Age 26  |  Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.

Originally from Spring Valley, Ill., Jonathan Brendemuehl moved to Des Moines for college. But his decision to study at Drake University rather than the University of Illinois caused a bit of a stir because his mother, sister and many family friends all attended the latter.

“But I wanted to live in a city that still functioned during spring break,” he said.

Brendemuehl has now made Des Moines his home and works as the marketing events coordinator for Bankers Trust Co., where he puts on the company’s Business and Technology series, community-focused events and internal events for customers.

“I have known Jonathan since 2005 and have enjoyed watching him succeed in the business world and grow as a community activist,” wrote Soozie McBroom, past president of the Ingersoll Business Association. “He has a love for Greater Des Moines and is constantly looking for ways to get involved.”

The co-chair of last year’s Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Hollywood Halloween party and the Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops, Brendemuehl said he loves being a part of Des Moines’ active philanthropic community. “Once you get involved, it’s hard not to want to be a part of it,” he said.

But the two things he’s most passionate about are the downtown area and animals.

An active member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association since he was 23 and its current president, Brendemuehl said he’s looking forward to efforts to revitalize downtown’s core area.

“I love all of the things they’ve done with the Western Gateway and the East Village,” he said. “But now it’s time to focus on the core. I can’t wait to see what happens with Walnut Street.”

He also sits on the the advisory board of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, an organization close to his heart because he and his partner, Chris Diebel, have a rescue dog named Halsted.

Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Manages Banker’s Trust Co.’s role in 126 events annually.

• 2012 co-chair of Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops.

• President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.

• 2012 co-chair of Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Hollywood Halloween, the Playhouse’s annual fundraising event.

• Member of Winefest Grand Cru, a young professional offshoot of Winefest Des Moines.

Mentor: Jana Rieker, vice president of sales and marketing for Bankers Trust

Fun fact: Brendemuehl and his family went to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta when he was 10 years old.