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20092010 Annual Report

A flame has been ignited...

A Note From Brad Hart Last year at The Chamber’s annual meeting, I made mention of our community being poised for growth. In particular, we were on the verge of securing funding for several major community and economic development projects, including a new events center, economic commerce center and a 220,000 sq. ft. medical mall located in the newly defined Medical District. As we celebrate, I’m proud to state that these projects and many others continue to progress toward completion. The City of Cedar Rapids hired Frew Nations Group to manage the $67 million project, The Chamber has secured more than $4 million for a new economic commerce center that will serve as the innovation hub for our community, and a new $44 million state-of-the-art medical mall will will begin construction in the Medical District. Throughout the year, The Chamber worked diligently to strengthen the organization and find high-impact ways to help grow member businesses and positively impact the prosperity of our region. In fiscal year 2010, The Chamber led, developed and expanded partnerships to foster and advocate for economic and community development; to enhance member services; to identify and promote critical business projects; and to partner collaboratively with community organizations and local, state and federal governments. The success of our Chamber is entirely attributable to the unwavering support and resiliency of its members. We conclude fiscal year 2010 with an even stronger focus for our future, ready to influence the outcome of challenges we can control and be the champion for a Greater Cedar Rapids. It has been an honor to serve as the chair for such a dedicated and passionate staff and board of directors.

Brad Hart 2009-2010, Board Chair Bradley & Riley PC

...and we are carrying the torch.

A Note From Chuck Peters The Chamber has had a remarkable year and worked diligently to put its members and our community in position to move several vital initiatives forward. As the launch of the new brand for The Chamber states, we are the champion for a Greater Cedar Rapids. We will work relentlessly to unite businesses, amplify the voice of our members and ignite opportunities that power a thriving community. In fiscal year 2011, The Chamber will begin the implementation of an aggressive three-year strategic plan. This prosperity agenda is grounded in the recognition that The Chamber has a distinctive role to play in the economic vitality of our region that will require innovation in organizational structure, partnerships and programming. During these challenging times, we will work effectively and partner regionally to compete globally. Through your membership, The Chamber will continue to be your voice for business and community progress. I look forward to serving as your chair in fiscal year 2011. Sincerely,

Chuck Peters 2010-2011, Board Chair SourceMedia Group


Small Business:

Government Affairs:

Gary Ficken, Chair Flood Recovery: • Nearly 100 businesses have been helped with their grant applications and documentation. • In mid-May, started the Business Mentor collaboration with SCORE, the SBDC and other organizations. • More than 40 businesses have been helped in the areas of sales, marketing, business planning, accounting and technology.

Jeff Elgin & Bill Vernon, Co-Chairs • Iowa 100 Extension included in the Iowa DOT five-year Transportation Improvement Program. • Secured $85 million in funding for business regional flood recovery. • Secured $1.4 million in State funding for Regional Innovation Center. • Worked in collaboration with City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County to secure tens of millions in IJOBS funding for flood recovery projects in this area.

Much energy in fiscal year 2010 was spent on small business flood recovery – the focus of the small business committee. With approximately 150 businesses closed and 2,300 jobs lost due to the devastating floods, the development of support and initiatives for small business in our community is critical. The Business Long Term Recovery Initiative provides much needed support, resources and guidance to the thousands of companies still in the recovery process after the 2008 floods. Within the first six months the case management team provided assessments of more than 550 businesses, focusing on new program awareness and eligibility; program gap identification and analysis; benchmark data collection; and operational needs. The Chamber recognizes the significant role small businesses provide to create a positive and stable economy for our region. It devoted a number of resources designed to benefit small businesses designed for companies to either connect, learn or grow.

As the unified voice for pro-business and development issues of all levels of government, The Chamber continued to be the major advocate affecting legislation to benefit the Cedar Rapids area. Priorities for the 2010 agenda were determined and carried to the state and national Capitols as The Chamber lobbied for top legislative issues throughout the session. As a result, The Chamber assisted in securing millions of dollars for development in our region. Sharing in the increased passion of pro-business legislation, a record number of business leaders joined The Chamber at the U.S. Chamber Small Business Summit in Washington D.C. The Chamber continued refining the work of Linn County BizPAC (Political Action Committee), to publicly endorse and support candidates who have taken responsible positions on issues involving business and the economic well-being of the area. Linn County BizPAC is not affiliated with any political party and has quickly become a well recognized and respected committee.


