Emily Kessinger, pictured, has been selected as the new director of Capital Crossroads. In this role, Kessinger will represent the Capital Crossroads Tri-Chairs and guide implementation of the regional vision plan, working closely with community and business leaders and volunteers. She succeeds Nikki Syverson, who announced in November she would be leaving Capital Crossroads this month for a consulting position. 

Kessinger begins her new role Jan. 13. 

“I’m excited to continue the momentum of Capital Crossroads by working closely with our extensive network of volunteers and community leaders,” Kessinger said in a news release. “There are so many important projects underway that will transform the Central Iowa region, and it is up to us to continue the progress.” 

Capital Crossroads is a joint initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Prairie Meadows and United Way of Central Iowa. Among the major projects it’s advancing are the Central Iowa Water Trails project, the Make It OK Campaign and affordable housing-related initiatives.  

Kessinger has more than 10 years of experience in communications and project management, most recently as business development manager at the Weitz Co. Before that she was project manager for the Women’s Business Center with the Iowa Center for Economic Success and business development director for Artmill Group in Chicago. 

Kessinger currently serves on the Bravo Greater Des Moines board, the After School Arts Program board and is a committee member for the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s Women Helping Women event. She is a graduate of the 2019 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s Community Leadership Program. Additionally, Kessinger is a founding partner at Flag of Des Moines and is the founder of Yellow Door DSM.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and an MBA in organizational development/marketing from the University of Denver. She lives on the south side of Des Moines with her husband, Mason, and son, Hughes, who is approaching his first birthday.