• Firestarters

  • Firestarter Logo

    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.

     

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  • Firestarter of the Month

    Noemi Saenz, @ Neighborhood Finance Corporation

    Noemi-Saenz-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    Noemi Saenz is a Renovation & Post Closing Specialist for Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) in Des Moines. NFC provides unique lending programs to targeted neighborhoods providing purchase loans paired with forgivable loans of up to $10,000 to help with property repairs and home improvements. An NFC loan allows homeowners to do more!

    A native of Texas, Noemi considers herself an adopted Iowan after more than 15 years as a resident! She feels fortunate that her position at NFC allows her to work with homeowners to complete renovations on their homes and, in the process, fulfill the nonprofit mission of revitalizing neighborhoods.

    Noemi appreciates the opportunity NFC has given her to join groups like FUSE Firestarters. FUSE DSM is a place to connect & grow through networking during all of their lively events! FUSE’s diversity and the professional community have provided long lasting connections for Noemi. On her own time, Noemi enjoys connecting with her tribe – those that call her mom and wifey. Many times Noemi is mistaken for Google since she always is asked the most random questions by her tribe. 

  • Upcoming Events


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    Firestarters Chair

    Emily Cory, @ Lamar Advertising

    Emily-Cory-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    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.

     

     

    Laura Gibson, @ Central Iowa Center for Independent Living

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    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

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    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!

     

     

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    Rob Morrison, @ HealthMarkets 

    Rob-Morrison-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    I was introduced to FUSE DSM in 2015 when I was invited to sponsor the State of the City address, which has become one of my favorite events where you can see firsthand the progress happening in the city.   Since then I have made it my mission to connect and help business owners with whatever they need.  The Firestarter’s program has been a major part of my mission along with being involved in many networking organizations and charities including the DSM Jaycees, our young professional division of Fuse DSM. 

    I have been with HealthMarkets since 2006 where I work personally with my clients to identify their unique insurance needs and budget, and then offer a variety of options that address those needs.  My major area of focus is employer groups helping protect both employers and their employees with health, life, disability, Medicare and supplemental (voluntary) insurance. 

    I am originally from Clarksville, Iowa, a Graduate of UNI and moved to Des Moines in 2010.

    Here is where you can contact me.

     

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    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.

    Linda Clauson, @ EveryStep

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    Linda is the marketing & communications director with EveryStep, a non-profit health care and support services organization which serves 65,000 Iowans across 47 counties. She leads a talented team in sharing the stories and promoting the services of the organization’s 30-plus programs to its clients, supporters, volunteers and employees. Linda’s more than 24 years of experience spans graphic design, writing, media relations, communications, social media, PR, advertising, branding, digital promotion and management. She and her family have been Des Moines south-siders for more than 16 years. In her downtime, Linda loves exploring the city’s ever-growing restaurant scene and reading three-four books per week.

     

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    Krista Lindholm, @ Oasis, A Paychex Company

    Andi-Fagen-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    Krista Lindholm is a Business Development Manager for Oasis, A Paychex Company (formerly known as Aureon HR) in West Des Moines, IA.  She has over 20 years’ experience of building long lasting  business relationships and assisting clients with the complexities of employment.  Oasis is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that works with small to mid-sized companies helping them to make employment easy.  We provide clients with a suite of HR services and technology infrastructure to help clients gain operational efficiencies, control costs, manage & reduce liability and give them the tools needed to help attract & retain top talent. 

    When Krista is not assisting clients solve their HR problems, you can find her spending time with her husband Jon and 2 sons.  A lot of that time is spent sitting on either basketball, football or track bleachers watching both boys compete or when time allows playing a round of golf, catching a good movie or relaxing with friends!  Krista is originally from Sumner, IA and a graduate of Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD.

    If you have any questions regarding the complexities of employment pertaining to Human Resources, Payroll, Employee Benefits or Risk and Compliance, you can Email Krista directly or connect with her on LinkedIn.

