Peoria Magazines’ 40 Leaders Under Forty recognizes the best leaders and innovators in Central Illinois. It’s become a rite of passage for rising professionals in the Greater Peoria area and we’re so proud to share that our very own Misty Dykema has been honored in the Class of 2021.

Misty joined Simantel in 2004 as an account manager. Since that time, she’s held many positions in client services, brand and business development and research and strategy. She also served as director and VP on her way to the top and became a principal/owner in 2019.

A true leader, Misty has a knack for developing others with a humble, inclusive and supportive style that motivates and moves people to realize their full potential. She eagerly shares her experience, speaking several times a year to students in Bradley University’s business and communications colleges and also serves as an executive coach of the Theresa Falcon Executive MBA program.

As part of her efforts to foster the personal development of others, Misty co-founded The Leader’s Life forum, a confidential program for rising and senior leaders seeking collaborative discussions and career coaching. She continuously looks for ways to inspire and join forces with others in the marketing field.

One of her most recent endeavors is the creation of a podcast for Simantel, called Marketing Sweats. At its core, the podcast focuses on the hard work that goes into the fast-paced, high-stress jobs in marketing, technology and customer experience. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the heart, soul and sweat that goes into them. After just one year in the podcasting game, her work brought home the gold at the Hermes Creative Awards.

More broadly, as an Advertising and Marketing Independent Network (AMIN) board member, Misty joins leaders from over 50 fiercely independent agencies from more than 30 countries. In addition to building truly global marketing plans from the ground up, Misty serves as Chair of the Communication Committee, the only board within the network.

Misty’s passion for improving the lives of others extends beyond the marketing industry to the community and our society. She is a board member of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross, serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and secretary of Bradley University’s Executive MBA Alumni Alliance. As a past St. Jude Runner, she has raised funds in both the local Washington-to-Peoria race and served as a St. Jude Hero in the Chicago Marathon. Through her work at Simantel, she has provided research, facilitation and strategic support of the Autism Collective effort through the local chapter. She also volunteers for her church, Imago Dei, serving Peoria’s local homeless community breakfast on Sunday mornings as well as volunteering in the church’s children’s program and providing lessons.

Day in and day out, Misty’s dedication, vision and volunteerism makes a positive impact not only at Simantel, but throughout our community. We love that she’s been publicly recognized with such a prestigious award for what we’ve known all along. Leadership is in her DNA and we’re so proud to call her ours!