2021 Special Election

The Historic Valley Junction Foundation is holding a special election to add three members to its board of directors. This election will replace the one conducted in fall 2020 with changes to the process based on feedback from the community.

What is happening now

On February 8, the HVJF board approved five individuals to be on the ballot for this election. Ballots are being distributed to every business and property owner inside our Main Street Iowa district, with one vote per business entity.  We will attempt door-to-door delivery of ballots to businesses in the week of February 8, then the rest of ballots will be mailed.

You can download our Main Street Iowa district map here.

You can return your ballot in person at the HVJF office, by dropping it in our mailbox, or by mail. No matter how you return your ballot, it must be physically received no later than Friday, February 26, 2021 at 5 pm.

The HVJF mailing address is 137 5th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265.

You may send questions about this election to our current board president, Mark Goodrich, at boardelection@valleyjunction.com.

Candidates

Jason Keigley, representing First National Bank

Why do you want to serve on the HVJF board? I want to become more involved and connected with the community that I live and work in.

Why are you qualified to serve on the board? My background is in banking and in retail. My experience allows me to better understand and help others. I am in the district every day, and am proud to work for a company that is investing in the area.

What goal(s) would you set for what HVJF should do next to help the neighborhood succeed? I would set the goal of finding alternative revenue sources for HVJF. I think that we have become overly dependent on just a few events to provide most of the income.

Meredith Wells, representing MoMere

Why do you want to serve on the HVJF board? I believe that there is no better time than now for change. We have an amazing pool of talent in our community, and I would love to help cultivate fresh ideas and seek out opportunities to help support our Foundation, businesses, and residents of HVJ. We have been through a lot last year and people are looking for hope and positivity in 2021. I feel our board needs to reflect just that and provide our community with the aspirations and assistance it needs.

Why are you qualified to serve on the board? I grew up in West Des Moines and remember the rich history of HVJ. Now as a business owner here for the last seven years, there is a strong momentum occurring. Our demographics are growing – not only as customers but business owners as well. I feel that I can resonate with our newer audience and relate to our established base. I hold a degree in Apparel Merchandising, Marketing & Consumer Behavior and have professional experience in retail management, marketing, social media, and event planning. In addition to having many leadership positions, I have also previously served on two nonprofit boards.

What goal(s) would you set for what HVJF should do next to help the neighborhood succeed? Boost involvement and comradery among the businesses and residents – community over competition. Grow social media to help promote businesses and the HVJ “Vibe.” Communicate information and assets from the Foundation, the City of West Des Moines, and Main Street Iowa that can benefit businesses. Increase Foundation financial support. Develop committees to share the workload, increase involvement, and foster development of future leaders.

Mike Kunzler, representing Kunzler Studios

Why do you want to serve on the HVJF board? I will bring my enthusiasm for camaraderie and collaboration to the board and do my best to spread this spirit of community and friendship throughout the Junction. I know that I have much to learn about the dynamics of Historic Valley Junction, but am eager to do so in order to further strengthen our community.

Why are you qualified to serve on the board? I have strong communication skills with a focus on listening and conflict resolution. I’ve owned a business in the Junction for three years and, obviously, have an interest in seeing our community grow and prosper while still maintaining its small, local community feel.

What goal(s) would you set for what HVJF should do next to help the neighborhood succeed? As we come out of the pandemic, I’d like us to focus on our public events such as Junkin’ in the Junction, The Arts Festival, Farmers Market, Galley Night, etc. and explore new ways of approaching each for improved quality. Additionally, I really want to focus on opportunities for businesses to collaborate in ways that strengthen our sense of teamwork/community and reduce the sense of competition. One final goal would be to further develop volunteer efforts for community beautification.

Ryan Cooper, representing Coopers on 5th

Why do you want to serve on the HVJF board? To help build the neighborhood pride and promote the retail district while protecting the privacy of home owners. As well as build an awareness of the history and charm of the area. I believe I can contribute ideas out of the box as well as help maintain the continuity already in place.

Why are you qualified to serve on the board? I have been a business owner in HVJ for just at a decade and I believe my knowledge and dedication to the area are shown in my daily actions. I constantly try to keep my standards in those businesses as high as possible. I truly believe in promoting all businesses in a positive light and showing the strengths of each owner to bring in and improve the experience of visitors coming to HVJ.

What goal(s) would you set for what HVJF should do next to help the neighborhood succeed? Promotion of the neighborhood to draw from around town and bring increase traffic flow to the retail and restaurants. Bring ideas and drive to uphold the standards of the HVJF.

Val Veiock, representing Bing’s

Why do you want to serve on the HVJF board? It is my top priority to help HVJ succeed and grow. We need an active board who has a stake in the community and knows the everyday issues of owning a business in the area.

Why are you qualified to serve on the board? I am qualified to be on the board because I have extensive knowledge of the area and have been a member of the community since I was born. I have a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and am eager to bring fresh ideas and a younger business owner’s perspective to the board.

What goal(s) would you set for what HVJF should do next to help the neighborhood succeed? I would help with fundraising to finish the Light VJ project, I would help with creating and rebranding events, and build committees and actively recruit other business owners to be involved in the district.

What will happen next

Once they are distributed, ballots may be returned in person or by mail to the Historic Valley Junction Office, 137 5th Street, but HVJF must receive a ballot physically by 5 pm on February 26, 2021 for it to count.

If you have questions

If you have questions, email boardelection@valleyjunction.com to reach Mark Goodrich, the HVJF’s current board president.

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