     

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    Daniel McCraine, @ McCraine Associates

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    I have a passion to train people in leadership and business because I believe we need to take control of our economy, take charge of our lives, understand what leadership really is, and have a take charge kind of attitude. Leadership is based on values. You have to have a core value system in order to get people to follow you and make a difference in this country. Our beautiful land that we live in, I believe, has been overrun by garbage thinking. Business leaders naturally have a platform to influence their community. If you're ready to take charge of your life then I'm ready to teach you.

    I am an expert in creating training programs that deliver immediate results in behavior change and performance improvement. I am currently a leadership and business coach and a nationally recognized, award-winning training professional. I have extensive experience as a leadership coach, training consultant, performance consultant, e-learning designer, instructional designer, and a facilitator with over 25 years of experience and earned my Master’s degree at Drake University. My training programs have helped companies I've worked with save or make over $21.2 million in capital and expenses.

     

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    Firestarters Co-Chair

    Andi Fagen, @ Creative DSM | Digital & Social Marketing

    Andi-Fagen-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    Andi has been assisting in brand launches and business growth since her time at Iowa State in 2009.  The journey brought her to Los Angeles, Miami and eventually back home to the Midwest-Best, Des Moines.  She opened Creative DSM to continue helping small businesses launch and scale their businesses in the Des Moines community. Using creative digital marketing strategies, Creative DSM manages small business web design, search engine optimization, email marketing, pay-per-click campaign management, and social media optimization.

    Her favorite part of working with small businesses is meeting passionate professionals looking to drive business here in Des Moines, and educating business owners to stop doing it all.  Digital strategies are a great way to generate business without the annoying cold calls or wasted efforts; if done correctly.  When she's not strategizing SEO, she's a mom, wife, traveler, sushi connoisseur and $3 wine fan.

    You can reach her at www.creativedsm.com/fusedsm or at facebook.com/creativedsm.

     

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    Bobbi Jo Paper, @ Norwalk Chiropractic

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    Bobbi Jo grew up in small town Conrad Iowa; about 20 miles North of Marshalltown. After High School she played volleyball for Indian Hills Community College and continued to study Health and Wellness Management at the University of Wisconsin. She first started with Norwalk Chiropractic in 2018 as a rehab assistant. She helped patients with stretching and strengthening exercises. After a few months of this position she was ready to grow with the company. Starting in April 2019 she took on the role as practice representative.

    The emphasis of this position is on impacting lives with the awesomeness of chiropractic by spreading the word through spinal screenings and lectures. This is done by being the expert representative of the practice and by making meaningful connections that allows the company to set up Living Well For Life presentations, spinal screenings, and free employee awareness programs. She also experiences other amazing opportunities to impact lives by spreading the word at community events, networking events, and with community involvement.

    Bobbi Jo fell in love with Des Moines when she would come to visit her older sister, who lived near Easter Lake. She loved it so much she moved in with her sister for a while until she became a Norwalk resident. She loves being able to travel surrounding Des Moines areas all in under 25 minutes. She has grown fond of Saturday morning farmers markets, trying new restaurants and always have something to do.

    You can reach her at www.norwalk-chiropractic.com/ or at facebook.com/norwalkchiropracctic

     

    Astrid Cartagena, @ Octapharma Plasma, Inc 

    Emily-Cory-LinkedIn-Des-Moines

    My journey with Octapharma started early January 2019 as a training coordinator. In the role I have been able to help develop the Des Moines training department, implement innovative training plans and help develop, coach and prepare staff for their next role within the center. In addition to the training coordinator role I have had the pleasure of being part of the Marketing team. This opportunity has open many doors to networking and become more involved with the Des Moines community.

    My experience with Octapharma in Des Moines has been a phenomenal learning experience with the tremendous amount of professional growth opportunities. I have been able to use my education, experience and knowledge acquired throughout my career but also this experiences has allowed me to gain new skills.

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  • 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.