YOUR BEST SUMMER YET GET READY:
AXE SHARPENING & MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE
TIPS TO CREATING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE FROM THE GUYS AT PERFICUT
SUMMER BEERS! GET COLD
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT NOW!
FROM RECLAIMED RAILS
CATCH A CALF WITH KYLE SWENSON
F R O M
T H E
P U B L I S H E R S
YOUR BEST SUMMER YET PUBLISHERS / MATT BOELMAN & KORY BALLARD
N THIS ISSUE OF LIVING DETAILS, we’re saying goodbye to La Niña and getting ready for your best summer ever. As we reported in the fall edition, La Niña is characterized by warm temperatures and above-average moisture, and she delivered exactly as we predicted. For most of us in Iowa and Nebraska, that meant a winter with more rainy days than snowy days, and many more days spent killing time in the shop changing oil in our snow blowers, than actually digging out from any big dumps. For guys that live to dig and plow, it was a long winter with a lot of time for daydreaming and making plans for warmer weather. Now that the mercury is climbing, we’re ready to get after it! In this issue, we’re exploring a wide range of topics related to the American Man. After a winter without any belowzero days to speak of, we’re kicking things off by cranking the temperature all the way down to minus-250-degrees Fahrenheit. Yep. You read that right, minus-250. Check out the story on KryoVitality and learn all about the health benefits of severe vasoconstriction and rapid vasodilation (and yes, we’ll tell you what that actually means). To get your heart cranking again after the big freeze, we’ll take you over to Fontenelle Supply Company to get outfitted. This new shop in the East Village is hand-
crafting all kinds of leather and denim goods that you won’t be able to figure out how you lived without (page 12). In addition to offering everything from leather field guides to motorcycle helmets, these guys are also experts at axe sharpening, and you can learn all their tricks in our “Spring Prep” section (page 20). Of course in Iowa, the word “spring” is synonymous with “motorcycle,” so we’ve got a guide on how to get your bike prepped for those late summer sunsets. While you’re on your ride, we recommend that you head out to the new brewery, Reclaimed Rails, in Bondurant. The brewery looks like a museum and the beer is so good you’ll want to be sure to have Uber on speed dial. Check out the story on how it all came together on page 32. This spring our landscape construction department is packed with exciting new projects throughout the region as new residential projects seem to be sprouting from the soil of downtown Des Moines like tulips. One of our features tells the story of Tim Rypma, who at the tender age of 37 is somehow considered one of the pioneers of the city’s rebirth. There’s even more inside. Check it out. Soak it up. And make it your best summer ever.
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INSIDE THE RING Some people believe that leaders are born. Others, that they are trained. Kory Ballard says inspecting the roots is the best way to find managers so we headed out to the rodeo to test his theory.
A DREAM IN THE EAST VILLAGE With two new major developments opening this Spring, we check in with Tim Rypma to get the story on how he got started. Hint: It involves a snake charmer and a trip to Mount Everest.
RECLAIMED RAILS The beer boom continues in Central Iowa with new offerings from Reclaimed Rails. Co-owner Jeremy Boka tells us how he and his friends brought their brewery dream to life, and then brewer, Justin Cloke gives us the lowdown on their two new beers.
ON OUR COVER Adam Tweedy preps for spring at the Fontenelle Supply Company on East Grand Avenue in Des Moines. THIS PAGE Nick Cimaglia of Perficut Companies takes a break while his axe is sharpened at Fontenelle Supply Company.
THE CULTURE CURE Kory Ballard and Matt Boelman report on why itâ€™s so essential for mature companies to foster a culture of entrepreneurialism and give us eight secrets to get it done.
12 TOOLS OF TRADE Fontenelle Supply Company is open for business and working to preserve “the heritage of their grandfathers.” Check it out for the best hand-crafted denim and leather goods.
Spring has sprung and we’re ready to make this your best summer yet. To get you started on the right foot, we’ve got a D-I-Y guide to get your motorcycle out of the barn and instructions on how to tune your axe.
Dr. Vince Hassel became interested in cryotherapy after learning about the benefits realized by some of the top athletes in America. Then he decided to bring the technology to Iowa.
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LIVINGDETAILS EDITORIAL TEAM
PUBLISHERS / MATT BOELMAN, KORY BALLARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / CHARLIE WITTMACK CREATIVE DIRECTOR / PHILLIP HARDER COPY EDITOR / BEN GRAN
CONTENT / MATT BOELMAN, KORY BALLARD, CASSIE CIMAGLIA, JEREMY BOKA, NICK CIMAGLIA, JC OBRECHT, JEFFREY GOODE, LISA FAZIO PHOTOGRAPHY / PHILLIP HARDER, CHARLIE WITTMACK
FONTENELLE SUPPLY COMPANY, KRYOVITALITY ANKENY, KRYOVITALITY CLIVE, RICH MCCULLOUGH, RECLAIMED RAILS BREWERY, PERFICUT COMPANIES, RE PROPERTIES, TIM RYPMA
ENJOY MORE CONTENT AT PERFICUT.COM
COPYRIGHT 2017 TWG CREATIVE 112 S. TRYON STREET, SUITE 1200 CHARLOTTE, NC 28284
TOOLS OF THE TRADE WORDS / EMMA LOCKWOOD IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
ONTENELLE SUPPLY COMPANY’S founders will tell you that they opened the store “to preserve the heritage of their grandfathers.”
