May Ames Business Monthly 2019

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AB AMES BUSINESS

BARILLA EXPANDING THE PASTA-BILITIES WITH PLANT EXPANSION SEE PAGE 2

MONTHLY M A Y 2019

May Chamber Update

POWER UP IOWA AIMS TO PROMOTE RENEWABLE RESOURCES THROUGHOUT THE STATE SEE PAGE 3


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2 | A M E S B U S I N E S S M O N T H L Y | MAY 2019 Cutting the ribbon during the ceremony are, from the left, Barilla Americas President Jean-Pierre Comte, Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen, Ames Mayor John Haila, Barilla Group CEO Claudio Colzani, Barilla Ames Plant Director Larry Covington, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Director of Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority Debi Durham and Ames Chamber and Economic Development Commission President and CEO Dan Culhane.

AMES BUSINESS

MONTHLY MAY 2019 Vol. 12, No. 5 AMES TRIBUNE Ames Business Monthly is a publication of the Ames Tribune, 317 Fifth St., Ames, IA, 50010; (515) 232-2160.

3 Power Up Iowa to promote renewable resources 4 Friedrich Iowa Realty expansion 5 Chamber of Commerce 17 Funeral homes become one with recent purchase 18 Amberly J. Ehret 19 Rick Brimeyer

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY BARILLA GROUP

Barilla expanding the pasta-bilities with plant expansion By Kylee Mullen, Staff Writer kmullen@amestrib.com

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arilla revealed its expanded facility in Ames to community officials, including the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Gov. Kim Reynolds, during a recently ribbon cutting ceremony and tour. The Ames facility’s pasta processing plant and integrated durum mill expansion will be fully-complete this May. It includes a rail-yard expansion, two new production lines and six new silos to store wheat. According to officials, the expansion makes the Ames facility the third-largest in the Barilla Group. While addressing the ceremony’s crowd of local leaders and Barilla employees, Reynolds said, “Barilla is a great example of one of those innovative companies that are really playing a

big role in our economy.” Barilla Ames Plant Manager Larry Covington said the expansion project is two-fold. The rail, mill and silo project gives the company an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint — aiding their mission to become carbon-neutral. The main assembly plant expansion will help the company produce more pasta with a total of eight production lines. “As we continue to grow, and we were really pushing the limits of our capacity, it becomes difficult to push volumes because you have to be able to guarantee customer service and order fill rate,” he said. “We now have the opportunity to continue to grow and push volumes into the marketplace for our customers that we wouldn’t have had in the past. It’s a huge opportunity to us.” The expansion allows Barilla

to add 41 new positions to the current team of 214 employees. About half of those have been filled and they hope to have full capacity by early 2021. In addition, of the approximately $19 million spent on the building and utilities portion of the project, 90 percent of the work was assigned to over 32 Iowabased vendors. Ames Mayor John Haila said he is proud of the city’s partnership with Barilla over the past 21 years, and he is pleased with their impact on the community’s workforce. “They are outstanding jobs — their commitment to safety and their investing in people. It just strengthens our workforce,” he said. The company also touched on sustainability goals for the company, announcing their commitment to become a 100 percent zero waste facility by the end of 2020. Barilla Ames is a founding member of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum in partnership with Iowa State University. “We are taking every opportunity we have to reduce our footprint on the planet,” Covington said. “We have one planet. When it’s gone, it’s gone. We need to do our part and be good corporate citizens in taking care of that.”

In March, 2017, Barilla was awarded $1.2 million in tax credits, as well as a $375,000 forgivable loan, from the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board for the project. They broke ground on both projects in July, 2017. In 2015, the facility underwent another $26.5 million investment. That expansion added two gluten-free production lines and new packaging equipment. According to Covington, the facility works like a “plant within a plant” to ensure there is no cross-contamination. “We take that very, very seriously. Again, its about protecting the consumer and protecting our brand,” he said. The Italy-based company opened the Ames facility in 1998, making it the first Barilla U.S. manufacturing plant. It is capable of producing 200,000 metric tons of dry pasta per year and is one of the largest industrial properties in Ames. “We came to Iowa 21 years ago, the company has survived for the last 141 years, and we want to stay another century at least in Iowa,” Barilla Group CEO Claudio Colzani said, as he closed the ceremony. “We never thought about you guys, working in Ames, as a means for more profit. We always refer to you as partners for a long journey.”


