As one of the nation's fastest growing centers for business, Greater Des Moines (DSM) understands and endorses the importance of maintaining a vibrant and diverse workplace.
Greater Des Moines Partnership acts as a catalyst to mobilize the business community toward a broad economic development vision that incorporates all people as valued contributors and valuable customers. Greater Des Moines Partnership offers a variety of programs to help you attract and retain diverse talent in your organizations, including:
The Inclusion Award honors employers who have championed diversity and inclusion at their businesses and organizations, and in the community. To see a list of past winners and to apply for the Inclusion Award, please go to https://www.dsmpartnership.com/about/award-applications--winners. Applications are open until July 22 until 5 p.m.
The Partnership's Multicultural Receptions offer a unique opportunity to connect with community leaders and organizations that have an inclusive focus, all with the hope that through an environment of connectivity and inclusion we can retain this very important workplace population in our community. The Multicultural Receptions take place every February, May, August and November. The next Multicultural Reception and Roundtable will be on August 22. Registration will open in July. More information can be found here.
In an effort to promote inclusion best practices in the community, The Partnership's Inclusion Council offers a Webinar Educational Series. To access past webinars and resources, visit https://www.dsmpartnership.com/growing-business-here/business-resources/talent-development-resources/inclusion.
INclusion celebrates the rich cultural traditions of the region's African-American, African, Asian, European, Latino and Native American residents. The magazine also includes sections about Des Moines' diverse faith community, accessibility for the disabled, opportunities for those in the military, veterans, young and retired professionals and the region's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities.
For more information on any of these offerings, please visit https://www.dsmpartnership.com/growing-business-here/business-resources/talent-development-resources/inclusion.
Now marking its 70th year, Norwalk-based Capital City Fruit defines its mission as putting “exceptionally fresh” fruits and vegetables on the tables of American families. That commitment has guided the company since its 1949 founding and its move to Norwalk in 1982, one of several companies helping build the community into a center of food production in Central Iowa.
“We’re proud to be in Norwalk and we see the community becoming a food production hub, thanks to our central location, our outstanding workforce and our growing community,” says Brendan Comito, chief operating officer.
The company’s legacy began in 1949 in Des Moines when Joseph T. Comito and Ross and Bernard Grandanette opened a food stand on downtown site that gave way to I-235, prompting a move to SE14th Street. By the 1980’s under the leadership of Joseph M. Comito, the company foresaw growth, purchased land in Norwalk and relocated with 11 employees to a facility on North Avenue.
Brendan Comito, and his brothers Christian Comito, who is President and CEO, and Kieran Comito, who is vice president for purchasing, bought the company in 2008. “By 2010 we knew we needed more space to meet growth so we acquired 18 acres that had been the Holland Family farmland,” Comito said. The company moved to 1850 Colonial Parkway in October 2012.
Today, the 83,000-square foot office, production and warehouse facility has the equivalent of almost two acres under one roof where 150 employees source, package and distribute thousands of tons of fresh fruit and vegetables annually. Produce is sourced from across North America, but Capital City does offer a robust locally-grown program with producers from Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin, Comito says.
“Because we focus on freshness we can source and customize products to exactly what the customer needs, such as tomatoes of consistent size and quality that restaurants can slice quickly to fit perfectly atop a cheeseburger,” he adds. “We have a very perishable product. We move fast and we prioritize food safety with freshness and quality. We don’t cut corners in food safety or occupational safety for our customers and our teams.”
Team members sort and repack the food with a turn-around time of mere hours to a few days, depending on the item, assuring the exceptional freshness to be delivered to institutional users such as hospitals and schools, retail buyers like HyVee, and Fareway and hotel and restaurant chains.
The company is about to launch a new product nationwide – fresh fruit baskets - after extensive research and testing. “We’re excited to bring this product to Norwalk to demonstrate the quality we deliver with speed and freshness,” Comito says.
Capital City Fruit has experience in the field through its subsidiary Four Seasons Fundraising which supports annual food sales campaigns by school districts, bands and choirs, scout troops and churches, usually in the Fall, leading to three very-busy weeks for production and distribution between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, he says.
The Comitos have been active in industry organizations and are proponents of initiatives to encourage consumers to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Consumption is currently averaging two and a half servings a day, well below the recommended guidelines of five to 10 servings a day.
“Optimum health would be achieved, especially for children, if people ate more fruit and vegetables. The benefits are well researched and we also know in the industry that there are positive impacts for schools in student behavior and performance when students are served more fruits and vegetables each day,” Comito says. “It’s a critical issue and we want to be in the forefront of encouraging healthy eating, especially of fruits and vegetables.”
Members of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce are automatically Members of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. We collaborate with The Partnership to provide you with tools and resources to make your business more successful.
The Partnership’s DSM USA Research, Stats and Data Hub is a statistical dashboard filled with rich information within the region. Users will find leading indicators along with research and data trends needed to make strategic business decisions. The site offers current economic, demographic and workforce information sourced from official government data on the five-county Des Moines MSA and six nearby counties.
All of the research is accessible free of charge, and is presented in an easy-to-use format. Charts and data can be captured and used in other presentations.
The Data Hub is another way that Chamber Members are able to tap into information and resources available through The Partnership’s regional network.
Additional graphs and resources are available at www.datadsmusa.com.
For more information contact:
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 13, 2019
NORWALK AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JOINED DSM USA LEADERS TO PROMOTE REGIONAL PRIORITIES ON THE PARTNERSHIP’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY DMDC TRIP
Norwalk, IA (June 13, 2019) – More than 175 Greater Des Moines (DSM) business, civic and regional community leaders traveled on May 8 – 10 to the nation’s capital and presented a federal public policy agenda to promote regional policy priorities and economic development projects during the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s 40th annual DMDC trip in Washington, D.C. Eric Simon attended the trip, representing NACC and the issues important to the region. The Partnership delegation is one of the nation’s largest representations of Chamber of Commerce constituents to Capitol Hill. Trip attendees heard from and interacted with members from Iowa’s Congressional delegation, Congressional members from around the U.S. and a slate of policy experts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout the three-day trip, participants had an opportunity to advocate for key issues facing DSM. Participants met with members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation and their staffs.
“We come together as one region with one voice to advocate for our region’s priorities during DMDC,” said Kathryn Kunert, Vice President, Economic Connections and Integration at MidAmerican Energy Company and The Partnership’s 2019 Board Chair. “While our attendees completed their work in D.C, the effort to sustain this momentum has just begun and we need the help of our Affiliate Chamber of Commerce Members to realize these goals.”
The Partnership hosted keynote speakers including Iowa’s Congressional members and other Congressional members including U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R – NE) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – NY). Workshops focused on immigration and affordable housing.
While in D.C., The Partnership recognized Stacey Pellett, State Public Affairs Manager at John Deere and Chair of The Partnership’s Government Policy Council (GPC), with the newly named Michael Sadler Public Policy Award. Sadler, who passed away in 2018, was a past GPC Chair and Board Member of The Partnership, and a long-time attendee of DMDC.
2019 sponsors included Shazam, Inc., Prairie Meadows, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Delta Dental of Iowa, Innovate Iowa, PolicyWorks, Principal, The Weitz Company, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Davis Brown Law Firm, Iowa Housing Partnership, Wells Fargo & Co. and the Des Moines International Airport.
Inquiries or requests for more information should be directed to Lucinda Sperry at (515) 981-0619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.