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Partnership Announces 2022 Inclusion Award Winners

November 9, 2022

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Nov. 9, 2022) – The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the winners of the 2022 Inclusion Awards. In their 10th year, the awards seek to honor and celebrate the success of organizations that have championed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their businesses, organizations and in the community. Winners were announced and honored at the 10th Annual Inclusion Summit that took place today.

To qualify for the Inclusion Awards, organizations must be a Regional Member or Investor of The Partnership. A selection committee made up of members of The Partnership’s Inclusion Council and The Partnership team evaluated the applications.

Award winners are:

Principal Financial Group: Large Organization Category – Diversity and inclusion are foundational to the culture at Principal®. Principal has put an added focus on career development and recruiting talent from diverse backgrounds through a number of programs including its sales development program, mentoring and internship programs, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow Program. Principal has 10 employee resources groups with a total of 3,725 members representing diverse groups in terms of racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity, LGBTQ+ and allies. For customers, Principal strives to provide accessible and inclusive financial products and runs a supplier diversity program to support and facilitate the purchase of products and services from business owners of varied demographics.

ARAG Legal Insurance: Medium Organization Category – ARAG is implementing a three-pronged approach to DEI. One, addressing DEI within its own workforce. ARAG created a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee that is committed to highlighting and embracing the traits and characteristics that make employees uniquely themselves. Two, expanding its product to serve a diverse set of members. ARAG added coverages that meet the needs of diverse audiences. Three, helping educate clients how they can do the same thing within their organization. Recently, ARAG launched the Take Pride digital marketing campaign to help human resources executives understand how legal insurance could assist the needs of their LGBTQ+ employees.

Business Publications Corporation: Small Organization Category – Business Publications Corporation (BPC) is an Iowa-based media company that serves business, cultural and philanthropic communities. Founded as a business publishing company in 1983 by visionary entrepreneur Connie Wimer, BPC has steadily grown and evolved. While always committed to the community, as part of a more comprehensive DEI strategy put in place over the last four years, BPC has been even more intentional in attracting, retaining and advancing talent across various diverse communities, Additionally, BPC has been intentional about expanding diversity in vendor strategies and increasing representation across all dimensions of diversity in its products, services and events. 

Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families: Non-Profit Category – Since opening in 2012, the Evelyn K. Davis Center (EKDC) for Working Families has served as a cornerstone of the community by providing supportive programming and services, all in one location, to help individuals and families achieve their educational, career and financial goals. The EKDC has high expectations to be intentional with its diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging hiring efforts and has made great strides to hire staff representing diverse cultural, socioeconomic, age and educational backgrounds. In addition, current employees represent former clients, previous program participants and community members referred by partners. In its service to the community, engagement and relationship building with ethnic community-based organizations has led to increased inbound referrals for center services and development of workshops in languages other than English.

Polk County: Public Entity Category – Polk County is the largest county in the state of Iowa. It serves a diverse Central Iowa community. With close to half a million residents from diverse backgrounds, Polk County strives to lead the way in bringing together leaders, collaborative organizations and key resources to empower its communities and make life better for all people in Polk County. Polk County hired a Diversity, Inclusion and Organizational Development Specialist in November of 2021 and established a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee in April of 2022. This year, the Board of Supervisors kicked off its first Welcoming Week events. The Board also provides grant and sponsorship opportunities to community organizations that promote DEI in their programs and events.

Equity Innovation Award: Athene and West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce for the Black & Brown Business Summit – The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit presented by Wells Fargo was created by national stakeholders to elevate ethnic minorities and bring BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) businesses together to assist with connection building, programming, promotion and training, and to provide resources to help businesses grow and prosper. The 2022 Summit featured more than 60 presenters including two keynote speakers, Dr. Pamela Jolly and Daymond John. It also featured a Pitch Competition presented by Bank of America where $42,000 total was distributed to 10 winners across the U.S.

“The six Inclusion Award winners for 2022 have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing in their DEI journey,” said Dr. Marvin DeJear, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at The Partnership. “They are committed to intentionally investing time and effort to make meaningful change in their organizations and beyond.”

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership  

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.