MAY 2019 | AMES BUSINESS MONTHLY | 3

Power Up Iowa aims to promote renewable resources throughout the state By Kylee Mullen, Staff Writer kmullen@amestrib.com

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tate business and civic leaders, including President and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce Dan Culhane, joined Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg in early April to launch a statewide coalition called Power Up Iowa. The coalition, according to a press release, consists of renewable energy supporters who advocate for local, state and federal policies that grow wind energy investments in Iowa. The coalition will work to educate, raise awareness and participate in conversations with the state’s leaders. “Today was all about launching Power Up Iowa, which is a coalition made up of more than 60 leaders from various sectors, focused on advancing wind energy across the state,” said

Makenzie Heddens, deputy director for Power Up Iowa during the April 4 event. “Generally, people are supportive of wind energy, but I think one of the stories that gets lost in translation is the economic benefits of wind.” Participants in the press conference, held at the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny, discussed the positive impact wind energy has on Iowa’s economy and workforce, and, according to Culhane, “Power Up Iowa has been created to promote the wind energy industry and the renewables in general in our state.” “Wind energy has provided significant returns to investors and significant job opportunities,” he said. “We are also a leader as a state in the technology and equipment we have to harness the wind.” Iowa ranks second in the nation in installed wind capacity, and the state

generates a third of its electricity using wind power. According to the press release, between 7,000 and 8,000 Iowans have windrelated careers. Culhane believes this topic is very important to people throughout the state and in Story County. “As a market, there’s a high level of interest in renewable energy, whether it’s the wind or solar,” he said. The coalition hopes that, by participating in conversations with state leaders, they can drive more support for renewable energy and attract new investments that will influence future prospects and economic potential. “We have a lot of support across the state. I think together our voice will really build awareness, and we can really build that story and cultivate our longstanding role as leader in wind energy,” Heddens said.

AMES TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO


4 | A M E S B U S I N E S S M O N T H L Y | MAY 2019

Friedrich Iowa Realty expanding downtown Ames offi ce Friedrich property. According to Friedrich, it was a complex demolition process as they worked to riedrich Iowa Realty ensure no disruption or damage was made to the recently completed neighboring properties. demolition of a “Everything went neighboring building in really well,” Friedrich a step toward expanding said. “It was fun watchits own downtown Ames ing the properties come office at the intersection down.” of Sixth Street and Duff The space will be used Avenue. for the office expansion, “We are building office redevelopment and on our heritage here in additional parking. The downtown and expandcompany hopes to have a ing our offices at Freifinalized schedule for the drich. We’ve been here rest of the project within since the mid-70s and, the next few months. shortly, we’ll be celebrat“In the time we’ve ing our 100-year annibeen here, our staff has versary,” Broker-Owner grown more than threeKurt Friedrich said. fold, and we’re needing The demolition of a more space to house six-plex building and our people and to better garages took place along serve our clients,” he Duff Avenue and Sixth said. Street, adjacent to the By Kylee Mullen

Staff Writer kmullen@amestrib.com

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Friedrich Iowa Realty plans to use the space for office expansion, office redevelopment and additional parking. PHOTO BY KYLEE MULLEN/ AMES TRIBUNE


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AMES MAIN STREET

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SPECIAL EVENTS MAY 4

Food Truck Showdown Free Face Painting by Joyful Colorz

MAY 11

Free Meyer’s Pony Rides

MAY 25

Free Hovick Petting Zoo

JUNE 8

Ames Public Bookmobile

JUNE 15

Free Face Painting by Joyful Colorz Cookie Challenge Contest

JULY 13

Ames Public Bookmobile

JULY 20

Free Face Painting by Joyful Colorz .LGœV %DNH 2ႇ &RQWHVW Iowa Games Fitness Walk

AUGUST 4

2nd Annual Farm to Table Dinner

AUGUST 10

Ames Public Bookmobile Free Hovick Petting Zoo

AUGUST 24

Free Face Painting by Joyful Colorz Life Serve Blood Drive

SEPTEMBER 7

Game Day Snack Day Contest

SEPTEMBER 14

Free Face Painting by Joyful Colorz Ames Public Bookmobile

SEPTEMBER 28

Free Meyer’s Pony Rides

OCTOBER 12

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MAY 30, 2019 6:00 - 8:00 PM COST » $5 FOR ADULTS » FREE FOR FUEL MEMBERS » FREE FOR CHILDREN » OPEN TO EVERYONE!

INFORMATION » LAST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH (STARTING MAY 30, 2019) » LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT » FOOD CARTS » ADULT BEVERAGES

SPONSOR


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Map and more information: www.amesdowntown.org @downtownames

Presented By:

Art Walk is made possible in part by our generous sponsors and parterning organizations, including the City of Ames, Story County, Main Street Iowa and Main Street America. $PHV 0DLQ 6WUHHW LV DQ DIÆ“OLDWH RI WKH $PHV &KDPEHU RI &RPPHUFH


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3-6pm Fun Family Activities

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200 Block of Welch Ave.