Community Enhancement:

Todd Barker, Chair • 192 new members in fiscal year 2010. • Top Ten Chamber in the Nation for Membership Retention, 90% retention rate. • More than 1,100 members attended a training event or program. • More than 160 ImpactCR members. • ImpactCR hosted or cohosted 36 events in fiscal year 2010.

Scott Byers & Nancy Kasparek, Co-Chairs Projects supported in 2010: • Arts, Culture and Entertainment District • Amphitheatre • Medical Mall/Medical District

The Chamber incorporated many new member programs and services including Breakfast of Champions, Sales and Manufacturing Roundtable and a new signature event: The Gala. These events allow increased networking opportunities and offer members additional ways to connect and stay informed. This year, the Board of Directors worked with staff in an effort to increase member feedback by scheduling face-to-face meetings with several members. Continual feedback from members allow The Chamber to focus and prioritize its program of work to maximize members’ return on investment. A new and enhanced Cedar Rapids Area Chamber web site launched in 2010. The newly designed site provides regular updates on news and events on the homepage and provides member-only benefits and enhanced directory listings for increased web presence. ImpactCR increased its momentum in 2010, continuing to serve as the voice of young professionals in the Cedar Rapids area. The community action group is devoted to connecting upcoming talent in the Cedar Rapids area to the community. Leadership for Five Seasons continues to be the platform of community education to business professionals, young leaders and newly relocated executives to provide a higher level of leadership for our community.

• Cedar Rapids Event Center • Year-Round City Market

In order to create a vibrant and innovative region, the community enhancement task force supported numerous nonbusiness related projects to encourage the revitalization of downtown. The Chamber realizes the potential for economic growth from such quality of life amenities as the Cedar Rapids Event Center or Medical District and assisted in the development of these community projects. As flood recovery continues, the landscape of our community will be enhanced greatly by these collaborative relationships.

Economic Development: Tim Kintner, Chair BUYIn INProgram Programshifted shifted$2 $2million millionback backtotoLinn LinnCounty Countyininfiscal fiscalyear year2010 2010 • Buy • Secured more than $4 million in funding for Economic Commerce Center • Regional partner in the Corridor Business Alliance The BUY IN initiative, launched in early 2009, encourages area businesses to shift 5% of their current out-of-area purchases back into the local economy – shifting nearly $2 million back into Linn County in fiscal year 2010. The Chamber secured more than $4 million toward the new Economic Commerce Center – the foundation of a revitalized downtown, a catalyst for economic growth and a model for future community and regional business partnerships. This center for innovation will create jobs, facilitate new business growth, stimulate investment and infuse capital into the region. As a member of the Corridor Business Alliance (CBA), The Chamber supports the CBA’s vision to develop a vital regional economy through the creation and growth of business. The Chamber is one of 12 organizations that participated in a strategic planning session in fiscal year 2010. As a result, the CBA is leading a regional research and branding initiative to be completed in fiscal year 2011.

By the numbers

1,271 312% 91.7 % 75.6 75,000 Membership:

50 years or more


Length of Time as a Member

Member Firms

20 to 49 years


Member Volunteers

of members are located in Linn County

10 to 19 years


6 to 9 years

10% 10%

3 to 5 years

of members employ less than 25 people

1 to 2 years


More than

employees are represented

Less than 1 year



Revenue by Source: Membership Dues – 64% Events & Member Programs – 20% Sponsorship – 7% Interest & Other Revenue – 10% Dues



* FY2010 estimated gross revenues (preliminary and unaudited): $1,469,643

20% 7




Expenditures: Membership Services – 31% Events & Programs – 25% Administrative – 15% Marketing & Communications – 10% Economic & Community Development – 10% Legislative Advocacy – 9% * FY2010 estimated expenses (preliminary and unaudited): $1,467,147

