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Partnership President & CEO Jay Byers Announces Departure for New Opportunity


GREATER DES MOINES, IA (May 15, 2023) – The Greater Des Moines Partnership announced today that Jay Byers, President and CEO, will be leaving the organization to pursue a new opportunity as the President of Simpson College. Byers has been with The Partnership for over 18 years, and during his tenure has made numerous significant contributions to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region.
“Jay’s visionary leadership has had an enormous impact on Greater Des Moines, and we have been extraordinarily fortunate to have him at the helm of The Partnership for over 11 years,” said Mike McCoy, Partnership Board Chair and CEO of NCMIC. “He has helped transform our community, helping put DSM on the map, while also fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. His leadership has built a team that consistently meets goals and builds upon past successes, leaving a lasting legacy that will benefit our community for years to come.”
Under the leadership of Byers, The Partnership experienced significant growth, expanding to represent 11 counties, serving approximately 850,000 residents, including 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce with 6,500 Members, and over 400 Investors. Through Byers’ vision, The Partnership has become the fourth largest regional chamber of commerce in the country. During his tenure, DSM has become the fastest-growing major metro in the Midwest in terms of population, GDP and job growth, and received countless rankings and accolades.
Byers played a critical role in the Capital Crossroads regional vision plan, from its inception with CXR 1.0 to the ongoing CXR 3.0 plan. Through these efforts, Byers worked alongside community leaders and stakeholders to identify opportunities for the region to differentiate itself, particularly through major placemaking projects. Some of these projects include the Lauridsen Skatepark, ICON Water Trails, the Des Moines International Airport new terminal project, the Pro Iowa Soccer Stadium and Global Plaza, and much more.
Prior to the President & CEO position, Byers served as The Partnership’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy. Before joining The Partnership, he worked as District Director for Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell and as an attorney at the Ice Miller Law Firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. Byers is a graduate of Simpson College and the University of Iowa College of Law.
“It has been a true honor and privilege to work at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and serve the Greater Des Moines region for the past 18 years. I could not be more proud of our organization’s and region’s record of economic and community development achievement during this time,” said Byers. “I am excited about the future of Greater Des Moines and look forward to continuing to work closely with The Partnership and other private, public and non-profit leaders in our region in my new role as President of my alma mater, Simpson College.”
The Partnership’s Executive Committee is meeting this week to review the organization’s existing succession plan which was developed with the guidance of the outgoing President & CEO as well as Partnership Board and Executive Committee leadership. The Committee will use this plan to initiate the process of selecting a new President & CEO who will build on The Partnership’s achievements.
“We are highly confident in the exceptional team we have in place and are looking forward to building on their existing momentum for the benefit of the region,” said McCoy. “With their dedication and expertise, we are poised for continued success.”

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