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.


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