Des Moines 40 under 40 Leadership Award

Feb 2010 Kimberly Baeth
By Business Record Staff

Des Moines, IA

Big scissors, big celebrities. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, talk-show mogul Oprah Winfrey and billionaire Warren Buffett are among the luminaries who have wielded larger-than-life ribbon-cutting shears provided by Kimberly Baeth's brainchild, Golden Openings Inc. Despite her success, Baeth remains a down-to-earth business owner with a big heart for Greater Des Moines.

Baeth launched the business 13 years ago in the Twin Cities, after discovering an unmet need for supplies, resources and expertise for grand openings and ribbon-cutting events by chamber of commerce members there. She moved her company to Urbandale in 2007 to be closer to her husband's parents in Marshalltown and her parents in West Des Moines.

Though Golden Openings organizes several dozen hands-on grand-opening events for Central Iowa companies each year, its growth has come largely from online sales. Baeth estimates that her company shipped approximately $1 million in grand-opening merchandise last year to businesses and organizations in all 50 states and on every continent.

"The phone rings at 6 in the morning, and it doesn't stop until 10 at night," Baeth said. "You never know who's going to be on the other end of the line - lots of cities, chambers, airports, tons of Fortune 500 companies."

Baeth is quickly making her mark as a community volunteer as well. She currently serves on the boards of the Waukee Family YMCA, the Iowa Council of Camp Fire USA and the Central Iowa chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also volunteers for her daughters' schools in fund-raising events and as a youth basketball, soccer and tee ball coach.

Last summer, when Baeth learned that nothing had been planned to commemorate Jim Goodman's life during the upcoming Hy-Vee Triathlon, she coordinated a fund-raiser that raised nearly $6,000 in scholarship money for Goodman's three daughters. Goodman unexpectedly died in June 2008 shortly after attempting the triathlon.

In January, the East Des Moines Chamber of Commerce presented Baeth with the Jim Goodman Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, which recognizes a person who exemplifies Goodman's entrepreneurial spirit.