WDM Chamber Announces 2024 Citizen, Emerging Citizen of the Year

WEST DES MOINES, IA (April 16, 2024) – For the 79th consecutive year, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) and the City of West Des Moines have announced the annual West Des Moines (WDM) Citizen and Emerging Citizen of the Year, Al Womble and Caitlin Clark.

Womble, a 1994 graduate of Drake University, has been an influential figure in academia, labor, and community service. Womble excelled as a member of the football team and as a teacher's assistant before joining Laborers Local 353, where he rose to Union Stewart and political captain roles. Currently serving as Chair of Iowa’s 3rd District and a member of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee, Womble also holds leadership positions in key organizations like the West Des Moines Democrats, NAACP Political Action Committee, and the Asian & Latino Coalition.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Womble. “The most important thing to help improve your community is not being worried about whether someone is a good Democrat or a good Republican, but whether are they a good Citizen and are they willing to do what is best for everyone in the community no matter who they are or what their background is? Everyone is my neighbor.”

“Al Womble is the embodiment of what it means to be a citizen of West Des Moines – dedicated, passionate, and always striving to make a positive impact,” said Russ Trimble, Mayor of West Des Moines. “His journey and community leadership is an inspiration to us all. Congratulations to Al on being named Citizen of the Year, a title that truly reflects his unwavering commitment to strengthening our city."

Caitlin Clark is an American basketball player from West Des Moines, Iowa. Known for her record-breaking career at the University of Iowa, Clark is regarded as one of the greatest collegiate players ever, she holds the NCAA Division I all-time scoring record and has earned multiple national player of the year awards. Clark played at Dowling Catholic High School, where she became a McDonald's All-American. During her tenure with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Clark became the all-time leader in scoring and assists while propelling Iowa to national prominence. Additionally, she's achieved success on the international stage, winning gold medals with U-16 and U-19 Team USA. Beyond her on-court achievements, Clark has played a significant role in elevating the popularity of women's basketball, setting attendance and TV viewership records during her college games.

“Caitlin exemplifies the spirit of our community,” said Trimble. “Caitlin's achievements on the national and international stage have put West Des Moines on the map, but it's her character and leadership off the court that truly make her a standout individual. Congratulations, Caitlin, on this well-deserved honor. The entire city stands behind you as you continue to inspire and uplift us all.”

The judging panel for this year's Citizen and Emerging Citizen of the Year consisted of Tina Mowry Hadden, Renee Hardman, Katherine Harrington, Britton Klomstad, Paul Schut, and Russ Trimble.

Both award recipients will be honored at the 100-Year Celebration on May 16 at the Val Air Ballroom. Registration for the 100-Year Celebration is $100 per individual or $1000 for a table of eight. Those interested in attending can learn more and register via the WDM Chamber’s Website. Please note that Clark's attendance is not confirmed, as the Indiana Fever's home game is scheduled for May 16.
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 wdmchamber.org.

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