Age 38 | Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.

The list of likes in Tina Gray Carstensen’s life is long and varied. Not included is the colon cancer that her husband of four months, Jay, is battling.

“We’re busy trying to beat this thing,” Carstensen said.

That means closing a martial arts studio that the couple operates and moving classes to their basement.

It also means that Carstensen’s considerable involvement in community affairs has slowed a tad in recent months. But once this cancer thing is whipped, she’s ready to add more organizations to her list, many of them involving support groups for cancer patients.

The Newton native moved to Greater Des Moines in 2008 to shorten the commute to Shive-Hattery Inc. in West Des Moines, where in addition to leading the firm’s marketing efforts, she has been a mentor to new hires.

“Tina is energetic, intelligent, insightful, and just plain fun to work with,” said Shive-Hattery’s Bob Bisenius in a letter.

“I don’t know that Tina can ever be told ‘thank you’ enough for the motivation and support she’s given me,” wrote Lindsey Mathews, whom Carstensen mentors at the firm.

Carstensen met her husband at work and went on to be general manager of Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts, helping Jay fulfill a dream of being an instructor in the specialized form of martial arts.

Carstensen is an ambassador at Blank Park Zoo, and she created graphic designs for Animal Rescue League of Iowa and Animal Lifeline of Iowa. She has been active with the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, West Des Moines Leadership Academy, 100 Men on a Mission and the Big Dream Gathering.

Five reasons she’s a 40:
• As a member of the West Des Moines Leadership Academy, Carstensen contributed to the success of Building Leaders One Kid at a Time and as a result was invited to join the organization’s board of directors.

• A graphic designer, she frequently donates her time to Greater Des Moines nonprofit organizations to help them contain costs.

• She is always willing “to go the extra mile for the good of the cause,” according to a nominating letter.

• Carstensen was the first member of her family to earn a college degree.

• “What really stands out the most … is her heart,” said mentor Rose Breuss. “Tina has the unique gift of genuinely caring and making people welcomed, included, valued and important.”

Mentor: Rose Breuss, chief marketing officer, McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith P.C.

Fun facts:
Carstensen designs wire-wrapped jewelry and is exploring the world of duct tape purses and wallets.

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