UNIBusiness alumni make Des Moines Business Record’s Forty Under 40 list
Two UNIBusiness alumni are featured on the Des Moines Business Record’s 2019 Forty Under 40 list, which recognizes central Iowa business leaders under the age of 40 who have led the way professionally and in the community.
Brandon Foldes (Marketing Management ’05) and Joe Murphy (Economics ’06) exemplify what it means to give back and excel in business.
Foldes didn’t study real estate at UNI — he majored in marketing management — but after interning with a few companies in the industry, he took an interest in it. Twelve months after graduation, Foldes entered the real estate industry in early 2006 with a company his uncle started.
The company, named Shyft Collective, advocates for customers and guides them through any type of real estate change — relocation, renovations, etc. For his first seven years in the company, Foldes spent his days traveling the country, providing valuable consultation and management for companies all over the United States.
Foldes bought Shyft Collective in 2014 and implemented a more comprehensive approach. Today, in addition to management services, the company offers strategic planning, architecture and design, and real estate services.
“I looked at our team and saw we had a lot of people with technical educations, whether it be architecture, interior design, construction management,” Foldes said. “We wanted to offer smaller companies information from experts all under one roof. That’s what sparked the idea [to branch out.]”
In addition to his career, Foldes is also involved with EveryStep, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people through life’s hardest moments. Foldes’ dedication stems from personal tragedy. When he was 13, his 5-year-old sister passed away. A grief support counselor in school helped Foldes through that tough time — support Foldes will never forget.
When Foldes heard about EveryStep’s Amanda the Panda program, which aims to help children through grief, he was immediately drawn to the organization. He chairs EveryStep’s golf fundraisers, which is pushing $200,000 over the past four years, and serves on the organization’s board of trustees.
Foldes was excited to hear he was named a Forty Under 40, and the support he has received has been a bit overwhelming.
“I’m surprised,” he said. “It’s a big accomplishment. The outreach from the community has been mind-blowing — people you haven’t talked to in a while — and that’s what it’s all about here in central Iowa. There’s so many caring people.”
Murphy was introduced to UNIBusiness during a high school economics competition at UNI.
Murphy grew up in Cedar Rapids and was a part of his school’s economics club. He knew it was something he wanted to study at the collegiate level.
“The economics faculty and others interacted with us, and I enjoyed the campus,” he said. “That pretty much sold me on it right there. I enrolled the next year.”
Murphy eventually became the UNI student body president in the 2005-06 school year before graduating in 2006. He continued with politics, helping run campaigns in northeast Iowa during the 2006 election cycle. In 2008, he returned to his alma mater and served as a state relations officer for UNI until 2011.
Today, Murphy is the senior vice president of government relations and public policy for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a regional chamber for the Des Moines metro area.
On the volunteer side, Murphy serves on the board of directors for the UNI Alumni Association. He’s also active in United Way Central Iowa and the West Des Moines Public Library. He credited UNI for laying the groundwork for his career.
“It’s certainly a nice recognition, and I’m appreciative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership for nominating me,” Murphy said. “More importantly, it instills a sense of responsibility in somebody that has been recognized, and I have a sense of responsibly and obligation to give back to the organizations and the people that have shaped me in my professional life, and UNI is a core pillar of who I am and who I continue to be.”