2022 Annual Report

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The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce will work to enhance the economic growth and prosperity of its members and the Council Bluffs area.


The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce is the premier business leadership organization providing “Leading Edge” programs and services to its members, new and existing business and industry, and local governments having the desire to make a positive impact on the area.


The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the freedom all individuals have to express themselves in a respectful and tactful manner. The CB Chamber believes embracing our differences makes us stronger as a community and as an organization, and allows the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion to grow and expand throughout the Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County community. The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce will ensure our staff, leadership, programming, events, and communications all embody and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for the common good of our members and stakeholders alike.

Letter From the President

On behalf of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce and our Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support of the CB Chamber and our amazing community!

The CB Chamber continues to have much to be proud of, and be thankful for, as we start 2023.

In 2022, we continued to grow our membership and expand our programs and offerings to ensure Chamber members are seeing the greatest possible return on their membership investment. We also initiated the Leveraging Individual Female Talent (LIFT) Program to bring local females back to the workforce, expanded our professional development series, worked with local partners to assist in the transition of Afghan refugees to the Council Bluffs community, and recognized twenty-one local organizations as Unbelievable Workplaces.

With advocacy being such a critical part of any successful Chamber, we were proud to host our first DC Trip in over 5 years. We also hosted a State Legislative Reception in Des Moines for the first time in two years, offered Legislative Roundtables throughout the State Legislative Session, hosted two candidate events prior to the General Election, grew our Public Policy Committee, introduced the Southwest Iowa Advocacy Collaborative to empower Southwest Iowa and ensure we have a strong and meaningful advocacy presence at the state and federal level, supported Iowa’s historic state income tax reform, and provided consistent and timely updates throughout the Legislative Session with weekly video updates.

Leadership programming is a staple of the CB Chamber, and the 2022-2023 Leadership CB class is our biggest ever, with our Youth Leadership Class being one of the largest ever and including youth from eight school districts.

Impact CB, the Women Inspiring Women Program, and the Executive Women’s Partnership all saw gains in membership and are providing meaningful educational and networking opportunities for local leaders.

Internally, we hired a new Client Services Coordinator, Michelle Forristall, expanded and grew our Chamber Chat Podcast, and began a partnership with the Midlands Business Journal with monthly articles. The latter two allow us to expand our marketing efforts to continually improve our brand and image as an organization and community.

As we begin 2023, the CB Chamber team and Board of Directors are excited to continue to grow our programmatic offerings to serve your needs and we think you will like some of our plans for 2023, which include:

• Transitioning to Livability for our community and relocation guide to further expand our reach and impact;

• Partnering with the Council Bluffs CVB to include relocation information in their highly successful marketing campaigns to targeted regions;

• Adding events focused on the State of Education and State of Healthcare in the region;

• Expanding our Leaders of Integrity professional development workshops;

• Growing our DE&I offerings;

• Initiating the Southwest Iowa Advocacy Collaborative;

• Hosting a membership drive to expand our reach and services in the community; and

• Additional partnerships with regional partners to leverage our joint skills and assets

As we continue to innovate and grow daily, now is truly the time for the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce to be the unifying force to bring the community together to empower growth and create positive change. We have such a critical role to play in bringing community stakeholders together on a regular basis to discuss opportunities for generational change for our community, and we are happy to do so on behalf of our members and the community.

As we kick off 2023, we know Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, and Southwest Iowa will be building on a significant amount of positive momentum with a very strong foundation. Local public, private, and nonprofit partners all have a role to play in our future success, and we know each will do their part to capitalize on the unique set of challenges and opportunities being presented to us now and going forward.

We are at our best when serving our members, so if there is ever anything we can ever do to be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out to the CB Chamber team!


The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce is an organization of businesses seeking to further their collective interests while advancing their community and region. The CB Chamber advocates on behalf of business interests, economic prosperity, and the community at large. The CB Chamber welcomed 48 new members in 2022. Throughout the year, the CB Chamber offers programs and events to bring members together and foster an environment for networking and business development. The CB Chamber offers benefits to cultivate success for our members including online profiles, job postings, referrals, weekly newsletters, ribbon cuttings, advertising and sponsorship opportunities, podcasts, and more.

CB Chamber introduced several new events in 2022, including Forks Corks & Brews and UNbelievable Workplaces as signature events. In addition, the chamber added new professional development workshops, Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) sessions, and Benefits & Beverages. These programs were added as a result of our membership survey and in effort to best serve our members.

2022 New Members



All of Us Together Co.

