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Nov 10, 2011
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Who are Des Moines’ sexiest people?

As Des Moines’ alternative newsweekly, we prove every week that Des Moines is full of sexy people, despite the national media’s portrayal of us as corn-fed, bib-overall-wearing yokels. So for the third year in a row, we’ve published a select group of hotties and hunks in our Des Moines Sexiest People edition. And, yes, these sexual gods and goddesses probably have good personalities, too. But who’s kidding who? This is all about pure, unadulterated sex appeal.

For the past two years, we made the sexy selections based solely on our own perverted opinions, and we chose a mix of bombshells, brawn and brainiacs with past winners like WHO TV’s strikingly beautiful Elizabeth Klinge, the ageless wonder Mike Pace and the oh-so-toned Ashley Tousley. But this year we decided to open up the process and include nominations from readers. We received more than 125 entries and then asked readers to rate each nominee from one to 10. The ratings were shocking. More than 1,100 votes were cast in just 10 days, and not one nominee scored higher than a 7. And although nominations for a suburban headhunter, a daily newspaper columnist and a school superintendent left us scratching our heads, we couldn’t agree more with the final selections. In the following pages, we publish knockout photos and bios of these 14 sexy devils.

To make this whole process even sexier, we are throwing a party at Cabaret West Glen to honor the top 16. Those who join us can cast their votes for who they think should receive the top prize of Des Moines’ Sexiest Person. You have to show up at the party to receive a ballot, so mark Nov. 17 from 6-9 p.m. on your calendar now, and join us for the sexiest event of the year.

So with all that in mind, let’s get this sexy thing started.

Derek Pagel

Not many Iowans have played in the National Football League, so making that list is sexy enough. But Derek Pagel’s 6’1”, 210-pound frame and all-American smile put him on the sexy list without any of his football credentials. The Plainfield native played for the Iowa Hawkeyes before being picked in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL draft by the New York Jets. He was also on the roster of the Dallas Cowboys. Pagel, 32, is currently employed as a medical sales representative. He was a health and sport studies major and an honor roll student. But before you ladies get too attracted, you should know that he does have a steady girlfriend. She says, “Derek truly is the original small-town kid who always wanted to play football.” We hear he is just as competitive on the golf course, too, proving that this stud can swing with the best of them.

Malinda Schroeder

With that girl-next-door look, Malinda Schroeder turns heads without even trying. And, as a result, there are a number of people with sore necks. The Glidden native proves once again that dynamite does come in small packages. With her flowing blonde hair, tan skin and sparkling smile, this Iowa Realty agent must sell a lot of homes. And even if she doesn’t, who cares? Her nominator says, “Malinda is always a joy to be around. And as attractive as she is, she is smart and very competent, too.” Another who knows her says, “She is fit, young and very visible.” Schroeder has served on the Waukee Chamber of Commerce board of directors and has been an ambassador for the group for several years. We like all that, and we appreciate her natural beauty as well.

Chewi Lockhart

At 6’9”, Chewi Lockhart is a big, sexy dude. Statistics show that he is taller that 95 percent of the world’s population, and the nickname Chewi is no coincidence (think “Star Wars,” slow poke). Aside from the physical presence, Lockhart defines sexiness by being a formidable player in the entertainment industry as the general manager of the historic Val Air Ballroom. And, appropriately so, Lockhart has even modeled for Hensley’s Big and Tall. At his size, it can’t be easy finding clothes to fit. Lockhart wears the comfortable look well in his casual attire — bandana and all. Once you meet this sexual giant, you won’t forget him. Laugh it up, fuzzball.

Phil Shires

Women find men who can cook very sexy, which we’re guessing is why plenty of ladies love Chef Phil Shires. Shires quickly gained notoriety at La Mie, but moved into the kitchen at Café di Scala and has exceeded expectations. The guy had more nominations than anyone in the poll. Maybe it’s because he turns out delicious and inventive dishes nightly at Café di Scala, leaving his patrons hungering for more.

“Phil has ‘soul and he’s super bad’ to borrow from the late reverend James Brown,” said Anthony Lemmo, owner of Café Di Scala. “He’s got a gentle-Buddhist touch with a gigantic heart that he wears on his sleeve.”

Shires mixes his passion for food with his passion for music (he started The Beatles Brunch which takes place one Sunday a month), creating a sensory overload for any female crossing his path.

“Phil isn’t shy to profess his love for the Beatles,” Lemmo laughs. “I’m lucky to call Phil my bro, chef, mentor and great friend, all while he mixes up his culinary magic in the Scala kitchen to a Bowie or Rolling Stone song at full volume.”

