Each year the Business Record honors a member of a previous Forty Under 40 class to recognize his or her contributions since being named a Forty. The 2021 Forty Under 40 Alumnus of the Year is David Stark, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health-Des Moines. Stark was honored 20 years ago, in the Class of 2001.

Stark began his current leadership role on July 1, 2018, succeeding longtime CEO Eric Crowell upon Crowell’s retirement. He was selected as UnityPoint Health-Des Moines president and CEO after a national search that included both internal and national candidates.

He first joined UnityPoint Health-Des Moines in 1995 as an administrative fellow, and has held several executive positions throughout the organization, including being named chief operating officer of Iowa Lutheran Hospital when he was 27 years old. Four years later, he took on the additional role of COO for Iowa Methodist Medical Center, one of the state’s largest hospitals.

Stark led the charge in UnityPoint Health obtaining a certificate of need in October 2007 for a new West Des Moines hospital, and then oversaw construction of what is now Methodist West Hospital. He has also been president and chief operating officer for Blank Children’s Hospital and, most recently, executive vice president and chief operating officer for UnityPoint Health-Des Moines.


The Fort Dodge native received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in management and his master's in health care administration from the University of Iowa. Stark is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves as the current board chair of the American Heart Association Iowa. He is a past chair of the Iowa PBS Foundation and also serves on the board of the Iowa Hospital Association, the Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Committee, and the boards of the Principal Charity Classic, Grand View University and Des Moines University. He is also a member of the Des Moines AM Rotary Club.

He and his wife, Becky, have four children, Kira, Ainsley, Cael and Marin.