A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

As an owner and principal at Simantel, Misty Marie Dykema leads over 90 employees, more than 60 clients and over 500 active projects within the full-service marketing firm. Having held positions in client services, brand and business development, and research and strategy, she joined the ownership team in 2015 and became a principal/owner in 2019. She has been a main driver in the company’s growth in part due to her skill for developing creative talent.

Active in the industry more broadly, Dykema is an AMIN Americas board member, joining agency leaders from around the U.S. to foster growth of the Advertising and Marketing Independent Network, as well as chairing its communication committee. She continually looks for ways to inspire and collaborate with others in the field, including Marketing Sweats, the award-winning podcast she created and hosts. As co-founder of the Mindset Leadership Forum, Dykema heads a senior-level leadership forum each year, engaging eight to 10 fellow executives that build connections and learn from one another on a variety of leadership topics. As a coach for Bradley University’s Leadership Immersion Week, she brings her experience and advice to students looking to advance their careers as leaders. She also speaks several times a year to students in the business and communications colleges.

Dykema was the youngest alumna of Bradley University’s Executive MBA program, and now sits on the board of Bradley’s Executive MBA Alumni Alliance, currently as secretary and previously as vice president. She is a board member for the American Red Cross of Central Illinois, serving on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and a past St. Jude runner, including serving 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 for Easterseals and OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

A graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, she volunteers for Imago Dei church, serving breakfast to Peoria’s homeless community and providing lessons in its children’s program. PM