Megan VerHelst Byrd

Ankeny, IA

Megan VerHelst Byrd

Graduate of University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Current staff writer at the Des Moines Business Record. Former local editor at Lifelong writer and storyteller.



Lift IOWA - Feb. 16, 2015

Do you have advice or tips to offer aspiring female leaders? Do you simply have an opinion applicable to women's leadership? If so, Lift IOWA is seeking Iowa females to contribute guest opinion pieces to our weekly e-newsletter. Since our goal is to elevate and highlight female leadership and business ownership across the state, our guest contributors have the freedom to write about things they know, things they're passionate about, so long as it relates to women and their paths to leadership or business ownership.

Lift IOWA - Feb. 23, 2015

I'm a dreamer, a gal with a million ideas. I'm an over-calculating, over-thinking, over-analyzing prisoner of my own mind. The perfect concoction of crazy. Feeling misunderstood in the cubical farm that was my daily life, it was New Year's Day 2014 that I decided to take my destiny into my own hands.

Eat up

The downtown Des Moines housing market is poised for growth. Will restaurants follow? In the coming years, if an individual wants to live downtown, there will be plenty of places to call home. There are 1,500 housing units currently in the works for downtown Des Moines, a more than 25 percent increase to the area’s 5,300 existing units, according to Glenn Lyons, president and CEO of the Downtown Community Alliance.
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Moving from diversity to inclusion

The Partnership’s Nathan Ritz helps business embrace a diverse workforce. EDUCATION: Associate’s degree in organizational development, bachelor’s degree in business management and leadership from William Penn University. WORK HISTORY: Team lead and trainer, Principal Financial Group Inc. (2001-02); learning and development specialist, ING USA (2002-07); senior learning and development consultant, Aviva North America (2007-11); business training consultant, Wells Fargo (2012).
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Cultivating Culture

The economic value of creating a hub for culture in Des Moines. Saturday is a big day for Zachary Mannheimer and the staff and volunteers at the Des Moines Social Club. They have spent seven years working toward it. May 10 is the official grand opening for the Des Moines Social Club Firehouse. The historic 30,000-square-foot space is the culmination of a $3.5 million campaign to convert the abandoned fire station into an arts, culture and social center that gives the Social Club room to stretch its legs.
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Upholding a tradition of giving

Greater Des Moines capital campaigns are collectively seeking $168 million. The abundance of fundraising drives offers many ways to invest. Sitting in his office at Youth Emergency Services & Shelter in Des Moines, Executive Director Stephen Quirk reflected on how Des Moines recently earned the distinction of being America’s wealthiest city, because, according to NBC’s “Today” show, regular folks can live a rich life.
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What can your digital data tell you?

Five analytics every company should track and how they can help you better market your business. As a business owner, you understand the importance of having an online presence to sell products and promote your brand. The next step is tracking key analytics available on those digital media to better reach your customers.
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Encore for Bravo

After 10 years, what does the future hold for Bravo greater Des Moines? After a decade of getting good reviews on its mission of helping improve Central Iowans’ quality of life through support of the region’s arts and cultural institutions, Bravo Greater Des Moines may be ready to audition for a bigger role.
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A Closer Look: Sophia Ahmad

Director of marketing & public relations for the Des Moines Symphony and Academy. Education: Bachelor of Music in piano performance, Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.; Master of Music in piano performance, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y. Sophia Ahmad lives a life filled with music, a passion that blends seamlessly with her role as director of marketing and public relations at Des Moines Symphony and Academy.
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Better Together

Iowa's women-owned businesses are again ranked dead last in economic impact. Female leaders are joining forces to tackle the problem. Many different paths can end at a glass ceiling, but in Iowa, women are coming together more than ever before to break through it. Some say one catalyst was Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., who wrote best-selling self-help book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”.
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2014 Women of Influence honoree: Lisa LaValle

No one is more surprised than Lisa LaValle when, during lunch hour at her restaurant, Trellis, a member of her wait staff brings her a menu and asks her to sign it. LaValle glances toward the door, astonished and speechless, and the patron requesting the memento explains how she collects the signed menus.
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Power Roundtable: Culture

Editor’s note: Before all of our Power Breakfast events, we bring the panelists to the Business Record for a pre-event meeting on the topic and to banter through potential questions. We always leave that meeting wishing we could have invited our entire audience into the room with us to hear the informal discussion.
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Megan VerHelst Byrd

Megan currently is a staff writer for the Des Moines Business Record, the flagship publication of Business Publications Corp. in Des Moines, where she produces content for the weekly print publication and daily e-newsletters. She also helped launch and now oversees content and production for Lift IOWA, a weekly e-newsletter that aims to connect, inform and inspire female leaders across the state.

A native of Mason City, Megan attended North Iowa Area Community College before transferring to the University of Iowa where she received a degree in journalism. Following college, she interned at The Gazette in Iowa City and spent a year as a reporter for the Jackson County Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Black River Falls, Wis. After returning to Iowa and spending two years as editor of the Britt News-Tribune, Megan made the decision to come to Patch. In July 2011, she launched Ankeny Patch, growing both the site and its community reach from its infancy.