• 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 Co-Chair

    Annie Giudicessi, HeyGiud Communications

    I’m Annie Giudicessi and I am the owner and brains behind HeyGiud Communications. I take my obsession for Social Marketing, my passion for Branding and combine that with my knowledge and experience to help businesses and organizations grow and thrive in the ever changing Socialsphere. I have spent years learning the nuances and details of Social Marketing and have a passion for helping businesses and Non-Profits utilize the tools available through Social Marketing and digital channels to enhance and grown their brand. I have a Bachelor of Arts from Central College in Communications Studies and a Social Marketing Specialization from Northwestern University. In the rare hours where I manage to disconnect I enjoy photography, writing, exploring the amazing city of Des Moines and spending quality time with my family. My love of music is shown through my company name as HeyGiud is a spin on the song by The Beatles and my last name. 

    You can reach me at annie@heygiuddsm.com or connect with me online via www.heygiudcommunications.com



    Firestarters Co-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.



    Mike Mathweg, Mathweg Financial Services

    I relocated to Des Moines, IA in March 2016 from Fond du Lac, WI. I came to Des Moines with my wife Brianna and since moving down to Des Moines we decided to open an Insurance Agency. Mathweg Financial Services is a full-service Insurance agency. We offer a wide range of products to our clients however, we specialize in Health Insurance. We offer an affordable health plans to those just turning 65 and other Iowa Medicare-eligible individuals as well as anyone needing health insurance coverage through Affordable Care Act. 

    You can reach me by email at Mike@MathwegInsurance.com or by phone at 515-705-4006.



    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.



    Andre Mckay, New York Life

    I grew up in the South Side of Des Moines and finished at Johnston High School. I received my B.A. in Finance from Grand View University. While at Grand View, I was a student athlete of football and spent many hours volunteering at numerous organizations. I am always working to support my community by volunteering at Iowa Homeless Youth, Children & Family Urban Movement, and Evelyn K. Davis Center for small business planning. When I'm not giving back, I enjoy engaging with other professionals from the East & South Chamber, Junior Chamber International, and Young Professional Connection. I have built a practice around the core values of listening to the client first, proposing the most tax efficient and safe solutions, making the appropriate adjustments as clients needs change.

    Andre can be reached by email at amckay@ft.newyorklife.com.



    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.



    Jamie Anderson,  Hampton Inn By Hilton Des Moines Airport

    I am the Director of Sales at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Des Moines Airport, part of Paramount Hotel Group. After attending the University of Northern Iowa, double majoring in Tourism and Spanish, I began my career in the Hospitality industry. I have enjoyed working at a hotel and conference center in my past, planning events ranging from business meetings to managing weddings. My husband, son, and I reside in Norwalk, where I also teach dance part time. My position at the Hampton Inn Des Moines Airport allows me the opportunity to connect with all types of travelers. Whether they are here for business or just passing through to their next destination, I enjoy meeting new people every day and inquiring about their travel needs. A big part of my job that is love is attending Chamber events and networking with others. I have felt extremely welcome as a Firestarter and have enjoyed learning about FuseDSM. I look forward to connecting with all of you!

    You can reach me at 515.287.7300 or email me at janderson@paramounthotelgroup.com



    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.



    Mike Hoal, Charter Accounting PLC

    My family and I relocated to Carlisle, Iowa in July 2017 from Lacey, Washington. I attended Colorado State University where I graduated with an MBA in Finance. I am also an Army Veteran (10 years, Military Intelligence) and in addition to working in Business Development with Charter Accounting, I am also the CFO for a start-up called Vets2PM that teaches Project Management to Active Duty, Veterans, and Retirees.

    Charter Accounting is a full-service Veteran-owned Accounting firm that has served the Des Moines Metro for over 20 years specializing in small businesses. We aim to give business owners the time back to spend working on their business versus in their business with mundane tasks of payroll and bookkeeping, as well as setting effective tax planning strategies to minimize tax obligations. We offer free consultations to see how we can best work with you to accomplish your goals and reduce your accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll expenses.

    I enjoy being active in the community and getting involved with YPC committees, serving as an Ambassador for FuseDSM, serving on non-profit boards, and also being active with the freemasons and several other charitable events. I have a connector personality, and if I don't know something, I love knowing someone who is an expert in their field, and enjoy making connections.

