Partnership Announces 2023 Economic Impact Awards Winners
GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Sept. 27, 2023) – The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the winners of the 2023 Economic Impact Awards. Celebrating their 41st anniversary this year, the Economic Impact Awards originated to recognize and honor companies that have recently made significant contributions to the economic vitality of Greater Des Moines (DSM) in terms of capital investment, job creation and facility expansion.
The 2023 Economic Impact Award winners are:
In July 2023, Collins Aerospace opened a $14 million expansion of its additive manufacturing center. The 9,000-square-foot addition provides space for the site to house several new state-of-the-art 3D metal printers. The first printer installed has eight times the build volume of the facility’s existing printers, significantly increasing the center’s additive manufacturing capabilities.
Clow Valve Co.
Clow Valve recently broke ground on a $75 million expansion project at its existing foundry in Oskaloosa. The project involves a 36,000-square-foot addition to the southwest side of the company’s existing iron foundry. The expansion is being built to accommodate new manufacturing equipment that will enable Clow to produce twice as much product with its existing workforce.
Dee Zee Manufacturing
A family-owned business, Dee Zee has manufactured automotive components and accessories since 1977 with its workforce of more than 1,000 employees spread across eight facilities. Currently, Dee Zee is finalizing a 47,000-square-foot building at its Pleasant Hill campus to manufacture body structures for the first Electric Lightweight Commercial Vehicles (ELCV) for General Motors. This expansion will create over 50 skilled labor positions. Dee Zee’s Pleasant Hill campus consists of buildings dedicated to stamping, tool and die, mill operations, and the new building to manufacture the structural components.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, the Kuvare organization, now with combined assets of $33 billion, includes Iowa-domiciled Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company and United Life Insurance Company. Kuvare’s Des Moines presence dates to April 2022, when Kuvare chose to expand its Iowa footprint to capture unique benefits the company finds from working in the vibrant market with an office in Downtown Des Moines (DSM)’s Historic East Village, going from four to 30 employees in just over one year.
In 2023, Worldwide Logistics opened its new headquarters in Urbandale. The company’s substantial growth in the mid-2000’s resulted in Worldwide Logistics outgrowing its initial location to spread into three different buildings. The new 76,000-square-foot office complex combined the three buildings of workers into one to create one culture in one facility. The DSM region was chosen for the skilled workers found in Iowa and the work ethic found in the region.
Global Business Award: Kemin Industries
In 2017, Kemin opened its global headquarters building, the final phase of a five-year, $125.5 million investment in its Des Moines campus. Since then, Kemin has reaffirmed its commitment to the local community while continuing to expand globally. Over the past three years, Kemin has added multiple new buildings to its headquarters campus, including its first-ever wet pet food pilot lab, which allows the company to better serve and collaborate with its customers in the pet food industry. Kemin also completed an on-ground and roof-mounted solar array installation, which powers 100% of its 90,000-square-foot headquarters building.
Deal of the Year: OpenLoop Health
Telehealth company OpenLoop was founded in late 2019 in Iowa in order to expand access to quality care to patients everywhere and accelerate virtual care with certified clinicians and insurance partners in all 50 states. OpenLoop has gone from just five employees to more than 300, creating 50 jobs in DSM so far in 2023. OpenLoop recently expanded its space in Downtown and announced that the former Bank of America Building has been renamed to the OpenLoop Tower.
Deal of the Decade: Meta Altoona Data Center
The first buildings at Meta’s Altoona Data Center became operational in late 2014. At full buildout, it will be the largest in their global fleet of 21 data centers. In the DSM community, Meta has hired 1,300 skilled trade workers on site at peak construction, supported 400+ operational jobs, and is supported by 100% renewable energy. The company has added 225MW of new renewable energy to the state and aided in $3.2 million in direct funding to local schools and nonprofits.
Jon Kallen Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, presented by Jennings Kallen Advisors: Connectify HR
Founded and owned by Iowans since its inception in 2021, Connectify HR is responsible for the creation of 17 new jobs generating more than $2.3 million in local payroll impact, 170+ hours of volunteer time to local community charities and for helping 55+ businesses to earn $110+ million in annual wages by simplifying their human resource needs, saving those businesses time and money.
DSM Newcomer Award: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom
The DSM Newcomer Award was presented to Big Grove Brewery & Taproom for the company’s role in fostering community and architectural revitalization, and being environmentally responsible while doing it. The brewery’s give-back initiative, “Big Grove for Good,” has seen thousands of dollars donated directly to the DSM community for environmental and social justice causes, including a nonprofit grant program of $24,000 to three local nonprofits. The renovation of the brewery’s portion of the former Crescent building was done in an environmentally friendly manner, installing bioswales giving environmental co-benefits due to their ability to reduce stormwater runoff, installing LED lighting and using energy-efficient equipment and using sustainable materials and recycling.
CRE Partner of the Year: Justin Lossner, CCIM SIOR
The CRE Partner of the Year Award was presented to Justin Lossner, CCIM, for his involvement in some of the most economically impactful projects in the DSM market. Lossner serves as Senior Managing Director of JLL’s Des Moines office and has 20 years of experience as a licensed real estate broker. Along with his team, he has been involved in more than 1,200 transactions, totaling more than $1.64 billion in real estate volume. Lossner represented the buyer of West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines, setting a record for the largest mixed-use sale in the market, and assisted with a 20-year growth plan for Prairie Trail in Ankeny.
Economic Development Partner of the Year: Beth Balzer
Beth Balzer worked for the Iowa Economic Development Authority for three decades, and became the Business Development Team Leader in 2003 until her retirement. She worked with Iowa’s existing industry and some of the state’s largest companies on expansion and retention projects, accounting for nearly $5 billion in new capital investment and creating more than 14,000 jobs. Balzer worked with hundreds of companies of all sizes across the state.
Economic Development Partner of the Year: Clyde Evans
Clyde Evans was recognized as a 2023 Economic Development Partner of the Year for his nearly 49 years involved with economic development. Much of this was during 32 years as the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of West Des Moines. During his tenure with the City, the population increased from 32,000 to more than 70,000 and the City issued building permits valued at over $6.5 billion, resulting in the construction of almost 23.2 million square feet of commercial/office/industrial space.
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 400 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.