Kuvare Receives Economic Impact Award

Business Record Staff  | Sep 27, 2023 | 5:59 pm |

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has recognized companies and people who have made significant contributions to the economic vitality of the Des Moines region.

The Partnership announced the winners of its 2023 Economic Impact Awards during a ceremony Tuesday evening at Hotel Fort Des Moines.

This year’s winners are:

Collins Aerospace: The company opened a $14 million expansion of its additive manufacturing center in July 2023. The 9,000-square-foot addition provides space for the site to house several new state-of-the-art 3D metal printers. The first printer installed has eight times the build volume of the facility’s existing printers, significantly increasing the center’s additive manufacturing capabilities.

Clow Valve Co.: Clow Valve recently broke ground on a $75 million expansion project at its existing foundry in Oskaloosa. The project involves a 36,000-square-foot addition to the southwest side of the company’s existing iron foundry. The expansion is being built to accommodate new manufacturing equipment that will enable Clow to produce twice as much product with its existing workforce.

Dee Zee Manufacturing: The family-owned company makes automotive components and accessories with more than 1,000 employees spread across eight facilities. Dee Zee is finalizing a 47,000-square-foot building at its Pleasant Hill campus to manufacture body structures for the first Electric Lightweight Commercial Vehicles for General Motors. This expansion will create more than 50 skilled labor positions.

Kuvare: The Rosemont, Ill.-based company has combined assets of $33 billion, including Guaranty Income Life Insurance Co. in Des Moines. Kuvare opened an office in the Historic East Village in 2022, growing from four employees to 30 in a year.

Worldwide Logistics: The company opened its new headquarters in Urbandale in 2023. The company outgrew its initial location to spread into three buildings. The new 76,000-square-foot headquarters combines the company’s operation into one building.

Global Business Award
Kemin Industries opened its headquarters in Des Moines in 2017, the completion of a five-year, $125.5 million investment. Over the past three years, Kemin has added multiple buildings to its Des Moines campus, including a wet pet food pilot lab. Kemin also completed an on-ground and roof-mounted solar array installation, which powers 100% of its 90,000-square-foot headquarters building.

Deal of the Year: OpenLoop Health
OpenLoop Health has grown from just five employees to more than 300, creating 50 jobs in Des Moines so far in 2023 with the expansion of its downtown Des Moines headquarters. The company recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new headquarters.

Deal of the Decade: Meta Altoona Data Center
The first buildings of the center became operational in late 2014. When it is completely built, it will be the company’s largest of its 21 data centers. Meta has hired 1,300 skilled trade workers on site at peak construction. It supports more than 400 operational jobs and operates on 100% renewable energy. Meta has added 225 megawatts of new renewable energy to the state and aided in $3.2 million in direct funding to local schools and nonprofits.

Jon Kallen Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, presented by Jennings Kallen Advisors: Connectify HR
Connectify HR, founded and owned by Iowans since 2021, has created 17 jobs generating more than $2.3 million in local payroll, more than 170 hours of volunteer time and helped more than 55 businesses earn more than $110 million in annual wages by simplifying their human resource needs, saving those companies time and money.

DSM Newcomer Award: Big Grove Brewery & Taproom
The brewery’s “Big Grove for Good” initiative has directed thousands of dollars back to the community for environmental and justice causes, including a nonprofit grant program that has provided $24,000 to three local nonprofits. The renovation of the brewery’s portion of the former Crescent Chervrolet building was done in an environmentally friendly manner, installing bioswales giving environmental co-benefits due to their ability to reduce stormwater runoff, installing LED lighting and using energy-efficient equipment and using sustainable materials and recycling.

CRE Partner of the Year
Justin Lossner, senior managing director at JLL, was recognized for his involvement in some of the most economically impactful projects in the metro. Along with his team, he has been involved in more than 1,200 transactions, totaling more than $1.64 billion in real estate volume. Lossner represented the buyer of West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines, setting a record for the largest mixed-use sale in the market, and assisted with a 20-year growth plan for Prairie Trail in Ankeny.

Economic Development Partner of the Year
Beth Balzer worked for the Iowa Economic Development Authority for three decades, and became the Business Development Team Leader in 2003 until her retirement. She worked with Iowa’s existing industry and some of the state’s largest companies on expansion and retention projects, accounting for nearly $5 billion in new capital investment and creating more than 14,000 jobs. Balzer worked with hundreds of companies of all sizes across the state, including the expansions of several John Deere facilities.

Economic Development Partner of the Year
Clyde Evans was involved in economic development in the region for nearly 49 years, much of it during his 32 years as community and economic development director for West Des Moines. He retired in July. During his tenure with the city, it grew from 32,000 to more than 70,000 people, and the city issued building permits valued at over $6.5 billion, resulting in the construction of almost 23.2 million square feet of commercial, office and industrial space.

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