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Table of Contents

April 2012

Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page From the President’s Desk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Featured Customer of the Month. . . . . . . . . . 4 Hiawatha Morning Networking . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Leadership for Five Seasons Update . . . . . . . 6 Downtown Spring Pub Crawl. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 ImpactCR Upcoming Event. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Community Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 People & Plans Behind Public Policy . . . . . 10-11 Unlocking Your Membership. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Spring Welcome Reception. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Downtown Farmers’ Market 2012 . . . . . . . . 14 Property Tax Reassessment . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 CleanUpCR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 New Members & Ribbon Cuttings . . . . . . . . 17

Volume 81 No 8 (USPS558-200) Economic Alliance Report (ISSN 108-50775) is published monthly by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 424 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Subscription price of $35 per year is included in an annual membership. Periodicals postage paid at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Postmaster: Send changes to: Economic Alliance Report Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance 424 First Ave. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196 President & CEO: Dee Baird Editor: Mallory Mohwinkle Contact the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance at 319-398-5317 for reprint permission.

March PM Exchange Recap. . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 PM Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Pledge Blue Zones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19





2011 Best Performing Cities Milkin Institute, December 2011

Top 12 Best Cities for High Paying Jobs

We ranked number 13, up 15 spots from last year. This index ranks US metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

Kiplinger, January 2012

We are ranked #7 because of our below-average unemployment and above-average income growth.

National Recognition

Cedar Rapids is one of the Names You Need to Know in 2011, according to Forbes magazine. Our city is expected to see employment expand 14.2% over the next three years. This is the strongest forecast of any metro area in the country with a population over 100,000., October 29, 2010

APRIL 2012

From the President’s Desk: Our focus this month is to provide you information about the work the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is doing on legislative issues. In the merger discussions of 2011, the feedback we received from the more than 500+ customers and stakeholders involved is that you agreed with our desire to speak with a unified voice and create a stronger, more effective public policy agenda. To this end, I want you to know your organization has been very active in working on public policy issues important to you as an Economic Alliance customer. Doug Neumann and I have been managing our agenda and have made personal trips to Des Moines almost every week since the legislative session began. Our bench strength goes even further with a broader team which includes Gary Grant, Heather Armstrong, the Iowa Chamber Alliance and Professional Developers of Iowa. The Economic Alliance has been serving as a lead organization in advocating for funding for the newly formed Iowa Economic Development Authority. Funding this authority is critically important to making sure our state and region are able to compete in the economic development market. Additionally, we have played an important role in the debate regarding Tax Increment Financing changes and in Property Tax Reform proposals, along with promoting the passage of the Growth Reinvestment Initiative to help fund flood protection. On a daily and weekly basis we also serve you—our customer—with specific and customized requests through this process. We will continue to provide this important and unique service as we know creating an environment for economic growth and vitality is central to our mission. Sincerely,

Dee Baird CEO/President




Featured Customer of the Month

congratulations on your nomination!

EASTERN IOWA’S MOST AMBITIOUS PROFESSIONALS Eastern Iowa Boy & Girl of the Year, Xavier & Eryn

Mike Barker

Join Honorary Chair, Gary Dolphin

University of Iowa Health Care Cancer Survivor

Patches Breed Lilly USA

Rosi Disterhoft Girl of the Year’s Grandmother

Grand Finale Gala

Live & Silent Auction

May 11, 2012

Cedar Rapids Country Club Purchase tickets today by calling Jenna 515-778-7221 GRAND PRIZE SPONSOR

Michelle Jensen CarePro Health Services

Curt Van Order Aerotek

Lizabeth Wardzinski Modern DJ

Learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign visit We are recruiting for the following events: • Hy-Vee Triathlon • Nation’s Triathlon • Viva Bike Vegas Gran Fondo Bike Ride • Nike Women’s Marathon & Half-Marathon • IMT Des Moines Marathon & Half-Marathon

Team in Training will have informational meetings the following times: Quad Cities- April 10th at 6:00 p.m. at River Music Experience Cedar Rapids- April 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Java Creek Café North Liberty- April 14th at 10:00 a.m. at Corridor Coffee Co. Coralville-April 24th at 6:00 p.m. at Gus’s Food and Spirits

APRIL 2012

Tuesday, April 10 7:30 am to 8:30 am HACAP 1515 Hawkeye Drive Hiawatha

FREE Registration required on

Hiawatha Morning Networking Join local Hiawatha businesses for a morning of networking! This informal gathering provides attendees the opportunity to broaden their professional networks and learn more about area businesses. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Free to attend, but registration requested at






