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June 2012



Table of Contents Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page From the President’s Desk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 June Featured Customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Workforce: Summer Internship Program . . . . 5 Volunteer this Summer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 CRBT Drive-in Movie Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 ImpactCR Update: BLT with Marilee Fowler . . 8 Community Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Legislative Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11 Federal Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Community Development: Day of Caring Recap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Zins Beverage Garden. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Economic Development News: Cedar Rapids Highest GDP Growth . . . . . 15 Announcing Innovation Council Leadership. . 16 Ribbon Cuttings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 May PM Exchange Recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 PM Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Economic Alliance Welcomes Three New Staff. 19

June 2012

Volume 81 No 10 (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.

JUNE 2012

From the President’s Desk: A team effort maintained a visible and influential presence for the Economic Alliance during the just-concluded Iowa legislative session. It was our first as a merged organization, and it was essential a statewide audience heard the same thing we’ve been telling you—our customers: public policy is a critical, overarching element of our efforts in economic development, community development and business support. The governance, staff and organizational structure of the Economic Alliance was designed to ensure a sharp focus and a unified voice on public policy issues that impact our vision of being the top economic growth region in the country. Veteran lobbyist Gary Grant led the team from a day-to-day legislative perspective. He reviewed new legislative proposals, tracked progress of our initiatives and communicated with key lawmakers on our behalf. He was joined most days at the Capitol by Heather Armstrong. Whereas Gary represents multiple clients, Heather was employed solely to represent the Economic Alliance. She was able to talk to legislators about the Economic Alliance so there was clear understanding, not only in our local delegation but across the state, about what this organization is and what our pro-business agenda looked like. She provided our eyes-and-ears in Des Moines at many hearings, debates and events during the session. Doug Neumann, executive vice president of the Economic Alliance, directed our overall public policy initiative. He oversaw Gary and Heather’s efforts, and also stayed closely aligned with the Iowa Chamber Alliance through weekly conference calls and several in-person meetings in Des Moines. Doug also coordinated with city and county officials. While there are some occasions where business interests might diverge from the interests of local government, those situations are rare. It’s almost always more powerful to be speaking as a unified voice, and Doug helped make that happen this session. I also made several trips to the Capitol, and visited one-on-one with key legislators when they returned from Des Moines. As the work progressed, I engaged the Policy Board as well. Other staff members made important contributions, too—some providing technical expertise on specific subjects, some supporting our communications and outreach efforts. Public policy truly is an all-team effort in the new Economic Alliance structure. Finally—and most importantly—our “team” included many of you in the business community. The Economic Alliance put out several action calls during the session, asking you to call, write or e-mail legislators. We received an amazing response from you, and legislators have told us it made a difference. Particularly on the tax increment financing and job incentive funding debates (see pages 10 and 11 for details), it was the real-life testimony from business owners that struck a chord with legislators and improved the tenor of the debate. It’s often the grassroots voices that make a difference in legislative debates, so THANK YOU for responding. Regards,

Dee Baird President & CEO




Featured Customer of the Month

JUNE 2012


Summer Program & Events for Your Interns! Summer internships are in full swing for college students looking to learn more about a potential career. The Economic Alliance provides a wide array of summer programming for employers and their interns who are looking to learn more about the Cedar Rapids area and the Creative Corridor.

is a way for companies to engage their summer interns/ co-ops on a broader community level and engage them outside of the organization. Building our leadership pipeline is critical and as we prepare students to enter the community, we must give them the tools to be successful.

A complete calendar of activities is below. All of the events are FREE, with the exception of Progressive Dinners, which cost $25.00 per participant. We do request reservations be made for all events by 10 a.m. the morning of the activity. We will plan additional outings throughout the course of the summer based on input from interns.

Students learn about four aspects of personal/community leadership: Personal Leadership, Business and Economy in the Region, Community Effectiveness, and Quality of Life. Students are to be nominated and registered by their respective employer. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot today.

