The Class of 2023 Graduates from the West Des Moines Leadership Academy.

WEST DES MONES, IA (MAY 30) – The West Des Moines Chamber congratulates the graduating class of 2023 for completing the West Des Moines Leadership Academy (WDMLA). This nine-month program guides leaders on a path to leadership effectiveness through experiential learning, critical thinking, and a community impact project. The 15th year of WDMLA was presented by NCMIC and supported by The Shred Method.

“I find myself in awe and amazement on the progress this group of leaders has made,” said Jeremy Bielski, WDMLA Advisory Council Chair. “More importantly, I’m excited for what each of these class members has yet to accomplish in their personal lives, careers and within our broader community. The future is definitely bright for this year’s class, and I would like to give my heartfelt thanks for their hard work, willingness to jump into new experiences and challenges, and for living the three pillars of our program: leading self, leading others and leading in the community.”  

In addition to the growth centered around the three pillars that occurs within the 9 monthly sessions, the class also works throughout the year on a class project. The Class of 2023 chose to devote their cause to supplying mental health resources for the students and staff within the West Des Moines Community School District. As mental illness continues to be a growing epidemic, there is an increasing trend of children suffering from anxiety, depression, mood swings, eating disorders, and suicide. The class’s mission is to give more kids the help they need, and their work will do just that as the group of leaders raised $48,000.

A snippet of the class’s experience can be viewed through the 2023 WDMLA Yearbook, designed by Marketing Co-Chair Hailey Nesset. Additionally, a new promotional video was released for WDMLA thanks to Marketing Co-Chair Megan Stelter and the Trilix team.

The leaders who have graduated from the West Des Moines Leadership Academy Class of 2022-2023 include:    

Jasmina Alicic, West Bank
Brandon Bennett, Security National Bank
Jonny Bosworth, R&R Realty Group
Ryan Bratvold, BrownWinick Law Firm
Andy Bretz, Rent a Van
Danielle Burmeister, Homesteaders Life Company
Shad Clayton, Oakridge Neighborhood Services, Primerica
Brandon Elbert, MHCS P.C.
Anthony Giampolo, West Des Moines Police Department
Kinzy Gillespie, Navigate Wellbeing
Stacie Glienke, Hubbell Realty
Haley Gutschenritter, Merkle Retirement Planning
Ben Hall, Heartland Business Systems
Daniel Herting, Herting Law
Madi Jantsch, Express Employment Professionals
Britton Klomstad, SVN |Create
Erin Knupp, Boyd Jones
Katie Koch, American Equity
Dan  Lengeling, Merchants Bonding Company
Mia Mata, Athene
Thomas McCaffrey, Gilbert & Cook, Inc.
Laine Mendenhall-Buck, WDM Community School District
Ryan Moon, Greater Des Moines Partnership
James Moore, Shive-Hattery
Jarret Mulholland, First National Bank
Joel Peiffer, IMT Insurance
Jen Peppenger, Grinnell Mutual
Rudy Pineda, Fort Whiskey
Trey Rice, ServiceMaster by Rice
Shawna Rolph, City of West Des Moines
Jessica Rotole, Whifield & Eddy Law
Meghan Sanchez, Carrier Access
Craig Schneider, NCMIC
Allicia Sebastinelli, Brokers International
Nicki Teel, Sammons Financial Group
Jazzlinn Turner, Bankers Trust

The program is led by an exceptional group of alumni who serve as the Advisory Council. The leaders serving on the 2022-2023 WDMLA Advisory Council include:

Jeremy Bielski, Chair, ITA Group
Vice Chair, Ashley Charnetski, Whitfield & Eddy Law
Alumni Co-Chair, Kristen Koenig, Merkle Retirement Planning
Alumni Co-Chair, Jordan Bouslog, Cushman & Wakefield Iowa Commercial Advisors
Curriculum Co-Chair, Pat Desenberg, NCMIC Group
Curriculum Co-Chair, Tiffany Gaskill, R&R Realty Group
Marketing Co-Chair, Hailey Nesset, Carrier Access
Marketing Co-Chair, Megan Stelter, Trilix
Class Project Co-Chair, Shannon Hasse, Dentons Davis Brown Law Firm
Class Project Co-Chair, Brad Munford, City of West Des Moines
Recruitment Co-Chair, Molly Skoda, Bankers Trust
Recruitment Co-Chair, Debby Hudson, Genesis Health Clubs

Additional sponsors that make this program possible include IMT Insurance, Baton Global, Whitfield & Eddy Law, Shive-Hattery, Merchants Bonding Company, and American Equity.

To learn more about the WDM Leadership Academy and the application window that closes on June 1, visit wdmchamber.org/WDMLA.

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 wdmchamber.org.


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