The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

   Going into the season, Worth knew he was close to breaking the records, and while he made it a goal for the season, he said it wasn’t the whole purpose of the year.
Reed Worth: Going down in record books
by Abby Hintz, ID Magazine editor-in-Chief • November 29, 2023

Fifth-year senior Reed Worth broke not just one but two Simpson records during his time on the Simpson College football team. Worth will go down...

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Review: Is the new Hunger Games worth the Watch?
by Maddie Hays, Sports Editor • November 29, 2023

 I am not ashamed to admit that Katniss Everdeen’s iconic braid is one I spent countless hours trying to perfect in middle school.    The...

SCTV 11/22/23
November 27, 2023

Simpson storms Ramco

Jenna Prather
President Byers interviewed Hank Norem Wednesday morning for his “Take DSM by Storm” event series.

The first of three “Take DSM by Storm” events occurred on Sept. 27, hosted by Ramco Innovations and Maple Studios. Seventeen alumni, faculty and staff attended the event to hear Simpson College President Jay Byers interview Simpson Trustee, alumni and Ramco Innovations CEO Hank Norem. 

Norem graduated from Simpson in 2002, spending his four years in close connection with many people on and off campus.

“I wanted that Des Moines connection,” he said. “So at the end of the day, I wanted to play little sports. I wanted a small college. I also wanted the Des Moines connection.”

He wanted a small community feel but big opportunities. 

“I was able to intern at Principal right away, did a House [of Representatives] internship, Marilyn Mueller set me up with the House internship, got those things into Des Moines that I wouldn’t have got elsewhere, knowing that I wanted to do this [be a CEO] someday.”

Norem thinks that the liberal arts background he got from Simpson was an important part of the skills he uses as a CEO.

“I still today say it was a liberal arts background that really helps us compete,” he said. “I think we can retail when we’re out in the market and the Des Moines market but psychology, for example, I took a psychology course and I talked about Mark Juffernbruch recently. I said ‘We need to make that a required course at Simpson. Because really, at the end of the day, you know, you’re 22, 23 years old and up in a boardroom, and psychology is just as important as [the business stuff].”

And a well-rounded education is something that more and more companies are looking for. 

“They’re also wanting to get access to students much earlier,” Norem said. “So you know, in the days of four to seven years of education, they’re saying no, let’s start talking to them much earlier. That’s always been around in the form of internships, but they’re wanting much, much more connectivity with them, not necessarily in the form of an internship, but just exposure to them.”

Before coming back to Des Moines, Norem was in Kansas City and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a global accounting consultancy firm.

“I’ll never forget I was in Kansas City and working for PWC and this guy is going down the list at the roster. And he’s like, where did you come from? Because most of them are University of Missouri, you know, Kansas State University. And he [said] ‘we love this education you have,’” he said. “So that education background is something we need to promote more in the Des Moines market and how it plays on a global scale.”

Midwest-based Ramco Innovations works with companies on automation solutions. So, if a company has manual processes, unsafe processes, they want to improve productivity or they want to create more widgets in a safe environment, Ramco comes in.

“It’s never been more important than right now,” Norem said. “Everyone’s well aware of labor shortages. Everyone’s well aware of supply chain issues. We’re right in the heart of that on the Ramco side. When we work with a company, we’re not looking to displace workers, we’re looking to create more. So that’s when we come in, engineers on staff help them do more of what they’re doing. That’s the Ramco side of the business.”

On the other side, Maple Studios serves industrial technology companies and physical product builders from startup to growth stage.

“Maple Studios was launched about five years ago to work with startups because we were seeing this need in the market where startups didn’t have the infrastructure,” Norem said. “You graduate from the program, you head out into the real world. You don’t have the backbone to run a business. We have that backbone here. We have the expertise from engineering, marketing, financial services, warehousing, all the things that they need to run.”

The gathering also included Simpson updates from Associate Professor of Management John Walker and Head Football Coach Reed Hoskins.

The next “Take DSM by Storm” event will happen on Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m. President Byers will be interviewing Rich Willis of Willis Automotive.

Byers encourages all Simpson students, staff, faculty and alumni to attend the meetup.

“I think we can build this into something really, really special,” Byers said. “[It’s] a great chance for all of you to connect, too…I think this is an opportunity for all of us to network with each other and to do a better job of connecting with our central Iowa alumni and getting you [alumni] more engaged with what’s happening currently on campus.”

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Jenna Prather, Editor-in-Chief

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