This annual survey allows our readers to vote via an online open-ended poll for the businesses, people and events that they think are the “Best of Des Moines.” Then we analyze the data, remove any suspicious or erroneous votes, and simply tally the results for all 74 categories.

All Greater Des Moines businesses, people and organizations are eligible to win categories. In other words, there was no cost to be listed as an option due to the poll being open-ended,  and you can’t pay to win a category.

If you have questions, concerns, or feedback about Best of Des Moines, feel free to contact Editor Chris Conetzkey at [email protected].

– Anne Carothers-Kay, managing editor of the Business Record


View the 
2016 Best of Des Moines





Best of Des Moines Winners 2016

(*** denotes not honored last year/highlighted is different category winner than last year)

Best CEO
Winner: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Eric Crowell (UnityPoint Health-Des Moines)
Runner-up: Dan Houston (Principal Financial Group Inc.) ***

Best Politician on Business Issues
Winner: Terry Branstad
Runner-up: Chuck Grassley 
Runner-up: Christine Hensley 

Best Metro Business Leader
Winner: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Jay Byers (Greater Des Moines Partnership)  
Runner-up: Dan Houston (Principal Financial Group Inc.) ***

Best Business Supporting Local Charity
Winner: Principal Financial Group Inc.
Runner-up: Bankers Trust Co. ***
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.

Best Up & Coming Business Leader
Winner: Katie Patterson (Happy Medium) 
Runner-up: Emily Abbas (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Jeremiah Terhark (Webspec Design) ***

Best Minority Business Leader
Winner: Suku Radia (Bankers Trust Co.)
Runner-up: Michael Sadler (CenturyLink Inc.)
Runner-up: Fred Buie (Keystone Electrical) 

Best City Government Conducive to doing Business
Winner: West Des Moines
Runner-up: Des Moines
Runner-up: Ankeny

Best Nonprofit
Winner: Animal Rescue League
Runner-up: United Way of Central Iowa
Runner-up: Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS)

Best Commercial Real Estate Company
Winner: Iowa Realty Commercial
Runner-up: CBRE | Hubbell Commercial
Runner-up: Knapp Properties 

Best Commercial Real Estate Agent (Individual)
Winner: Kevin Crowley (Iowa Realty Commercial)
Runner-up: Todd Millang (CBRE Hubbell)
Runner-up: Bill Wright (CBRE Hubbell) 

Best Residential Real Estate Company
Winner: Iowa Realty
Runner-up: Re/Max
Runner-up: Keller Williams ***

Best Residential Real Estate Agent (Individual)
Winner: Rick Wanamaker (Iowa Realty Co. Inc.)
Runner-up: Tim Scheib (Century 21 Real Estate) 
Runner-up: Cy Phillips (Re/Max)
Runner-up: Pennie Carroll (Keller Williams of Greater Des Moines) ***

Best Real Estate Property Management Company
Winner: Hubbell Property Management
Runner-up: Knapp Properties Inc.
Runner-up: R&R Realty Group

Best Architectural Firm
Winner: RDG Planning & Design
Runner-up: Shive-Hattery Inc.
Runner-up: Simonson & Associates Architects
Runner-up: OPN Architects Inc. ***

Best Engineering Firm
Winner: Shive-Hattery Inc.
Runner-up: Modus Engineering Ltd.
Runner-up: Snyder & Associates Inc. ***
Best General Contractor
Winner: The Weitz Co.
Runner-up: Ryan Cos. US Inc. ***
Runner-up: Hubbell Realty Co.

Best Development Company Winner: Hubbell Realty Co.
Runner-up: Knapp Properties Inc.
Runner-up: Ryan Cos. US Inc. ***

Best Electrical Contractor Winner: Baker Electric Inc.
Runner-up: Waldinger Corp.
Runner-up: Wolin Mechanical - Electrical
Best Home Builder
Winner: Hubbell Homes
Runner-up: Jerry's Homes Inc.
Runner-up: MJ Properties ***
Runner-up: Happe Homes LLP ***
Best Mechanical Contractor
Winner: Baker Group
Runner-up: Waldinger Corp.
Runner-up: Wolin Mechanical - Electrical

Best Commercial Lender Winner: Bankers Trust Co.
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: West Bank

Best Executive Search Firm
Winner: Palmer Group
Runner-up: Midwest Search Group
Runner-up: Aureon **

Best Temporary Employment Service
Winner: Palmer Group
Runner-up: Midwest Staffing ***
Runner-up: Aureon ***

Best Training and Development Company
Winner: Dale Carnegie
Runner-up: Tero International Inc.
Runner-up: Spindustry Training

Best Health Insurance Company
Winner: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Runner-up: Aetna

Best Life Insurance Company Winner: Principal Life Insurance Co.
Runner-up: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Runner-up: State Farm ***

Best Property/Casualty Insurance Company
Winner: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Runner-up: EMC Insurance Companies
Runner-up: State Farm
Best Place to Buy Office Furniture Winner: Triplett Cos.
Runner-up: Storey Kenworthy***
Runner-up: Saxton Inc.

Best Security Company Winner: Per Mar Security
Runner-up: Strauss Security Solutions  
Runner-up: ADT Corp.

Best Manufacturing Company Winner: Dee Zee Inc.
Runner-up: Deere & Co.
Runner-up: Vermeer Corp.