“Our grandfathers were influential to us and our business in many ways,” said Adam Tweedy, one of the store owners. “They valued hard work and tools and gear that lasted. They didn’t have much, but what they did have they could maintain with their own labor and keep up for years.” “Fontenelle Supply Company aims to keep that mentality alive by creating and carrying goods that are made with integrity. Our products are made using our hands, with the intention that they’ll get the job done over and over again,” Tweedy said. In addition to the goods personally made by the store owners, Fontenelle Supply Company offers other products for sale which are made by craftsmen with similar goals and intentions. “We are proud to carry items that are made how they used to be made in our grandfathers’ day - slow, precise, and with longevity in mind,” Tweedy said. “Every day is an opportunity to get better at what we do, whether it be making new products, making old products better, or wrapping our head around the business side of things,” Tweedy said. “We feel the sky is the limit for us, and with enough hard work, patience, and research we can do just about anything.”
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T O O L S
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AT LEFT: Freenote Cloth Waxed Riders Jacket, Filson Scout Shirt, The Unbranded Brand Skinny Fit jean (14oz Indigo), and Chippewa 6â€? Service Boot. TOP LEFT: (Jackets from left) Filson Short Lined Cruiser, The Unbranded Brand Denim Jacket, Freenote Cloth Waxed Riders Jacket, Pointer Brand Chore Coat in Duck Canvas. TOP RIGHT: Bradley Mountain The Wilder Backpack. MIDDLE LEFT: Redwing Heritage Iron Ranger Boot. BOTTOM LEFT: Chippewa Service Boot. BOTTOM RIGHT: Freenote Cloth Gilroy Shirt in Grey. Visit Fontenelle Supply Co at 524 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines (or on the web at www. FontenelleSupplyCo.com) for complete details.
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TOP RIGHT: Mercy Supply Waxed Canvas Vest, The Unbranded Brand 21 oz Jeans, Biltwell Gringo Helmet, Bradley Mountain Wilder Pack. MIDDLE LEFT: Taylor Stitch California Indigo Pyramid shirt, Red Clouds Collective Waxed Workpants in Havana. BOTTOM RIGHT: Moto 76 Dirt Diggers Shirt, Freenote Cloth Rios. LIVING DETAILS 14
THIS PAGE: (On Nick) Filson Scout Shirt, Red Clouds Collective Waxed Workpant in Havana, Chippewa Engineer Boot. (On Kory) Fontenelle Supply Co DSMX, Freenote Cloth Utility Shirt, Freenote Cloth Rios, Chippewa General Utility Boots.
SPRING DIY GUIDE WORDS / RICH MCCULLOUGH IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
HOW TO: GET READY TO RIDE WITH SPRING ON THE WAY, it’s time to get your motorcycle out of the barn and ready for your next ride. The purpose of your spring inspection is to identify any safety issues that may have resulted from storage and to take some measures that will reduce the risk of damaging the bike once you start to operate it again. An hour of prevention in the spring can save a week in the shop during the summer and avoid those costly repairs.
If you’re interested in learning more about your motorcycle but don’t have the confidence to work on it yourself, consider reaching out to your local motorcycle clubs. There are many excellent clubs in the area that are passionate about their hobby and would be glad to share their knowledge to help a like-minded bike enthusiast ride safely on the road.
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BATTERY: Check your battery’s state of charge, condition, and terminals before pressing the start button. If your bike hasn’t been on a maintainer, hook up a proper charger to bring it up to par as the battery will drain voltage after sitting for even a few weeks. If you have any questions about the health of your battery, have it tested by a shop like Hilltop Tire Service in Des Moines’ East Village. Many owners don’t realize that if your battery isn’t up to the job, the alternator will end up taking the abuse and it won’t handle it for long. TIRES: Your bike spends the winter sitting on two bits of rubber, on the cold slab of your garage, on wet grass in your back yard, or on a gravel driveway. Those bits of rubber are in the elements with temperature, humidity, and the sun, greatly impacting the safety of the motorcycle. To minimize the impact, move the motorcycle throughout the winter and never ride tires that are more than five years old. As temperatures fluctuate, so does the pressure of air in your tires. Be sure to check and adjust the tire pressure before any ride. Tread depth should be measured to be sure they are not below 3/32”. WASHING: Washing your bike by hand is the single most important thing you can do as a motorcycle owner. It does two things: first, it clears dirt and grime away from critical components so that the bike operates more safely. Second, it allows you an opportunity to carefully inspect the bike, component by component, while observing things you would normally overlook (such as oil leaks, frayed clutch cables, cracked tires, worn brakes, and loosened bolts). FLUIDS: If you didn’t change the oil and filter last fall, then now is the time to do it. Condensation can build up in the crankcase over the winter, so a spring oil change is a great way to flush out any water, which will reduce the chance of corrosion. While servicing the oil, don’t forget about the other important fluids your bike may have including brake fluid, clutch fluid, transmission, rear drive units and engine coolant. After the fluids are in order, check the air filter and then treat your bike to a fresh tank of gas. In some cases, fuel can begin to break down and tarnish in as quickly as six months, so give your tank a good whiff. If you have any hint that the gas has tarnished, drain the fuel and replenish it with some fresh petrol. You won’t regret it.
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S P R I N G
G U I D E
ABOVE: Adam Tweety demonstrates the proper way to sharpen and hone an axe at Fontenelle Supply Company in Des Moines.
