2023 First Responders Date & Speaker Announced

WEST DES MONES, IA (JUNE 27, 2023) – The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the 2023 First Responder’s Appreciation Breakfast, featuring keynote speaker Jim Olson, a former CIA spy with an extraordinary journey and captivating story to tell. The event is scheduled to take place on September 21, 2023, at the Embassy Club West and is presented by West Bank and supported by Aureon.

Recognized for his exceptional contributions, Olson has been honored with the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the Donovan Award, and multiple Distinguished Service Citations. His dedication to educating future leaders in the field has also earned him accolades from the Bush School and the Association of Former Students for his excellence in teaching.

“We are excited to bring back to our region, Jim Olson, who will captivate you with his inside perspective on America and the world,” said WDM Chamber President and CEO Katherine Harrington. “A Valley High School graduate, Jim will give your perspective on what it means to be a spy and why it is so critical for our national security.”

In addition to his remarkable achievements, Professor Olson is the acclaimed author of FairPlay: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying. His book sheds light on the complex ethical considerations that confront intelligence professionals and provides a unique perspective on the inner workings of intelligence agencies.

“First responders are unsung heroes, and I will be honored to be with you on that morning to help pay tribute to them,” said Olson. “In addition, I’ll share with you the improbable story of how a boy from West Des Moines, Iowa ended up serving as a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.

The First Responders Appreciation Breakfast is held each year to honor all West Des Moines First Responders and their families. This event is a unique opportunity for our communities to ensure these brave individuals receive the recognition they deserve.

Registration is now open on the WDM Chamber’s website. Interested participants are encouraged to mark their calendars for September 21, 2023, and secure their spot before this event sells out. Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase additional tickets that will be distributed to first responders. 10% of proceeds from registration will be given to the West Des Moines Public Safety Cadets.


About the WDM Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce is to champion all things West Des Moines by strengthening our area companies, providing personalized resources, and attracting a top workforce to position WDM as the best suburban city in America. With 700+ members, we provide something for everyone. Learn more about the chamber and how to get involved at wdmchamber.org.

Skip to content