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Top 10 Reasons Moving to DSM in 2021 Was a Good Move

Return to DSM in 2021

June 22, 2021

Moving back to Greater Des Moines (DSM) had been on our minds for a while. We, Jon and Missy Berg, both grew up in DSM and went to Iowa State University. Like many college graduates in the early 2000s, we were lured by opportunities outside of the state that would allow us to chart our own destiny. We moved east and spent six years in Chicagoland, then 12 in Indianapolis. We returned in December 2020 (During a global pandemic, why not?) with our two children to be closer to family. Six months later, we are reflecting on that decision, our new community, new jobs, new schools and quick favorites.Bergs Love Sculpture

We spent the last decade in Indianapolis, home to David Letterman, so, here’s our top 10 reasons moving to DSM USA was a good move:

1. Vision

No oceans, no mountains, but DSM leaders have vision. It’s clear that there are many leaders with incredible vision that have brought their organizations out of the pandemic and helped the recovery of the entire city. Thanks for bringing cool things here like the Lauridsen Skatepark and the Ironman 70.3.

2. Collaboration

Growing up here, we were familiar with the big names, all of the insurance companies and the trucking industry. But what we didn’t realize was the spirit of collaboration that links these corporations and the communities together — urban, suburban and rural. Collaboration between public and private sectors that allows the city and the region to accomplish large-scale projects like Central Iowa Water Trails and redevelopment of the downtown Dico Superfund site, a community space featuring recreation, housing, commerce and entertainment and a new Downtown DSM soccer stadium.

3. Accessible and Approachable Leadership

Throughout our transition to Iowa, and after landing great gigs, we have noticed that leaders here are available and truly want to connect. We’ve had quality networking time with leaders at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Catch Des Moines, Principal Financial Group, Iowa State University and the City of Des Moines. Even our first grader’s principal met our son at the door on his first day of school. That’s a true Iowa welcome.

4. Helpful Smile in Every Aisle

We have fallen back in love with Hy-Vee and the helpful smile in every aisle. And, since they sponsored the Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar team in this year’s Indy 500, we will spend even more time and money there.

5. Food Scene

There are plenty of foods and beers in Indy that we will miss (Longs Donuts, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Sun King Brewing) but we are already in love with the cuisine and beverage options here. Harbinger, Table 128, Eatery A and Lua Brewing are a few of our quick favorites and I can’t wait to try the new R + I soon.

6. Parks

As a family with two young kids, we have found ourselves rating parks like food critics rate chefs. Raccoon River Park has beautiful space for sports and our Saturday mornings have been filled with soccer games. (Looking forward to the beach this summer!) The wooden playground at Walker Johnston Park is walking distance from Grandma and Grandpa’s place. And the Jamie Hurd Amphitheatre has an abundance of free concerts and movie nights during summer months.

7. The Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair is something that has brought us to DSM each year — it’s a family tradition and I (Missy) have never missed a fair in my 40 years on this earth. This year will be no exception. You can find me eating a Bettie’s Footlong, a Gizmo and some JR Donuts. Of course no trip to the fair is complete without a trip down the Giant Slide, followed by a cold one from the craft beer tent. Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair.

8. Commute

You really can get anywhere in 12 minutes — I’ve been early to all eight in-person meetings I’ve had so far in 2021. The short travel times allow us to explore and experience so many different communities and attractions within DSM.

9. Bike Trails

We were avid commuter cyclists while living in Downtown Indianapolis. Riding every trail in DSM is on our bucket list this summer. We left DSM in 2003 with two bikes and have returned with six bikes. We are thankful that the region and so many communities in our state invest in trails and healthy connectivity options. Berg Family

10. Family

Family is the main reason we decided to make the move. They have been telling us for years that DSM would welcome us back. This has certainly been true!

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Named the #1 Best Place to Live in the Midwest and #2 Safest Place to Live, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Jon and Missy Berg

Jon and Missy Berg were born and raised in Greater Des Moines (DSM). After time away in Chicago and Indianapolis, they returned with their two children. Missy is director of business development for Markey's Rental & Staging. Jon works for the Iowa Arts Council as a program manager for arts in community development.