In addition, the Leadership for Five Seasons College Program will occur on June 11 and 19. This program

For additional questions regarding this program, please contact DeMaris McKee at 319.398.5317 or


1 Sunday Sunday Dinner, 58 p.m. June 5 Thursday y a d s e n . Bowling, 8-10 p.m d e m . 7 BWowling, 8-10 p . 8 Sunday . y -10 p.m a 7 d r , r u t Sunday Dinner, 5e a n 9PSrogressive Din 8 p.m. 14 Saturday .m. y a p d 8 n u Progressive Dinner 5 S 10Sunday Dinner, , 7-10 p.m. 15 Sunday y a d p n i o Sunday Dinner, 511CMollege Leadersh 8 p.m. 17 Tuesday y a d s r u . h Disc Golf, 6-8 p.m 14GrTill Out, 6-8 p.m . 29 Sunday y a p.m. d n 8 u 5 S Sunday Dinner, 5, r 7 1 Sunday Dinne 8 p.m. 2 Thursda August y Bow y ling a d s p e i u h , T s r 19College Leade 4 Saturda 8-10 p.m. y Prog day p.m. s ress e n d e W 0 2Mini Golf, 6-8 5 Sunday ive Dinner, 7-10 Sun p.m. day y a p.m. d n 8 u D S 5 , i 24Sunday Dinner 9 Thursda nner, 5-8 p.m . y Grill . m y . O a p d u r 4 u 3C0aSpatut re the Flag, 1 12 Sunday t, 6-8 p.m. Sun



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Volunteer This Summer! An abundance of summer events means an abundance of fun—plus rewarding volunteer opportunities! At the Economic Alliance, we offer a variety of high quality and fun summer events for volunteers. Share your time and talent with us during our Downtown Farmers’ Markets that begin June 2, and occur the first and third Saturdays of the month, June-September. The Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust Downtown Drive-in Movie Series will also return this summer with movies in June, July and August—a perfect opportunity to volunteer, and still kick back with your family by watching a movie under the stars. In addition to our traditional summer signature events, Cedar Rapids is hosting RAGBRAI’s 40th Celebration on July 27. Local organizers have announced we need 1100 volunteers to help make the “Party on the Island” and RAGBRAI’s stop through Cedar Rapids a true success. To register to become a RAGBRAI volunteer, please visit Volunteers are a crucial part of making our jam-packed summer events schedule a success, and we truly appreciate your help this summer. Scan this code to volunteer for RAGBRAI

For more information about these opportunities, please contact Events Coordinator Jill Wilkins, at 319.730.1400 or

JUNE 2012


CRBT Drive-in Movie Series Free movie under the stars! Join us for three movies this year, brought to you by the Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, Economic Alliance, Z102.9 and Mediacom:

Join us for a free movie night under the stars at Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust! Complete with kids activities including an inflatable bounce castle, Velcro wall, inflatable obstacle course, glow-in-the-dark jewelry and more!

Admission is FREE! Parking and activities begin at 7 p.m. at Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the movie outside. Patrons who wish to view the movie from their vehicles are encouraged to arrive early due to limited space. Food vendors will be on site to purchase refreshments: Cruise Inn Concessions, Peppy’s Ice Cream, and Grace Episcopal Church. Popcorn will be available, compliments of Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust.

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Wednesday, June 13 Noon to 1:00 p.m.

BigWig Lunch Talk with Marilee Fowler Join ImpactCR for their professional development brown bag lunch on Wednesday, June 13 from Noon-1:00 p.m. with this month’s BigWig—Marilee Fowler, President & CEO of the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Economic Alliance Boardroom

This event is a brown bag lunch and free to attend. Seats are limited, so please register online at Our BigWig Lunch Talk (BLT) is a unique way to connect with a local leader— like Fowler—in an informal setting, learn about their professional adventures, current projects like RAGBRAI and ask questions that might influence your own professional journey. Sponsored by: The MBA for Professionals & Managers delivered in Cedar Rapids

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JUNE 2012


Community Calendar June ■■Downtown

Farmers’ Market First of the Season! June 2, 7:30 a.m.–Noon, Rain or Shine! Enjoy vendors in Greene Square Park, along Third & Fourth Avenues, looping from Fifth Street to Second Street. Our Downtown Farmers’ Market has become one of the largest open-air markets in the Midwest, with as many as 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. Live music, dancers and street performances round out this eclectic Cedar Rapids original.


