economic development. We started at Jeff Young's Franklin Jr. High Project and drove by Merle Hay Mall, the Douglas Ave Corridor, Broadlawns, the 6th Ave Corridor, The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand, The Roosevelt District and made a major stop at Drake University.
Wake Up West Side
Wake Up West Side! is a monthly networking time that moves to various businesses and locations throughout the West Side. It’s always a great way to start the day.
Lunch & Learn Networking Events
Lunch and Learns give us the opportunity to network and learn new information at the same time.
We are passionate about the West Side. If you are doing business on the Des Moines West Side, we are the place to start! We provide the connections to local leaders, decision makers and resources to help your business be known and succeed.
What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?
We updated our logo and launched our new website, DSMwestside.org. This gave us a fresh, updated look and the opportunity to update much of the wording and marketing on our website.
We also held our first golf tournament, the Mid-Metro Chamber Open in partnership with the Windsor Heights Chamber on Thursday, July 25 at Waveland Golf Course. We welcomed more than 80 golfers at the new annual event.
Finally, we awarded our first community scholarship, sponsoring a West Side School in need to be able to attend JA BizTown through Junior Achievement of Central Iowa.
What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in 2019?
As we wrap up 2019 and enter 2020, we look forward to supporting businesses around Drake University and the 6th Avenue Corridor. Both areas are undergoing major economic development initiatives and will be a special focus of attention.
What Are Your Upcoming Events?
We will launch a new annual event called the Fall Forward Celebration. This event will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the Shivers Courtside Club at Drake University. We held our 10th Anniversary there last year and it was such a great venue we decided to make it an annual event. This year Drake Women’s Basketball Coach Jennie Baranczyk will be our guest speaker and we will highlight our successes in 2019 as we begin to look at 2020. The evening will also feature a highlight of all the economic development underway around Drake University.
Our Annual Victory Celebration and Business Awards will be at FLIX Brewhouse Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Merle Hay Mall, another part of the West Side that we want to continue to support. This is a can’t-miss event for the Des Moines West Side.
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.