    I can be reached at mike@charteraccountingplc.com or connect with me via LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikehoal.



    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.



    Alyssa Arends, Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa

    Iowa born, Iowa raised, Iowa proud. Currently I serve as a Career Specialist at Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa. I moved back to Iowa in 2016 after attending the University of Northwester - St. Paul in Minnesota where I graduated with degrees in both psychology and kinesiology, and where I also realized how much I truly love my home state! I have a passion for people, health, good weather, and coffee. I am excited to see the progress Des Moines has made in the past few years and I look forward to being a part of all the exciting things that are yet to come!



    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.



    Hayley Knight, Trixies Aveda Salon



    Jessica Griffin, Trixies Aveda Salon

    Jessica has been with Trixies since the beginning as front desk coordinator and has always had a passion for the beauty industry. After graduating in early 2015 from the Aveda Institute Des Moines, she is now an Image Consultant at Trixies Salon. When she is not working at Trixies or going to school, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends.

    Contact information jessica@trixiessalon.com



    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.



    Monica Langin, Visionary Services 

    Monica is the Vice President at Visionary Services where she has been in professional bliss for the last 10 years, and intends to stay (if they will let her). Outside of work, Monica enjoys listening to live music, playing the piano, cooking, home brewing, and hanging at home with her family.



    Allise Feldman Headshot

    Allise Feldman, Heart of America Group

    Allise is the Executive of Sales for the AC Hotel by Marriott & The Republic on Grand, Heart of America's first project in the Des Moines East Village. A native of Des Moines, Allise holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Grand View University. While at Grand View, she received scholarships for both soccer and basketball. Allise is passionate about making connections and building long lasting relationships in the community. Outside of work, Allise enjoys spending her free time with her husband and three dogs, cooking, and exploring the plethora of local establishments the city has to offer. 

    Email: afeldman@hoari.com    Phone: (515) 480-4083



    Amy McAninch Headshot

    Amy McAninch, Ramada Des Moines Airport Hotel

    I grew up in Indianola and moved to Des Moines in 2006 with my husband. I am the Senior Sales Manager for the Ramada on Army Post Rd. Prior to that, I was the Front Office Manager of the Hotel. I really enjoy working in the hospitality field and am looking forward to all of the networking and volunteer opportunities available with FuseDSM.

    Please feel free to contact me for any hotel or banquet needs at amcaninch@airporthotel-dsm.com or (515) 287-6464.



    Renee Chapman Headshot

    Renee Chapman, Athletico Physical Therapy

    I grew up in Eastern Iowa and moved to Des Moines in 2010. I remember visiting Des Moines off and on in the past and can't believe how much the area has grown just in the past 10 years! I currently work at Accelerated Physical Therapy in South Des Moines as a Physical Therapist Assistant, helping patients return to functional activities.  Being able to help community members achieve his/her goals for the past 13 years has been very rewarding. I look forward to increasing my participation in community events and learning more about all the great opportunities Des Moines has to offer by being a part of FuseDSM.



    Nicky Wallace Headshot

    Nicky Wallace, Aerotek

    'I grew up in Fort Dodge, and moved to Des Moines several years ago after graduating from Iowa with my Finance and Management Degrees. I am happy to call Des Moines home!  I currently am an Account Manager with Aerotek, a Recruiting and Staffing company that supports business here in the Des Moines area throughout many different industries! I manage my team of three recruiters on part of our Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Trades team, as well as handle Business Development for our division. My recruiters and I work together to place our top skill sets, including Machinists, Welders, Industrial Painters, Forklift Operators, and Shipping and Receiving personnel to name a few.'



    Chase Kruckemeyer Headshot

    Chase Kruckemeyer, Iowa Barnstormers

    Chase Kruckemeyer joined the Iowa Barnstormers front office in the Fall of 2016. His duties include providing the best experiences for his season ticket holders, groups, and sponsors. Chase is from La Porte City, Iowa and moved to Ames in the Falls of 2012. He graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor's degree in Advertising in May of 2016. He currently resides in Ankeny.

    Chase can be reached at ckruckemeyer@theiowabarnstormers.com.