Youth Class of 2012 Graduates!

for Five Seasons

In March, the Economic Alliance congratulated 40 high school students as they graduated from our Youth Leadership for Five Seasons program. Featured guest speaker Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids, made the commencement address and congratulated the graduates on completing the program. The event was held in the Shores Event Center in Cedar Rapids. Youth Leadership for Five Seasons is a program of the Economic Alliance, created for high school juniors from schools in the greater Cedar Rapids community. This unique program is designed for those students defined as self-directed learners pursuing a positive future for themselves, and their community. The objective of the Youth Leadership program is to further develop these bright young leaders by exposing them to the broader community, increasing their awareness of community needs and resources, and enhancing their understanding of community trusteeship. Special thanks to our graduation speaker Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager of the City of Cedar Rapids, and our Class of 2012 Sponsor, Genencor.

Deadline Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leadership for Five Seasons Applications Available for 2013 The Leadership for Five Seasons Class of 2013 application is now available. Only 35 adult individuals, representing all segments of the community, participate each year. In 2013, this high-quality program will celebrate its 30th anniversary!

Interested? Download your application by visiting

APRIL 2012


Friday, April 27 Registration 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Downtown Jersey’s 200 First Avenue SE

$5.00 Admission Must be 21 to attend

Spring is here, and tradition says that it’s time for the Spring Downtown Pub Crawl! Join us for “Saved by the Crawl,” scheduled for Friday April 27. Registration is just $5, and will be open from 5-6 pm at Downtown Jersey’s Pub & Grub (200 First Avenue SE). Must be 21 to participate. Crawl coordinators invite you to show support for downtown nightlife by attending this special event. Attendees are invited to participate in activities aligned to the crawl theme, inspired by the popular 90’s sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” Brush up on your “Saved by the Bell” trivia and dress the part with stone-washed jeans, high tops or neon colors! Hotspots for the spring pub crawl include: Downtown Jersey’s Pub & Grub, Wriglyville, Brick’s Bar & Grill and Hazzard County Saloon. During the event, attendees will be able to enter a drawing for a chance to win two tickets to see the St. Louis Cardinals! Grand prizes will be given away at Hazzard County Saloon. Special thanks to our presenting sponsors 7G Distributing, Schlafly Pale Ale and Hoopla!

“They’ve more than met our needs.” David Zinser

President D.W. Zinser Company BANKERS TRUST commercial banker: Josh Moore treasury services: Jen Welton

“Bankers Trust is focused on the details and what we need as a customer. They make sure everything is right. It’s the way they do things, a lot of personal attention. They understand what we’re doing here. I appreciate that.”

221 Third Avenue SE 319-896-7777 400 Blairs Ferry Road NE 319-221-1230 Member FDIC



Tuesday, April 24 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

What are you guys about? ImpactCR, a program of the Economic Alliance, is a true testament to our community’s devotion to engaging the NOW and NEXT gen talent. With every event, initiative and tweet, we are seeing more and more members find their voice in our community. Whether you have lived here your entire life or for only a short while, ImpactCR will inspire you to “Make Your Mark.” All are welcome to attend ImpactCR’s Q&A session, “What are you guys about?” on April 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Coffeesmiths (2300 Edgewood Rd SW). Participants will enjoy a low-key, informal atmosphere that is inviting for questions, conversation and an opportunity to learn about ImpactCR programs, events and committees.

Coffeesmiths 2300 Edgewood Rd SW

Free Admission Registration required on

Questions? Visit or contact Kelly Slaughter at 319/730.1411 or

SCORE GOALS ON THE FIELD Achieve Goals in Life. When kids play sports they get more than just exercise. They have higher self esteem and a healthier body image. Sign your kid up for Y sports NOW online or in a branch.


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APRIL 2012

Community Calendar April ■■ImpactCR’s

April Siren Wednesday

May ■■Spring

Corridor Welcome Reception

April 4, 5:30-7:30 pm Zins Restaurant 227 2nd Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids

May 1, 5-7 pm TrueNorth Companies 500 1st Street SE

Enjoy a casual and fun night of networking with ImpactCR on the first Wednesday of the month! Free to attend, and no registration required.

