• Firestarters

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    Our Mantra

    We are the spark and energy our chamber needs to ignite growth and prosperity for our members while exploring new businesses to inspire. We are advocates. We are passionate and authentic. We are Firestarters.


    Firestarters Chair

    Tiffany Tokarz, Modern Muse

    Tiffany Tokarz, CPBA, CPMA, & MS in Leadership & Organizational Development Psychology, is an Intentional Growth Strategist with Modern Muse Consulting. She has been working with sales professionals and business owners to create intentional results for a decade and due to her accomplishments both academically and in business, she was recently accepted into Faculty Row. Faculty Row is an invite-only organization that includes Fullbright Scholars, TED Talk Speakers, and countless accomplished in academics. In addition to her credentials, she is a professional who believes we have only begun to understand the scope of human potential; ad that leaders who create company cultures to better leverage their human capital will position their companies to thrive in the new economy.  She prides herself on being result-drive and yet having some fun along the way. She believes that balance in both work and play is an itegral part of intentional growth and she takes her own advice. When she is not working, you will find her jogging at Gray's Lake; teaching yoga; spending quality time with loved ones' enjoying a glass of wine; or attempting to cook something new in the kitchen.


    Firestarters Co-Chair

    Emily Cory, Lamar Advertising

    I'm an Elkhart, IA native and Wartburg College graduate (Go Knights!). While at Wartbug, I was a member of the Track & Field team while majoring in communications. After graduation, I moved out to Dubuque to pursue my career in sales at Lamar Advertising. I spent 2013-2016 in Dubuque until an opportunity opened up for me here in Des Moines in November 2016. Since I've been with Lamar my love for the outdoor/billboard industry continues to grow and I am so grateful to be back in the Des Moines area - I love this city! I really enjoy meeting new people and any opportunity for a new experience, I'm the first one to sign up! Feel free to reach out to me if there is anything I can do to help out your business.

    Email: ecory@lamar.com.


    Tim Smid, Iowa-Des Moines Supply

    Tim is originally from Northwest Iowa, a UNI grad, and recently relocated to the Des Moines area with his wife and children from Algona, IA. He joined the sales team at Iowa-Des Moines Supply, a commercial supplier and distributor. Their customers span a variety of industries, including hotels, restaurants, country clubs, schools, grocery and convenience stores, commercial builders, and manufacturers. Tim is looking forward to making many connections here in the region. 

    He can be reached by email at tsmid@iowadesmionessupply.com  or by phone at (515) 263-1200.


    Laura Gibson,  Central Iowa Center for Independent Living

    Laura Gibson, MS, CRC is the Director of Operations for Central Iowa Center for Independent Living. Laura came to CICIL in January of 2017 to continue her passion for working with individuals with disabilities. Laura comes from Candeo where she worked as the coordinator for Project SEARCH and provided employment services to assist people with finding and maintaining employment. Prior to that, Laura worked as a residential coordinator, a respite provider, and a case manager. Laura's desire to work with people with disabilities stems from having a sister with a disability and seeing first-hand the impact the right services an have on someone's independence and quality of life. Laura holds a Master's degree in Rehabilitation and Counseling from Drake University as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Laura enjoys being active in the community and serves on the Access Advisory Board for the City of Des Moines, on the APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment 1st) Board as vice president, and on the IRA (Iowa Rehabilitation Association) Board. Laura is also an Ambassador for FuseDSM and enjoys participating in Chamber events.


    James Walford, State Farm

    James is married to his wife of 4 years, Krystal. James is an avid sports fan, particularly the Iowa Hawkeyes, Miami Dolphins, and Chicago Cubs. He and Krystal both have very close families and love to spend time with friends in their free time. James is the State Farm Agent on SE 14th St. He and his team take pride in protecting what you value most! See James for your auto, home, life, and business needs!


    Tyler Weig, South Suburban YMCA

    I am driven by the challenge of finding solutions to complex social problems. 
    I am serving as the Executive Director of the South Suburban YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines.

    Here is where you can contact me.


    Michael Briant, Land Home Financial Services

    I was born on the East Side and later moved to the North Side of Des Moines where I graduated from North High. I then left the state to play baseball for Dakota State University. After graduating from Dakota State, I moved back to Des Moines to start my career. I worked in sales for Wells Fargo, Principal, and Nationwide before deciding to move to a smaller community-based lender, Land Home Financial. My wife also is a graduate of North High and moved to Florida after she graduated. After an extended period in Florida, she moved back to Des Moines and we built a home in Grimes and started a family. If you have friends or family looking or have questions about a mortgage, send them my way! I would be happy to help them out. we do a variety of loans including our House2Home product which offers a 5% grant to help pay for closing costs.

    You can contact me at michael.briant@lhfs.com or (515) 371-5044.


    Matt Pick, West Bank

    Iowa born and raised, Matt Pick is a compassionate, outgoing person with a strong desire to help his community. Matt is currently a branch manager for West Bank at its Southside Des Moines location. Matt believes FuseDSM is a great place to meet others who share the common interest of serving their community and their customers.


    Ciara Ladroma Headshot

    Ciara Ladroma, DMACC Urban Campus

    I moved to Des Moines almost 5 years ago from Iowa City. I love that Des Moines is a constantly growing, impressive city while it maintains its small town vibes. I am a Career Coach at the DMACC Urban Campus for the HiSET Program. This role allows me to support adults in attaining their High School Equivalency Diplomas. Being a Career Coach has strengthened by knowledge of community resources and opportunities available to all students. To me, the community is priority. I volunteer on varying platforms and am the 2017 Des Moines Jaycees Chapter President. The Jaycees are the Young Professionals group of the East & South Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. We are proud to represent the East & South Chamber of Commerce as we partner to empower young professionals and make a positive influence in our community. I was born in the Philippines but have been raised throughout the Midwest. I enjoy traveling, supporting local businesses, and spending time with friends & family.

    To connect, please feel free to contact me at culadroma@dmacc.edu.


    Drew Alvine Headshot

    Drew Alvine, Edward Jones

    I am a financial advisor with Edward Jones. I have been with the firm for 1.5 years. I have a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and practiced as a professionally licensed design engineer for 8 years before becoming an advisor. I partner together with my clients to find out what is important to them and develop a personalized financial plan that will take them through all stages of life. From first job through retirement and estate planning. I work with individuals, and small businesses on their financial needs. I get to know my clients and their level of comfort with risk to develop personalized strategies that are routinely reviewed to make sure they stay on track to meet their goals.


    Roginia Moore Headshot

    Roginia Moore, Licensed Real Estate Agent

    Roginia Moore is in the business of creating connections, growing relationships, and being involved in her community.  Her goal is to educate buyers and sellers on the local real estate market, be a trusted resource through-out the home buying and selling process, and most importantly, provide a memorable experience. She serves as a trusted advisor to investors interested in investment properties. Roginia Moore is licensed to sell real estate in the State of Iowa and services Ankeny, Altoona, Des Moines Metro, Indianola, Runnells, Pleasant Hill, and Colfax. She is a highly motivated REALTOR® with more than 15 years of experience in finance and account management. She is gifted with a positive perspective that allows her to provide encouragement to others in their time of need.




  • FuseDSM is granted the right to use the attendee's name and/or likeness in photograph(s), video(s) and/or other digital media (hereafter “Photographs”) to promote FuseDSM in print and online publications, presentations, websites, and/or social media. The individual will not receive compensation for appearing in said Photographs.