Palmer Group announced that David Leto has been promoted to president of the Des Moines-based employment firm, effective Oct. 1. Leto will succeed Austin Palmer, who will remain with the company as chairman of the board. 

“I am extremely pleased to move forward with this next step in our leadership succession plan,” Palmer said in a release. “Dave has been a strong contributor throughout his 13-year tenure at Palmer Group and has proven himself as an excellent leader these past seven years in the executive vice president role.” 

Founded in 1998, Palmer Group now employs 67 professionals at its West Des Moines office providing a broad range of employment services. The firm became 100 percent employee-owned last year under an employee stock ownership program. 

Leto has more than 18 years in the employment business; he began his career in Chicago working in the health care staffing and placement business. A Des Moines native, Leto has a degree in communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa. 

“I am grateful for this new opportunity and to have Austin Palmer’s continued guidance as board chairman,” Leto said. “We have built a strong leadership team over the years, and I will continue to rely on this talented and experienced group as we move forward. Additionally, we have a tenured team of professionals across the organization that will help make this transition smooth. I am proud of our team and look forward to all that is to come for our organization.”

Leto’s community involvement includes serving as the 2017 One Walk corporate chair for JDRF, cabinet positions for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, vice president of the Des Moines Reciprocity Club and a board member of the West Des Moines Leadership Advisory Board. He volunteers in a variety of leadership capacities at Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School in Beaverdale.