My name is Jean M. Jones, 2013 President of your Des Moines West Side Chamber.
I’m a native of Des Moines with strong roots to this area and had the honor of being raised by Joseph and Genevieve Conley. Our large family lived south of Grand and later moved to Polk Boulevard. Today, my husband Steve and I live in the north-of-Grand-neighborhood. I own and operate two businesses in the Beaverdale area — Jones & Associates (small insurance brokerage) and am co-owner with Steve of Lil’ Brother Construction (handyman company). My goal is to use experiences as a small business owner to enhance and develop new Chamber programs that focus on driving more commerce to our local businesses, with the aim of increasing return on investment for our members and thereby helping to revitalize the Des Moines west side.
The new year brings some changes for your Chamber. First, several founding board members, who’ve served since 2008, are stepping down this year: David Nagel, Freedom Financial Bank; Soozie McBroom, FrenchWay Cleaners; and Stephanie Jewell, Pigott Inc. Thank you for your past and continued dedication to the West Side Chamber and for all you have done in starting and nurturing this unique Chamber.
I’d like to personally welcome our new board members: Mary Grace Herrington, Iowa Public Radio; Leann Treloar, Mediacom; Azra Simons, US Bank Ingersoll; Kristin Hall, KH Mediation; Christine Irvine, The Mansion; Daryl Metzger, Smith Metzger Architects; and Phil Wise, Wise Consulting. We have an amazing board in place, and I’m excited to see where this year will take the Chamber and its members.
One challenge the West Side Chamber faces is that, as a fairly new Chamber, many residents and businesses are unaware there’s a thriving Chamber in their own backyard. We service a culturally diverse and significant area, stretching from north of Grand on the south, to I-80/35 on the north, and MLK on the east to 63rd Street on the west and all the businesses in this area. In November the board met with the guidance of Kevin Pokorny of Pokorny Consulting for a board retreat. In 2013 we’ll be working on strategies and developing programs that were the result of this meeting and addressing the needs of businesses in this diverse area.
You, as readers, can help by committing to support our Des Moines west side businesses and informing them that the Des Moines West Side Chamber is here for them. Any resident or business can connect to the Chamber by reaching out to board members, calling the Chamber office 515-309-3266, or emailing at info@DesMoinesWesSideChamber.org. Sign up or check out some of our West Side Chamber events and educational opportunities at www.DesMoinesWestSideChamber.org.