cover story

December 16, 2010

Des Moines’ Sexiest People


Our annual selection of the metro’s hottest men and women of 2010


By Shane Goodman, Jared Curtis and Matt Miller


Bonne Finken

With her sexy, sultry voice and take-no-prisoner attitude, Bonne Finken and her band, The Collective, have taken over the local music scene. The 31-year-old has overcome a number of life’s challenges including being a single mother and a female in a male-driven industry. But none of that has deterred her from creating amazing music or being incredibly sexy.

“Bonne writes great songs but isn’t OK with them being OK. She wants to create new sounds and something special out of her music and performances, not just what’s been done before,” said Jon Locker, musician, friend and producer of Finken’s two albums, 2009’s “Soul on Display” and 2011’s “Expectation Fall.” “Not to say she doesn’t have influences, but most of her tunes are pretty unique.”

Finken carries herself with a calm and cool demeanor, but once she hits the stage, the performer comes out. Audiences will be able to see Finken and her band in action, along with a number of other local acts, at the James Biehn Benefit Concert on Jan. 23, 2011, at the People’s Court.

“I’ve seen her in about every musical emotion, and she is never faking anything,” Locker said. “If she’s singing hard and jumping all about, she must be into it at that moment.”

Although her music draws people in, Finken is also one of the sexiest local performers both in her looks and in the emotion in her songs.

“I would consider her as sexy, but in the way that everyone says your sister is hot, and you just want to say, stop it, that’s my sister,” Locker said. “Being attractive in the entertainment industry never hurt anyone, but I think either way you get introduced to Bonne and her music, you get sucked in.”

Consider us sucked.


Andy Fales

Can humor be sexy? If so, Andy Fales is Burt Reynolds. He’s professional, funny, knowledgeable, a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan, and according to his WHO-TV bio, an avid gardener and a dedicated supporter of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

“Working with Andy has been a pleasure. I love the guy,” said Keith Murphy, friend, sports director for WHO-TV and co-host of “SoundOFF,” the Sunday evening sports call-in show Fales and Murphy host. “He challenges my thought process constantly and makes me look at the world differently than I might on my own. I also recognize that he’s a thoughtful, giving person. No kidding. Andy is even more fun off the air. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, sometimes even like a schoolgirl. The big secret is he’s actually a really nice guy.”

Along with covering sports, Fales also creates unique stories that draw more interest than the often drab, nightly news that leads off the Channel 13 news. But he’s mostly known for his “What’s Bugging Andy?” segment and playing the “bad cop” to Murphy’s “good cop” on Sunday night’s “SoundOFF.”

“‘What’s Bugging Andy?’ is by far the most popular segment on ‘SoundOFF,’” Murphy said. “After all these years, I highly value our chemistry, as well as Andy’s importance to the show. When he leaves, I’m done, and I think he feels the same. We’ll go out together, though we both realize, the show will go on.”

Although he brings a wealth of knowledge to the many hats he wears, Fales also kicks up the broadcast’s sex appeal with his charming, life-of-the-party vibe.

“Seriously, if Andy’s sexy, and I haven’t noticed, even though he’s freakishly immune from aging, I think it’s more his sense of humor than his butt chin,” Murphy laughs. “He’s so dang sexy, we have to keep the air conditioner set at 55 degrees for all shows.”


Michelle Holley

When it comes to the art world, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But why is it so few talk about the sexiness of the artist? In Michelle Holley’s case, it’s easy to fawn over the striking redhead. With her piercing eyes and fiery mane, Holley is turning heads in the Des Moines art community for more then her exquisite works.

“Michelle is a multi-faceted artist,” said Jessica Miller, friend and marketing director for The Des Moines Social Club (DMSC). “She can paint a canvas, run a gallery, plan events, design websites and graphics, sew and craft all while having a full-time job as a production specialist at web firm in the East Village.”

Holley was one of the original artistic minds in the early planning stages of the DMSC, which has taken off from its meager beginnings and has become one of the premier spots for art and live entertainment in the metro.