American Hearing + Audiology

Assisted Living Locators

Bass Pro Shops

Care Initiatives Hospice

Central Perch Vintage & Modern Market

Charles E Lakin Foundation Inc

Club Car Wash

CSA Accounting

Factory Direct Mattress

Flat Branch Home Loans

Generations Hospice Care

Genuine Pest Control

Heartland Bike Share

Heartland Handyman Services

Husch Blackwell LLP


IceCap Cold Storage

Inclusive Communities

Iowa Interstate Railroad LLC


Joan Duffey - Heartland Properties

J’s Coffee & Donuts

Mercury Builders

Mercy Thai Restaurant

Midland University Graduate and Professional Studies

Midlands Business Journal

NAMI Southwest Iowa

Nesting Grounds

NextHome In The Bluffs

No More Empty Pots

North Risk Partners

Parlay Consulting Firm

PMR Properties LLC

SERVPRO of Council Bluffs

Skyline Commercial Capital LLC

Starlight Energy LLC

Summit Carbon Solutions

Technology Association of Iowa

The Davey Tree Expert Company

The Home Hunters Group - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Ambassador Real Estate

The Joint Chiropractic

The Retirement Cafe

Travel Paradise

Valley View Dental, P.C.

Western Iowa Networks

White Ivory Apparel

Your Garage Storage

Total Resource Campaign

The Total Resource Campaign (TRC) provides CB Chamber members with opportunities to reach diversified customer groups and grow their businesses through advertising and sponsorships. Members can select options that best suit their business needs to experience a greater return on their investment. Through the TRC, businesses can gain exposure among chamber members, stakeholders, and community leaders. During 2022, a group of dedicated volunteers raised over $215,000 to support chamber programs and events. The TRC volunteers include John Dresher, Therese Hoff, Erin Johnson, Amy McDermott, Andy Murray, and Terry Oldenburg.

2022 Total Resource Campaign Volunteers

CB Ambassadors

The CB Ambassadors are the goodwill arm of the CB Chamber. They serve a unique and vital role as advocates for the chamber and its members. They celebrate, promote and support chamber programs, events, and membership. In 2022, they hosted 29 ribbon cuttings to welcome new members and promote their business. In addition, the CB Ambassadors hosted an Ambassador Coffee, allowing chamber members to network with CB Ambassadors.

Workforce Development

The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Iowa West Foundation, the City of Council Bluffs, and Pottawattamie County to make workforce development programs and initiatives available to area employers and residents. UNbelievable Workplaces recognizes area employers for creating a workplace culture that people want to be a part of. In 2022, the CB Chamber recognized 20 area organizations as UNbelievable Workplaces. The L.I.F.T. Mentor Program (Leveraging Individual Female Talent), which supports talented professional women looking to restart their careers after an extended absence from the workforce, served 7 women in 2022. The CB Chamber’s workforce initiatives also included several professional development workshops to provide education training for organizational leaders. Many of these programs were made possible through funding provided by grants from Iowa West Foundation, the Women’s Fund, and Google. In addition, the CB Chamber partners with local educational institutions to positively impact the workforce environment in SW Iowa.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In 2021, the CB Chamber Board of Directors approved a Statement of Diversity and Inclusion. This statement reads: “The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the freedom all individuals have to express themselves in a respectful and tactful manner. The CB Chamber believes embracing our differences makes us stronger as a community and as an organization, and allows the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to grow and expand throughout the Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County community. The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce will ensure our staff, leadership, programming, events, and communications all embody and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for the common good of our members and stakeholders alike.”

To support this statement, the CB Chamber has offered DEI training and videos for professional development. The CB Chamber has updated its company benefits and procedures to be reflective of the statement. In addition, the statement has inspired several new programs including Women Inspiring Women, Executive Women’s Partnership, and the CB Tech Career Acceleration. Additional programming and educational opportunities will be available in 2023 to grow our offerings in this space, as we continue to work with community partners in this space.

Leadership Development

Leadership Council Bluffs Youth Leadership Council Bluffs

Leadership Council Bluffs (LCB) is an intense, graduate-level program, designed to identify and develop leaders within our community and help them design and enhance their own leadership style with an emphasis on the community perspective. In 2022, LCB graduated 20 community members as part of LCB Class 34 and kicked off LCB Class 35 with 25 participants, our largest class ever.

Youth Leadership Council Bluffs (YLCB) is a program designed to develop and educate youth to become socially minded, active young adults. This year, the CB Chamber graduated 25 students from YLCB Class 16. YLCB Class 17 kicked off in September with 30 students representing eight different schools in Pottawattamie County.

Opening Retreat

Participants in Leadership Council Bluffs and Youth Leadership Council Bluffs connect during team building exercises at the Opening Retreats.

