Application Window Opens for Fourth Annual DEI Workplace Excellence Awards

WEST DES MOINES, IA (MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2024) – The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) is excited to announce the commencement of the application period for both the award recipients and nonprofit donation recipients for the fourth annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workplace Excellence Awards (DEI Awards).

In the past three years of this community-driven initiative, over 90 nominations have been received and evaluated by a panel of community leaders. The stories of the selected recipients are shared with an audience of over 300 community members each year during the awards ceremony, aiming to inspire more individuals and organizations to progress further on their DEI journey.

The 2024 DEI Awards categories include: 

  • Small Business: 1-49 employees
  • Medium Business: 50 – 249 employees
  • Large Business: 250 and above
  • Nonprofit
  • Government 
  • Education Sector 
  • DEI Leader of the Year 
  • DEI Emerging Leader of the Year: age 39 and under 
  • DEI Student Leader of the Year 
  • DEI Ally of the Year 
  • Best Inclusion Initiative 

Businesses, organizations, and individuals from across Central Iowa can apply here any time before the deadline of June 14 at 5 PM. The award recipients will be announced in July and celebrated at an event on Tuesday, September 10th from 4:30 – 8:00 PM at the Community Choice Convention Center. 

The WDM Chamber enhances the impact of these awards by making a donation to the award recipient of the Nonprofit category. Additionally, Nonprofits who are dedicated to supporting social justice can become a Nonprofit Partner of the event to gain exposure across the community. Those interested can learn more here

Aligned with the vision of making West Des Moines the premier suburban city in America for all residents, the Chamber emphasizes the importance of community-wide collaboration to prioritize inclusion. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workplace Excellence Awards represent one of several initiatives through which the Chamber aims to advance DEI endeavors and enhance workforce attraction.

“This work is not only important, but it is essential,” said Kara Matheson, VP of Workforce Development & Culture with the WDM Chamber. “We all need to continue moving the needle forward. Sharing best practices and these inspirational stories of success is a great way to do so, and we’re also very intentional about working with educational partners and nonprofits doing DEI work daily to further the learning opportunity. We can’t wait to elevate the individuals and organizations truly making a difference at the fourth annual DEI Awards.”   

The WDM Chamber is also thrilled to announce that Dr. Keyah Levy, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Simpson College, will serve as Chair of the 2024 DEI Workplace Excellence Awards committee. In addition to the outstanding committee of leaders, the DEI Awards are made possible thanks to organizations aligning with these important inclusion initiatives. These include Gold Sponsor: Wellabe, and F&G Annuities & Life; Advocate Sponsor: Sammons Financial Group; and Champion Sponsors: Merchants Bonding Company, NCMIC, Simpson College, and Broadlawns Medical Center. Contact Kara Matheson for more information on partnership opportunities.

To learn more about the DEI Awards, visit the WDM Chamber’s website.


About the WDM Chamber of Commerce

The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, established in 1924, is a dynamic organization dedicated to championing all things West Des Moines. With a focus on strengthening local businesses, providing personalized resources, and attracting a top-tier workforce, the Chamber aims to position WDM as the best suburban city in America. Celebrating a century of excellence, the Chamber boasts a diverse community of over 800 members, offering something for everyone. Explore the possibilities, learn more about the chamber, and discover how you can get involved in shaping the future of West Des Moines at

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