Chamber Staff

Bob Harschnek Brittany Oglesby Gary Carleton




Membership Services


Candy Nanke Jeff Schamberger Kelly Slaughter Tyanna Stephenson Kari Stillman Julie Stow



Economic/ Community Development


Scott Swenson Steve Hunter

Community Partners



Nancy Kasparek Paul Morf Bill Vincent Allen Witt

Business Long Term Recovery Staff

Expense Interest/ Other


Bruce Anderson Dan Baldwin Jack Evans Ronald Fielder Brad Hart

Shannon Meyer, CEO Jeanne Brandes Sherita Jenkins Randy Krug Julie Lane Sara Mentzer



Chamber Foundation Board



The Chamber would like to give special recognition to the numerous community partners whose continued support allow us to reach the many accomplishments reported on in fiscal year 2010.

Chamber Volunteers The success of The Chamber’s priorities has been, and will be, the result of the work provided by the numerous volunteers that serve on our many committees, task forces and member service programs. We are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers that provide their time, talent and passion for the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Strategic plan

A Prosperity Agenda for a Greater Cedar Rapids A strategic plan for 2010-2013 Through a long-term strategic plan developed by our Board of Directors and staff in fiscal year 2010, The Chamber will lead, leverage and collaborate in order to guide economic and community improvements in Linn County and the region. Strategic plans don’t create success until the strategic objectives, strategies and tactics are fully integrated into the operations, budget and governance. The Prosperity Agenda will be updated each year during a facilitated process with input from the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, regional partners and staff. The Prosperity Agenda is grounded in the recognition that The Chamber has a distinctive role to play in the economic vitality of the region, requiring innovation in organizational structure, partnerships and programming. The Prosperity Agenda is an aggressive and ambitious plan, however this is a unique time in our community that requires bold action and big visions. The Chamber’s Prosperity Agenda focuses on four strategic initiatives that will narrow the organization’s focus to benefit our members and the communities of which we represent. Strategic Initiative: Achieve Organizational Excellence to Best Serve Members Statement of End Result: Chamber members are the primary customer and primary driving force of The Chamber. Though external challenges and opportunities have required The Chamber to focus on several community initiatives, the needs of The Chamber are paramount. It is essential that The Chamber operate at the highest levels of excellence and efficiency. Strategic Initiative: Create Jobs, Attract Investment and Foster Confidence Statement of End Result: The Chamber will boldy and effectively be the leader in economic development initiatives in order to create jobs, attract investment and foster confidence in Greater Cedar Rapids area. Strategic Initiative: Create Environment for Jobs, Growth and Confidence through effective public policy Statement of End Result: Creating a climate conducive to growth is necessary to achieve economic prosperity for the region. As the voice for business, The Chamber will advocate for policies that promote a pro-business environment and support efficient and effective government. An effective Chamber public policy program will result in three primary independent strategies: policy development, advocacy and political engagement. Strategic Initiative: Provide Regional Leadership and Regional Impact Statement of End Result: The Chamber is the model and leader for regional thinking and implementation. The Chamber recognizes and requests all partner economic development organizations be ready and able to communicate the benefits of the region first and individual communities second.

Board of Directors

Board Officers 2009-2010 Brad Hart Bradley & Riley PC, Chair

Nancy Kasparek U.S. Bank NA, Secretary

Chuck Peters Source Media Group, Chair Elect

William Vincent Clifton Gunderson LLP, Treasurer

Allen Witt Hall & Hall Engineers Inc., Immediate Past Chair

Shannon Meyer Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, President

The Chamber honored a number of area businesses and professionals at various events held throughout the year. The following area businesses and business leaders were recognized in fiscal year 2010. Good Morning Cedar Rapids Bravo Award Winners: Informatics CRST International Van Meter Industrial

Board of Directors 2009-2010 Jill Ackerman, Marion Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Director

Eric Hanson, ImpactCR, Honorary Director

Dawn Ainger, Genova Technologies, Director

Beth Houlahan, Mercy Medical Center, Director

Thomas Anderson, Merrill Lynch, Director

Tim Kiesey, Leadership for Five Seasons, Honorary Director

Todd Barker, NAI Iowa Realty Commercial, Director

Tim Kintner, Bankers Trust Company, Director

Christopher Blake, Mount Mercy University, Director

Christine Landa, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, Inc., Director

