Age 32 | Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.

John Mickelson is equally comfortable crunching numbers as he is with meeting people, and he enjoys combining those two skills in his role as a commercial banker.

“In the role I have here it’s a great mix of analytical rigor and people interaction,” said Mickelson, associate managing director of The PrivateBank & Trust Co. “I like that combination, rather than just doing quantitative things all day or just doing all sales.”

Mickelson specializes in structuring senior secured commercial debt and depository services for midsized companies in Iowa and Nebraska. He has a law degree from the University of Iowa, where he also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance.

Mickelson understands what makes entrepreneurs tick. He started his first business, a lawn and landscape maintenance company, while he was in middle school. He sold it to his partner before he went off to college.

While a student at the University of Iowa, Mickelson launched a mortgage business after winning startup capital from the Pappajohn Business Plan Competition. Later, in Omaha, he started a commercial kitchen equipment business that he sold to a competitor.

“In each situation, there was a need or opportunity that existed, and I just took advantage of it,” Mickelson said.

In February he was elected to represent Ward 2 on the West Des Moines City Council, winning the special election to fill the unexpired term of former councilman Charles Schneider.

“Really, my wife and I believe in getting involved in the community and making where we live and work a better place,” Mickelson said, noting that the house in which he grew up, his current home, office, church and his son’s preschool are all located within the ward he now represents. “When you think about wanting to give back to the community, it just seemed like a natural fit.”


Five reasons he’s a 40:


• Recently won election to the West Des Moines City Council.

• Teaches banking and investment courses as an adjunct professor at AIB College of Business.

• Involved in numerous civic organizations, among them the State Historical Society of Iowa board, the West Des Moines Public Art Commission and Rotary of Des Moines.

• Serves on the Dallas County GOP Central Committee and the Young Variety board.

• Chairs the banking finance subcommittee of the Iowa State Bar Association.

Mentor: The Rev. Robert Hoefler

Fun fact: Competed in his first half Ironman triathon last year and plans to do another half Ironman this year.


Presenting the 2013 winners:

Desmund Adams, Principal, AdamsDouglas
Lindsay Alderman, Client operations manager, LightEdge Solutions Inc.
Erica Axiotis, Director of development, Mercy Foundation
Kate Banasiak, President and CEO, Diversified Management Services Inc.
Erin Beamis, Senior vice president of logistics and operations, IronWorks
Jonathan Brendemuehl, Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.
Curtis Brown, Economic development director, city of Ankeny
Matt Connolly, President, Generation Green Builders Co.
Lawrence Cunningham, Director of business development, Catchfire Media LLC
Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, Director of community investment and initiatives, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Josh Fleming, Digital strategy director, Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
Felix Gallagher, Principal, PharmServ Solutions
Lori Gelhaar, Director of career services/ corporate relations, Kaplan University
Tina Gray Carstensen, Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.
Shane Greenleaf, Vice president/commercial banker, First American Bank
Danielle Haindfield, Shareholder attorney, Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Emily Harris, Patent attorney and shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm
Matthew Harris, Division administrator, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Angela Hilbert, Sales and marketing director, Deerfield Retirement Community
Joey Hinke, President, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.
Hannah Inman, Director of communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Keegan Kautzky, Director of national education programs, The World Food Prize Foundationn
John Lozier, Pediatric interventional cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiology P.C.
Dennis McDaniel, Police chief, Windsor Heights
Rachel McLean, Vice president/consultant, Ruan Cos
John Mickelson, Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.
Keith Olson, Commercial associate, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.
Matt Ostanik, President, Submittal Exchange LLC
Benjamin Page, Director, Des Moines park and recreation
Dustin Peterson, Partner, McGladrey LLP
Nick Renkoski, Director of marketing and communications, Des Moines Metro Opera
Rachel Rowley, Partner, BrownWinick PLC
John Ruan IV, Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.
Jennifer Soma, Business lead, IDI Actuarial and Product Development Group, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Heather Starr, Real estate agent, RE/MAX Innovations
Aimee Staudt, Director of development, Knapp Properties Inc.
Courtney Strutt Todd, Shareholder attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm
Nikki Sylverson, Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
Howard Tempero, Experience design strategist, Spindustry Digital
Tony Timm, Executive director, Central Iowa Shelter & Services