Impact CB Young Professionals

Impact CB is the young professionals' arm of the CB Chamber. This group offers free membership to any young professional, between the ages of 18-40, who is employed by a chamber member. Impact CB offers opportunities for professional development, networking, volunteering, and civic engagement. They hosted 20 events in 2022 with over 250 young professionals attending throughout the year including an art tour of Council Bluffs on Ollie the Trolley and volunteering for Do Good Week with the Midlands Humane Society. New this year, Impact CB established Foodie Fridays, a series of monthly networking lunches, and the Snacks & Spotlight Series to highlight chamber members. To grow and diversify the group, Impact CB added two new members to its executive committee.

Art Tour

Impact CB members participated in an public art tour hosted by Iowa West Foundation.

Each month Impact CB members meet for lunch at a local restaurant to support local businesses and to network. Foodie Friday

In 2022, the CB Chamber’s Ag Committee held its first Ag Cookout since 2019, and it was a huge success. The Ag Committee recognized the Annual Yield Contest winners and awarded college scholarships to invest back into the ag community. The committee continues to monitor the Farm Bill Congress will pass in 2023 as well.

Agriculture Committee Transportation Committee

The CB Chamber’s Transportation Committee identified strategic projects to advocate for local, state, and federal funding that can allow the city and county to grow and prosper while leveraging the vast federal infrastructure resources that are currently available.

Council Bluffs Industrial Foundation

The Council Bluffs Industrial Foundation (CBIF) is a private, nonprofit organization with the main purpose of developing suitable land for industry in Council Bluffs. In 2022, CBIF sold a 4-acre lot in South Point 2 to Ecosolutions for the expansion of a local business and sold approximately 3 acres to the city of Council Bluffs for possible future expansion and/or reconfiguration of the Recycling Center. They also purchased 54 acres northeast of Interstate 80 and Highway 6 for future development. CBIF has several other offers for lots in South Point 2 under consideration as they work to grow Council Bluffs’ industrial footprint.

Public Policy

The CB Chamber encourages our members to be informed about issues and legislation affecting local and regional business. With the guidance of the Public Policy Committee, the CB Chamber offers its recommendations for action on issues and strategic policies to foster a healthy economy for Iowa and the Council Bluffs community.

In 2022, the CB Chamber hosted its first DC Fly-In in over five years to bring community leaders together to advocate for our region and hosted a very successful Legislative Reception in Des Moines to advocate for our priority state legislative issues. The CB Chamber posted weekly video updates throughout the legislative session to keep our members apprised of current activities being discussed at the state capitol. We hosted a Candidate Forum, Policy and Pints, and candidate videos to provide insight and access to candidates on the Primary and General Election ballots. The Public Policy Committee meets monthly to keep local leaders and stakeholders apprised of local, state, and federal policy issues. We initiated the Southwest Iowa Advocacy Collaborative to ensure southwest Iowa has a strong and united voice on highly impactful policy initiatives and decisions.

These efforts are creating a real impact as seen by Destination Iowa’s funding for the riverfront, housing assistance, and forthcoming appointments to boards and commissions.

Women Inspiring Women

Bringing women together to motivate, inspire, connect, and celebrate women, Women Inspiring Women, offers actionable tools and takeaways at each session to ensure participant leave filled with the knowledge and perseverance to conquer their daily lives. From relationships to entrepreneurship to juggling business and family lives, we hosted 6 events in 2022 with over 100+ women in attendance. Featured session topics included human trafficking, Motherhood to Menopause, the Spiral of Accountability, and Harassment, Bullying & Retaliation in the Workplace.

Executive Women’s Partnership

The Executive Women’s Partnership brings accomplished leaders together in an inclusive environment to grow and accelerate the role women play in Council Bluffs executive leadership, through mentorship, education, and innovative programming. During 2022, this group met 10 times and grew its membership to over 30 members.

Finance & Operations

The CB Chamber successfully transitioned to a calendar year budget and had yet another clean audit. A copy of the Chamber’s annual audit is on file and available for members to review at the Chamber office upon request. The CB Chamber continues to modernize its processes to provide members with the best experience possible while being fiscally conscious.

Chamber Staff

Drew Kamp President & CEO Kim Buthe Director of Member Relations Michelle Forristall Client Services Coordinator Alicia Frieze Workforce Development Director Sarah Beth Ray Director of Finance and YP Engagement Lori Shields Vice President of Communications and Leadership Development
UNITING COMMUNITY EMPOWERING GROWTH (712) 325-1000 www.councilbluffsiowa.com 149 W Broadway Council Bluffs, IA 51503
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