Siren Wednesday

June 6, 5-7 p.m. Bushwoods Bar & Grill, 350 Edgewood Road NW Enjoy a casual and fun night of networking with ImpactCR on the first Wednesday of the month! Free to attend, and no registration required.


Development Academy: How to Present Yourself June 19, 8-9:30 a.m. Economic Alliance Boardroom, 424 First Avenue NE Please register at


Bigwig Lunch Talk

June 13, Noon-1 p.m. Economic Alliance Boardroom, 424 First Avenue SE Join ImpactCR for a community conversation with Marilee Fowler, President & CEO of The Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. This event is a brown bag lunch and free to attend. Please register at Sponsored by:

The MBA for Professionals & Managers delivered in Cedar Rapids


Farmers’ Market

June 16, 7:30 a.m.–Noon, Rain or Shine! Enjoy vendors in Greene Square Park, along Third & Fourth Avenues, looping from Fifth Street to Second Street.


July ■■Downtown

Farmers’ Market

July 7, 7:30 a.m.–Noon, Rain or Shine! Enjoy vendors in Greene Square Park, along Third & Fourth Avenues, looping from Fifth Street to Second Street.


Drive-in Movie Series featuring “Dolphin Tale” July 14, 7 p.m. Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, 500 First Avenue NE A free movie night under the stars! Bring your lawn chairs and blankets, or arrive early to park and watch from your car. Complete with activities and food vendors. Popcorn is compliments of Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust. Parking and activities begin at 7 p.m. The movie will begin at dusk.


Morning Networking

July 17, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Honkamp, Kreuger & Co., 1751 Boyson Road, Hiawatha Join area Hiawatha businesses for a morning of networking and refreshments. This informal gathering provides attendees the opportunity to create new contacts and learn more about area businesses. This event is free; however, please register at


Exchange: Marion Block Party!

July 19, 5-7 p.m. 700 Block off of 11th Street, Marion No registration required. Free to attend.


Farmers’ Market

July 21, 7:30 a.m.–Noon, Rain or Shine! Enjoy vendors in Greene Square Park, along Third & Fourth Avenues, looping from Fifth Street to Second Street.


PM Exchange

July 31, 5-7 p.m. Vector Corporation, 675 44th Street, Marion No registration required. Free to attend.

PM Exchange

June 21, 5-7 p.m. Cedar Rapids Smile Center, 1260 Third Avenue SE No registration required. Free to attend.


Drive-in Movie Series featuring “Puss in Boots” June 30, 7:00 p.m. Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, 500 First Avenue NE Join us for a free movie night under the stars! Bring your lawn chairs and blankets, or arrive early to park and watch from your car. Complete with activities and food vendors. Popcorn is compliments of Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust. Parking and activities begin at 7 p.m. The movie will begin at dusk.

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.

For the latest listing of events or to register and pay on-line please visit



Public policy issues critical to the Cedar Rapids regional economy received a lot of attention during much of the Iowa Legislative session this spring. Unfortunately, not all the attention was positive, and not enough of it resulted in legislation that will advance the Economic Alliance’s vision of being the top economic growth region in the country. As the summaries below detail, there were important successes. But pro-business/pro-growth coalitions also were forced to spend a significant amount of time

and energy defending policies and practices that have helped create good jobs and strong capital investment. Our allies at the Iowa Chamber Alliance and Professional Developers of Iowa have called this a disappointing session. While there were some successes, there were clear disappointments regarding business support and economic development.

Commercial Property Tax Reform Both parties and both chambers of the Legislature, as well as the governor, had declared commercial property tax relief/reform their No. 1 priority for this session. It still didn’t get done. The closing days of the session included rumors about a deal between parties, but ultimately the session closed with the huge inequities to commercial property taxpayers still unaddressed. That failure stands as one of the most disappointing aspects of this session.