Chuck Grigsby

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Chuck “The Reverend” Grigsby can save the soul and the body, as long as you’re not facing him in the cage. Standing at 6’6” tall and weighing a lean 205 pounds, Grigsby is a chiseled fighting machine. Shiny, shirtless and tattooed, Grigsby wows fans with his physique and overall coolness. But this man’s commitment to his family is even greater than his love for MMA, as he proved recently by walking away from the sport for a while to spend more time at home. MMA fans are glad he’s back in the cage.

“He is one tough SOB,” a follower of the sport told us. “And the women love how he looks. The guy has a stomach you could grate cheese on.”

The Missouri native has been fighting professionally since 2005 and has built an impressive record. With the vast majority of his wins scored as technical knockouts or submissions, Grigsby has proven that he can finish hard. What else would you expect from one of Des Moines’ sexiest people?

Travis Ferguson

In Iowa, we know this hunk of hard hits as Travis Ferguson, former defensive end for the Iowa State University Cyclones football team. But the rest of the world calls our 2004 Most Valuable Player “Travis Lee,” and they see a softer, more seductive side of the football player who once made mincemeat out of the Texas A&M offense.

Originally from Waterloo and an East High School graduate, Ferguson continues to live in Des Moines, though he travels the world on modeling assignments. His purring pecs have broken out of the football pads that had them hidden and are now plastered in magazines and advertisements around the globe. Six-and-a-half feet of chocolate, cut muscle, his body is a billboard itself marked in inked graffiti touting his faith in Jesus Christ and love for life, proving this tough guy has a soft and sexy side.

Katie DeLaughter

You have to be exceptionally hot to successfully seduce a tight-bodied manager at your fitness center, but looking at Katie DeLaughter, it’s no wonder why her boyfriend switched job locations in order to be able to date what would otherwise have been one of his clients.

“I waited until I was out of there so I wouldn’t get in trouble at work,” Craig Neiderheiser said. “She asked me to get a drink, and we did. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but we hit it off and really liked each other.”

Almost two years later, he nominated his gorgeous girlfriend for Des Moines’ sexiest. “Katie is simply gorgeous. She is the most dedicated person I know when it comes to taking care of her health.” That’s a bold statement coming from a man in his line of work.

But this blonde bombshell (last year’s Miss Iowa pageant finalist) has the brains to go with the beauty. At age 25, she’s on her way to a medical career.

Kristen Putney

Some chicks have it all, but in Kristen Putney’s case, she’s got even more. Behind the pretty face, tight dress and smokin’ body is a woman who can shred a mean bass guitar. She’s cultured, open-minded, hilarious and “a ball of energy that cannot be stopped,” according to her friend Amber Dalton.

“I call her my ray of sunshine because no matter what, if one of her friends is having a bad day, that woman will make it her mission to brighten it up,” Dalton said. “Above all, Kristen knows exactly who she is and will never let anyone make her doubt herself.”

And why should she? She’s a working mom who plays bass guitar in Des Moines band, Diamond For Eyes, which her husband Josh leads with guitar and vocals. Two lovers on stage commands sex appeal, and the band wouldn’t be the same without her hair-whipping bass lines — not to mention that she brings a striking presence to the stage.

“She is fiercely determined and knows how to achieve what she wants and needs out of life,” Dalton added.

Brooke Bouma

Television is littered with raunchy sex appeal that can make a flaccid man tingle, but not since former First Lady Jackie Onassis has a woman possessed all the sexiness without conjuring the naughty thoughts (with perhaps a few exceptions). That is the powerful prowess of WHO news anchor Brooke Bouma.

This is one news anchor who can report the worst traumatic events without making a viewer cringe, and it’s not because of her bright smile. When the news is sad, her face is drawn; when the news is horrific, she appears disturbed by it. Bouma is one of the few TV reporters who still has that genuine spark in her eye.

Nothing makes bad news worse than watching it reported by an anchor person who follows up with a quip about the weather or who starts flirting with the co-anchor.

“Anybody who knows her would agree, she may be the most genuine and nicest person I know,” said her co-anchor Patrick Dix. “If you were to measure someone’s attractiveness solely by their personality — well, she’s got it. She’s just great.”

Raised on a farm, Bouma is all Iowa, all heart… and all legs! Yeow!

Ben Easter

Women love him; men wish they were him; and Cityview readers voted him Des Moines’ “Best Yoga Instructor” earlier this year. Though yoga is his passion, with a face and body like that, Ben Easter, 32, naturally graces our pages again as one of the metro’s sexiest people.

