WDM Chamber Announces 2023 Citizen, Emerging Citizen of the Year Nominations are Now Open

WEST DES MONES, IA (TUESDAY, FEB 7, 2023) – For the 78th consecutive year, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) has announced the annual West Des Moines (WDM) Citizen and Emerging Citizen of the Year nominations are now open through March 8, 2023.

“This is the longest running program within the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce,” said Katherine Harrington, President & CEO of the Chamber. “As we lead up to our 100-year anniversary in 2024, this award is more important than ever.”

Over the last ten years, many people who have made a positive difference in our community have been awarded including: 2017 David Maxwell & Mark Hillenbrand, Collin Nelson (Emerging); 2018 Tim Miller, JJ Kapur (Emerging); 2019 Mary and Milford Cole-Duvall, Nick Brannen (Emerging); 2020 Jim Sandager and Kate Banasiak (Emerging); 2021 Sanjita Pradhan and Scott Cutler (Emerging).

In 2022, former Mayor of West Des Moines, Steven Gaer was recognized as the 77th Citizen of the Year. “It is a great privilege and honor to be recognized along with my late father as WDM’s citizen of the year,” said Steven Gaer. “I have learned first-hand over my 22 years on City Council and as Mayor how our city is so positively impacted by the many citizens who volunteer their time, talents and resources to help ensure an opportunity for a high quality of life for all of our city’s residents.”      

Gianna Pugliese was honored as Emerging Citizen of the Year in 2022 and is the Intercultural Outreach Coordinator for the West Des Moines Community School District. “It's such an honor to be recognized for work that I'm so passionate about,” said Pugliese of her award. “I'm grateful to be doing this work alongside so many other committed individuals and organizations. Thank you so much to the community and to the WDM Chamber of Commerce for this incredible award."

Both award recipients will be honored at the WDM Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Luncheon on May 11 at Valley Community Center in conjunction with an address on the state of the city from WDM Mayor Russ Trimble. Registration for the luncheon is $30 for WDM Chamber members and $40 for non-members. To nominate someone, please visit:

Those interested in attending the event can learn more and register via 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. A 2022 ACCE Chamber of the Year Finalist, the WDM Chamber produces programs and events for everyone. Learn more about the WDM Chamber and how to get involved at wdmchamber.org.

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