Best Bank Winner: Bankers Trust Co.
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: West Bank

Best Credit Union
Winner: Veridian Credit Union
Runner-up: Community Choice Credit Union
Runner-up: Premier Credit Union

Best Commercial Printer Winner: ColorFX
Runner-up: Beeline and Blue ***
Runner-up: Christian Printers

Best Computer Consulting Company
Winner: RSM US LLP
Runner-up: Computer Repair of Des Moines LLC ***
Runner-up: Spindustry Digital

Best Local Internet Service Provider
Winner: Mediacom
Runner-up: CenturyLink Inc.
Runner-up: Aureon

Best Web Developer
Winner: Webspec Design
Runner-up: Blue Compass Interactive LLC ***
Runner-up: Spinutech Inc. ***

Best Company to Work For
Winner: UnityPoint Health
Runner-up: Bankers Trust Co. ***
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co. ***

Best Company for Young Professionals
Winner: UnityPoint Health
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Principal Financial Group Inc.

Best Company for Women to Work For
Winner: UnityPoint Health  
Runner-up: Principal Financial Group Inc.
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.

Best Company for Diversity in the Workplace
Winner: UnityPoint Health  
Runner-up: Bankers Trust Co. ***
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.

Best Small Company with a Bright Future
Winner: LS2 group ***
Runner-up: Foster Group Inc. ***
Runner-up: Spinutech Inc. ***

Best Large Company with a Bright Future
Winner: UnityPoint Health
Runner-up: Wells Fargo & Co.
Runner-up: Principal Financial Group Inc.

Best Tech Start-up with a Bright Future
Winner: Spinutech Inc. ***
Runner-up: Dwolla Inc.
Runner-up: Workiva Inc.

Best Wealth Management Company
Winner: Foster Group
Runner-up: RSM US LLP
Runner-up: Wells Fargo Advisors

Best Auto Dealership
Winner: Willis Auto Campus
Runner-up: Bob Brown
Runner-up: Karl Chevrolet

Best Accounting Firm
Winner: RSM US LLP
Runner-up: McGowen, Hurst, Clark &Smith P.C.
Runner-up: LWBJ ***

Best Law Firm
Winner: Davis Brown Law Firm
Runner-up: BrownWinick ***
Runner-up: Brick Gentry

Best Advertising Agency
Winner: LS2group ***
Runner-up: Integer Group ***
Runner-up: Flynn Wright

Best Public Relations Firm
Winner: LS2group ***
Runner-up: Strategic America
Runner-up: Flynn Wright

Best Social Media Company
Winner: Happy Medium LLC
Runner-up: Integer Group ***
Runner-up: Spinutech Inc. ***

Best Video Production Company
Winner: Mittera Group
Runner-up: Screenscape Studios Ltd.
Runner-up: Applied Art &Technology LC

Best MBA Program
Winner: University of Iowa Tippie School of Management
Runner-up: Drake University
Runner-up: Iowa State University

Best Place to Hold a Business Conference
Winner: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Runner-up: Prairie Meadows ***
Runner-up: Iowa Events Center

Best Bar for Entertaining Clients
Winner: Star Bar
Runner-up: RoCA ***
Runner-up: Iowa Taproom***

Best Caterer
Winner: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Gateway Market
Runner-up: Palmer's Deli

Best Restaurant for Conducting Business
Winner: Centro
Runner-up: Django
Runner-up: 801 Chophouse
Best Coffee Shop at Which to Business Winner: Smokey Row Coffee Co.
Runner-up: Caribou Coffee Co.
Runner-up: Scenic Route Bakery ***

Best Place to Buy Wine and Spirits
Winner: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Ingersoll Wine and Spirits
Runner-up: WineStyles Tasting Station ***

Best Sporting Event to Entertain Clients
Winner: Iowa Cubs
Runner-up: Iowa Wild  
Runner-up: NCAA Basketball Tournament ***

Best Restaurant for Entertaining Out of Town Guests
Winner: Centro
Runner-up: Django
Runner-up: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab

Best New Restaurant
Winner: +39 Restaurant, Market & Catina ***
Runner-up: Iowa Taproom ***
Runner-up: Guru BBQ ***

Best Happy Hour
Winner: Eatery A
Runner-up: Bar Louie
Runner-up: Django

Best Place for Auto Repairs
Winner: Westside Auto Pros Inc.
Runner-up: Willis Auto Campus
Runner-up: Shade Tree Auto LLC

Best Hospital/Health Care System
Winner: Iowa Methodist Medical Center (UnityPoint Health)
Runner-up: Mercy Medical Center
Runner-up: Methodist West Hospital (UnityPoint Health) ***

Best Florist
Winner: Boesen the Florist
Runner-up: Hy-Vee Inc.
Runner-up: Plaza Florists

Best Recycling/Waste Company
Winner: Metro Waste Authority
Runner-up: Waste Management Inc.
Runner-up: Aspen Waste Systems Inc. ***

Best Jewelry Store
Winner: Josephs Jewelers
Runner-up: Anglo International Inc.
Runner-up: Christopher's Fine Jewelry ***

Best Men's Clothier
Winner: Mr. B
Runner-up: Badowers
Runner-up: Von Maur

Best Women's Clothier
Winner: Von Maur
Runner-up: Dornink ***
Runner-up: Younkers

Best Golf Course
Winner: Wakonda Club
Runner-up: Des Moines Golf and Country Club
Runner-up: Waveland Golf Course

Best Exercise Facility
Winner: YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Runner-up: Lifetime Fitness
Runner-up: Aspen Athletic Club

Best Thing to Happen to Central Iowa in the Past Year
Winner: NCAA Basketball Tournament
Runner-up: Downtown development/housing ***
Runner-up: Food trucks

Best Thing That Will Happen to Central Iowa in the Coming Year
Winner: Downtown Hy-Vee ***
Runner-up: Krause Gateway Center ***
Runner-up: Convention Center Hotel ***

Best Cultural Attraction
Winner: Des Moines Arts Festival
Runner-up: John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Runner-up: Downtown Farmers' Market ***