EP Award Promo

It’s time to find the city’s new leaders; consider yourself invited to take part


For nearly three decades, I have been fortunate to have many mentors who believed in me more than I did. One in particular was Ray Murphy, founding father of Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc. Murphy was a Des Moines titan, Hawkeye Iron Man and civic leader responsible for numerous positive developments in Des Moines, including development of the skywalk system and the Civic Center.

I had no insurance education or experience at the time, but Murphy took a chance in hiring me as an intern. One of my first tasks was to keep his shoes shined, a task I was well suited for. Eventually, I progressed to jobs with a little more responsibility. The importance of this was to observe and absorb Murphy’s skills and style. He made bold moves that took vision and grit, resulting in human and financial commitments to our community. It is that type of dogged determination and leadership, exhibited by Murphy and many of his generation, that assured Des Moines its prosperity in the years that followed.

That was then and this is now.

The time is now for today’s leaders to work with young people in Des Moines and encourage them to step up to new responsibilities. A new generation must lead and support the economic development and human services so important in our community.

I am privileged today, like Murphy in the ’70s, to chair the 2005 annual campaign for the United Way of Central Iowa. We have started a bold new initiative called Emerging Leaders in the hope of enabling more young leaders to participate. Young people of Des Moines will be asked to assume their rightful position of leadership for the next generation. The challenge is for you to take the next step to enrich our city and make it a better place in which to live, work and play. The opportunity is for you to work with others to plan, strategize and create action that will make a lasting impact.

As much as I admire our community’s past and present leaders, I believe there is room for many more men and women to emerge and earn their rightful place in the Des Moines network of leadership. As more leaders emerge, more dreams will be realized. We will build on the legacies of those leaders who preceded us and created the opportunities we now enjoy. Through our leadership, Des Moines will be an even better place for future generations.

Now is the time for today’s leaders to support and mentor the next generation. It is your turn. Our Emerging Leaders initiative will enable more leaders to do what leaders do — set an example by applying your time, expertise, reputation, influences, and financial resources to a vision for our community. If you need to be invited to participate, consider yourself invited. Come join us to help plan, strategize and create action that will have a lasting impact on our community.

Give us a call or send an e-mail to eli@unitedwaydm.org. Or visit www.unitedwaydm.org/eli/html. We will be meeting the first week of April.

The time is now; the community is Greater Des Moines.

Doug Reichardt is chairman and CEO of Holmes Murphy & Associates, Inc.

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