    Morgan McCullough Headshot

    Morgan McCullough, Heart of America Group

    Morgan McCullough, Heart of America Group I first joined the hotel industry back in 1996 doing homework during overnight shifts while in college. I realized very quickly that my personality was quite suitable to customer service and that I enjoyed the 'instant gratification' that came with knowing when a job was done well. Although I've generally always continued working at least part-time in hotels over the years, the majority of my time in Chicago & New York was spent as a manufacturing representative for Nautica Jeans & 13 different women's clothing lines. I have taken great pride in the properties I have been fortunate to represent & the roles that I've been able to grow within. When I am not at work I am spending time with family and friends. I love gardening, working outdoors, reading & going on hikes with my dogs (St. Bernard & Shih Tzu). I now represent Heart of America Group as ACOE/AGM for the DoubleTree Hotel - DSM Airport. We are a full-service property that offers four distinct Meeting Room types and complimentary shuttle (4 am-12 midnight). We are attached to Johnny's Italian Steakhouse - a full service Restaurant and Bar that also offers Outside Catering. I'm honored to work for such an amazing company and would be delighted to discuss any opportunities you may have in mind!



    Quentin Huston Headshot

    Quentin Huston, East Village Chiropractic

    Dr. Quentin Huston just celebrated his 10th Anniversary serving Des Moines. He is a graduate of Palmer Chiropractic College in 2004. We at East Village Chiropractic strive to diagnose what is going on. If we can not help you, then we refer you to the heath professional that will. Dr. Huston has been involved with the chamber since 2009.



    Kenzie Wiskus Headshot

    Kenzie Wiskus, Speck USA

    Iowa is home to me and always has been! I have lived in several places within Iowa: Mason City, Waverly, Coralville, Cedar Falls and I have happily made my way down to Des Moines. I am a 2017 graduate for the University of Northern Iowa with my Leisure Youth and Human Service Degree, Tourism Certificate, and many even planning internships under my belt. Des Moines has led me to a lot of new hobbies and activities that I enjoy - bike riding, yoga, running, visiting wineries/breweries, the farmers market, and so much more! I am now the Administrative Events Manager and Marketing Director with Speck USA. Speck USA is a Decorative Concrete and Patio business and has over 40 years of experience as a commercial parking lot maintenance company (commercial concrete, pavement, and parking lot maintenance_. Speck USA offers more than just concrete services, of course - we have events in our Showroom, tool! It's a real hidden gem, so you should come check us out! The Showroom Event Space by Speck USA is "Where Concrete, Cocktails, and Fun Meet" and I would love to help plan your next event in our space.

    I can be reached at mwiskus@speckusa.com or (515) 331-4209.



    Cjloe Ryerson

    Chloe Ryerson, Bolton & Hay

    Chloe graduated from Eagle Grove High School in 2012 and continued her education at Kirkwood Community College, majoring in Culinary Arts. After graduation, she moved to Kansas City and worked as an in-home private chef. Being an Iowa native, she moved back to broaden her knowledge in the equipment aspect of the foodservice industry. Chloe is an Outside Sales Rep specializing in Riedel Brand Glassware. Bolton & Hay is a locally owned and family operated foodservice equipment business based in Des Moines, Iowa. Bolton & Hay's mission is to provide quality foodservice equipment and supply products at discounted factory direct prices to our valued customers. Bolton & Hay is your leading source of commercial kitchen equipment and supplies to the foodservice industry. Chloe is looking forward to making new connections within the community and being a helping hand to the chamber. 

    Email: chloer@boltonhay.com | Phone: (515) 265-2554



    Michelle Swanson Headshot

    Michelle Swanson, The BeYoutiful Initiative

    Michelle is an every day girl with a vision of making life even more beautiful than it already is for her and other women. She enjoys a cold beer and country music on Friday nights. She loves festivals and Iowa countryside. (Yes...she is a Midwest girl. Hard to believe, huh?). She also loves chilling out with her friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews - they truly make her world complete!  And yet, this doesn't mean that she doesn't have passion and aspirations that she is pursuing. Her passion is fashion and the BeYoutiful Initiative was created to help her and you stay inspired as we ALL clim to the top pursuing our passion with purpose! Her hope is this initiative reminds you to be proud of the woman you are right now. Not tomorrow, the next day, or ten years from now. She wants you to realize how awesome you are as a woman and focus on what you have been created to be instead of trying to conform. Embrace your talents with joy and make your aspirations a reality by pursuing them with passion! Enough already...get after it! You have things to do! This is just the beginning. 