Barry Boyer, Van Meter Industrial, Inc., Chair Elect, Priority One

Robb Loftsgard, Wells Fargo Bank, Director

Ray Brown, The ESCO Group, Char, Marion Chamber Scott Byers, NAI Iowa Realty Commercial, Director

Curt Nelson, Entrepreneurial Development Center Inc, Honorary Director Doug Neumann, Cedar Rapids Downtown District, Honorary Director

Ron Corbett, City of Cedar Rapids, Honorary Director

Ron Olson, Paulson Electric Company, Director

Chris DeWolf, Lil’ Drug Store Products, Inc., Director

Mark Seckman, Priority One, Honorary Director

Hazel Pegues, Diversity Focus, Honorary Director

Jeff Elgin, J & T Elgin LLC, Director

John Sheehan, St. Luke’s Hospital, Director

James Ernst, Four Oaks Inc. of Iowa, Director

Kyle Skogman, Skogman Realty, Chair Priority One

Ronald Fielder, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, Director Kristie Fisher, Kirkwood Community College, Director

International Business Symposium International Business Award: Vector Corporation

Katie Mulholland, Linn-Mar Community School District, Director

Lijun Chadima, Thorland Company, Director

Gary Ficken, Bimm Ridder Sportswear, Director

The Gala Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Greg Neumeyer Entrepreneur of the Year: Al Ruffalo, RuffaloCODY Howard Hall – Excellence in Business: AEGON Small Business of the Year: MVP Video Production

Tom Hobson, Rockwell Collins, Inc., Director

Paul Treangen, Alliant Energy – Interstate Power & Light Co., Director Monica Vernon, Cedar Rapids City Council, Honorary Director

Rob Frederick, AEGON Insurance Group, Director

William Vernon, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, Director

Marc Gullickson, Ryan Companies US, Inc., Director

Brandt Worley, Worley Warehousing, Inc. Director


7 3 4


Cedar Rapids Metro ranked No. 1 for projected job growth and projected economic growth.

- Forbes Magazine

Marion ranks at the top for safest city in Iowa of all towns over 10,000 population.

- Federal Crime Statistics


Cedar Rapids Metro is one of the Best Cities for Next Generation Workforce based on the following criteria: earning, learning, vitality, amenities, cost of lifestyle, and social capital.

8 6 No.


The following accolades were published during fiscal year 2010.

- Next Generation Consulting

Cedar Rapids Metro is one of America’s 10 Best Places to Grow Up. The community was recognized for its low crime rate, low cost of living, low housing prices and comprehensive healthcare.

Marion was among six communities selected to join the Iowa Great Places program. - Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs


Marion is Iowa’s seventh fastest growing community overall. And, with the exception of the Des Moines Metropolitan area, is the fastest growing city in Iowa.

- US News & World Report


Cedar Rapids Metro is one of the Best Places for Affordable Homes, according to CNN and Money Magazine. We ranked No. 11 out of 25 for home sales and job and population growth.

- CNN and Money Magazine

- U.S. Census Bureau


Cedar Rapids Metro is one of the Top 5 Metro Areas Best at Meeting Basic Needs. Cedar Rapids ranked No. 4 out of 187 metro areas. - Gallup-Healthways Basic Access Index

Cedar Rapids Metro ranked 13th overall for best places for business and careers out of the 200 largest metro areas.

- Forbes Magazine

SourceMedia Group is your long-trusted source for news and information — a bold mix of media that engages your specific niche audience, Eastern Iowa in its entirety or any combination in between. Embracing the future of technology, our dynamic blend of products lends a personal voice to your marketing message, getting your audience involved with your brand.

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We are proud that our partnership with the Chamber enhances the growth of small businesses and the progress of Cedar Rapids.


9/2/2010 1:42:58 PM


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424 1st Avenue NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1196 Phone: 319.398.5317 Fax: 319.398.5228 Look for us on

The flame has been ignited.

And we’re carrying the torch.

Chamber Annual Report  

A review of fiscal year 2010 and a look at what goals The Chamber has set for fiscal year 2011.

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