Ankeny Economic Development Corporation

Economic Development Newsletter

Fourth Quarter 2020 Newsletter

We took the leap and attempted a double hybrid. No, a double hybrid is not an athletic move performed at the Olympics. It was the combination of a virtual and in-person meeting that also combined a regular lunch meeting with our annual Salute to Industry event. Our measurements of success are different this year, but we think we found a way to stay safe and stay connected.  

In case you missed it or can’t get enough of this good news, below are the videos highlighting two award recipients and Ankeny – Quality Attracts Quality.

Commercial Investment Award winner Kreg Tool is moving their headquarters from Huxley to the Crosswinds Business Park just east of I-35 and south of Corporate Woods. Kreg employs 230 people currently. The new building will hold up to 300 employees. Todd Sommerfeld shared that access to a strong workforce was a key factor in the decision to move to Ankeny.  

ETHOS Design Group received a Commercial Investment Award for their new building in Ankeny. ETHOS is an architecture and interior design group currently based in Polk City. They have grown consistently for years so decided to buy and build at the corner of SE Shurfine and Cortina Drive. They selected this location because it was centrally located and will give employees access to a number of area amenities including restaurants and shops. 

From Inc. 5000 to the fortune 500, the opportunities are endless in Ankeny. This short video highlights the strength of our community and the resilience of area businesses. It also highlights some of the key challenges of 2020. 

2021 Property Assessments

Polk County Assessor Randy Ripperger sees significant challenges in determining commercial property values for 2021. The changing demands with COVID-19 are driving commercial property values in very different directions. Values for hotels and restaurants are down while warehouses, home improvement and grocery store values are up.

Ripperger reports that multi-residential properties continued to sell well and expects valuations to increase more than 10 percent. Noticeably not mentioned was office space.

The residential side, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of Ankeny's total tax base, is expected to increase 6-7 percent countywide.

Membership Map

Do you know someone looking for a job and you want to point them to some great employers? Or maybe you just want an easy way to find other AEDC members? Now you can with our custom AEDC Membership Google map

Leadership Lessons From Larry Zimpleman

Communicate even when you don’t have all the answers and keep as much of your normal routine as possible were two crisis management lessons Larry Zimpleman shared at the  August meeting. Being in key leadership positions at Principal during the 1993 floods, 9/11 and taking the company public just weeks later and the market crash of 2008, Larry has  navigated many rough waters. “Even when you don’t have all the answers you have to communicate," Zimpleman shared. It wasn’t until years after the 2008/2009 market melt-down that  Larry learned just how important his candid communications to employees were during those rough times. They didn’t have the typical company polish of a crafted message coming out of  the communications department. They were just raw messages from the company president sharing what he knew and often what he didn’t know. According to Larry, you can’t over  communicate when times are tough. Another lesson he learned was to keep as much of your routine as possible. In the middle of the economic crisis, he almost gave up his routine of  running during his lunch hour but found it not only helped him personally, but that it silently gave others around him permission to take care of themselves.

Student Shark Tank is Back!

We are looking for young people with a business or community project idea. With support from Polk County we will award students ages 14-24 with funds to support their projects. You can learn more and register at

Third Quarter 2020 Newsletter

Student Shark Tank Success 


Since receiving his Student Shark Tank award money London Schuchant has expanded his marketing efforts with such great success, he is now tracking revenue by country. Here are a few of the business stats he recently shared. 

- 4th Lane Running now has over 2,575 followers 

- In the last month started recording the number of sales and dollar amount per country 
- Expects to hit $10,000 in total sales this summer 

- Starting discussions with athletes from Kenya   




New Location 


Thanks to board members Tim Malloy of Northstar Power and Randy Munson of Karl Chevrolet we got moved. We are leveraging a combination of a home office and the Blue Bean co-working space at 110 N Ankeny Blvd. (old Palmer’s location). You can always find us at, 964-0747 and   


In addition to our new location, AEDC established its own employer identification number, cloud-based computer system and insurance. If you have any questions, contact Joey Beech or someone on the executive board (Trent Murphy, Melissa Johnson, Todd Sommerfeld or Rosalind Fox).  


Reality Based Leadership 


Given continued health concerns of group gatherings the executive board feels it is best to postpone the Reality Based Leadership Development Day. When discussing options, the group felt strongly that much of the benefit comes from the in-person interactions not only with the presenter but with the other leaders from attending/sponsoring companies.  


We are committed to holding this event. Alex Dorr, our speaker from the Cy Wakemen Reality Based Leadership Team, is willing to work with us to reschedule as soon as it is safe to do so. We greatly appreciate the patience of the following sponsors of this event 


Bayer, Casey's General Stores, City of Ankeny, CJM Financial, Community State Bank, DMACC, DRA Properties, John Deere Des Moines Works, Kreg Tool, Midwest Insurance Company, Pratum, Snyder & Associates, SPAL USA and The Lauridsen Group 


“Our circumstances are the reality in which we must succeed,” Cy Wakeman, author of Reality Based Leadership. 


New Roads  


Did you know in the last five years over 75 miles of new roads have been constructed in the City of Ankeny? SW Prairie Trail Pkwy now runs from Irvinedale to Ankeny Blvd and meets-up with Shurfine going to Delaware. SE Hulsizer will soon jog west to allow for better traffic flow onto SE Oralabor Rd (between Olive Garden and Perkins).