• Mon November 18 2013
  • Posted Nov 18, 2013
Rick Swalwel, a long-time pro-cycling advocate gets re-elected to the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Congratulations Rick!

Rick is one of five board members and was heavily involved with West Des Moines comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan that updated the current parks and trails plan for the West Des Moines Parks & Recreation over the past few years. Rick is also a member of the Trails and Greenways Committee whose responsibility is to assist and advise Polk County on land trails, Bikeways, Greenways and water trails.

Other board members include Forest Ridgway, owner of Bike World, Mike Chambers, Heather Schebel (newly elected) and Rick Messerschmidt who recently got elected to West Des Moines City Council.

About Rick

Rick Swalwell is a native Iowan and was born and raised in Des Moines. Rick has more than 30 years’ experience in the communications field. His broadcasting career began at WOI-TV in Ames while completing his degree. After graduation, he worked as a director/producer and on-air talent at KGLO-AM/TV in Mason City. Eventually, he moved to Des Moines where he spent many years as an award-winning news reporter and anchor at KCCI-TV and WHO-TV.

Rick bought his first nice road bike back in the late 60s and have been at it ever since. He commuted for several years from WDM to downtown and back every day throughout the year. He is a RAGBRAI veteran and covered the event as a reporter for KCCI-TV in 1988 and he has ridden nearly every major trail in the Midwest over the years. He even knocked off a race in the Mercy Me Biathlon. His biggest challenge… 27 mile climb of Mt. Evans in Colorado… the highest paved road in the U.S. tops out at 14,265 ft. It took about 4 hours to make the 7,000' elevation gain and only about 40 minutes or so to come down. He said it was "a Wild descent"!

Rick has spent the past 17 years in various executive management positions, providing his expertise to well-known Iowa companies. He also is founder and president of Renaissance Communications, Inc., a private marketing and communications consulting firm. In addition, Rick has served as an Adjunct Professor at Drake University, where he taught public relations to undergrad and graduate students.

Rick has also enjoyed contributing his free-lance talent to Iowa Public Television for the past 10 years, serving as an on-air host for IPTV’s Festival; co-hosting Iowa This Weekend; and filling in as a guest host on Market to Market and Living In Iowa.

About the West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

The West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is an elected body that serves an advisory role for West Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department. The board meets the third Thursday of each month at 5:30pm in the West Des Moines City Council Chambers at City Hall, 4200 Mills Civic Parkway.

For more information about the Park Board please call 515-222-3444.

Photo: Rick is pictured 2nd row, far right.

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