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Forty Under 40: Natasha Sayles

Executive director, Winefest Des Moines


What are your goals in your role at your company?
Each year I strive to bring the wine and culinary industries together to create experiences that add to the vitality of Des Moines. As we continue to grow, we measure our successes on the number of people enjoying our events, our sponsors and patrons. 

What are your goals for community involvement?
With a young family at home, it is important to me that I show my daughter what it means to be community-minded and passionate about things that matter both civically and morally. 

What’s your biggest passion, and why?
My family. My success is built from the support of the loved ones who surround me. My husband is the rock of our family. Our daughter, Sophie, is my inspiration to work harder and make our community a better place. They inspire me to be the person I can be.  

What is it that drives you?
When I was 14, I told my mom I was never moving away from Des Moines. I recognized from an early age what special place Des Moines is. Since then, our community has come so far and I see the future here — it is bright and I want to play a part in it. 

What are your future aspirations?
I would love to create experiences that people talk about for years to come. With Winefest, we strive to provide a world-class level of events that can be measured against other wine festivals nationwide.  

Reasons she’s a Forty:

1.) Natasha serves as the executive director of Winefest Des Moines as its sole full-time employee.
2.) She has led the expansion of the Winefest giving by creating a scholarship fund for sommelier certification and Iowa Culinary Institute students, started complimentary seminars for the hospitality industry, and increased the donation to Bravo annually.
3.) She has helped to create sponsorships and partnerships that bring never-before-seen experiences to the Des Moines community.
4.) She has served on multiple committees including the Celebrate Iowa Gala committee, the Bubble Ball committee, Gatsby Gala and Old Bags, among others. 


See all 2018 honorees

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