Age 32 | Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
The event director for Winefest Des Moines since 2011, Nikki Syverson has helped to grow the event from three days to eight days as well as to add monthly wine tastings hosted by metro retailers called Wine Flights.
The event’s expanded format, which offers more educational opportunities at varying price points, was such a success last year that event organizers decided to duplicate their efforts again this year. The Wine Flight events are proving successful, too. The initial event held this January sold out and February’s event came close, Syverson said. “It’s really a great way to showcase local wine retailers and local shops,” she said.
Syverson previously founded Down to Details LLC, an event planning company, and worked at the Des Moines Symphony, where she helped plan and manage its annual Fourth of July event, Yankee Doodle Pops.
“Nikki is a tireless worker who will tackle any job and go above and beyond,” wrote Soozie McBroom, past president of the Ingersoll Business Association. “Her sunny disposition, self-motivation and eagerness are contagious to everyone that surrounds her.”
Syverson’s love of events has spilled over from her professional life to her volunteer activities. She helps plan ChildServe’s Bubble Ball Gala and the Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Hollywood Halloween fundraising event.
James Willer, who was president of ChildServe and co-chair of its Bubble Ball event, wrote “her work (is) clever, on time, and under budget. The following year she took over as co-chair of the event, and I reported to her. The results were even better as we set records for attendance and dollars raised.”
Syverson received a journalism and communications degree from Drake University. While there, she got involved with Greek life and met her husband, Jay, who was in a fraternity there.
Five reasons she’s a 40:
• Successfully grew Winefest Des Moines from three to eight days.
• Co-chair of the 2012 Bubble Ball Gala.
• Former Des Moines Social Club board member.
• Grew the Des Moines Symphony’s Viewing party for Yankee Doodle Pops, a fundraiser, from 187 to 550 attendees.
• Committee member and past co-chair of Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Hollywood Halloween, the Playhouse’s annual fundraising event.
Mentor: Soozie McBroom, past president, Ingersoll Business Association
Fun fact: Syverson is expecting her second child this August.