Amy Baker recently assumed the newly created position of vice president, marketing and public relations at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Baker has worked at the Partnership since 2006, with most of her time there as the director of marketing and public relations for the Downtown Community Alliance. In the new role, she will oversee marketing and public relations for the Partnership’s economic development efforts and workforce efforts, as well as still focusing on some downtown initiatives and events. 

What are your goals with the new position?

Our goals are to continue doing what we’re doing really well, and to look for opportunities to do things better. I really hope to put a focus on combining all the things we do well and packaging that into the message about Greater Des Moines. 

What does the Partnership do well right now?

I think our national media relations efforts are going very well. You read about all of these rankings, and someone’s telling this story. A lot of times, it’s the work of the Partnership. So I’m really hoping to take that and even take it up to the next level, to continue to get the message out. We’re in these national publications, but also (we want to) get into more of the industry-specific trade journals and things like that, and (we are) taking a look at where we want to be and where we are going with the Partnership and with our city. So I’m looking forward to that piece of it.

So it’s about promoting Greater Des Moines through the Partnership?

It is promoting the city and region as a whole, and like I said, kind of bringing all the elements together that we want people to notice us for. We want people to move here and live here. We want people to start businesses here. We want people to relocate their businesses here. We want them to know that there’s a good quality of life, which is everything from the sculpture park to the riverwalk and this great downtown that we have, but also the shopping and the education and all of the other things that are available in our region. So we need the quality of life. But we also need to tell the story that we have the talent here. 

How do you plan to show people what they can get in Des Moines?

The big focus has been on these public relations efforts and getting the news out, getting story placements. That’s been the big focus for probably the last two or three years at least. Now that goes deeper too, because we have people going out to college fairs. We did a Rock the Rails tour where The Nadas were out and they were doing living room concerts and things like that for people from Des Moines who had moved away. So we were in someone’s living room in San Francisco and we were talking to them about how wonderful Des Moines is and showing them how much it’s changed. I moved here in ‘94, and it’s a totally different place than it was in ‘94. It’s a totally different place than it was five years ago. And it just keeps getting better. So just continuing to tell that story and get the story out there. 

What is your favorite thing about living in Greater Des Moines?

There are so many things that make our city great. And there are so many elements of the city. I mentioned a lot of things downtown because that’s where I’ve been, and that’s where I know. This whole region needs a healthy downtown, a vibrant downtown. But also the things that happen in the suburbs. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite thing. I love outdoors, I love the lake, all of the trails. I think for me it’s the fact that we have all these amenities. If I want to go see a Broadway show, I can. But if I want to go spend a weekend on the lake, I can do that as well. For me, I think it’s the combination of everything Des Moines has to offer, from great shopping and a great downtown and great places to work, to having this great family life too. 

What do you do for fun?

I have two daughters, a 13-year-old and a 9-year-old; they keep me very busy. We go to the cheer gym almost every night, Monday through Thursday. They are in tumbling and dance and all-star cheerleading, competitive cheerleading. So we do a lot of that. In the summertime, I’m on the lake almost every weekend. I love the events we have downtown.