Courtney Reyes – One of the Latinos honored in the Business Record Forty Under 40

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Courtney Reyes

Executive director 

One Iowa

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Age: 36

 

Partner: Kate Lyon

 

Children: Finn and Hutch

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Mentor: Jenny Smith 

 

Why she’s a Forty: 

Courtney leads her team with an authentic heart and focuses on empowering the people around her. She has helped create a coalition of business leaders to support equality for LGBTQ Iowans. She raised funds and organized a drive for the refugee community after the 2020 derecho. She is actively involved in the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Inclusion Council. 

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What are your goals in your role at your company? 

To advance health care for LGBTQ Iowans. One in three transgender people have experienced discrimination in a health care setting in the last year and are driving over 90 minutes to get to an affirming provider. LGBTQ people live all across our state, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, especially when they are trying to get their basic needs met. 

 

What are your goals for your community involvement? 

When activism is your job, I believe it is essential to find ways to take care of yourself. I recently completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate, and I am excited to bring inclusive yoga to the community and sink time into my own practice. 

 

What’s your biggest passion, and why? 

Our two boys drive my passion to keep learning and do better. I want to ensure they grow up to be humans that give a damn. I try to lead by example by caring for others, speaking up about injustice, and using my power and privilege for good. I hope that they will do the same.

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What is it that drives you? 

Discrimination, microaggressions and feeling unsafe to live in Iowa continue to impact the lives of the LGBTQ community every day. An extreme wing of Republican lawmakers and their never-ending attack on the LGBTQ community make it easy to stay motivated to keep fighting for equality. 

 

What are your future aspirations? 

To own my own yoga studio and community space. 

 

Three hobbies: 

Hiking with my family, yoga, attending Iowa State football and basketball games, and making floral arrangements.

 

Fun Fact: 

Courtney has a life goal to go to New York City every year. She had a four-year streak, and then COVID hit. She loves the magic of the people and is itching to get back to the sparkling beauty of Manhattan.

 

ONE word: Kindhearted.

 

What is your wish for the Central Iowa business community? 

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Olivia Samples, an incredible activist in our community, spoke to a class I was in last year and said, “What power and privilege are you going to give up to dismantle white supremacy?” This question crosses my mind weekly, and I hope it can make an impact on someone else. My wish for Des Moines and Iowa is to get comfortable giving up your power and privilege for others. 

 

Anything else you haven’t addressed that people must know about you? 

I am so much more than just an executive director. Our boys and I can usually be found in a pile of snuggles or baking something. I love making people feel cared for and spending time soaking up nature. I am a throw your head back kind of laugher. I am just doing my best. 

The Forty under 40 Profiles were originally published on the Business Record.

Photos by Duane Tinkey / Business Record

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