HOW TO: SHARPEN AN AXE Springtime is an ideal occasion for preparing your outdoor tools of trade. Get ready to clear out your garden or chop wood for summer campfires with a well-sharpened axe. 1. Protect your hands and face. Wear thick leather gloves and safety goggles to protect against metal dust. 2. Clean and polish the head of the axe to remove any dirt, rust or debris. This is most easily accomplished with steel wool, coarse-grit sandpaper, or a rag. 3. Clamp the axe in a vice so that it is secure. If you like to alternate sides while filing, you may wish to clamp the axe vertically so that the point is facing the ceiling. Clamping the axe horizontally is often more secure, although this requires you to adjust the clamp for each side. 4. Take an aggressive bastard file and remove any nicks or burrs that exist while stroking in a downward motion into the blade at an approximately 20-degree angle to the point. Do not make contact with the blade on the return stroke as this will not sharpen the blade and may ruin the file.
5. Make several passes on each side of the edge. Alternate from side to side, removing metal evenly from the blade until all chips and dings are filed away. Alternating sides more frequently may result in a sharper edge. Continue this motion until a slight burr forms opposite whatever side you are filing on. 6. Apply honing oil to the edge of the axe and then rub a coarse whetstone against the blade in a circular motion. Hone both sides alternately to move the burr from one side to the other until it is nearly gone. This burr is known as a â€œfeather edge.â€? 7. To remove the feathered edge completely, repeat the honing process with a finer whetstone or leather strop. A perfectly honed edge will not reflect any light. 8. Finally, protect the blade from rust by wiping it with a light machine oil and then rub it with a mixture of wax and more oil. This will keep your axe performing flawlessly.
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D E T A I L S
H E A L T H
TAKING A PAGE FROM THE PLAYBOOK OF TOP PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, DR VINCE HASSEL BRINGS CRYOTHERAPY TO IOWA. STORY / EMMA LOCKWOOD IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
t’s a different cold than you’ve ever felt before,” offers Dr. Vince Hassel, a central Iowa chiropractor and owner of KryoVitality in Clive and Ankeny.
It’s a statement that could very easily go without saying, as the chamber that Matt Boelman is about to climb into is operating at 250-degrees below zero. That’s right - nearly 300-degrees below freezing. At the moment, that easily makes it the coldest place on planet Earth, more than twice as cold as dry ice, and roughly the same temperature as the dark side of the moon. “Just relax. You’re going to love it,” continues Dr. Hassel. The treatment that is about to be performed is known as “Whole Body Cryotherapy” or WBC. The modality was first introduced in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and auto immune disorders. Over the last two decades, subsequent studies have established WBC as a powerful adjunct treatment for inflammatory disorders, injuries, and muscle and joint pain. Upon reaching the United States markets in the last few years, the therapy has become popular with professional athletes. LeBron James was an early adopter of the technology and began using it as part of his regular recovery regimen in 2015. Upon LeBron’s urging, the Cleveland Cavaliers quickly made the treatment available to the team and from there it spread across the country to other teams in the NFL. As additional sports stars began to praise the benefits of WBC, features began appearing in the media, including television programs such as The Dr. Oz Show, Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Entertainment Tonight. From there, clinics began to sprout up to offer the same services to members of the public.
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WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY AT A GLANCE:
Simply put, cryotherapy is “super-cooling” of the body for therapeutic purposes. Cryotherapy can include the use of products such as ice packs on a localized portion of the body, submersion into an ice bath of extremely cold water, or new technologies that expose the body to super-cooled liquid nitrogen gas. Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) involves exposing the body to vapors that reach ultra-low temperatures ranging from minus 200 to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who choose to have a WBC treatment are enclosed in relatively confined spaces, typically for one and a half to three minutes, in one of two ways: - A person stands alone in an individual-size can-like enclosure that is open at the top. A person’s torso and legs are enclosed in the device and exposed to frigid temperatures while the head remains above the enclosure at room temperature. - Several people sit or stand in a totally enclosed chamber. The entire body including the head is exposed to freezing temperatures, generated by liquid nitrogen. HOW TO TRY IT: Visit KryoVitality in Clive (1349 NW 121st Street, Suite 200, Clive, Iowa) or Ankeny (629 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA).
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Kryotherapy is performed at temperatures between minus-200 and minus-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Dr. Vince Hassel decided to bring the treatment to Iowa after learning about the benefits that had been realized by top athletes, including LeBron James. During the treatment the chamber fills with nitrogen gas.
