American Equity is thrilled to be a part of laying the foundation of this initiative, and we invite others to join us.

Anant BhallaGuest columnist

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co., a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded company, is proud to have its headquarters in the greater Des Moines metro area. For over 25 years, we have supported American families by offering annuity and investments solutions as they plan to secure their financial futures. We take our client promise of providing individuals with the dignity of a paycheck for life as the bedrock principle within our corporate culture.

We are expanding on this spirit of serving individuals and our local communities by partnering with others in Greater Des Moines to attract new jobs to the area and make this an inviting region for both employers and diverse, dynamic new talent. To accomplish this, we are proud to announce our corporate commitment to Greater Des Moines by joining the efforts to make the Pro Iowa Stadium, the associated potential soccer franchise and a community-focused Global Plaza a reality. We are delighted to support this public-private partnership and plan to infuse $5 million toward the successful completion of this signature initiative.

More:American Equity donates $5 million to Pro Iowa soccer stadium at the former Dico tire plant in Des Moines

We are proud to partner with the other public and private leaders involved with Pro Iowa on an initiative that will push our community forward in the following ways:

Transform a blighted site. The legacy Dico industrial EPA Superfund site has been an eyesore in the region for at least the past 20 years. In that time period American Equity has matured into a top player in our industry while being anchored in our Iowa roots and home base. We want to be part of the metamorphosis of this site for our home town. As a south-side entry point into our downtown area and access point for anyone flying in through our airport, this site deserves some long-needed attention to clean it up correctly and build an economic and social “leap-frog” project for our region. As they say in life: First impressions matter, and transforming this site is an important first impression for our community to make on new visitors.

Attract and retain top talent and provide economic growth opportunities. Soccer is a growing sport in America, and a global sport. Cities that embrace soccer position themselves as national and global cities. I moved here from Charlotte, North Carolina. It was there I witnessed the emergence of Charlotte onto the big stage as a magnet for jobs, opportunity and social transformation into an inclusive and diverse city when it embraced soccer as an economic engine. Employees want to live in vibrant cities willing and ready to bring new and exciting features for residents. They want to live in a metro area that values playtime as much as working. They want a place to call home that offers a little sizzle. Bringing professional soccer at a top national level to our metro with a new stadium is exciting — for our prospective talent, for soccer players and for the diverse fan base.

Create an inclusive space. The number of foreign-born residents living in greater Des Moines has increased over 20% in the past decade. And over 40,000 Iowa youth and adults participate in recreational soccer programs annually. As a stakeholder in this project, we will strive to include programming that celebrates diversity and encourages people to seek ways to foster inclusivity in sport, in the workplace and throughout the community as a whole.

American Equity is thrilled to be a part of laying the foundation of this initiative which will set the stage for furthering the economic prosperity of greater Des Moines, and we invite others to join us.

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Abby Bottenfield

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