Meet DSM: John Bedessem

Occupation: Equity Derivatives Trader at Athene 

City: Downtown Des Moines

Q: What led you to living in Downtown DSM? 

A: I was in New York City, and I decided to leave and come back to the Midwest. I took a year and a half off and made Minneapolis my home base because that’s where my family is located. I had experience working with Athene in my previous role and knew them to be a top- tier employer. Luckily for me, they were looking for someone with my professional background. I moved to Des Moines to join the Athene Team. 

Q: What specifically about Athene seemed right to you? 

A: My specific position is a bit niche. The kinds of companies that need my expertise in the Midwest are limited, and Athene is one of them. Athene fits my personality well. The pace of work and growth is fast, so there is always something new and interesting to work on. They are a results- driven organization with an entrepreneurial spirit. Managers and colleagues at Athene want to help you succeed and grow both personally and professionally. 

Q: Did you have any assumptions about DSM before moving here? 

A: I assumed and hoped that it would be a similar culture to my childhood in southwestern Wisconsin. Des Moines met our expectations, and my fiancé and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the city. Our most pleasant surprise was the quality of the restaurants.  It has a lot of events, like the World Food & Music Festival, in addition to accessible live music and minor league sports teams. 

Q: What’s the key difference between where you lived before and DSM? 

A: I lived in New York City. New York has some major benefits. The food is very good, things are open 24 hours and there’s great events. But I’ve found that the food and events in Des Moines are just as good. It’s quieter here and there’s a little less going on. But I don’t need to be in the middle of everything anymore. My life here is more stable. The streets are clean and safe. I feel more secure in my role, and I am surrounded by great co-workers. I’ve found support in a way I have not seen in other places. 

Q: Do you have a favorite restaurant, coffee shop or local business you’ve found in DSM? 

A: My fiancé and I’s favorite spot to eat is Harbinger. My fiancé likes Smokey Row and Scenic Route Bakery for coffee.  

Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a vibrant, growing region in the heart of Iowa. DSM spans a vibrant city core, amenity-packed suburbs, comfy small towns and impressive rural expanses. It’s a place where you can do something greater and build the life you want and be who you were meant to be, all in a neighborly community and at an affordable cost. Learn more and find your something greater in DSM.

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