“Michelle has been involved with the DMSC long before I arrived,” Miller said. “But over that time, we’ve become great friends and work very well together. Michelle brings her talent and strong skill sets to the DMSC every day and does an amazing job. And what most people don’t know is that she is a volunteer gallery director because her passion for the arts is that strong.”

Along with all of her hard work, determination and eye-catching paintings, Holley’s red hair puts her in a unique group of sexy females including Christina Hendricks, Amy Adams and Debra Messing.

“Yes, Michelle is sexy; just look at the gorgeous hair and those curves,” Miller said. “Not only that but she is extremely talented, and her style is pretty amazing, too. She is definitely the most recognizable redhead in Des Moines. ”


Mark Hummel

One word describes Mark Hummel: genuine. That’s not a term often used to describe managers of auto dealerships, but Mark Hummel is not your typical car guy.

With a degree from the University of Iowa and a CPA license, Hummel seemed destined to take another career path. But with his family in the car business since 1928 (father, Bill, and grandfather, Henry, served before him), Hummel ultimately knew his calling and serves as the general manager of Hummel’s Nissan.

The third-generation family business has Hummel and his two brothers, Perry and Kevin, actively involved in the day-to-day operations. Under Hummel’s leadership, Hummel’s Nissan has become Iowa’s No. 1 Nissan dealership and has grown to one of the largest in the Midwest.

Brother Perry Hummel, who serves as the sales manager of the dealership, was a bit shocked to learn that his brother was selected as one of Des Moines’ sexiest people. “It must be the hair,” Perry said. “Aunts, uncles and other people often comment on how good his hair looks.”

Amidst the many who seemingly self-promote on local TV commercials, Hummel’s professional message stands out. The silver-haired 60-year-old, who graduated high school from Dowling, is custom-made for the screen with his good looks and confident voice.

“Mark has that deep, Tom Brokaw voice,” says Perry, referring to the long-time NBC newsman.

Married to his wife, Jane, for more than 30 years, Hummel has two daughters and a stepson. The 5’10” Hummel keeps his 180-pound athletic frame in shape by walking his dog, Gabby, and playing as much golf as time allows.

Perry, who earned All-American honors three times as a wrestler at Iowa State, says Mark wasn’t so easy on him or his brother as a youth. “When we were kids, he would hit us over the head with his high school ring,” Perry said. “But once I got into high school, he quit it,” proving that being smart can be sexy, too.


Ashley Tousley

One look at Ashley Tousley, and it’s easy to see that this blonde bombshell oozes sexiness. Tousley simply has it going on. Born in Peoria, Ill., and now living in Des Moines, this 27-year-old has the world in her hands.

“Anyone would pull a double-take at Ashley; just ask the neighbors at my apartment pool,” said Danna Kelly, who met Ashley about a year ago and works out with her on a regular basis. “Ashley is the type of person every girl admires. She has beauty that shines inside and out.”

A West Des Moines Valley High School graduate, Tousley earned a degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Iowa. She then attended law school at Drake University where she graduated with honors and was admitted to practice in September 2009.

Known by her friends as an individual with “fireball energy,” Tousley, an avid marathon runner, shows her appreciation to live and love life through helping others. Her down-to-earth personality makes her a winner with sex appeal.

“While looks will take this young lady far in life, Tousley’s true ‘sexy’ is unleashed upon meeting her and learning her story,” Kelly says. “But just be aware, it may take a few miles to hear it all.’”


Bob Eisenlauer

We can’t help but like Bob Eisenlauer. At 31 years of age, this is the kind of guy you want your sister to date. Young, good looking, sexy and with more drive than a herd of cattle, Bob has it all. His slender frame, clean-cut looks and aw-shucks attitude make him a favorite in Pleasant Hill. The 1997 Saydel High School graduate works in his family’s real estate business, The Eisenlauer Team Remax Real Estate Group, helping to buy and sell homes across the metro. His smiling face can be seen on the Eisenlauer moving vans that he and his father, Bill, offer to customers who buy from them.

Bob worked in sales for Pitney Bowes before determining his fit as a realtor, which he has been doing now for six years. When his mother, Myrna, learned of his selection as one of Des Moines’ sexiest people, she said, “As long as he keeps his office clean, he can be whatever he wants.”