“IT’S 250-DEGREES BELOW ZERO, BUT IT’S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF COLD THAN YOU HAVE EVER FELT BEFORE.” -DR. VINCE HASSEL
“The goal of the treatment is to trigger the body’s sympathetic nervous system by stimulating the skin’s cold receptors,” Dr. Hassel tells Boelman as the nitrogen gas begins to billow out of the top of the chamber. “Your body is essentially now entering a minor state of shock, which is causing severe vasoconstriction as your blood flow is being redirected from the skin’s surface and extremities to insulate vital organs and maintain the body’s core temperature.” In a quieter tone to the crowd gathered around, Dr. Hassel then adds, “These responses are due to his body’s perception that it’s experiencing life threatening conditions.” Of course, the treatment isn’t actually life-threatening. Each treatment is performed at temperatures from -200 to -250 degrees Fahrenheit but lasts only 2-4 minutes. The short interval and extreme temperature has the effect of shocking the skin and vascular system, without damaging tissue or stressing the vital organs. After the treatment is completed, the body experiences rapid vasodilation, maximizing oxygen and nutrient delivery, while improving the body’s ability to eliminate toxins. Professional athletes like LeBron believe that cryotherapy works in the same way as an ice bath, but achieves better results in less time and withLIVING DETAILS 22
out the discomfort of icy water. “Top athletes are always looking for ways to maximize performance with new technologies,” said Dr. Hassel. “When I saw the results that LeBron and the Cavaliers were experiencing, I knew that I had to make WBC available to people in Central Iowa.” Dr. Hassel opened his first clinic in Clive in the winter of 2015 and then a second location in Ankeny in 2016. As the availability of the therapy became more widespread, the benefits being realized by the committed clientele began to expand. “The immediate release of endorphins can help with insomnia, fighting depression, and decreasing psychological stress,” reports Dr. Hassel. “The accelerated production of collagen improves skin elasticity and texture, reversing skin aging and the appearance of cellulite. Additionally, studies have shown WBC boosts the body’s metabolic rate, accelerating weight loss outcomes and burning 500800 calories per treatment.” The claimed benefits became so widespread, that in 2016 the FDA issued a brief update to consumers urging caution and stating that the therapy had not yet been formally evaluated. “We simply don’t know [what benefits WBC may have],” says FDA scientific reviewer Anna Ghambaryan, M.D., Ph.D. “At this time, there’s insufficient publicly available information to help us answer these questions.” Despite the lack of research by the scientific and medical communities, use of the therapy continues to grow as individual benefits are realized by consumers, either physiologically or psychologically. “Once people try it,” Dr. Hassel says. “They don’t want to go without it.” A couple of minutes after entering the chamber Boelman emerges, perhaps a shade or two more pink than when he began, but seemingly energized. “Wow! That’s incredible,” offers Boelman. “I feel great.” “That’s the rush of endorphins,” quips Dr. Hassel. “Due to your elevated metabolism, you’ll also burn up to 800 calories, so feel free to have a snack on your way home.”
Learn more at KryoVitalityIowa.com.
F E A T U R E
INSIDE THE KYLE SWENSON TAKES A LIFETIME OF LESSONS FROM THE FARM AND THE RODEO RING INTO HIS ROLE AS PRODUCTION MANAGER FOR PERFICUT COMPANIES IN DES MOINES.
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STORY / EMMA LOCKWOOD IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
HEN YOU’RE THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, there are a lot of things that go through your head when you enter the rodeo ring for the first time. In this case, the goal was relatively simple. Bull riding would happen later, the chuckwagons weren’t yet ready to race, and the whips were still waiting to be cracked. The big events would come later, but in a sense, the stakes in this event were much higher. Of course physical injury is always a possibility in the rodeo ring, but breaks and scrapes always heal. For a 13-year-old in the ring, there are other outcomes that are far more profound, at least one of which can take a lifetime to overcome. “The biggest thing I was worried about was disappointing my dad,” said Kyle Swenson. The event was at AKSARBEN (Nebraska spelled backwards) and it was a funnel of sorts. In the months leading up to the event, 4H clubs across Iowa and Nebraska had put forth some of their most ambitious young people. The group had been whittled down to 120 kids who then descended on Omaha in their Wranglers and cowboy boots with nothing more than a rope and a dream. During the competition, the children were thrust into the arena in groups of ten. A few of them looked nervously to their parents, who responded primarily with that subtle nod that farmers often have. A nod which mysteriously conveys encouragement and a level of confidence that comes only after spending decades working the land to feed a family while overcoming droughts and floods. As the parents looked on, a group of wild calves were released at the other end of the ring, exploding into a mass of energy that is reserved for only a few of nature’s creatures. The children froze in position, studying the calves and searching for any patterns to their movements. Then the announcer called out over the loudspeaker, uttering a few simple words that miraculously brought the group of frozen miniature cowboys to life. The purpose of the contest was to catch a wild calf. As the calves bucked and bit and screeched and ran, the children chased them around the ring as the audience cheered and the air filled with rodeo dust.
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By the time he was 13, Kyle was anything but a novice. He had already been showing and raising pure-bread Gelbvieh cattle for at least four years, with a little help from his older brother and sister. With about 100 head on the farm at any one time, the three kids would spend the winter breaking the calves and trying to find a few that might be good enough to show. Breaking calves and raising cattle is hard work. As a nine year-old, Kyle would get up at 5 AM to start his chores. He would grind seed into feed before carrying a seemingly endless supply of 5-gallon buckets to the calves and cattle in the pasture. “For years, most of those buckets weighed as much as I did,” Kyle says with a laugh. “And even though this was work, I enjoyed nothing more than spending this time with my father. It didn’t seem like work to me and I really felt like I was accomplishing goals that would later pay off. I also think I grew up a lot faster because of my older brother and sister. I really looked up to them, and wanted to keep up and do what they were doing.” During the summer, the work wasn’t too bad. But most of the herd dropped their calves in February and March, which meant early mornings in the dark with temperatures that were cold enough to make lasting memories. “My dad would let me drive his five-speed Ford truck as he ran the spotlight over the herd, looking for newborn calves,” Kyle remembered. “It was like Christmas morning every time, with so much excitement over the fact that we might have another newborn in the herd each night.” The three siblings would start working with the animals from the time they were born. This meant more feedings in the middle of the night, and lots of time spent breaking, walking, and training. Those that could be trained would be watched a little more carefully, with the hope that the best might be ready for the bucket calf shows in the spring. If they showed well in the spring, they would be carried on to the fall shows. The best of those would then winter over with the hope of making it to the Iowa State Fair the following summer. FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Crews mobilizing at Perficut Companies in Des Moines. Production management includes anticipating the needs on current projects such as the new Kum & Go Headquarters, as well as established projects like The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
It was a long process for a nine-year-old that demanded dedication and commitment to overcoming obstacles in circumstances that most children are never challenged to face. What’s more, the show cattle were just the family’s hobby. The real work was maintaining the rest of the herd while also farming around 1,000 acres. Of course,
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ABOVE Kyle Swenson reviews site maps with company crews at Perficut Companies in Des Moines.
