On the first Friday of every month, join us to hear the savvy, successful business owners + entrepreneurs of Des Moines share their story. In a laid-back environment, you’ll catch some words of wisdom from women + men who have been through it before—and maybe walk away with a new connection (or two). Sessions are completely FREE & open to the public & are held from 11:30 - 1pm, with networking from 11:30am - Noon. This First Friday will be held at The Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust, Ste 100, downtown. Seating is first come, first served. Lunch is not provided, though we encourage you to bring your own if you'd like.
On March 1, hear from Michelle DeClerck, CMP - President & Founder of Conference Event Management. Conference Event Management was founded in 2003 by Michelle DeClerck. As an industry’s premier provider of unique, world-class event, conference, incentive travel and meeting experiences, the company has experienced significant growth—primarily through referrals—since its inception, and in early 2017, was selected by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses as the only company in Iowa and one of 150 small businesses throughout the nation to participate in an elite business growth program
A proven industry leader and innovator, Michelle has won numerous professional accolades, including: the 2018 Enterprising Women Award. 2017: SBA Iowa Women in Business Champion of the Year; the Inspiring Women of Iowa – Character Award; Smart Meetings Top Influential Woman – Innovator of the Year Award; and Midwest Meetings Magazine Cover Feature. 2016 Awards included being named a Top 20 Change Maker in the Event Industry by MeetingsNet and named Iowa’s National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Business Owner of the Year (2011).
In recognition of her dedication to giving back to her community, Michelle was named Citizen of the Year in Clive, Iowa (2016). Her community work includes: leading her team in quarterly volunteer projects; serving as co-chair for Matthew 25 (a hunger and homeless outreach initiative); launching the Iowa Hospitality Donation Network (a charitable initiative that assists Iowa hotels and event venues in donating leftover items to the hungry and homeless people of Central Iowa); serving as president of the board for Opportunity on Deck (a 501C3 organization that provides free sports clinics to underserved children), serving on the Clive Public Arts Advisory Commission Board; and on the West Des Moines Incubator Business Growth Board. She also serves in an ongoing or previous volunteer role in various capacities for the Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, several Iowa universities, her church and more.
Michelle is also committed to supporting other businesswomen. Her leadership roles in this area include public speaking as well as serving as both the Director at Large Counsel and Programming Chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Iowa; serving on the Executive Council for Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC); enrolling her company in the Iowa Epic Corporate Challenge; serving on the Million Women Mentors – Iowa committee; founding Mentor Tank to provide mentoring opportunities for young women; developing a panel of female business owners to educate local business fraternity members; and sharing her experience and insight by serving as a guest writer for the Business Record and for Lift Iowa, the Business Record’s publication for women.
Please join us to hear this amazing women business owner, active community member, and friend to many share her entrepreneurial story!