    Love, The BeYoutiful Initiative Team



    Meredith Luksetich Headshot

    Meredith Luksetich, ISG

    Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith graduated from Johnston High School in 2009 and continued her education at Iowa State University. At ISU, she majored in Event Management and graduated May of 2014. Meredith is now the Administrative Assistant at ISG, and employee owned multi-disciplinary firm. ISG can work with any client on any type of project from start to finish. Some major projects they have or are currently working on in the area are: SW 9th Commercial Development, Des Moines Area MPO Water Trails, and Iowa DNR Stormwater Management.

    Check them out on their website and Facebook page. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Meredith at meredith.luksetich@isg-grp.com.



    Chad Shellmyer Headshot

    Chad Shellmyer, NXGEN-Iowa

    I have lived in Des Moines since 1998, with my wife Erin and 2 children, Skyler and Blake.   Owner of NXGEN-Iowa, bringing Integrity and Transparency to the Credit Card industry.  A 20+ year Iowa High School basketball official, I enjoy Golfing, Softball, Coaching my kids sports, and spending time with my Labrador Retrievers, Junior and Josey.  Let me know if there is anything I can do to make your Chamber experience more rewarding!



    Tabatha Podrazik Headshot

    Tabatha Podrazik, Straub Marketing

    As the Director of Creative Strategies, Tabatha is responsible for the development of branding strategies and design for the clients of Straub Marketing. A proud Iowa captive since 2007, Tabatha holds a Bachelors of Arts, Mass Communication from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. While studying in her home state, her passion for fine art steered her toward a career in graphics. She currently has over 15 years of design experience. As a lifelong creative and lover of community relations, Tabatha has volunteered her design services to many local charities such as the American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald Home Charities, and JDRF. She is an ambassador for the Des Moines East + South Chamber, a member of the Ankeny Chamber, and American Marketing Association (AMA), is a volunteer for the Des Moines European Heritage Association's Christkindlmarket, and has attended the Leadership Education and Advancement Pipeline (LEAP) Series for two years running. In her free time, Tabatha enjoys traveling, live music, baseball, sewing, all things art, and spending time with friends and family - all in the company of her husband Kenny, two sons Ethan and Graham, and pup Charlie.



    Aaron Darr Headshot

    Aaron Darr, A+ Lawn & Landscape

    Aaron made his passion for the outdoors official by earning a degree in Turf Science from Ohio State University in 2005. He has worked in and around the green industry since 1997, most recently as the Assistant Superintendent at Echo Valley Country Club before joining A+ in 2014. Aaron is passionate about improving homes and properties through quality outdoor environments. He is certified in Iowa for turf, ornamental and aquatic chemical applications and is currently working towards his SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association) Certification. Aaron is a firm believer that building strong, personal relationships drives a positive long-term business partnership. He fosters his relationship building within his industry through his involvement in both IREM and BOMA Iowa.



    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.



    Justin Bogers Headshot

    Justin Bogers, Goodwill Career Connection Center

    I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to serve the public in an employment capacity over the last seven years, assisting members of the community from all walks of life to prepare for and attain employment opportunities and skills training. Whether entry-level or upper management, the mission is simple: Learn, Prepare, Connect, Succeed! After spending five years working for Link Associates, empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their quest toward personal and professional success, I took on the role of Supervisor of the Goodwill Career Connection Center, a free resource for job seekers and employers alike. I am passionate about making connections and am excited to help others within the Chamber.



    Lynn Foreman Headshot

    Lynn Foreman, Straub Marketing

    Lynn Foreman is a Promotions Consultant with The Straub Corporation | PAW Marketing.   Family-owned, with 66 years of combined industry experience, The Straub Corporation | PAW Marketing is a comprehensive marketing resource, specializing in promotional products, print, fulfillment and customer specific smart catalog technology.  A member of the WBENC, as well as the only Iowa member of an exclusive buying group The Partnering Group, they bring robust capabilities for all your marketing and promotional needs.  She is committed to helping the community grow by building lasting relationships with her current customers, as well as developing prospective new ones.  She can be reached at (515) 282-5283 or email Lynn@straubcorp.com.  Visit our website at www.pawmarketing.com



    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.



    Katie Hall Headshot

    Katie Hall, Esthetician

    Katie joined MetroWaxx in 2016. She is a graduate of the Aveda Institute and a licensed esthetician. Katie is passionate about waxing and strives to make every guest feel comfortable and their absolute best with every service!



  • 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.