Each year, the Business Record honors a member of a previous Forty Under 40 class to recognize that person’s contributions since being named a Forty. The 2019 Forty Under 40 Alumnus of the Year is Kathryn Kunert

Kunert is vice president of economic connections and integration with MidAmerican Energy Co. She joined the company in 1996 as a legislative grassroots coordinator in the government affairs department. 

She serves in leadership positions on numerous local, regional and state economic development boards and commissions, among them the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, the Iowa Innovation Corp., the Future Ready Iowa Alliance and the Cultivation Corridor.   

Kunert, who has chaired the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Economic Development Board for many years, currently serves as the Partnership’s 2019 board chair. As vice chair of the Partnership’s Maximizing Momentum 2022 Investor Campaign recently, Kunert’s efforts were instrumental in generating a record-breaking $34.5 million in commitments for the next five years. 

“Kathryn’s innovative leadership has been crucial in advancing economic development in DSM,” wrote Partnership CEO Jay Byers, one of several past Forty Under 40 honorees who nominated her. “Additionally, Kathryn has been engaged in a wide range of other community organizations, projects and initiatives in the region.” 

Kunert, who is a member of the 2002 Forty Under 40 class, was also named a Woman of Influence by the Business Record in 2015.