Lana Jones-Gould loves setting — and reaching — a goal.

Her journey includes hundreds of goals that have led to her being one of the go-to people to organize and rally volunteers, and for board service. Among the nonprofits she’s helped: Variety - the Children’s Charity and Blank Park Zoo. To list the others would fill this page.

She seems to have one overarching goal: Leave things in better shape, preferably out of the spotlight.

“I’d rather be behind the scenes as the worker bee,” she said.

Jones-Gould learned about goals as a teenager in Spencer when she decided to not move to Minnesota with her parents. “I was 15, I was on my own. I rented a room going into my junior year,” she said. “I learned to be self-sufficient and to work and to appreciate what I had.”

She studied fashion merchandising at Ellsworth Community College and got a job with Seifert’s, a women’s clothing store. Jones-Gould worked her way up to executive vice president of human resources.

Seifert’s grew from 15 stores to 250 during her time with the company. She helped manage and oversee store openings all over the country. “I had to hire, I had to fire, I had to train,” she said. “I learned a lot, I worked hard. I learned to delegate.”

Then she decided to leave the corporate world and focus on the community, using skills she learned in the fashion world.

“Being with Seifert’s for 25 years, 18 of those years I traveled Monday through Friday ... I worked a lot of hours. I’d catch up on Sunday. ... [Then] it was my turn, my time to give back. I said, ‘This is what I need to do.’ That’s why I got passionate about giving back,” she said.

Her passion and goal setting are evident from the list of organizations she volunteers for.

“She’s driven to serve, rejects the status quo and always strives for excellence in any endeavor she takes on,” wrote Marcia Wanamaker in a letter of nomination.

Before talking with the Business Record, Jones-Gould held a meeting with a group she’s leading. She researched and made a list of questions beforehand, including setting a goal that hadn’t before been reached. “We’re going to blow it out of the water,” she said.

Do people tell her ‘no’ very often? “You know, they don’t,” she said, laughing.

Areas of Influence:

  • She has been active with a number of nonprofit organizations including Variety - The Children’s Charity, Young Women’s Resource Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. She often serves as a key leader in her tenure with the groups. 
  • She has served on the following boards of directors or planning committees: Winefest, Variety - the Children’s Charity, Des Moines Art Center, Mercy Foundation, Blank Park Zoo, Drama Workshop, Des Moines Symphony and Bravo Greater Des Moines.
  • She is one of the owners of Bubba, a downtown Des Moines restaurant that showcases Southern foods.