It’s time again for our annual Best of Des Moines awards. As in past years, our readers voted via an online open-ended survey for the businesses, people and events that they thought were the “Best of Des Moines.” We simply tallied the votes in all 71 categories.

As always, if you have questions, concerns, or feedback about the product, feel free to reach out directly to me at chrisconetzkey@bpcdm.com.

– Chris Conetzkey, editor of the Business Record


2014 List of Winners 

Best CEO
Winner: Larry Zimpleman (Principal Financial Group Inc.)
Runner-up: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Norene Mostkoff (HCI Care Services & VNS of Iowa) 

Best Politician on Business Issues
Winner: Terry Branstad
Runner-up: Jack Hatch
Runner-up: Brad Zaun 

Best Metro Business Leader
Winner: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Larry Zimpleman (Principal Financial Group Inc.)
Runner-up: Jon Troen (Mittera Group) 

Best Business Supporting Local Charity
Winner: Principal Financial Group Inc.
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Hy-Vee Inc. 

Best Up & Coming Business Leader
Winner: Dan Houston (Principal Financial Group Inc.)
Runner-up: Tony Dickinson (Well Fargo & Co.)
Runner-up: Katie Stocking (Happy Medium LLC) 

Best Minority Business Leader
Winner: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner up: Michael Sadler (CenturyLink Inc.)
Runner up: Fred Buie (Keystone Electrical Manufacturing Co.) 

Best City Government Conducive to Doing Business
Winner: West Des Moines
Runner-up: Des Moines
Runner-up: Urbandale 

Best Nonprofit
Winner: Animal Rescue League of Iowa
Runner-up: United Way of Central Iowa
Runner-up: AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport

Best Commercial Real Estate Company
Winner: Iowa Realty Commercial
Runner-up: CB Richard Ellis|Hubbell Commercial
Runner-up: Knapp Properties Inc.

Best Residential Real Estate Company
Winner: Iowa Realty Co. Inc.
Runner-up: Re/Max
Runner-up: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 

Best Property Management Company
Winner: Hubbell Property Management
Runner-up: Knapp Properties Inc.
Runner-up: Iowa Realty Commercial 

Best Architectural Firm
Winner: RDG Planning & Design
Runner-up: Shive-Hattery Inc.
Runner-up: SVPA Architects Inc.

Best Engineering Firm
Winner: Shive-Hattery Inc.
Runner-up: Terracon 
Runner-up: Snyder & Associates Inc. 

Best General Contractor
Winner: The Weitz Co.
Runner-up: Hubbell Realty Co. 
Runner-up: Graham Construction Co.

Best Development Company
Winner: Hubbell Realty Co.
Runner-up: Knapp Properties Inc.
Runner-up: The Hansen Cos. Inc.

Best Electrical Contractor
Winner: Baker Electric Inc.
Runner-up: Wolin Mechanical - Electrical
Runner-up: ABC Electrical Services

Best Home Builder
Winner: Hubbell Homes
Runner-up: Ironwood Homes Inc. 
Runner-up: Jerry's Homes Inc.

Best Mechanical Contractor
Winner: Baker Group
Runner-up: Wolin Mechanical - Electrical
Runner-up: The Waldinger Corp.

Best Commercial Lender
Winner: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Bankers Trust Co.
Runner-up: West Bank

Best Executive Search Firm
Winner: Palmer Group
Runner -up: Portico Staffing 
Runner -up: Francis & Associates Inc.

Best Temporary Employment Service
Winner: Palmer Group
Runner-up: ManpowerGroup
Runner-up: Portico Staffing

Best Training and Development Company
Winner: Tero International Inc.
Runner-up: Dale Carnegie
Runner-up: Spindustry Training

Best Health Insurance Company
Winner: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Runner-up: CoOportunity Health 
Runner-up: UnitedHealthcare

Best Life Insurance Company
Winner: Principal Life Insurance Co.
Runner-up: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Runner-up: Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.

Best Property/Casualty Insurance Company
Winner: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Runner-up: State Farm
Runner-up: EMC Insurance Cos. 

Best Place to Buy Office Furniture
Winner: Workspace Inc.
Runner-up: Triplett Cos.
Runner-up: Homemakers Furniture

Best Security Company
Winner: Conley Security
Runner-up: Per Mar Security
Runner-up: Strauss Security Solutions 

Best Manufacturing Company
Winner: Deere & Co.
Runner up: Kreg Tools 
Runner up: Vermeer Corp. 

Best Bank
Winner: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Bankers Trust Co.
Runner-up: West Bank

Best Credit Union
Winner: Veridian Credit Union
Runner-up: Community Choice Credit Union
Runner-up: Premier Credit Union

Best Commercial Printer
Winner: Colorfx
Runner-up: Action Print 
Runner-up: Sigler Cos. Inc.

Best Computer Consulting Company
Winner: Alliance Technologies Inc.
Runner-up: McGladrey
Runner-up: Spindustry Digital

Best Local Internet Service Provider
Winner: CenturyLink Inc.
Runner-up: Mediacom
Runner-up: Iowa Network Services Inc.