The 5’9”, 160-pound graduate of the University of Iowa loves all kinds of sports (Mom proudly says he is a fourth-generation Yankees fan) and has been especially supportive of his two younger brothers’ activities.

Bob has been dating his girlfriend, Terra Baccam, for a little more than a year. She says, “The best thing about Bob is that he’s very outgoing, very funny and quite the jokester.” And what does she find the sexiest about him? His smile. “He has a real personable smile that can warm up a room.”

Baccam says she didn’t see herself ever dating such a special person as Eisenlauer.

“I never thought I would date a real estate guy, but I’m certainly lucky to find him.”

We agree.


Tiffany Menke

We think moms can be sexy, and Tiffany Menke proves it. This 5’5” red-hot mother of three has been making Urbandale more beautiful since she started serving as the executive director of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce in 2004. And if that’s not enough, she pulls off the jewelry gig, too, selling Silpada in her spare time. But this Newton native doesn’t need all the bling, as her natural sex appeal shines through with her confidence, directness and ability to lead. Throw in that she was an Iowa Barnstormers cheerleader during the 1996-97 season, and you have the total package. This 35-year-old can shake her pom-poms alongside the best.

“Tiffany laughs easily, loves to have fun, has a great sense of humor, and is the greatest friend and a wise counsel,” says past Urbandale Chamber President, Craig Light. “She definitely has that bubbly side, but she is a true friend in crunch time.”

This stunning starlet can often be found on the lake. Or in the fall, look for her to cheer on the mighty Cyclones while tailgating with friends. Just don’t expect this 1997 Grand View University graduate to show up early, as her friends will tell you there is normal time and “Tiffany Time.” But through it all, Tiffany has earned the respect of many, which explains her receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Award and the Jaycees Outstanding Young Iowan Award. And now she can add Des Moines’ sexiest to that list.


Matt McCoy

There are plenty of reasons to find politicians unattractive, but that’s not true when it comes to Sen. Matt McCoy. This 44-year-old politician and father of one has the state’s best interests in mind, and we find that sexy. Since McCoy took office in 1993, he has displayed the looks and smarts to keep Iowa moving forward — something that Iowans appreciate.

“Matt has an engaging personality coupled with natural charm,” said Jim Ferguson, who is a business partner with McCoy at Resource Development Consultants. “His command of the big picture makes things happen. His work documents that he is a champion of equal human rights, the homeless, the elderly, affordable health care and animal rights.”

Being a politician isn’t easy, but McCoy knows the right formula, as he was recently elected to his fifth term in the Iowa Senate. This 1984 Des Moines Dowling graduate and Briar Cliff College alum currently represents District 31, which is comprised of south and southwest Des Moines. He is also Iowa’s only openly gay state senator.

“Matt has worked tirelessly to stimulate Iowa’s economy through funding job creation and green energy initiatives,” Ferguson said. “He has supported business growth and the attraction of businesses to Iowa through supporting the creation of a well-educated work force.”


Colleen Kelly

Colleen Kelly definitely has that innocent, sexy-girl-next-door-thing going on, but the Lockport, Ill., native has been a household name as the co-host of the Big Ken and Colleen in the Morning radio show on Star 102.5 since 2000 as the sexiest person on local radio. (Our apologies to Steve Deace.)

“Is there anything better than working with this lady?” co-host Ken Auge said. “We’re great friends, and we’ve been doing our show for more than 10 years. We have a lot of fun.”

As a child in the 1980s, Colleen won the Ms. Illinois Sweetheart Pageant Prettiest Smile contest.

“We all saw this coming, that she would some day be named one of Des Moines’ sexiest,” says Ken. “She’s a pretty girl and has a good personality.”

Good personality or not, this 34-year-old’s sensuous voice leaves listeners fantasizing over what she might look like, but to see her beautiful smile and flowing blonde hair in person proves that she is truly deserving of the title of one of Des Moines’ sexiest.