“WHEN WE MET KYLE, WE KNEW THAT HE HAD STRONG ROOTS AND WE BELIEVED THAT HE WAS THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO COULD HELP US GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL.” - KORY BALLARD
the kids also managed school and the usual sports, while their dad spent the workday in a full-time position with the county and farming during the nights and weekends. Kyle’s mother juggled the family and supported the farm, while also taking classes to get her Master’s Degree in Education. “My mother put everything aside for our family. She waited to pursue her passion and dream so that our family could do the things we wanted and she would always be involved in our activities,” Kyle said. “I learned early on that family is number one and its never too late to pursue your dreams.” Perhaps it’s a schedule that is sensible only to an Iowa family. But it was long ago established that Iowa farm families have a knack for doing the work that would take most ordinary people two or three lives to accomplish. So when Kyle entered the ring at AKSARBEN, he was just a kid, but at the same time he was a kid that knew what was really possible with focus. His parents were watching from the stands, and when Kyle looked up to his father, he received that encouraging nod and then raced off in pursuit of his calf. Of course, the calf never stood a chance. Kyle had it caught, correctly haltered, and led back to the other end before it blinked. For those that caught a calf, the contest was really just beginning. For the next year, Kyle raised the calf into a steer, tracking its progress and earning points as part of the contest. He returned the following spring with his steer, and learned that he had earned enough points through the winter that his steer would be auctioned.
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The auction house is sort of an Academy Awards event for 4H kids. It’s the place where hard work is turned into money, and dreams are made tangible and real. Kyle’s steer was a perfect specimen and was popular among the bidders. As the price climbed into the thousands, Kyle’s eyes began to grow. As it climbed into the ten-thousands, his heart raced. When the final bid was called, Kyle was sure he was dreaming. When the figure was repeated a second time, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause, as Kyle was greeted with enthusiastic handshakes and back-slaps. He had done it. The Omaha World Herald had entered a final bid of thirty-five thousand dollars for the steer. With the sale, Kyle earned the cap on the commission, a figure of about $800. When Kyle looks back at the day, the commission felt more like a million. About a week later, Kyle put it toward his first truck - a 1984 Chevy Scottsdale pickup. Over the years that followed, Kyle continued to play the long game. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in horticulture and pursued a career in the green industry. As other friends were taking jobs in management and business, Kyle chose a different route and accepted an hourly position on an irrigation crew with Perficut. “I had a lot of older friends that got out of college and immediately took management jobs or started their own businesses. Many of theme weren’t successful because they didn’t learn the hands-on things that you have to know to perform a job. I wanted to begin at the starting line and learn the trades from the beginning,” said Kyle. “We’re in the business of growing things,” said Kory Ballard, one of the co-owners of Perficut. “That includes grass, plants, trees, and shrubs. It also includes our business and industry. But most importantly, it includes growing people.” “Often you can tell how something is going to grow by looking at its roots,” Kory continued. “When we met Kyle, we knew that he had strong roots and we believed that he could become part of the team that would help our business grow to the next level.” “If he wanted to work irrigation, we would let him,” Kory laughed. At the time Kyle had met the girl of his dreams and was looking forward to starting a family and buying a house in Des Moines.
ABOVE Kyle Swenson talks with crews as operations get underway at Perficut Companies in Des Moines.
learning about the company,” Kyle said. “My dad always told me, ‘work hard, treat people with respect, and good things will happen.’ So that’s what I did.” Within a couple of years Kyle was promoted to Production Manager for the mowing department, overseeing the maintenance of thousands of acres of commercial property in central Iowa. Two years after that, he took over commercial maintenance and snow. Then last fall, he replaced Kory Ballard as General Manager of Production, overseeing all of Perficut’s production activities. “The extreme growth at the company over the last five years has been a lot of fun,” Kyle said. “We’re constantly changing and innovating. Many of my friends from college have told me horror stories about their experiences at companies that are going through change. It’s totally different here. Everyone comes together to do their part and we’re all moving together in the same direction. It’s an incredible team.” “I honestly can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
“It was a little scary to take a job at $10 an hour, but I believed in what I was doing and I liked everything that I was
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THIS PAGE Tim Rypma at his office in the Studio Block of the Des Moines East Village.
A DREAM IN THE EAST VILLAGE STORY / NICK TAYLOR IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
T’S A SCENE THAT UNFOLDS AT LEAST thousands of times each year in Iowa City, on a set that is familiar enough - a musty dorm room with a giant window overlooking the river, a pile of textbooks and legal pads that has gone mostly ignored, and a map of the world hanging above the desk. As we look back on life, college years hold a lot of special memories for most of us. It’s a unique period where the ability to dream is unencumbered by the difficulties and struggles of life, and where possibility is limited only by an individual’s imagination and the audacity to think big thoughts. For most students, graduation comes too early, but that first paycheck lessens the blow as we settle into a life of incremental achievement and the comfort that comes from being able to pay for a pint with something other than the change that is spit out from the bottle redemption machine at HyVee. The map on the wall is a common fixture in this slice of Americana. Perhaps it’s what the map inspires that makes all the difference. Or perhaps it’s more about the hands that hold it. Whatever the source, there is no question that Tim Rypma suffered no shortage of imagination. Tim graduated from Dowling High School in Des Moines in 1999. He was an outdoorsman in the classic sense of the word, who pursued streams and fields and mountains as an opportunity to get to know himself, rather than as some sort of conquest. Even at a young age, he had the unique character of being both modest and bold, and humble yet ambitious. He was the kind of person that you would implicitly trust, even though his words very often focused on ideas and plans that seemed too immense for someone of such a young age.