Best Web Developer
Winner: Blue Compass Interactive LLC
Runner-up: Spindustry Digital
Runner-up: Spinutech Inc. 

Best Company Workforce
Winner: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Principal Financial Group Inc. 
Runner-up: Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines 

Best Small Company With a Bright Future
Winner: Spindustry Digital
Runner-up: Blue Compass Interactive LLC 
Runner-up: Dwolla Inc.

Best Large Company With a Bright Future
Winner: Wells Fargo & Co;
Runner-up: Principal Financial Group Inc.
Runner-up: Mittera Group 

Best Tech Startup With a Bright Future
Winner: Dwolla Inc.
Runner-up: Domiknow Inc. 
Runner-up: SongDish LLC 

Best Wealth Management Company
Winner: McGladrey
Runner-up: Foster Group
Runner-up: Wells Fargo Advisors

Best Auto Dealership
Winner: Willis Auto Campus
Runner-up: Stivers Ford Lincoln
Runner-up: Bob Brown Auto

Best Accounting Firm
Winner: McGladrey
Runner-up: McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith P.C.
Runner-up: Denman & Co.

Best Law Firm
Winner: Davis Brown Law Firm
Runner-up: BrownWinick 
Runner-up: Nyemaster Goode P.C. 

Best Advertising Agency
Winner: Flynn Wright
Runner-up: Strategic America
Runner-up: Happy Medium LLC

Best Public Relations Firm
Winner: Strategic America
Runner-up: Flynn Wright
Runner-up: Hanser & Associates

Best Social Media Company
Winner: Happy Medium LLC
Runner-up: Blue Compass Interactive LLC 
Runner-up: Catchfire Media LLC 

Best Video Production Company
Winner: Screenscape Studios Ltd.
Runner-up: Sun Dog Studios LLC 
Runner-up: Applied Art & Technology LC 

Best M.B.A. Program
Winner: Drake University
Runner-up: University of Iowa Tippie School of Management
Runner-up: Iowa State University

Best Place to Hold a Business Conference
Winner: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Runner-up: Iowa Events Center 
Runner-up: Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Memorial 

Best Bar to Enterain Clients
Winner: Star Bar
Runner-up: Wellman's Pub & Rooftop 
Runner-up: Centro

Best Caterer
Winner: Gateway Market
Runner-up: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Palmer's Deli

Best Restaurant for Conducting Business
Winner: Centro
Runner-up: Django
Runner-up: 801 Chophouse

Best Sporting Event to Entertain Clients
Winner: Iowa Cubs
Runner-up: Iowa Barnstormers
Runner-up: Iowa Wild 

Best Restaurant to Take Out of Town Guests
Winner: Centro
Runner-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Runner-up: Django

Best New Restaurant
Winner: Eatery A
Runner-up: Malo 
Runner-up: Exile Brewing Co.

Best Happy Hour
Winner: Eatery A
Runner-up: Wellman's Pub & Rooftop 
Runner-up: Django

Best Place for Auto Repairs
Winner: Westside Auto Pros Inc.
Runner-up: Shade Tree Auto LLC 
Runner-up: Willis Auto Campus

Best Hosptial 
Winner: Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines
Runner-up: UnityPoint/Iowa Methodist
Runner-up: UnityPoint/Iowa Lutheran

Best Florist
Winner: Boesen the Florist
Runner-up: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Doherty's Flowers

Best Recycling/Waste Company
Winner: Metro Waste Authority
Runner-up: Waste Management Inc.
Runner-up: RecycleMe Iowa LLC

Best Dry Cleaners
Winner: French Way Cleaners
Runner-up: Victoria Cleaners Inc.
Runner-up: Crown Cleaners

Best Coffeehouse at Which to Do Business
Winner: Smokey Row Coffee Co.
Runner-up: Caribou Coffee Co.
Runner-up: Starbucks Corp.

Best Place to Buy Wine and Spirits
Winner: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Ingersoll Wine and Spirts
Runner-up: Gateway Market

Best Jewelry Store
Winner: Joseph's Jewelers
Runner-up: Anglo International Inc.
Runner-up: Christopher's Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins Ltd. 

Best Men's Clothier
Winner: Mr. B
Runner-up: Badowers
Runner-up: Von Maur

Best Women's Clothier
Winner: Von Maur
Runner-up: Talbots 
Runner-up: Proper Pop Up 

Best Golf Course
Winner: Wakonda Club
Runner-up: Des Moines Golf and Country Club
Runner-up: Waveland Golf Course

Best Exercise Facility
Winner: YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Runner-up: Lifetime Fitness 
Runner-up: Aspen Athletic Club

Best Residential Neighborhood
Winner: Beaverdale
Runner-up: Waterbury 
Runner-up: Urbandale

Best Thing to Happen in Central Iowa in the Past Year
Winner: Des Moines Social Club opening
Runner-up: Facebook Inc. data farm in Altoona

Best Thing That Will Happen in Central Iowa in the Upcoming Year
Winner: Cowles Commons
Runner-up: Alice's Road completion
Runner-up: AAU Junior Olympics

Best Cultural Attraction
Winner: Des Moines Arts Festival
Runner-up: Iowa State Fair
Runner-up: John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park