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RDG’s Molly Hanson Named to Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2021

A transformative leader and innovative thinker, Hanson was selected for her professional success and civic contributions.

RDG Planning & Design is proud to announce that the firm’s Conservation and Community Outreach Specialist, Molly Hanson, has been recognized as a member of the Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40 class of 2021. The Forty Under 40 awards are given annually to 40 local business leaders under the age of 40 in recognition of their career achievements and community involvement. Winners are selected by a panel of past recipients and will be officially recognized during a virtual awards ceremony on April 7, 2021.

“Though Central Iowa is blessed with many bright young leaders, there are few who shine brighter than Molly. She brings a boundless dedication to tackling some of our community’s most challenging problems in a way that can be defined by one word: transformative. We are grateful that she’s chosen to be a part of the RDG family,” said RDG Senior Partner Laura Kessel, PLA, AICP, who is Hanson’s mentor and also championed Hanson’s Forty Under 40 nomination.

Hanson joined RDG in 2019 and serves as the firm’s Conservation and Community Outreach Specialist. In her time with RDG, she has worked across the firm’s studios to help with facilitation, public engagement and conservation-based project management, and has contributed to such projects as the North Raccoon River – Watershed Coalition Watershed Plan, a project that spans watersheds from rural communities in northwest Iowa to Des Moines. As a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, she is a founding member of the firm’s DEI committee and was elected to serve as one of the committee’s inaugural co-chairs.

“Being recognized as part of the 2021 Forty Under 40 class means being recognized for work that emphasizes care for the people and places that I love. My aim in life is to make every place I touch more welcoming – whether that’s my community or my workplace. I’m grateful to RDG for encouraging me to push for innovative solutions and make meaningful connections that help make our world more inclusive, resilient and just,” said Hanson.

Outside of RDG, Hanson gives back to her local community through her work with multiple volunteer and non-profit organizations, including participation in the Indianola Hills Neighborhood Association, as a Wander Women Adventure Guide, co-founder of Women for Water, co-chair of the New Leaders Council National Rural Caucus and as a board member for dsmHack.

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