When I joined the dsm team as editor in 2008, I was thrilled for the opportunity to tell the stories of the interesting and intriguing people, places and things in our community—and to join a locally owned company focused on producing the best journalism in town with honesty and integrity.
Over the years, that thrill has only intensified, and I will be forever grateful to those who have trusted us with their stories. Still, there comes a time when every journalist needs to step away from the relentless demands of daily deadlines. For me, that time is now, and I’ll be leaving my role as editor-in-chief early next year.
I’m delighted that Michael Morain will take over as editor. Many of you know Michael, as he’s been a respected local journalist and communications pro for several decades. His distinctive career has included covering the arts for the Des Moines Register and most recently serving as the communications manager for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. He’s also regularly written for dsm, producing some of our most compelling stories.
Michael will work closely with our crackerjack dsm team. It’s been a privilege and a joy to create the magazine with our dynamic editors—managing editor Beth Eslinger, assistant editor Hailey Allen and copy editor Kurt Helland—as well as visual pros Duane Tinkey, Shaun Riekena and Sarah Gotto. While we’ve always maintained a strict wall between our editorial and advertising departments, I adore our sales team for their tenacity and dedication to serving their clients.
My thanks certainly extend to our contributing writers and photographers, who pour their passion and creativity into their dsm assignments. I wish I had the space to name every one of them, but they know who they are, and I hope they know how much I admire and appreciate them.
During my tenure, there’s been one person with whom I’ve worked side by side on every story in every issue—that’s some 1,954(!) stories by my rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation: Annabel Wimer. Her title of design director only begins to describe her value to our team and to me personally; she not only possesses stellar skills but embodies the heart and soul of dsm. Over the years, I’ve leaned on her as my sounding board, confidant and friend.
Any company’s culture starts at the top, of course, and the servant leadership of founder and chair Connie Wimer and president and CEO Suzanna de Baca has been key to why dsm has thrived when local publications everywhere have floundered. Connie and Suzanna inspire the entire staff with the trust they place in us and their undying devotion to Greater Des Moines.
I also deeply appreciate you, our readers, as well as our advertisers and sponsors; together, you enable us to do our work. I ask that you all not only continue to read and support dsm, but all quality journalism.
I’ve had my dream job for 14 years and have developed relationships I will always treasure. While leaving is bittersweet, I’m 100% confident that Michael, Beth, Hailey, Annabel and the entire dsm team will make the magazine even stronger as they remain laser-focused on our mission to inform, inspire, elevate and celebrate the community we all love.