After graduating high school he headed west, enrolling at a small Catholic school in Helena, Montana called Carroll College. This is where he honed his skills as an outdoorsman, perfected his fly casting, and learned the proper way to sharpen an ice axe for climbing frozen waterfalls. Although he loved Montana, the school proved to be a little too far from home and he transferred back to the University of Iowa in 2000. It was there that he found himself laying in bed one Sunday afternoon, staring at the map and dreaming of his future. “I saw a dot on the map labeled ‘Mount Everest,’” Tim said. “I had never heard of Nepal before and didn’t know anything about it. But I was interested in climbing and I thought to myself, ‘if that’s where the biggest mountains are, then that’s where I need to go.’ I decided that the best way to learn about the things that interested me was by experiencing them.” Of course that’s the attitude that explains everything that happened after - the projects and the buildings and the conquests, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Three days after his 21st birthday, Tim boarded a flight for a year-long program in Kathmandu. Upon arriving, he quickly became sick and bedriden, but after shifting to a diet that consisted primarily of a local dish called “dal baht,” he recovered his strength and began pursuing his goals. Within days, he could navigate the city’s maze of unmarked streets. Within weeks, he had become friends with the snake charmers and rickshaw drivers. Within months, he was speaking Nepali. He eventually found the mountains that he sought to explore and then returned home on-schedule and inspired.
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ABOVE Tim Rypma and Matt Boelman inspecting the new luxury lofts at 417 Walnut Street in Des Moines.
“IN NEPAL, I LEARNED THAT TO BE SUCCESFUL, I WOULD HAVE TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE THINGS THAT I WANTED TO ACHIEVE.” - TIM RYPMA
Back in Iowa City, he began applying what he learned in Nepal to his future. “In Nepal, I learned that to be successful, I would have to immerse myself in the things that I wanted to achieve,” Tim said. “I wasn’t going to learn through books. I was going to learn through experiences.” Tim began the next phase of his life by enrolling in the entrepreneurship program at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. After joining the program, his first project was to write a business plan for a fictitious real estate development. “During the project, I realized that I needed to get more involved on the finance side,” Tim recalled. “I had learned that big projects often require private equity from developers and public financing from cities, so I got a summer internship at Knapp Properties in Des Moines and a fall internship with the City of Iowa City. At the time, Iowa City didn’t have an internship program, so I had to keep calling them until I could persuade them to let me work there for free.” During his internships, Tim had become inspired by the renewal and development of downtowns and historic neighborhoods that had occurred in cities like Denver, Seattle, and Portland, and began wondering if a similar transformation might be possible in Des Moines. “I started looking at maps of the oldest parts of Des Moines and tried to find properties that were similar to projects that I had seen in other
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markets,” Tim said. “Then I started reviewing the public real estate records to find buildings that might become available for sale.” As he researched, he became interested in several buildings between the river and the Capitol Building on the east side of the river in downtown Des Moines. “The area was in pretty bad shape at the time and the city had scheduled a number of the buildings for demolition,” Tim recalled. “A group of activists and residents had come together to save the buildings. The group was successful and the buildings were spared, but there still wasn’t a clear idea what to do with them.” Tim became particularly interested in a building in the 500-block of East Grand, known as the “Studio Block.” After doing some research, he learned that the block was owned by the cantankerous octogenarian, Jim Boyt. Tim set up a meeting to see Jim and told him that he wanted to buy the building. “Jim’s response was always, ‘It’s not for sale!’” Tim laughed. Never one to be deterred by a firm “No,” Tim spent the
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next four years building a relationship with Boyt over countless lunches, and weekly text messages and calls. He met with lawyers, bankers, and investors, while refining his business plan and providing updates to Boyt every step of the way. “For years, I would call Jim with updates from my meetings and he would always respond with, ‘It’s not for sale!’ But I just kept calling anyhow.” Six months after Tim graduated from the University of Iowa, Boyt accepted a purchase agreement for the Studio Block with $5,000 in earnest money that Tim had scratched together and a condition that Boyt could remain in his office for the rest of his life rent-free. “I had a deal,” Tim said. “But I still had no idea how I was going to pay for it.” Tim scrambled to find investors and tenants, and the project quickly came to life. Early tenants included the Olympic Flame, Grand Piano Bistro, Lawson Books, Miyabi 9, and Dornik; collectively providing the stability the project required and the tinder to the redevelopment fire that began to burn in what would become known
ABOVE As soon as one project has been completed, it’s on to the next. Tim Rypma reviews plans in his East Village office.
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as the East Village. Despite the success of the project, Tim still needed to find a way to pay his personal expenses, so he took an entry level job as a property manager at the new West Glen development. “When we started working with Tim on the landscaping at West Glen, I couldn’t believe his energy,” recalled Matt Boelman, co-owner of Perficut Companies. “He was managing an incredibly complex multi-use project in West Des Moines for Knapp during the day, and then trying to transform the East Village with his own partnership at night. He was working around the clock on two projects that were changing everything about development in the region in two very different ways. It was exciting and we knew that we wanted to be part of it.” “It was a great partnership,” Tim recalled. “For years I had been focused on the financial aspects of development from the inside. Matt expanded my thinking about how the grounds and landscaping can shape your first impression of a project. His team was incredible at increasing curb appeal no matter the time of year, and regardless of whether the project was in an urban location like the East Village or part of a bigger project like West Glen.” From there, the last decade has been a rush. With nearly a dozen projects, more than 70,000 square-feet of retail space, and more than 130 residential units, Tim continues to aim his sights higher. “As I look back, I’ve been extremely lucky to have the backing of great investors and partners who wanted to show me the path, while teaching me what they know and at times, encouraging me to lead,” Tim said. “As I look forward to the next decade, I couldn’t be more excited about what I imagine Des Moines will become.” With current projects opening at 219 East Grand and 350 East Locust, the present looks pretty exciting too.