You are invited to attend our 2012 Spring Welcome Reception, an event organized to welcome new members of our community to our Corridor. Anyone who is new to the Corridor in the last year is especially encouraged to attend. Appetizers and cocktails will be provided. Free to attend. Registration is requested at


Morning Networking

April 10, 7:30-8:30 am HACAP 1515 Hawkeye Drive, Hiawatha Join Hiawatha area business leaders for a morning of networking. Guests will enjoy coffee and light refreshments. Free to attend. Registration is required at


for Five Seasons Annual Alumni Spring Luncheon April 17, 11:30-1 pm TrueNorth Companies 500 1st Street SE Leadership for Five Seasons Alumni are invited to the annual spring luncheon where we’ll announce the 2012 Community Trustee Award, and offer an opportunity to meet the Class of 2012. Free to attend. Registration required by Friday, April 13 at Sponsored by


May Siren Wednesday

May 2, 5:30-7:30 pm Location TBA: stay tuned to! Enjoy a casual night of networking with ImpactCR on the first Wednesday of the month! Free to attend, and no registration required.


Housing Mixer

May 15, 5:30-7:30 pm Bottleworks Loft Condos 905 3rd Street SE This event enables current downtown residents to mingle, and learn about upcoming events in their neighborhood. Thinking about living downtown? Stop by to learn more on housing and amenities found in the core of our community. Food and beverages will be served, compliments of our event sponsor: Bottleworks Loft Condos. Free to attend. Registration required at Sponsored by


Night with the Titans

April 21, 7:05 kick off Cedar Rapids Ice Arena 1100 Rockford Road Join ImpactCR for an exciting night of indoor football, cheering our Cedar Rapids Titans onto victory against the Omaha Beef. Purchase tickets by April 4 on


“What Are You Guys About?”

April 24, 5:30 pm Coffeesmiths 2300 Edgewood Road SW, Cedar Rapids Attend this informal Q&A to learn about ImpactCR’s mission, how to get involved and what’s coming up on our calendar. Free to attend. Registration required at



April 26, 5-7 pm The ESCO Group 796 11th Street, Marion No registration required. Free to attend.

Community Calendar As an Economic Alliance member, businesses can login at

and submit their own event. Visit to view the numerous events being held by Economic Alliance members throughout the community.

ImpactCR Events ImpactCR hosts a number of committee meetings each month. To learn more about the organization’s various committees or find out when the next committee meeting is visit for details. For the latest listing of events or to register and pay on-line please visit




As the Iowa Legislature heads into its final weeks, most of the issues of importance to our core functions of economic development, community development and business support are still part of active legislative debates. A lot of public focus has been put on commercial property tax reform, and rightfully so. Relief would benefit virtually every business in our region, either directly for those who own property, or indirectly for those tenants who still bear the indirect costs of property taxes. Iowa’s antiquated property tax system has dramatically shifted burdens to commercial payers over the past three decades, something that’s universally acknowledged. But while everyone supports property tax reform, the means to accomplish relief are complicated and somewhat divisive. As of this writing, the prospects for achieving tax reform were cloudy. Advocacy from business owners can only help.

State government can sometimes feel remote and byzantine. But with a bit of a roadmap for today’s interconnected world, it’s actually not that difficult to follow what’s going on in our State Capitol and even in Washington D.C. Economic Alliance staff spends plenty of time in Des Moines ourselves, doing legislative work the old fashioned, face-to-face way in the rotunda. We have hired lobbyists and trade groups providing daily legislative support. But we also rely on Web page, Twitter and Facebook updates from advocacy organizations, the media and even legislators themselves to keep track of what’s going on with legislation critical to economic development and the success of our region. The Legislature’s Web page (at has detailed bill summaries, legislative contact information and even a function that provides live audio of House and Senate debates. Other Web pages outline positions of interest groups.

Just as significantly for the Economic Alliance – although garnering far less publicity – is the proposed funding of incentive programs administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Our efforts to attract, grow and retain interstate commerce rely on our partnership with the IEDA and its economic programs. We’ve had great success in this region with these programs, and are supportive of Gov. Branstad’s proposal to invest $25 million in the next fiscal budget to these efforts. We’ve also been supportive of numerous other legislative initiatives, including those to support science, technology, engineering and math education, and a sales tax growth reinvestment initiative that could help fund flood protection for core Cedar Rapids neighborhoods. Stay tuned to the Economic Alliance Report and other investor communications from the Economic Alliance for a full wrap up after the session concludes.