JUNE 1 3:00 TO 9:00 PM

Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Henna, Balloons & Root Beer Garden

3-9pm Live Music/Beer Garden

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M A Y 2 0 1 9 | A M E S B U S I N E S S M O N T H L Y | 17

Two Nevada funeral homes become one with recent purchase Justin Rasmusson, owner of the newly-named RasmussonRyan Funeral Home in Nevada. PHOTO

By Marlys Barker Nevada Journal

N

EVADA — For many years, Nevada has been a twofuneral home town, but recently, that changed. Justin Rasmusson, who purchased Bacon Funeral Home on Jan. 1, 2016, from Rob Bacon, has now purchased Ryan Funeral Home, most recently owned and operated by Scott and Connie Huffman. Rasmusson plans to consolidate the funeral homes, and keep the funeral home and crematory operations headquartered at the 1418 Fawcett Parkway location on the south side of Nevada. “The Huffmans and I began talks in late January, and the closing took place March 22,” said Rasmusson, who started working in the funeral business in Nevada when he came to Bacon Funeral Home in March 2010. “It has always been a goal of mine to join the two funeral homes

BY MARLYS BARKER/ NEVADA JOURNAL

in Nevada,” Rasmusson said. “It just so happened that the Huffmans were looking to pursue other opportunities and had approached me about purchasing Ryan Funeral Home.” He said the purchase made sense. “I think the timing was right,” he said. “Also, this type of opportunity doesn’t come along every day. Every business is looking for ways to grow and expand; this acquisition meets that goal and also preserves the history and tradition of the Ryan Funeral Home.” The purchase of Ryan Funeral Home does not include the

property and buildings it has occupied as part of the sale. “These were retained by the Huffmans, who plan to sell (the property) at a later date,” Rasmusson said. The newly combined funeral home business will have a new name: Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory. “The Ryan name has been a staple in funeral service in Nevada since the ’40s. It was no question that I wanted to continue that name into the future,” Rasmusson said. “Our signs and website will be changing in the coming weeks to reflect that.”

Rasmusson also wants to assure those who had pre-arranged services with Ryan Funeral Home that those will be honored. “We will also be reaching out to each person that has a prearranged funeral plan on file,” he said. Other than new signage to go with the new business name, and moving all services to his present facility on Fawcett Parkway, Rasmusson doesn’t foresee a lot of other changes. Continuing to do business in his newer facility made sense, because it is all one level, handicapaccessible, has a large parking lot able to accommodate parking for 90 cars and has a community room that can accommodate luncheons for up to 50 people comfortably. “This (Fawcett Parkway) facility also houses our on-site crematory, giving families that choose cremation peace of mind knowing that their loved one will not leave our care,” Rasmusson said. He added he hopes whoever

buys the Fifth Street property that housed Ryan Funeral Home has an appreciation for older homes and will maintain that property’s character. “It has always been well cared for. It has very spacious rooms and with a little re-configuring, would make someone a very nice home.” Judy Chance will continue to be the day-to-day office person for Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home, and Rasmusson said he has a great part-time support staff, as well. “I have great support from family and colleagues that are always willing to help however they can,” he said. Most important, Rasmusson said, is he continues the rich traditions created by both funeral home establishments. “Though the buildings may be changing, the service that people have come to expect will remain. We are dedicated to providing the personal, professional and caring service many have come to know and expect.”


18 | A M E S B U S I N E S S M O N T H L Y | MAY 2019

Beyond financial matters in retirement R

etirement planning is not entirely financial. Your degree of happiness after leaving work for the last time may depend on some factors you cannot quantify. Too many people retire without any idea of what their retirement will look like. They leave work, and they cannot figure out what to do with themselves, so they grow restless. Certainly, you do not want this to happen to you. Here are a few non-financial retirement questions that no preretiree should dismiss. Where will you live? This is a major factor in retirement happiness. If you can surround yourself with family members and friends whose company you enjoy, in a community where you can maintain old friendships and meet new people with

AMBERLY J. EHRET Marrs Wealth Management

similar interests or life experience that is a definite plus. If all this can occur in a walkable community with good mass transit and senior services, all the better. Moving away from the life you know to a spreadout, car-dependent suburb where anonymity seems more prevalent than community may be a bad idea. How will you get around in your eighties and nineties? The actuaries at Social Security project that a quarter of today’s 65-year-olds will live to age 90a. Some will live longer. Say you

find yourself in that group. What kind of car would you want to drive at 85 or 90? At what age would you cease driving? Lastly, if you do stop driving, who would you count on to help you go where you want to go and get out in the world? What will you do with your time? Retirement is not about leaving your old life behind, it is about enhancing the life you have created. It is about writing a new chapter in your life, informed by wisdom and experience. What will that chapter look like? What narrative will unfold for you? If your life, identity, and social circle revolves around your work, then maybe you should ignore any received wisdom that tells you to retire at a certain age and keep working. On the other hand, if you have goals and

