Cory McAnelly is an Iowa native who spent much of his early years moving around the country with his parents during their military service. Eventually, his family returned to the Midwest and he attended Pleasant Valley High School in the Quad Cities, went to the University of Iowa where he was the first in his family to graduate from college, and attended Drake University for Law School. Cory clerked for a Federal Judge in Iowa and worked for large and small private firms in Des Moines, Iowa and Dallas, Texas before taking on his current role as Intellectual Property Counsel for Principal Financial Group. He currently lives in the Drake neighborhood with his partner, Lauren, and their two dogs Daphne and Dexter.
Cory is proud of his background and that his experiences have exposed him to a diverse group of people and places throughout his life. He, like many of the people of our city, has faced challenges that pushed him to better himself and gave him opportunities to better understand the people around him. Cory has been blessed with great mentors throughout his life and believes that one of the top qualities of a good leader is understanding that you can’t be the most qualified on every issue, but you can surround yourself with talented people that you can lean on for their expertise.
Lifelong dedication to volunteering and local organizations
In the last few years, Cory has dedicated himself to organizations in Des Moines that focus on education, housing and food security, and equitable access to critical services. His experience as an intellectual property attorney has sharpened his problem-solving mindset, making him well-suited to find creative solutions to our local issues. As President of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation, he worked with the Foundation Board and Library staff to identify, stand up, and fund innovative programs and digital resources that allowed critical services to be provided to the community during the pandemic. He has served on the Board of Managers for the YMCA Supportive Housing Campus and volunteers with other local organizations working to address housing insecurity because he appreciates that homelessness is best addressed with comprehensive services and support and, more than anything, a sincere human connection. He understands that sharing our stories with today’s youth can help them find their unique path, which is why he regularly volunteers with organizations like By Degrees and supports innovative efforts to keep Des Moines’ students in school and on a path towards graduating high school and entering the local workforce.
Vision for the future of Des Moines
Des Moines is a city of great opportunity and Cory is ready to work hard to make sure that the abundance of Des Moines is available to all. Cory is already engaged in conversations with his neighbors, leadership, philanthropies, businesses, and the community as a whole to find ways to highlight our successes and bring the right people to the table to discuss our disagreements. Cory looks forward to working tirelessly for the entire community to make sure that Des Moines works for all those that, like Cory, look forward to calling Des Moines “home” for years to come.
Learn more about Cory’s vision for Des Moines here: Vision