Don’t get too mesmerized by the allure of this 5’9” one-time newswoman though, as she is a newlywed, marrying Justin Powell on Sept. 18. Most brides look strikingly beautiful on their wedding day, but check out Colleen’s Facebook site for some classy pics that truly define her sexiness. Colleen’s kindness shows in her love of pets, as she takes time to stroke her kitties, Fatty and Sassy, each night. Her ability to balance passions of ice cream and fitness is another great example of this fun-loving gal’s strength, commitment and overall sex appeal.

Big Ken says, “I’m darn lucky to work next to someone sexy each day.”

Yes, Ken, you are.


TJ Tollakson

You can’t have a sexy list without an athlete making an appearance, and that honor goes to TJ Tollakson. When the majority of people is sitting on their collective asses, Tollakson is pushing his body to the limit. Standing 5’10” and weighing 160 lbs., the graduate from the University of Iowa knows how to make these ladies swoon, and the guys want to be him.

“Obviously natural ability is the key to TJ’s success as an athlete, but this only takes him so far,” said Tom Hamilton, who has known TJ for six years. “He has a high sports intelligence along with a lot of determination and dedication.”

Athletics have always been a part of Tollakson’s life, having earned varsity letters in cross-country, swimming, soccer and wrestling while in high school. It’s clear there is no “stop” in this man — whose sense of adventure has propelled him to the ranks of a professional triathlete. The 30-year-old industrial engineer also owns his own business and is set to marry the love of his life, Ashley Tousley, another sexy individual who appears on our list.

“I’m sure he will put as much, if not more, into his marriage than his other successes,” Hamilton said. “He always seems to have a game plan.”


Margie Hawks

Dahl’s grocery stores have been offering consumers quality products for affordable prices since 1931. But there is another reason people go to Dahl’s, and that’s the sexy spokesperson the company uses in its commercials and promotional events. You might know her as “The Dahl’s Lady,” but to her friends and family she is Margie Hawks.

“More than six years ago, Dahl’s was looking for a spokesperson, and fortunately I got the job,” Hawks said. “I enjoy it so much, and I like the fact that I do more than just make commercials; I’m at Dahl’s sponsored events, representing the company to the fullest. Talking to the customers is one of my favorite parts of the job.”

Adding to her stunning looks and charm, Hawks is also a great cook. Her husband of 23 years, Jim, finds all this sexy.

“Margie is a beautiful person, and when I first met her I realized she was a special person because she makes everyone around her better,” he said. “She is a very beautiful woman and a joy to be with.”

With her down-home charm and ageless beauty, Hawks receives quite a few compliments while at work or out on the town.

“At my age it’s extremely flattering, and I appreciate all the attention I receive. Plus, it shows that the advertising is working well,” she said. “If they remember me and Dahl’s in the same breath, it’s a win-win situation.”

Her husband agrees.

“It’s very flattering that people like her and identify with her,” Jim said. “She loves Dahl’s and their products, and she enjoys what she’s doing.”

Although she might be a prominent local figure who stays busy within the community, Jim is quite happy to have her come home to him every night.

“She gets more beautiful every year,” he said. “And I don’t regret one day we’ve spent together since we met.”


Tony Valdez

Anyone who knows Tony Valdez knows he is talented in many ways. He’s a gifted musician, an exceptional cook, a respected family man, and, don’t forget, sexy. Growing up in West Des Moines, Valdez has been on the music scene since the 1960s and today plays in a duo, along with The Retro Rockets, and the Tony Valdez Large Band. Fans of Valdez’s music can find the vocalist/guitarist entertaining at large and small venues across central Iowa.

“He’s been blessed with the gift of music,” said Eileen Valdez, who has been married to Tony for 19 years. “The best thing about him is that he’s not arrogant — that’s what I find the most attractive about him.”

Aside from his music, Valdez, 59, and father of two, also has a number of hobbies including art, framing and working around the house.

“Tony is a handy man,” Eileen said. “He’s always willing to help out — he’s a true gentleman.”

Eileen also says that Valdez is an excellent cook, preparing great-tasting Italian food like Chicken Saltimbocca. He also cooks great steaks and salmon.

“He loves to cook for the family,” Eileen said. “I also find that attractive.”

It seems like there isn’t anything this man can’t do, and we like that. CV


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