Our own legislative priorities – informed by small group discussions we had with you, our customers, before the session – can be reviewed on our Web site at We also align closely with the Iowa Chamber Alliance ( and Professional Developers of Iowa (, and encourage businesses to review what those organizations are fighting for in the public policy arena. Finally, we still rely on the media as a government watchdog, too. And nowadays, there’s no need to wait for the next day’s newspaper. Veteran journalists like James Lynch (@smg_lynch) and Todd Dorman (@tdorman) are avid users of Twitter and will link to new stories throughout the day, especially during the most active periods for the Legislature. All of these sources add to the public policy services the Economic Alliance provides for regional employers.

APRIL 2012


State boards and commissions that often do much of their work out of the limelight can have significant impact on our business climate. The Economic Alliance promotes people from this region for positions on state boards, sometimes advocating for specific individuals and sometimes merely making

the point to state officials that we want to make sure the Cedar Rapids metro area has good representation in key positions. Several community leaders from our region were included among the governor’s recently announced appointments:

Transportation Commission: Amy Reasner, Cedar Rapids

Mental Health Risk Pool Board: Dale Todd, Cedar Rapids

City Development Board: Jim Halverson, Cedar Rapids

Commission of Deaf Services: Jennifer Upah, Cedar Rapids; Theresa Legg, Ely

Iowa Great Places Advisory Board: Stephen Hammes, Cedar Rapids

Employment Appeal Board: Cloyd “Robby” Robinson, Cedar Rapids

Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board: Joan Scotter, Marion

Board of Nursing Home Administrators: David Chensvold, Cedar Rapids

Board of Optometry: Barbara Washburn, Cedar Rapids

Senator Robert Dvorsky (D), District 15 319/625.2125

Senator Wally Horn (D), District 17 319/396.3131

Senator Robert Hogg (D), District 19 319/538.2247

Senator Liz Mathis (D), District 18 319/361.1725

Rep. Tyler Olson (D), District 38 319/535.0635

Rep. Renee Schulte (R), District 37 319/431.6150

Rep. Kraig Paulsen (R), District 35 319/294.2062

Rep. Todd Taylor (D), District 34 319/396.8587

Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D), District 33 319/892.3008

Rep. Nick Wagner (R), District 36 319/447.4870

Rep. Nate Willems (D), District 29 319/455.3014



Unl cking Your Membership

Join us at Unlocking Your Membership to learn how to best utilize your membership investment! This popular meeting is the perfect opportunity for new members and other members who want to become familiar or reacquainted with all the benefits, events and programs offered to you to help grow your business. Meet our professional team and learn ways to get involved and help grow our business community. There is no cost to attend this high-quality event, but registration is requested at Lunch will be provided. Can’t attend? Send a colleague or employee who can! Those attending are encouraged to bring business cards.

Tuesday, May 15 Noon to 1:00 pm Economic Alliance Boardroom

FREE Registration required Lunch provided

It’s no coincidence we keep our studio well stocked with these. | 319-364-8900

APRIL 2012

Tuesday, May 1 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm TrueNorth Companies 500 1st Street SE Cedar Rapids

FREE Registration requested on

Spring Corridor Welcome Reception You are cordially invited to the Spring Welcome Reception, an event organized by the Economic Alliance, the Iowa City Area Development Group and many other partners as way to “welcome” newcomers to the Creative Corridor. The Spring Reception is traditionally held in the north end of the Corridor and the Fall Reception is held in the south end of the Corridor. The receptions are an opportunity for those who have lived in the Corridor to “welcome” those who have moved into the region in the past year. It’s a great networking opportunity for new leaders and community members and it is a wonderful way to showcase the region. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Registration is requested. Collaborating Partners include: Iowa City Area Development Group, Entrepreneurial Development Center, Eastern Iowa Human Resources Association, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Senior Human Resources Association, Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance, and Diversity Focus.

Where do

you want to go?

Gary Bartlett Market President Cedar Rapids & Marion

Member FDIC

We provide consistently superior service. Flexible, responsive. To help you achieve your unique goals. Commercial lending. Residential mortgages. What you need, when you need it. Individual solutions from our experienced professionals. Focused on progressive banking. Let us take you where you want to be.










