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Episode 2: From Intern to President of VolunteerLocal

Startup Stories DSM Podcast Episode 2: Volunteer Local

April 6, 2018

From intern to president, Kaylee Williams has risen the ranks of VolunteerLocal in six years. Based in Greater Des Moines (DSM), it’s a platform used internationally to support events and non-profits manage volunteers.

The scars of entrepreneurship

Williams sat down with Startup Stories DSM host Mike Colwell and shared how she never thought of herself as an entrepreneur growing up. Her first enterprise was a dog walking business aged 14, which would suggest otherwise. That one started with seed money from her parents for an ad. She still has the scars to remind her of the first lesson she learned: customer support. When a dog ran away, she jumped on it scraping her knees in the process.

Intern to president

Williams grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa and after graduating from college, wanted to write about startups. Her first call was to Silicon Prairie News for a job. They didn’t have one, but it turned out a fledgling startup in DSM was looking for an intern. VolunteerLocal first offered her 10 hours per week. After hearing about the product and concept, Kaylee says she fell in love.

“I bought a car, got a cat and moved to Des Moines, Iowa,” Kaylee said on Startup Stories DSM.

That started her journey to working her way up to President.

VolunteerLocal is a web-based software that assists in managing the volunteer force that is so vital to events. From the Des Moines Arts Festival to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the platform assists organizations around the world to manage several thousand volunteers at a time.

Hear the stories of other small business and startup business owners in the community in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the Small Business Resources newsletter to stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.

Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.