West Des Moines Business Incubator client, KCL Engineering in the Des Moines Register for their project – lighting of the Financial Center in downtown Des Moines, Iowa!
“It’s a nice complement to what downtown Des Moines has become over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Kris Kunze, one of the principal partners at KCL Engineering of West Des Moines, which did the lighting. “The client wanted to freshen up the look of the building and draw attention to it.”
KCL Engineering, tucked into new offices in Valley Junction, is a fast-growing company that is working with lights in fascinating ways. While the Financial Center is probably the firm’s most highly visible metro project, one of their most exciting lighting plans may have the potential to improve student performance.
Jo Eckert was awarded the Women of Innovation Government Agency/Non-Profit Innovation and Leadership Award in November 2014 from the Technology Association of Iowa.
Assistant Executive Director of the West Des Moines Business Incubator 2012 – present, West Des Moines Economic Development Department 2003 – present; Iowa STEAM Innovation Zone – founding board member – September 2014 – present; Data Transmission Network – 2000-2003; Des Moines Area Community College – 1988-1999.
Eckert is a 2012 graduate of the West Des Moines Leadership Academy and a 2008 graduate of the Warren County Leadership Institute. Bachelor of Public Administration from Upper Iowa University, and Drake University’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Boot Camp.
Innovation Iowa acknowledged West Des Moines Business Incubator tenant, Ini Augustine, as being a Rising Star at the 2014 Iowa Women of Innovation Awards Presentation.
Ini Augustine started her career with Dun & Bradstreet at the age of 15, and became the youngest Financial Data Consultant in the history of the company. Despite her success as a financial consultant, she knew that entrepreneurship and paving her own way was an important next step for her. Ini started her own company, SocialWise Media Group and is currently the CEO of the growing company that has received media recognition from sources such as Fortune and ABC News. SocialWise Media Group specializes in telling a company’s story using interactive, targeted campaigns. They use platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to help businesses generate more sales, and stronger customer relationships. SocialWise Media Group has secured contracts both locally and nationally. Ini is a graduate of Des Moines Area Community College. She is also a graduate of both the Women’s Startup Bootcamp at Drake, and Venture School at the Papajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. In 2006, Ini was named Businesswoman of the Year for her work on the Business Advisory Council to Congress. In Addition, she received a Congressional Medal of Distinction for her contributions to that same Council. She is Aspiring Businesswoman of the Year for 2013 NAWBO, The National Association of Women Business Owners. Ini serves on the board of the Friend of Iowa CASA program, a non-profit that supports foster families in Iowa. She also brought social media to TAI’s Women of Innovation event in 2013 and served on the planning committee for the event. Ini played a pivotal role in the launch of Iowa’s successful roll out of the Affordable Care Act, and the Iowa Black Business Summit. She is founding member of the Technologistas, a group of women in IT in Central Iowa, and is editor of The Social Wizard Blog. She has authored “The Non-Profit Guide to Social Media”, “Security in the Digital Age”, and “The 911 Foreclosure Kit”. Ini brings an energy and passion that is infectious to everyone around her. She has a passion for helping others and sets an example of what is possible for aspiring female business owners in Iowa and beyond.