Job Creation Initiatives The Iowa Economic Development Authority, under the leadership of Director Debi Durham, has been reshaped to better include private sector leadership and funding. Her plan, which was presented earlier this year to a Downtown Rotary session in Cedar Rapids, has been widely lauded by the business community and seems to have bipartisan support in the Legislature. And yet, when it came time to fund the proposed $25 million job creation incentives Durham needed to support the growth, retention and recruitment of interstate commerce companies, her request got slashed, leaving it at only $15 million. This incentive fund has been a critical tool for the Economic Alliance in its work to bring more jobs and capital investment to this

region. Several recent economic successes simply would not have happened without such support, and it’s disappointing the Legislature has been so reluctant to invest in this job-creation strategy.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) The Legislature ultimately passed a bill requiring more transparency and reporting, plus added some widely supported anti-piracy measures. We can’t argue with the bill that was approved, and we welcome the chance to better document the costs and benefits of TIF. The frustrating thing was the debate that occurred before approval. A shocking number of legislators wanted to sharply restrict how communities could use TIF, to an extent where Iowa would have become non-competitive with all other states in our region. Many business leaders made special appeals to legislators to keep TIF as a strong economic development tool. While some would describe the bill as a “victory” for pro-business interests, we could have been more helpful on commercial property tax reform or other pro-business interests if we hadn’t had to spend so much time and energy on defending TIF.

JUNE 2012

We want to thank our area legislators for their work this session and for their public service as elected officials. In many ways, it was a difficult session with its fair share of disappointments. But our delegation is the envy of many other urban areas in Iowa. They hold influential leadership positions in both chambers of the Legislature. They are quick to respond to our calls or e-mails. And many of them reach out to us when they want more information about


how proposed legislation might affect our ability to grow the local economy. The delegation worked across party lines to pass the Growth Reinvestment Initiative and to work together on several other pro-growth initiatives that were highlights of this session. We look forward to continuing to build on the relationship.

Other Successes Throughout this year’s difficult session, its important to note that there were also some successes to celebrate. Thanks to the work of our dedicated legislators, the following initiatives have advanced:

Six regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) hubs have been created, including one in Iowa’s Creative Corridor co-hosted by the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. The focus on STEM education was fully funded at $4.7 million by the Legislature. The education initiative has direct ties to workforce readiness and the region’s ability to recruit and retain companies looking for these types of skills.

Companies will find it easier to sell to their employees with a new law that allows capital gains deductions when ownership is turned over to employees. Making so-called ESOPs (employee stock ownership plan) easier to create could help keep some companies in Iowa that might otherwise be sold to out-of-state investors.

Funding for brownfields/grayfields redevelopment was increased. Several Cedar Rapids area projects have used the state program in the past to build in-fill projects on long-abandoned properties. The program ran out of money last year, leaving some potential projects without support, so the additional investment from the state was well justified and strongly supported.

Growth Reinvestment Initiative A new law could net up to $15 million a year in state money for flood protection projects. The funding comes via sales tax revenue growth within each city, meaning communities can literally help themselves, with proceeds from strong local economies being reinvested to protect those economies from dangers like those suffered in the Flood of 2008. The state commitment should enable Cedar Rapids to begin at least a portion of east-side flood protection, and it likely will be used by several other Iowa communities as well. The legislation got strong bipartisan support, passing unanimously in the Senate and by a wide margin in the House before being signed by Governor Terry Branstad. It stands as the most significant legislative accomplishment of this session, and is a credit to Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett and other city leaders who were able to make the case for this in a difficult legislative environment.



