New hires, openings, closings and more

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Hurts Donut Co. opens

Hurts Donut Co. opened recently in West Glen Town Center, 5513 Mills Civic Parkway, Suite 105, in West Des Moines. The shop has 70 varieties of doughnuts in rotation, with up to 50 flavors available at any one time. The store also sells cinnamon rolls and sausages wrapped in dough, called sausage kolaches. Coffee and other drinks are served as well. Prices are $1 for glazed doughnut, $1.50 for a classic cake doughnut and $2 for a specialty doughnut.

Two new Kum & Go stores open in West Des Moines

Kum & Go opened two new stores at 220 50th St. and 5901 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. The former opened in what was previously Dahl’s grocery store, while the second is located in the Mills Crossing commercial development. The stores are open 24 hours per day and feature the company’s new Marketplace design, including an open kitchen, heated patio, Wi-Fi, charging stations, inside seating, and an expanded selection of freshly prepared foods, according to a press release. The stores feature a growler station where customers can buy fresh beer. Kum & Go now operates more than 50 stores in the Des Moines area and 430 across 11 states.

Upscale Mexican restaurant opens

Blu Toro, 5585 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, an upscale Mexican restaurant featuring a large patio and tequila room, opened recently in West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines. The menu includes entrees as well as traditional dishes. Chef Josh McCurnin created the menu and oversees the kitchen. Blu Toro seats 204 inside the dining room and features a bar, a lounge area and a patio, which will seat 30 when the weather permits. The tequila room offers 75 different tequilas. Hours are from 3 p.m. daily to midnight. For more information, call 515-223-2302.

Val Air Ballroom for sale

The Val Air Ballroom, a West Des Moines venue, is for sale. The property is currently owned by Pedro Zamora, a Detroit-based venue owner and concert producer, who bought it in 2003 for $1.1 million. The concert hall will continue hosting events, but the long-term future of the venue remains unclear. A report from the nonprofit Neighborhood Development Corp. says the building needs nearly $1.1 million in repairs. The building could qualify for designation as a cultural landmark, which would make it eligible for tax credits to help pay for a renovation. The 31,000-square-foot ballroom sits near the corner of Ashworth Road and 63rd Street. Opened in 1939, the Val Air has hosted everything from big band shows to heavy metal concerts. It was originally an open-air dance hall, a former unfinished tire manufacturing plant. The name is a mix of Valley Junction and open air. In 1954, a major renovation enclosed the dance hall and put an addition on the building. Today, the venue now often hosts boxing matches, political rallies and birthday parties.

Kiesling Associates LLP joins BKD

BKD CEO Ted Dickman announced that Kiesling Associates LLP had joined the firm, effective Dec. 4. Both firms have offices in West Des Moines. With personnel in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin, Kiesling combines full-service capabilities with deep industry knowledge in the telecommunications industry. Kiesling will join BKD’s North Region, led by Regional Managing Partner Barry Davis. With the addition of Kiesling, BKD will have 35 offices in 16 states, approximately 2,600 personnel — including more than 270 partners — and more than $550 million in revenue. BKD provides a wide range of assurance, tax and accounting outsourcing services. The firm also provides specialized consulting to numerous industries, including health care, financial institutions, insurance, manufacturing, distribution, construction, real estate and energy, along with not-for-profit organizations, governmental entities, colleges and universities.

Iowa Business Council announces new executive director

Georgia Van Gundy will begin as the new executive director of Iowa Business Council on Jan. 3, according to an announcement by the Iowa Business Council (IBC) board of directors. Van Gundy was appointed after an extensive search. She fills the vacancy left by Elliott Smith, who served from 2005 until his resignation in November of 2016.

Van Gundy’s resume includes work in government relations and community leadership. She has served as assistant vice president of government relations and community relations for Principal Financial Group. Before Principal, Van Gundy did work for Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and at the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

Van Gundy’s professional experience, commitment to her community, and her service to the state of Iowa made her an ideal candidate for the role.

The Iowa Business Council (IBC) began in 1985 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization consisting of business executives in Iowa, the three Regent university presidents, and the Iowa Banking Association. IBC’s purpose is to focus the personal commitment of its members in leadership roles on initiatives that bring opportunity to Iowa and bolster its economic vitality. Visit the IBC Web site at for details.

Kyle J. Krause inducted into Iowa Business Hall of Fame

The Greater Des Moines Committee on Dec. 1 recognized Kyle J. Krause, president and CEO of Kum & Go LC, among its 2016 inductees to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. The Iowa Business Hall of Fame honors the achievements of Iowans who have made outstanding contributions to the Hawkeye State’s business climate. The individual leads or has led a business that has provided jobs and economic development to his or her community and the state, creating wealth and opportunity; has improved the economies of the community and the state through his or her leadership in local organizations; and has given of his or her time and financial resources for the betterment of the community, among other qualities.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states. He was named president of Kum & Go in 1997 and became president and CEO in 2004. Under Krause’s leadership, Kum & Go has transformed from a group of acquired gas stations that offered grocery staples to a modern convenience-store chain that focuses on delivering more than customers expect, the group said. Krause has leveraged his investments, reinvested for continued growth and taken the right risks to propel the business to success. Krause is also the owner of Krause Holdings Inc., the parent company to Kum & Go, as well as other business ventures that include farming operations, real estate and the Des Moines Menace men’s and women’s soccer teams. ♦


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