Ready for Government Work

A small central Iowa agency specializing in marketing, advertising, and website development has taken a big step toward bidding on government contracting work thanks to its relationship with CIRAS.

Andi Fagen, president and creative director of Creative DSM in Des Moines, met Kelly Freel at the Central Iowa Business Conference earlier this year. During a following introductory conversation, Freel, a government contracting specialist, explained the importance of the System for Award Management (SAM) registration and offered to guide Fagen through the process.

Creative DSM team members.
Creative DSM team members.

SAM registration is needed to bid on federal government contracts and to be eligible for the Woman-Owned Small Business preference program.

“I knew about SAM registration, and I’d started the process a couple of times. But I’d get overwhelmed and step back,” Fagen said. “Without Kelly, I might not have ever finished.”

In addition to helping Fagen complete and submit her registration documents, Freel kept an eye on the paperwork as it moved through the system and looked at possible next steps.

“We completed the registration, and I was able to provide market research targeting government agencies that buy the digital and social marketing services Creative DSM provides,” Freel said.

Fagen used the feedback from her work with Freel to create a website specifically for potential government clients.

Creative DSM is still working on getting their first government contract. But Fagen feels more confident about her chances since working with CIRAS.

“Working with CIRAS feels like you have an advocate, which is so important for a small business,” she said. “You can get so lost trying to do everything yourself. Having someone dedicated to helping you grow your business is priceless.”

For more information, contact Kelly Freel at or 515-620-6265.