WDM Chamber Announces Citizen, Emerging Citizen of the Year

WEST DES MONES, IA (FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021) – For the 76th 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, Sanjita Pradhan and Scott Cutler.

Sanjita Pradhan is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. In 2014 Pradhan was appointed to the WDM Human Rights Commission by Mayor Gaer and served as Chair of the Commission from 2017 – 2020 before retiring in December 2020. During her tenure, some of her notable accomplishments include launching a civic engagement initiative to educate and empower Asian American communities to learn about their voting rights and provide materials in Asian language about voting to Asian American communities; successfully registering at least 400 new Asian Americans to vote in 2016; developed voting 101 materials translated in five Asian languages for the first time in the history of WDM to provide in language education and support to AAPI communities; represented Iowa nationally on the President’s Advisory Commission for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to advocate for issues confronting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; established a five-year strategic vision plan for the WDM Human Rights Commission. She is a longtime WDM resident and has children currently enrolled in the WDM school district.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized as the (2021) Citizen of the Year,” said Pradhan. “As a first-generation immigrant trying to fit in and doing all I can to contribute to my new home, I feel welcomed, seen, heard and belonged in my city. I want to leave my city in a better place than I found it for my children and future generations and will continue to do my best to serve. There are so many people out there doing amazing things, and I am grateful to work alongside them.”

Scott Cutler is the sole member of Cutler Development and has over 15 years of industry experience with commercial development including specific experience with historic renovation, affordable housing, and environmental design. He is currently in the process of bringing several important development projects to Valley Junction. Cutler is a native of West Des Moines and lives in Valley Junction.

“This is so nice and very much appreciated,” said Cutler. “I live and work in the Valley Junction neighborhood of West Des Moines and feel lucky to be connected with the community here; it is truly a unique and wonderful place. Thank you to the City for this honor, I am very humbled.”

Pradhan and Cutler will be honored at the WDM Chamber’s first in person luncheon since February of 2020. That luncheon will occur on June 10 at the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater in conjunction with an address on the state of the city from WDM Mayor Steven Gaer. You can learn more and register for this $5 event on 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