Capital Crossroads is searching for a new director after Emily Kessinger announced she is leaving the organization to join Weitz Co. as business development manager.

Kessinger has served as director of Capital Crossroads since January 2020. Her last day with Capital Crossroads is April 9. She will begin her new role at Weitz on April 15.

Kessinger returns to Weitz, where she worked before joining Capital Crossroads, a joint initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Prairie Meadows and United Way of Central Iowa.

During her previous time at Weitz, Kessinger worked in marketing and business development for more than two years, focusing on student housing and public-private partnership opportunities. Before that she was project manager for the Women’s Business Center with the Iowa Center for Economic Success and business development director for Artmill Group in Chicago.

Kessinger serves on several local committees and boards. She earned her bachelor's degree in English and her master’s degree in organizational development and marketing from the University of Denver.

Teree Caldwell-Johnson, one of the chairs of Capital Crossroads and chief executive officer of Oakwood Neighborhood, said a new director will be critical in “creating excitement and establishing priorities for our region.”

“The path forward ... will include the next phase of regional project planning with an emphasis on  human and social capital which will be amplified by an increased focus on equity,” she said in an emailed statement. “The individual selected to lead this effort will set the stage for building a stronger and more equitable DSM USA!”

Caldwell-Johnson described Kessinger as effective, efficient and intentional in her work with Capital Crossroads.

“Her ability to multi-task, manage and lead this effort leaves some big shoes to fill,” she said.

Angela Connolly, a Polk County supervisor and another of the four chairs of Capital Crossroads, said the organization is looking forward to finding a strong candidate who can lead the work of Capital Crossroads.

“Capital Crossroads has a long history of being a catalyst for change in our region and the next few years will be formative for this work and our community as we look to incorporate diversity and equity into all of the work being done,” Connolly said.

Another Capital Crossroads chair, Kristi Knous, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, said Capital Crossroads is “grateful for Emily’s leadership and ability to make significant progress on so many elements of the Capital Crossroads 2.0 plan during her tenure.”

“She has helped set the stage for our region’s resilience and continued success as we continue to create a world-class region for all,” Knous said.

The application period for the director’s position opened on April 1. The deadline to apply is April 15.