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RECLAIMED R THE BEER BOOM CONTINUES IN IOWA WITH A NEW BREWERY FOCUSED ON COMMUNITY (AND CRAFTING THE BEST LOCAL BREWS).
STORY / CK WILDER IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
OME PEOPLE ENJOY A CRAFT BEER after work so much that they decide to have a second one. Other people enjoy a craft beer so much after work that they decide to open a 500-gallon brewery and start brewing their own. Jeremy Boka, JC Obrecht, and Chandler Parsons are the second type. It’s a jump that would leave most people breathless, but as the old line goes, “Entrepreneurs are born, not raised.” So when the thought occurred to them over a pint on a Friday afternoon, their immediate response was, “Why not?” Jeremy is a guy that naturally wears a lot of hats. During the day, he’s the head of sales for Perficut Companies, managing a team that is responsible for annual revenues of eight figures. For the last four years, he has spent his evenings as a member of the City Council in Altoona while balancing board memberships that are too numerous to list. With so many responsibilities and such a long list of important items on his daily list of duties, Jeremy is a guy that lives very comfortably in the present. So it was a bit of a surprise when an experience from Jeremy’s past appeared in a free moment in his present in a way that would dramatically shape his future. “Twenty years ago I was on vacation in Colorado. A friend had told me about a new brewery that had opened and encouraged me to go check it out,” Jeremy recalled. “During the tour, they told us how the brewing system worked, how they selected their hops, and their philosophies on brewing. At the end of the event, the owners climbed up on top of milk crates and gave a speech about how they were going to take over the world.” “I was fascinated by the entire process of brewing, but what I really loved was their passion,” said Jeremy. “It was incredibly contagious. Here was a group of friends that came together and were pouring their heart and souls into something that they really loved. I knew that I wanted to live my life in the same way.” Over the decades that followed, Jeremy pursued his passions in numerous ways, but the idea of a brewery lingered. “One day I was having a pint after work with Jeremy and Chandler (Parsons),” recalled, JC Obrecht, a friend and co-worker of the pair. “Chandler was commenting on the beers that we were drinking and the three of us started talking about what we might do differently. As we continued to talk, the conversation moved pretty quickly from ‘what’ to ‘how.’” “Chandler had a lot of experience with brewing. Jeremy had a lot of experience working with businesses and communities. I was the devil’s advocate and had to ask all the tough questions,” said JC. “But the more
tough questions I asked, the more easy answers they had. After a few months of discussing it, I became convinced that we had to move forward and open a brewery.” During their day jobs with Perficut, the three friends had worked together on numerous projects including Cowles Commons, The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, Operation Downtown, and the maintenance of sites including Principal Financial and Nationwide. “I told the guys, we’ve conquered bigger things together than this. We can do it,” said JC. Shortly thereafter, Jeremy caught wind that a local Ankeny brewery was closing and a seven-barrel brewing system was available for sale. The three friends bought it. Shortly after that, they learned that another brewery in Des Moines was closing and there was a larger 15-barrel system for sale. They bought that one too. Suddenly they found themselves with a system that could brew 500-gallon batches of beer, with 2,500 gallons in process, and another 5,000 gallons of storage. With equipment in hand, they just needed a brewery. “When we sat down to start designing the brewery, we knew immediately that we wanted to create a space that was historical and environmental,” JC said. “We all work full-time in the green industry and spend our days providing environmental solutions to our clients for their landscapes and maintenance programs. So we made a goal to use as many recycled and upcycled materials as we could in the design and construction of the brewery.”
The deck outside the bar was built out of beams that were reclaimed from the notorious “Log Ride” that was recently decommissioned at Adventureland. The tin ceiling over the deck came from a family barn in Pocahontas. The bar was built from materials recovered from a 117-year-old train station that was demolished in Altoona. The top of the bar was removed from a semi trailer that was found in Branson and then inlayed with .40 caliber handgun shells to fill the old screw holes from the trailer. The footrest is a train rail and the coffee tables are luggage carts from an abandoned railway car. “Even the name of the brewery, Reclaimed Rails, is a reference to the ‘Rails to Trails’ program and the bike trail that runs past the brewery,” said Jeremy. The final step in development was to find a brewer that would be creative but also responsive to the tastes of the clientele. Justin Cloke, the Head Brewer at Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines, expressed an interest in the position, and the team immediately hit it off. “Reclaimed Rails is truly a community brewery that’s focused on making great beers for great people,” said Justin. “We provide opportunities to home brewers to come in and brew beer on a larger scale and opportunities for charities to host fundraisers. It’s a great place for a special occasion or a place to gather with friends on a regular basis. Whatever our community needs, we want to be able to provide it.” With 14 original beers on tap and a family-friendly root beer, Reclaimed Rails is ready for anyone.
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THIS PAGE Blue Trucks IPA was brewed at Reclaimed Rails by the team at Perficut and is available as a blueberry flavored or traditional IPA. Enjoy a “Taste of Summer” from the team at Perficut.
