CARPE DM: Website Helps Newcomers Seize Des Moines

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People are sharing their love of Des Moines, from magazine lists to major network news shows.

NBC’s Today Show named Des Moines the wealthiest city last month. Forbes, Kiplinger and The Business Journals have also tapped the capital city with honors for being a great place to live and raise a family. But, the best recruiting tool may be the people who live here.

Des Moines isn't where Zachary Lukasiewicz thought he'd spend his snowy winters. He says, "I was actually planning to go to Regis University in Colorado."

But, a road trip from his hometown of Omaha to Cedar Rapids made him change his mind. He says, "We saw the Drake University exit and took it."

After graduating, the young professional got a job in the metro and can't imagine living anywhere else. He says, "It's definitely a bigger city, but it doesn't have a big city feel."

Now, he's sharing his love for Iowa's capital city with the world. He contributes to the Greater Des Moines Partnership's new web portal called Carpe DM or

Mary Bontrager with the Greater Des Moines Partnership says, "What makes our site unique from any other site across the country is it is community owned. So we built the basic content, but now residents of Central Iowa can add content."

The partnership recently launched the site. The group is looking for people living here to share their stories about Des Moines, especially as spring approaches. Bontrager says, "We're already previewing the site on college campuses, and it's been extremely well received." She continues, "It's absolutely an important recruiting tool."

Carpe DM isn't just for people moving to Des Moines. The Greater Des Moines Partnership also wants to help people already living here. Bontrager says, "It's a way to rediscover Des Moines, to learn about opportunities you can learn and grow professionally, maybe you want to pick up a new hobby."

Lukasiewicz is focusing on how to help newcomers belong. His best piece of advice is to volunteer. He says, "One is a way to see backstage of any event in Des Moines. The other is to meet really cool people living here."

Getting involved has made Des Moines home to him. He says, "It's a great city, and I plan to be here forever."

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