“I’m not gay or anything, but he’s a good looking guy,” one of his yoga students said (with a nervous chuckle). “He’s one of those guys you hate to have in the room with you, because he garners all the attention.”

Then again, he’s great to have around because he lifts people’s spirits, according to Michelle Lange, who was his peer at the Walnut Creek YMCA yoga class, and now she’s his student.

“Ben has an amazing karma; he’s very magnetic and comfortable to be around; he’s genuine and caring,” Lange said.

In 1998, Easter was named one of “America’s Most Wanted Men” by Cosmopolitan magazine, and his acting career continues to land him several TV and movie roles.

Anna Killakova

The Mid Iowa Rollers’ (MIR) toughest player, Anna Killakova, offers the best of both worlds — dominating opponents with brute strength while stunning them with her beauty.

“Anna is through and through an original MIR and has been a part of the team since the beginning,” said teammate Devil Anne Hatfield. “Off the track she is an elegant, intelligent, professional woman and one of the most loyal friends I have ever had.”

With her on-the-track, Amazon-warrior persona, Killakova brings model good looks to the down and dirty sport of roller derby. She’s also one of the nicest people you’ve ever met, unless you have to strap on the skates and face her on the track.

“Opponents fear her. I remember when I first started skating, I would fall when I saw her coming just so I wouldn’t get my ass beat by her,” laughed Hare. With that in mind, many a Cityview reader would line up for that treatment

You know what else makes her sexy? Raising three kids while working and kicking butt on the flattrack.

“Anna is not only a beautiful woman, but also a loyal friend and hard working mother of three gorgeous daughters,” said teammate Pleasant Hill Punisher. “She has a certain grace and style about her, and when she enters a room, heads turn. From her long blonde hair and those long legs, she’s the total package.”

Photo by Shelby Duehring

Chris Hassel

WHO-TV apparently has plenty of eye candy, as Chris Hassel is the fourth member of the station to make our list of Des Moines Sexiest people. Hassel brings charm and humor to every story he covers from playing against the Harlem Globetrotters to making fun of the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team.

“Chris is basically ‘live’ all the time,” said fellow sports reporter Andy Fales. “He’s doing voices, singing, yelling at inanimate objects and making offensive bodily noises — although those are typically real.”

Hassel says he began shaving his moustache in third grade but still can’t grow a full beard. That’s OK with his fans, as they want to see his chiseled good looks.

“Chris is absolutely hilarious, and funny is sexy. That is, unless the ‘funny’ is the guy launching the bottle rocket out of his anus,” Fales said. “He also has oddly hairy feet, and I suppose at least a few Cityview readers are into that sort of thing.”


Tabby Clawson

One of the most important things about running a bar is having a great staff to back you up. And if that staff is really hot, it’s a bonus. You get both with Tabitha Clawson, who slings some of the best drinks in town at The Rusty Nail, 2301 S.W. Ninth St.

“Tabby is a great bartender, and she makes a tasty drink,” said Ryan Brodie, co-owner of The Rusty Nail, who also worked with Clawson at 3 Bag. “She was one of the first people I contacted when I was opening my new bar.” Wise move on Brodie’s part.

Not only is she stunning to look at, but Clawson is a nice, friendly person who is always ready to laugh and help her friends out of a jam when needed. But with a body like hers, maintaining eye contact is a challenge.

“She’s just a really cool girl. Plus, she is a big sports fan and loves interacting with the crowd during games,” Brodie said. “Obviously, she is very attractive, but what makes her really sexy is how friendly and outgoing she is.”

Yeah, right.

Bradie O’Neal

Friendly, foxy and full of tattoos (a lot of them), Bradie O’Neal is the epitome of sexy. Sure, some people might turn their nose up at all the ink, but O’Neal prides herself on showing the true meaning of “don’t judge a book by its cover” as she was pursuing a degree in biology before she started tattooing.

“I think that Bradie is sexy because she has the best of both worlds — brains and beauty. It’s almost unreal how talented she is,” said DJ Richie Daggers, friend and local musician. “Throw in the fact that she is never in a bad mood and is always outgoing and fun, and she’s a perfect 10.”

Although she has only been tattooing for four years, O’Neal continually hones her craft, working hard to be the best artist she can be. If you ask around, you’ll find a number of happy customers sporting her pristine work.

“Bradie’s passion for tattooing is very intense, as she takes it very seriously. As a friend and loyal customer, I would recommend her work to anyone,” Daggers said. “I think she is original not only as an artist, but as an individual. She always puts lots of personality into everything she does, and she is so diverse. Nothing is out of reach for her.” CV

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