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THE CULTURE CURE HOW TO CREATE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE THAT WILL KEEP YOUR BUSINESS GROWING FOR DECADES TO COME.
STORY / NICK TAYLOR IMAGES / PHILLIP HARDER
T HAS LONG BEEN HELD THAT entrepreneurship is the driving force of progress. For young organizations, creating an entrepreneurial culture is essential for survival. Smart, agile young companies survive, while those that react slowly to the market fall to their competitors. For mature organizations, entrepreneurship is the engine that allows companies to continue to innovate and grow while avoiding decline, even decades into their existence.
For more than 25 years, Perficut has been working to redefine their industry through an entrepreneurial approach that empowers employees while fostering a culture that encourages teams to think outside the box. We sat down with the owners of the company to learn more. 1. HIRE ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS “Without a doubt, the most important factor for business owners who want to create an entrepreneurial culture is hiring people who really want to be entrepreneurs,” said Boelman. “Steve Jobs was always fond of saying, ‘Get the right people on the bus first, and then figure out where the bus is going.’ I couldn’t agree with that statement more.” “Many employers get intimidated during the interview process when they come across candidates who openly express a desire to be in business for themselves,” added Ballard. “Many companies view these candidates as a threat, and worry that they will come and learn, and then take what they’ve learned to start a new enterprise. At Perficut, these are the exact type of candidates that we want to recruit. We want all of our employees to think like business owners. We want them to come with ideas, take ownership of their ideas, and then help us implement those ideas to make the company better.”
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THIS PAGE Nick Cimaglia works through plans for the Kum & Go Corporate Headquarters in Des Moines. An entrepreneurial culture means giving key employees ownership over projects that are exciting and fulfilling.
“OVER 25 YEARS, WE HAVE LEARNED THAT TO KEEP AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE GROWING, YOU HAVE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE.” - KORY BALLARD
2. COMMUNICATE “Once you have the right people on the bus, you have to communicate with them and make sure that they are communicating with each other,” said Ballard. “We’ve found that it is absolutely essential to give entrepreneurial employees a voice in the company,” said Boelman. “You have to create a culture where everyone feels safe freely sharing ideas. That requires that management recognize people for their ideas, not only when they are offered, but continuously thereafter. When people feel like their ideas are heard, recognized, and remembered down the road, it makes it much easier for people to open up.” “In some cases, particularly when you’re getting started, this means that you have to solicit input and advice from members of your team,” said Ballard. “Quiet meetings don’t lead to progress. You have to get people communicating.” “Sometimes communication can also be facilitated by eliminating walls,” Boelman said. “We recently went through a major technology overhaul of several of our critical organizational processes. The effort required participation from people at all levels of the organization but it wasn’t going well initially. The executive who was responsible for the rollout gave up her office and took a desk in the middle of our administrative bullpen so that she could interact with the rest of the team more informally and consistently. It was a subtle change that had a huge impact.” 3. MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE PARTNERS “Once you have great people, doing great work, you have to develop a plan to keep them,” Ballard said. “We’re extremely proud of our retention at Perficut.”
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“We believe that the best way to retain top talent is to empower them,” said Boelman. “Obviously that comes from empowering them to make decisions, set goals, and manage their teams. But it also means that you need to be constantly looking for ways to create microbusinesses within the organization. At Perficut, this has meant opening new regional offices, expanding to include new service lines, or even acquiring other companies for our top people to run.” “We also recognize that part of our role as owners is to continue to motivate and inspire our teams,” said Ballard. 4. ALLOW FAILURES “For better or worse, failure is also a necessary ingredient of entrepreneurship,” said Ballard. “We recognize that if you don’t fail every now and then, you’re not dreaming big enough,” said Boelman. “In business there are so many things you can’t control, and the biggest successes often require a little bit of luck. We try to teach our team that it’s okay to have some failures.” “Several years ago we purchased a small storm water management company,” said Ballard. “The business appeared good and we had a great team behind it. However, after a couple of years it became obvious that it wasn’t going to generate the internal rate of return that we demanded so we had to completely overhaul the structure and retool it.” “The key to managing failures, of course, is that you learn from them,” said Boelman. “This can be very difficult for organizations because you have to internalize the lessons without assigning blame. Blame is a culture-killer.” 5. FIGURE OUT WHAT MOTIVATES THE TEAM “Because of the highs and lows, and the extreme amount of hard work that’s demanded, an entrepreneurial culture requires an enormously dedicated team,” said Boelman. “And a nearly constant stream of motivational tools.” “We spend a lot of time trying to determine what motivates our teams,” said Ballard. “As I think through our current management team, every one of them has a different motivation. Some people need recognition, some need time off, some need money. To keep the teams moving, you have to understand that incentives come in lots of shapes and sizes.”
ABOVE: Tiffany Vaske shares a laugh in Iowa City. Entrepreneurial cultures allow organizations to continue to grow even at maturity. Tiffany was instrumental in opening the company’s new branch in Eastern Iowa.
6. LEAD BY EXAMPLE “Over 25 years, we have also learned that to keep an entrepreneurial culture growing, you have to lead by example,” said Ballard. “For Kory and I that has meant celebrating entrepreneurship in our lives with projects in the company, through ventures that are outside the company, and even through special projects in our personal lives,” said Boelman. 7. HAVE FUN “At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have fun,” said Ballard. “Entrepreneurial people understand that life is short. They are always looking for ways to live a more meaningful and productive life.” “In the past, we’ve hired a band to play a pancake breakfast, published a magazine with features about our people, or even brewed our own company beer,” Boelman said with a laugh. “We like to get way out of the box with fun.”
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