Coonan, Attorney at the BrownWinick Law Firm, will present on the Top Five Ways to Minimize Risk when Disciplining or Terminating an Employee


GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Jan. 17, 2018) The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the next presenter in its Top Five for Small Business series. Beth Coonan, Attorney at the BrownWinick Law Firm, will present on the Top Five Ways to Minimize Risk when Disciplining or Terminating an Employee. The Top Five series features presentations to inform, educate and inspire business owners in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The events focus on a variety of timely topics that affect business owners and managers including legal, human resources, information technology, marketing, accounting and other pressing issues.

Coonan’s presentation will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust St., Ste. 100.

Employers often must spend valuable time managing employee discipline and discharge decisions. Coonan’s presentation will discuss best practices for creating processes that save time, setting expectations and reducing entity risk.
Coonan is a member of the BrownWinick Law Firm and serves as Chair of BrownWinick’s Employment Law practice group. Coonan represents clients in the areas of employment, workers’ compensation and business immigration law. She assists employers with policy development and enforcement, non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants, business visas and compliance with immigration laws, litigation and workers’ compensation strategy and trainings on drug testing, harassment and FMLA issues.

Coonan also serves as an independent investigator for harassment and other claims. She counsels clients regarding discipline and termination situations and compliance with local, state and federal employment and civil rights laws and regulations. She represents clients in proceedings in front of various courts and administrative bodies including the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation. Coonan also assists clients in dispute resolution using alternate forums and is a certified mediator.

The event is $15 to attend, which includes lunch or $10 to watch via simulcast. Click here to register.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at

Sam Hoyle
(515) 286-4919

The Value of Small Business

Where did you spend your time growing up? What are your favorite memories of your hometown? For many of you, the answers to these questions will involve a local business. I was fortunate enough to grow up working in a family coffee shop. I saw firsthand the benefits a small business can provide to a community, and they go far beyond your morning cup of coffee. They give your town personality, provide superior service, and make a greater economic impact than chain stores.



Small businesses are often the defining aspect of your community’s identity. Whether it’s the coffee shop where you and your friends meet every weekend, the bookstore where you buy your kids’ Christmas presents, or the thrift store where you design your wardrobe, local businesses create the environment that is your town. They give the community places to gather, they provide goods and services from trusted sources, and they probably gave you your first job. Almost every town has “their spot,” the place to which you immediately refer visitors to show them what your community is all about, and some lucky towns even have more than one. These businesses give their communities life, and occupy an important place in our hearts.


Personalized Service

In a similar vein, there is something special about supporting a business owner that you know. This is even more true when you know you are going to receive personal, sincere service, something that superstores and online outlets just can’t match. The tailor-made service you receive at a local business comes from real relationships forged between the owners and their customers. My parents used to sit down and talk with customers for extended periods of time, showing genuine concern for what was going on in their lives. The relationships they forged with their customers were irreplaceable. While this may violate one of Don Corleone’s most important rules (“It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”), it ultimately means a better experience and a better product for the people in the community.


Local economic development

For every $100 spent at a local business, an average of $68 stay in your community, compared with $43 out of every $100 from non-local businesses. This local spending includes wages, local supplies and services, and community donations. Additionally, small businesses are likely to be the first job for many of the kids in your community. This gives the added benefit of providing work experience in what is likely to be a friendly environment. I remember working with a lot of my friends from high school at my family coffee shop. In addition to economic benefits from supplies and wages, small business owners are more likely to support local booster clubs and events, providing additional value for the community.


Small businesses and the people who run them are irreplaceable in a community. That’s why America’s SBDC Iowa’s mission is “to support the collaborative economic development of Iowa by providing entrepreneurs and businesses with individual consultation and educational resources necessary to assist their businesses to succeed.” If you need help growing your business, or have a new idea you want to test, let us know. Consultations are free, and we have 15 centers conveniently located throughout the state. Let us help get you off the ground.



Special Thanks: Leah Pitts