Season 2012 A new organization is at the helm—the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance—but you will still be able to enjoy the same fantastic Downtown Farmers’ Market all season long! The Downtown Farmers’ Market has become one of the largest open-air markets in the Midwest, with more than 15,000 patrons visiting each market. We are proud to have more than 220 local Iowa vendors offering fresh produce, a variety of baked goods, artisan gifts, meats and dairy products this season. Please join us on the following Saturdays in downtown Cedar Rapids, from 7:30 a.m. to Noon:

June 2

August 4

June 16

August 18

July 7

September 1

July 21

September 15

As the Downtown Farmers Market has grown, our goal is to ensure that at least 60% of products for sale are traditional market products, including but not limited to: produce, perennials, bedding plants and cut flowers, eggs, beef, poultry, baked goods, dairy, wine, jams and salsas. We give priority to products that are produced in Iowa and sold directly by the producer/grower. We also encourage and schedule about 40% of our vendors who sell other high quality products, such as prepared food, artwork, crafts, clothing and jewelry. Our Downtown Farmers’ Market focuses on Iowa farm food and hand-made products while including unique specialty products for all to enjoy. Patrons visit for the classic market elements and we have a variety of activities throughout the morning schedule including interactive cooking demonstrations, main stage musical acts, street entertainment and family activities. Non-profit organizations will be located in Greene Square Park to provide patrons with information on current projects happening throughout the Creative Corridor. Our recycling program also makes our market more “green” and environmentally-conscious than ever (look for recycling centers with bright blue signage and flags!). So join us, rain or shine during the months of June through September! People can enjoy a big-as-your-face cinnamon roll and sample local Iowa wine while catching up with friends and neighbors. Live music, dancers and street performances round out this eclectic Cedar Rapids original. See you there!

APRIL 2012

Now through April 15, property owners can contact the Linn County Assessor’s office to set an appointment to meet with a county commercial appraiser. While walk-ins are accommodated, the assessor’s office appreciates meetings scheduled in advance. When meeting with an appraiser, please:  Include facts that you can document. The process determines the fair market value of your property. Assessment tools don’t always uncover things like appraisals you may have had done for financing purposes or estimates you might have for major repair work on buildings. Those things and many more could potentially impact the market value of your property and therefore can be the basis for questioning the revaluation.  Be prepared to specifically state your estimate of fair market value and present any evidence to support that estimate, such as sales, costs, and recent fair market appraisals.  Refrain from opinions about the process.

Linn County Assessor’s Office (319) 892-5220 2500 Edgewood Road SW Westdale Mall If you are not satisfied following your meeting with an appraiser, you may file a petition with the Board of Review to contest your 2012 assessed valuation. Petitions can be filed from April 16-May 7. Hearings will be held May 1-31.


Linn County Property Tax Assessment Update Linn County commercial property owners outside the city limits of Cedar Rapids may be facing a significant increase in property taxes due to the first complete reappraisal of commercial property since 1983. The Linn County Assessor’s office sent tentative assessment notices to commercial property owners in mid-February. The notice explains a reappraisal is completed in order to equalize property and set a fair market value. But because it has been almost 30 years since the last time reappraisals have been done on property outside of Cedar Rapids city limits, some of the equalizations to fair market value are seemingly unreasonably high percentages. These tentative assessments are being reviewed by the Assessor’s Office and some adjustments are being made. The actual assessments are to be distributed in early April. Tax rates will be applied to these new values next year, affecting property tax bills for the first time in the fall of 2013. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance has heard from many property owners and is working to ensure those affected are informed about this process and the steps you can take if they decide to appeal the increased valuation. Earlier this month the Economic Alliance sponsored a forum where information was provided. The Economic Alliance also plans to work with local government to try to limit the property tax increase caused by these revaluations. The tax rates set by local governments ultimately determine your tax bill, not the valuations set by assessors. It’s incumbent upon us all to work together with local government on responsible spending, no matter the outcome of each of our individual property tax revaluations.



Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz has issued a challenge to Cedar Rapids residents to take pride in Cedar Rapids and help keep it clean and safe. Pomeranz is

asking each citizen to collect at least one bag of litter this year to help CleanUpCR in neighborhoods, around workplaces and roadways, or wherever you see a need. Participants are invited to share their 1-Bag Challenge story on This challenge is a project within Cedar Rapids’ new sustainability initiative, iGreenCR, introduced to the community on March 17. The iGreenCR initiative demonstrates a continued commitment to make Cedar Rapids a more sustainable community for all. This educational platform promotes the various ways in which the City is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. The name “iGreenCR” emphasizes the responsibility we all share. The “i” represents both our city’s investment in making more sustainable choices for this and future generations, as well as the commitment made by each individual resident to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. For full details on this new initiative, please visit

Get Your Kit: Pick up your free City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge kit at any Cedar Rapids Hy-Vee Food or Drug Store’s customer service counter. The kit includes a bag and pair of gloves.

Bag Disposal: Once you’ve filled your 1-Bag Challenge garbage bag, just set it out next to your GARBY cart on a normal garbage collection day. The special City Manager’s Challenge bags do not require the extra $1.50 sticker.

