This summer we are thrilled to feature some local moms who are thinking outside the box and making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do. Check out the rest of the series and read profiles from previous years here.
Lynne Belknap is a long-time Des Moines resident and a recognized leader in the local design, marketing and publishing industries.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
My husband Michael and I live near the Art Center here in Des Moines. We have two children who will both be a Roosevelt this fall. Ashton is a junior and Marlo a freshman. With a new driver in the house and another with her learner’s permit anxiety runs high, although I will admit, it’s also amazingly liberating as a mom! We all cohabitate with a crazy border collie named Fletcher and a cat, Fozzy.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of motherhood to be? Biggest joy?
I find the biggest challenge of motherhood during these teenage years has been letting your kids make their own decisions. You can educate, share stories, give advice, try to live by example, instruct, and pray, but in the end, they are their own people starting to embark on a journey of their choosing. Your children are not mini versions of you. They see things differently and their dreams are often not the ones you had for them, but it’s exciting to help them define theirs as they grow up.
My biggest joy has been watching my children grow at every stage. They keep impressing me more every day.
Tell us about your job
I recently accepted a position at Hy-Vee Corporate as the Director of Marketing, Social Media and Content in mid-March. Previously I owned my own marketing agency and had a long history with Meredith Corporation. My job is to develop digital content strategies for the marketing group so creative and technical teams can bring the best content to our consumers on all digital platforms. I work mainly with social media, but I also interface with e-commerce, e-newsletters, Seasons magazine, and marketing of special programs.
What’s the best part about your job?
I love design thinking, innovation, mentoring creative people, and have always been a bit of a technology geek. This job was the perfect fit for me to leverage all these skills. I have worked for national brands throughout my career including Better Homes & Gardens and Lowe’s Home Improvement leading teams that create inspirational content for print and digital platforms. Hy-Vee has built a foundation on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship so this transition has felt natural. I am so impressed with how they are open to and not afraid of implementing new ideas that make the workflow and customer experience better. They are at the forefront of technology and innovation and that exactly aligns with my perspective on the world and the products I want to be a part of creating. I also love how supportive they are of our local community.
What’s the hardest part about your job?
The most challenging part of my job has been starting remotely without getting to know the team in person. I am thankful for Zoom and Slack that we use on a daily basis. I am also thankful for the talented group of individuals who have helped make my transition go smoothly. It has also been challenging to start a new position in social media during COVID supporting one of the essential industries for our community. I am glad to have been a part of the team during this time and am looking forward to creating the best experience possible for our customers beyond the pandemic.
How are you involved in the community?
I am proud of our community and am a strong advocate for #DSMUSA. I believe it is important to broaden your circles and we all have a responsibility to give back some of our time and talents. Over the last few years, I have centered my efforts around women’s issues and supporting women in business. I served on the board for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), am active in attending Women Lead Change and Des Moines Partnership events, sitting on the Chrysalis Foundation fundraising committee that supports programs for young women, and supporting 100 Women Who Care.
Currently, I am focusing much attention on helping to bring TEDx to Des Moines by serving as Vice President and board member. I believe in supporting creative thinking and innovative ideas. This organization and the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) events provide a platform for these voices and broaden all minds. I’m already so excited by the collaboration of individuals involved, each bringing their own talents and perspectives to the planning. I’m also on the marketing committee; you will be hearing more about this event being held in May of 2021.
Favorite spot to go for a drink
I like to mix it up, there are so many great places to explore for a drink right now! I love that if you are looking for a place for intimate conversation, upbeat atmosphere, or great patio Des Moines has you covered. Bellhop, Juniper Moon, Hello Marjorie, St. Kilda, The Republic on Grand, Hy-Vee on Court, Crème Cupcake, 300 Craft and Rooftop, Wellman’s Rooftop are all favorites. Make your hit list and try them out.
Best place to take kids in Des Moines
With teens, I don’t really have regular go-to spots like I did when they were younger. I try to make sure we are constantly exploring and learning. New sections of the amazing Des Moines bike trails and visiting the Madison County bridges have been hits.
I am so excited about the upcoming Des Moines water trails project downtown. A trip to Charles City, Iowa, is on the list to see the water trails they have developed for their community on the Cedar River as this served as inspiration for the Des Moines project.
How/where do you relax?
We love to go to Clear Lake. There is no better way to get closer to your teens than spending undistracted time with them. It lets you work your way to the important conversations. My happy place is in the boat watching the kids ski or floating on the water as a family.
What’s your favorite book, show, or podcast?
I have an insatiable appetite for news and social media. My favorite show is whatever I’m currently watching. I get into production nuances having managed a video department in a past job. COVID has definitely increased my screen time as it has for all of us.
I think everyone should watch “Mrs. America” to appreciate where we are with women’s rights and remind us how long it has taken to come this far. Many do not realize the ERA was never ratified by the states and that only 40 years ago women were required to have a man co-sign a loan. This is something our children need to be made aware of.
What are 3 words to describe you?
Innovative. Strong. Leader.
I asked my husband what three words he would use – Tall, Blond, and Intense. Maybe I need to work on some things!
If your life had a hashtag, what would it be?
photos courtesy of Mindy Myers Photography
Know a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch.