Our Founder, Dick Goodson

Dick Goodson, DMS Founder

Dick Goodson in many ways represented the magic that is Des Moines as he worked to bring countless individuals together to work to better our community and make an impact.  For many of our long-term clients, he was the face of our company – the first person they met – the leader of providing “service beyond expectation.” For our staff he was the leader that saw their individual talents, beyond their title.

Dick purchased DMS in 1996 after working with the Iowa League of Savings Institute to build it from the ground up. He spent many years working with nonprofits and organizations throughout the Des Moines metro, including the Greater Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations, the 5th Judicial District as well as the Guardian Project and the Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimers Association.

Dick lead this company to many successes, including the 2002 Associations Advance America Award from ASAE for security focused work following 9/11 and the “Small Business Best Kept Secret Award” from the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Des Moines Business Record. Around our office we talk about our DMS family, and he was definitely at the heart of that, which many of us feel is perhaps one of the best of his successes.

Our ongoing testament to him will be to live up to that level of client and community commitment.

Click Here To View Dick’s Obituary


  • 1967 Served as a cook in the US Army
  • 1970 Worked as a Journeyman Meat-Cutter butcher at A&P in New Jersey & Krogers in Indiana until recruited for management.
  • 1973 Moved to Iowa to become the Research Director for the Polk Des Moines Taxpayers
  • 1976 Became Executive Director of Polk Des Moines Taxpayers and began the Metropolitan Sewer Authority.
Accomplishments Timeline


  • 1979 Appointed by Mayor Arthur Davis as Chair of the Metro 2000 Committee that created the Greater DSM Leadership Institute and brought Seniom Sed back to downtown
  • 1980 Began working at Iowa Savings & Loan League (Iowa League of Savings Institutions)
  • 1987 Iowa League of Savings Institutions created an association management company called Diversified Management Services (DMS)
  • 1996 Served on the Board of Directors for the Wakonda Club


  • 1991 Purchased DMS with 6 others and became the President and CEO
  • 1992 DMS created their first start-up association, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
  • 1993 DMS pioneered a path into the web design arena with DMS WebWorks
  • 1996 Dick, Carole Thompson, and Kevin Kruse purchased DMS from the Iowa League of Savings Institutions


  • 1996 Dick served 7 years on the Board of Directors for the AMC Institute and held positions of Secretary, Vice President, and President Elect.
  • 1998 Moved DMS from the Midland Building to the Riverfront
  • 2001 DMS received ASAE Accreditation
  • 2002 Post 9/11, Dick led DMS to put on a first-ever security conference called Secure Iowa. DMS received the 2002 Associations Advance America Award from ASAE for creating this important event.


  • 2007 Dick volunteered for Iowa's 5th Judicial District and worked passionately toward the rehabilitation of convicts
  • 2008 DMS received the "Small Business Best Kept Secret Award" from the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Des Moines Business Record
  • 2010 DMS received the AMC Institute Accreditation
  • 2012 Dick retires from DMS after a long career


  • 2016 Founded the Guardian Project in Des Moines to create a public and private partnership to help fund important police programs like body cameras, for DMPD and to work toward making the relationship between law enforcement and the community at large a true partnership
  • 2017 After receiving an diagnosis of Stage One Alzheimer's, Dick served as a Volunteer Support Group leader and huge advocate for Alzheimer's Awareness with the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Dick and Kerry also served as hosts of an Alzheimer's Walk.



I remember when I first approached Dick about the possibility of taking the role as IT Director. It was a large shift from the seat I previously sat in.  I told him I expected him to have to think about it, and he would probably wonder if it made sense. He said, “You know what doesn’t make sense? To not allow good employees that want to grow and change, the opportunity to stay and use their talents within the company.” Dick had a way of inspiring you to always bring your A game.

Dick’s leadership style was to focus on the big picture. When he addressed a problem or an issue, he was good at determining who needed to be in the room in order to reach a solution. He made sure that all sides were heard.

An interesting anecdote about Dick was that everyone who worked with him quickly learned not to give him any original documents. His office always seemed to be a black hole where papers went to disappear.

I appreciate the opportunities that he gave to me to develop as a leader.

I will be forever grateful to Dick (Kerry and Kevin) for giving me my professional start at DMS.  The ways in which I was trusted, allowed to grow and how I was seen as a whole individual and not just an employee has been so impactful.  Dick was always so frank, and shared exactly what you needed to hear, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear; it ended up making me a better person.

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