passions in mind that you need to pursue — dreams you need to fulfill away from your career or business — then you definitely have the raw material to write that next chapter in your life story and retire with purpose. How will you keep up your home? At 45, you can tackle that bathroom remodel or backyard upgrade yourself. At 75, you will probably outsource projects of that sort, whether or not you stay in your current home. You may consider moving out of a single-family home and into a townhome or condo for retirement. Regardless of the size of your retirement residence, you will probably need to fund minor or major repairs, and you may need to find reliable and affordable sources for gardening or landscaping.

Will your relationships with family and friends change? Should you move nearer to your children or other relatives? If you have grandchildren, what kind of role do you anticipate playing in their lives? Your significant other may spend more of each day with you than he or she has in years; that may be welcome, or it may take some adjustment. These are just a few thoughtprovoking non-financial questions to think about before you clock out for the last time. Continue to think about them as you plan and invest for the future self, happiness, and lifestyle. AMBERLY J. EHRETis a Paraplanner at Marrs Wealth Management. She can be reached at amberly@marrswealth.com. a ssa. gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html


MAY 2019 | AMES BUSINESS MONTHLY | 19

Conflict as an asset I

f an organization serves customers face-to-face, it’s usually important that the workforce reflect the demographics of its customer base. This allows customers to “see themselves” within the organization and vice versa, creating a more welcoming and empathetic atmosphere. College recruiting literature typically contains photos portraying a diverse student body. Often, the diversity of the actual student population and/or instructors doesn’t mirror that represented in the recruiting literature. Even if the majority of employees don’t literally shake hands with customers, having a workforce that reflects all the ways that people are different is important. The most valuable diversity within any organization is difference

Rick Brimeyer in thought. We each bring unique life experiences to problems and opportunities based on our age, gender, ethnicity, physical attributes, and other unique variables. This wider pool of life experiences is certain to lead to varying perspectives on situations and thus better solutions. In order to harvest diversity of thought, an organization must be able to manage conflicting viewpoints. This is the essence of synergy.

A starting point is to create an environment where team members see a difference of opinion as an opportunity to embrace rather than a problem to sweep under the rug. This requires frequent reinforcement by leaders in their communication and consistent behaviors on their part when facilitating team disagreements. More importantly, it means demonstrating those same behaviors when leaders are at differences with their peers. Ground rules for healthy debate can be helpful, posted within areas where debate is most likely to occur. Examples might include:  We debate the issue, not the person.  Listen and paraphrase the other’s points before sharing your own.

Invariably, instances will require skillful facilitation in order to resolve differences. In such situations, start out by reminding everyone that we are all wearing the same team’s jersey and want what’s best for the team. Our situation is akin to chefs collaborating for the best recipe, not competing chefs on a reality show. Remind everyone of our ground rules. Start by listing the points of agreement. This gives us something to build upon. Often this process illustrates that we agree on a lot more than was initially evident. Be clear on the specific point of disagreement. “So, we disagree on the best way to …” Occasionally this step will reveal that the two solutions are addressing different problems. Asking participants to identify the merits of the other’s idea or the drawbacks of their own can be fruitful with mature teams comfortable dealing with conflict.

These can be listed in a simple Pro/Con table. Rare is the situation where competing ideas are mutually exclusive. Oftentimes, participants can be challenged to develop a third scenario to realize the benefits and/or minimize the downfalls of both of the initial concepts. Are there points of varying opinions that can be clarified with data? If so, challenge participants to identify them and agree on a data collection and analysis plan. In situations of strong disagreement or where making the best decision is vitally important, use of a detailed and objective tool such as the Kepner-Tregoe decision making methodology may be necessary. In extreme situations where no progress is being made it may be necessary to simply call a “time out.” The space provided hopefully allows emotions to diffuse and gives the facilitator time to explore other options for

moving forward. When common ground is reached, it’s important to recognize that accomplishment, especially when the end product is better than the inputs which were brought into the debate. Even when the decision reached closely resembles one of the arguments, there should be no “winner” and “loser” but rather participants whose ideas were heard and considered. Recognizing the desired behaviors and celebrating the synergistic solution primes the pump for the next healthy debate. RICK BRIMEYER is the president of Brimeyer LLC, an independent management consulting firm located in Ames which guides organizations to higher performance by focusing on process improvement and leadership development. Further information is available at www.brimeyerllc.com or by calling (515) 450-8855.


2 0 | A M E S B U S I N E S S M O N T H L Y | MAY 2019