APRIL 2012


Ribbon Cuttings

Fairfield Inn & Suites February 23, 2012

Sweetie Pies Chicken & Fish Fry March 14, 2012

Deb’s Ice Cream & Deli

Max10 Bodyshaping

March 16, 2012

March 24, 2012

Congratulations on your 25th year of business!

New Member Your all-in-one printer! We offer:

• Two graphic designers on staff • High Speed Digital Print • Variable Data Printing • In-house Mailing Services

Call for your estimate now! 319-378-4451

Bright Green Strategy Sheila Samuelson P: 319/400.8285 W: E: Bright Green Strategy helps businesses and organizations identify and improve their environmental and social impacts, through sustainability programs that contribute to raising the bottom line.



March PM Exchange Recap Guests enjoyed a special evening of networking, refreshments and tours of the Cedar Rapids ITT Technical Institute educational facility. ITT Technical Institute is a leading private college system, focusing on technology-oriented programs of study, and can be found in 38 states around the country. ITT Technical Institute is located at 3735 Queen Court SW in Cedar Rapids.

Investing In Our Future PM Exchange

Hosted by ESCO Group 3450 Third Street Marion, Iowa 52302 Thursday, April 26, 2012 5pm - 7pm (Ribbon Cutting at 4:45pm)

live music Come help hors d’oeuvres us celebrate cocktails our new

building tours location! New Addition of Tower Terrace Road

Contact the Economic Alliance and learn more about the numerous opportunities to maximize your marketing dollars. From PM Exchanges, Featured Member of the Month, newsletter, on-line and more; The Economic Alliance can help you gain exposure and positively impact your bottom line.

APRIL 2012

Blue Zone Power Nine Traits: There are places in the world where people live healthy, happy lives well into their 90’s and 100’s. Dubbed “Blue Zones” by National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner, these longevity hotspots share nine traits—POWER Nine—responsible for their remarkable results. Naturally: We can get more 1 Move physical activity naturally, if we live in

walkable communities, de-convenience our homes and grow gardens.


Know Your Purpose: People who know why they wake up in the morning live up to seven years longer than those who don’t.


Down Shift: To reverse inflammation related to every major age-related disease, find time each day to meditate, nap, pray or enjoy a happy hour.


80% Rule: It takes your stomach 20 minutes to tell your brain it is full, causing most people to accidentally over eat; so stop when you feel 80% full.


Plant Slant: Eat mostly a plant-based diet that is heavy on beans, nuts and green plants. This is consistent with the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations to make fruits, vegetables and grains the majority of your intake.


Wine at Five: If you have a healthy relationship to alcohol, one or two glasses of wine daily could help add years to your life, especially when consumed with a healthy diet.


Family First: Living in a thriving family is worth a half a dozen extra years of life expectancy. Invest time into your kids, nurture a monogamous relationship and keep your aging parents nearby.


Belong: Recommit, reconnect or explore a new faith-based community. No matter which faith, studies found that people who show up to their faith community four times a month live an extra 4-14 years.


Right Tribe: Your friends have a long-term impact on our well-being. Expanding your social circle to include healthy-minded, supportive people might be the most powerful thing you can do to add years to your life.


Become a Blue Zones Friendly Business While learning about the Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Committee’s mission, we’ve noticed an obvious connection between their initiative of creating a healthy environment here in Cedar Rapids, and our effort to advance economic growth and prosperity within our region. Those places that have already transformed into Blue Zone Communities are showing citizens are healthier in mind, body and spirit; happier; had a significant drop in absenteeism by key employers and are more productive than ever. The most exciting and undeniable factor in this initiative is that every member of our community needs to participate by pledging their support and taking the steps towards “making the healthy choice the easy choice.” That’s a tall order. The Economic Alliance wants to participate by sharing information that will inspire a healthier culture within your business or organization. Studies show most of us spend more than half our waking hours at the work place. So it’s important that our business community is an environment encouraging healthier behaviors, like those found in the Blue Zones Power of Nine. If we can see Blue Zone results in Cedar Rapids, our healthier citizens —the people who make up our local business community, who advance community projects and who impact where our future is headed —will help our community to grow and prosper for years to come. Join in the movement by pledging your support and encouraging your employees to get involved as well.

Show your support by visiting Or, use your smart phone to read our QR code and visit the site to pledge now.


424 First Avenue NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196

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Economic Alliance Report, April  

The Economic Alliance Report is the monthly newsletter for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. The monthly report features regional ne...

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