Hello! My name is Emily Kestel. I started working part time at the Business Record nine days before the pandemic. One year later, I was brought on full-time to serve as the editor of the Business Record's Fearless initiative and help out with special projects throughout the company, like dsm Magazine's LGBTQ Legacy Leader Awards and Sages Over 70.


I was born and raised in the Drake neighborhood of Des Moines and went to Roosevelt High School and Central Campus/Academy. I graduated with a degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State in 2018, where I worked in several different positions at the award-winning student newspaper, the Iowa State Daily. It was there that I really fell in love with the visual journalism field. Prior to the Business Record, I was an assistant producer for Iowa PBS’ Emmy-nominated documentary, “Carrie Chapman Catt: Warrior for Women.”


My personal purpose as a journalist is to shed light on what is often overlooked. I intend to make a deliberate effort to introduce Iowans to new voices by including perspectives from a diverse array of sources across the entire state while going beyond traditional storytelling methods. People want and need a sense of belonging and connection now more than ever, so my hope with Fearless is that you find and use it as a space of empowerment, inspiration and education. As a society, we cannot progress if we don’t take the time to learn about the issues and challenges we all face every day.


Outside of work, you can find me hammocking, reading, rollerblading, hiking, camping or taking photos of sunsets. 


If you ever have any questions, comments, concerns or story ideas, my ears are always open. My email is emilykestel@bpcdm.com.


Links to my work:

Access to child care in rural Iowa is an issue. Here’s how one woman opened a much-needed center in her town — in the middle of the pandemic

‘We need to change the conversation’: How three Iowans are working to drive down the Black maternal mortality rate

Cheltzie Miller-Bailey on challenging the idea of professionalism, and what prioritizing your own well-being looks like