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Partnership's 2015 Board Chair Lays Out Five Goals For the Year

January 29, 2015

By Gerard Neugent, CEO of Knapp Properties and 2015 Partnership Board Chair

Another year is upon us, and I am honored to serve in 2015 as the Chair for the Greater Des Moines Partnership Board. I want to thank Paul Schickler for his leadership in 2014. 2014 was another banner year for Greater Des Moines (DSM), but we cannot afford to let our momentum slow. As one region with one mission and one voice, we can push the region to even greater heights this year. The Partnership has five major priorities for 2015.

The Partnership will lead efforts to develop a comprehensive Foreign Direct Investment plan and strategy for Central Iowa. As spelled out in our recently released Regional Export Plan, we want to build the region’s economic competitive advantage with a clear focus on the opportunities and impacts of globalization.

The Global Insurance Accelerator will continue to strengthen its position as a driver of startup growth in the region. The Accelerator recently announced that Brian Hemesath, a well-known serial entrepreneur, will serve as the Managing Director. The first class will be announced this quarter, and its Demo Day will be held in conjunction to the second annual Global Insurance Symposium in May.

The Partnership will keep the proposed Downtown convention hotel project moving forward to make Des Moines more competitive regionally and nationally. This project will help Des Moines attract significantly more conventions and out-of-town visitors. Convention-goers come to town and spend money, and for many of these visitors, it is their first experience with Des Moines.

Under the direction of Executive Director Brent Willett, The Partnership will continue to work with our regional partners to aggressively implement the Cultivation Corridor 2014-15 Tactical Work Plan. The Cultivation Corridor has brought together public and private partners to work with institutions of higher education to accelerate growth in the agbioscience, biorenewables and advanced manufacturing industries.

Under the direction of Executive Director Cyndi Fisher, the Education Drives our Great Economy (EDGE) initiative will advance advocacy, pre-kindergarten through 20, and lifelong learning. EDGE will complete its work to establish regional benchmarks, a tracking system, and a report card.

As you can see, we are prepared to take on some heavy lifting this year. We can’t do it without the support of the entire Des Moines community, including our Investors, Regional Affiliate Chambers and Affiliate Members. Together, we can keep Des Moines at the top of national rankings in 2015 and for years to come.

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 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 330 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.