WDM Chamber to Celebrate DEI Workplace Excellence with Help of Wells Fargo

WEST DES MONES, IA (TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2021) – Following the Black & Brown Business Summit, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) is excited to announce its inaugural Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Workplace Excellence Awards (DEI Awards) presented by Wells Fargo. The WDM Chamber’s vision is to make West Des Moines the best suburban city in America to live, work, and play. This community-fueled event is one of the many ways the chamber hopes to promote diversity present in the city and overall region.

“Meeting the increasingly diverse needs of Wells Fargo’s global customer base is critical to our company’s long-term growth and success,” said Marta Codina, Wells Fargo region bank president. “We’re working to advance DEI every day by helping ensure all people throughout our workforce, communities, and supply chain feel valued and respected and have equal access to resources, services, products, and opportunities to succeed.”
The DEI Awards are comprised of 11 award categories. These include:

  • Small Business: 1-49 employees
  • Medium Business: 50 – 249 employees
  • Large Business: 250 and above
  • Nonprofit
  • Government
  • Education
  • DEI Leader of the Year
  • DEI Emerging Leader of the Year
  • DEI Student Leader of the Year
  • DEI Ally of the Year
  • Best Inclusion Initiative
Businesses, organizations, and individuals from across Central Iowa can apply any time before July 30. Following the application window, a panel of judges will determine a winner for each category. The judges include Lonnie Dafney, Deidre DeJear, Dr. Anthony Ferguson, Tina Mowry Hadden, Ominia Hamad, Sean Kennedy, Sanjita Pradhan, Moses Sloven, Terrence Thames, and more. The winners will be named and celebrated at an event to be held on the evening of Wednesday, September 1st at The Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines.
“It is refreshing to see diversity, equity and inclusion celebrated and supported by the West Des Moines Chamber with this inaugural event,” said Anant Bhalla, CEO and President of West Des Moines-based American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. “We in the corporate world must be catalysts for doing greater good through making the workplace a tolerant, inclusive community. As corporations, we ourselves thrive when we are a rich tapestry of diverse perspectives and are able to offer all our stakeholders the opportunity for economic equity.”
Additionally, a portion of the sponsorship proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa to support its mission of creating one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa is a premiere mentoring organization over 53 years old, which focuses primarily on the development of young people affectionately called: Littles,” said Renee Hardman, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa. “76% of our Littles are from communities of color. The thoughtful and generous investment in our mission enables us to Defend the Potential of young people by exposing them to impactful opportunities while supporting their educational and personal success.”
To learn more about the DEI Awards, visit the WDM Chamber’s website.
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