It would be tempting to say Carole Chambers is motivated by not sitting still. When she’s not having coffee with a mentee who needs advice, she’s attending a 50-member morning leadership group for women, a group she helped create — MOIsson (“moi” for “me” and “moisson” for “reap what is sown”). A book club spun off from the original group. 

“I like to tackle big challenges, engage in creative problem-solving and generate ideas,” said Chambers, who previously worked as director of strategic partnerships for the Business Record.

For Chambers, paying it forward is every bit as central to her career as the CEO and president of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. In many cases, she does that by mentoring, often in “one-off” meetings to help a young professional decide whether to accept a job, ask for a raise or change careers. 

But Chambers also has been active in other organizations, including Iowa Women Lead Change, the speed-mentoring group Metrowide Mentoring for Women, committees of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and Community Connect, another mentoring initiative. 

“The older I get, the more motivated I am by serving others,” said Chambers, who also is a Eucharistic minister and volunteer at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. “You want to do your best.”

Of course, helping others ends up changing us. “I can’t even describe how rewarding it has been,” Chambers said. That’s especially true of women, who she’s watched overcome obstacles to attain success.

But she knows there is work to do: “I want to see more women in leadership positions.” Chambers certainly is doing her part to help make that happen.

Areas of Influence:

  • A dedicated and experienced mentor, she has helped create and strengthen new groups, and often helps women choose a career and excel in it.
  • She regularly stands up for equal pay and opportunities for women, going so far as to turn down a job at a prominent local company once because she felt the pay wasn’t high enough. The firm later decided to offer more. 
  • She has reached out to help others, including as a homeless and hungry committee member at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. She strongly believes in “paying it forward.”