Production Tax Credit Still in Limbo A one-year extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) has not yet received Congressional approval and proponents of the PTC say if the extension is not approved, thousands of jobs will be impacted, including those in Iowa. The production tax credit was created in 1992 and gives wind farms a credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt per hour of energy produced. The tax credit has been extended nearly continuously since then, however it is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 unless the extension is approved. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance has contacted our Federal delegation urging them to continue its support of the extension and to seek the support of their colleagues for this important issue. The Economic Alliance believes the failure to extend this tax credit for wind energy projects will have a significant impact on the state’s 2,000-plus workers who are employed in the production of wind turbines and towers, including a facility in Cedar Rapids, Clipper Windpower, LLC. Nationally, there are tens of thousands more who earn their living in the production of wind power and could face layoffs if the tax credit is not available. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the extension, wind project developers have been reluctant to implement plans for projects in 2013, leaving American manufacturers with the very real possibility of no new orders. We encourage you to contact our Federal delegation in support of the tax extension.




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JUNE 2012

Community Development Update “Day of Caring” a Success! Volunteers from Kirkwood Community College and various downtown businesses dedicated their morning on May 10 to assist with downtown clean-up projects, as part of the United Way’s Annual Day of Caring. Combined, our volunteers contributed more than 60 hours of work to help accomplish these projects! Cleaning projects included: • Installation of three new bike racks • A fresh coat of stain on more than 45 benches • Graffiti removal of paint and stickers • Pruning and mulching (eight truck loads!) on the Cedar Valley trail between First and Third Avenues The Economic Alliance is grateful for our volunteers’ contribution of their time and talent this spring as we beautify and clean downtown in time for our jam-packed summer of events.

Thank you!

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Local Business Adds Fresh Beverage Garden to Downtown Farmers’ Market


A popular local restaurant is adding a new twist during each Downtown Farmers’ Market. Zins Restaurant, 227 Second Avenue SE, will be offering a Bloody Mary Garden

immediately outside the restaurant. The garden will feature a do-it-yourself condiment bar, along with a variety of drinks, including Vodka and Zins Fresh Lemonade, Raspberry Cucumber Pimm’s Cup, Lillet Spritzers, Raspberry Bellinis and Mimosas. A limited menu with rolls and cold sandwiches will also be available in the garden area. In addition to the outdoor seating and beverage bar, Zins will be open with a more extensive menu and live music. Chris Miller, Zins’ general manager, said the restaurant has offered bloody Marys on Saturday morning market days, but they wanted to add another dimension. “We thought this would be an even more attractive venue,” Miller said. The response from people anticipating the market and all that it offers has been positive, he said. “There have been many people who said they are very excited,” Miller said. A core function of the Economic Alliance is to provide opportunities for businesses to expand, connect and become engaged in our growing community. The Downtown Farmers’ Market showcases our expanding business environment while offering a unique experience for all those who come to enjoy the core of our city. Zins has taken this large scale, quality event and found a way to expand their services and interact with the community, in hopes to grow their business. We look forward to seeing this exciting new addition to the Downtown Farmers’ Market.

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JUNE 2012


Cedar Rapids’ GDP Strongest Growth in Midwest The latest unemployment figures for the State of Iowa show how strong the regional economy is when compared to national statistics. Cedar Rapids’ unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent from 5.9 percent in March. Nationally, the unemployment rate is at 8.1 percent.

regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and determined Cedar Rapids enjoyed the highest rate of GDP growth from 2001-2010 of any metropolitan area in the Midwest.

Job growth in the state’s construction industry has been strong in 2012. In April, increases were spread across more sectors, but more gains were seen in the heaviest in the goods-producing industries.

“Producing things for sale and export is still alive and well, and the Midwestern regions that have blended their traditional capacity for manufacturing with newer fast-growing sectors of the economy,” the report states.

Analysts often point to the diverse economy that Iowa has—and especially this region, Iowa’s Creative Corridor— which allows it to better sustain the ups and downs of economic turmoil, making it an attractive location for current and potential business.

“Between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, a new high-tech corridor has grown up that takes advantage of the area’s historical manufacturing capacity and the new technology driven through the university,” according to the report.

This notion is further reinforced by a study released earlier this year by the Sagamore Institute, “Clues from the Past: The Midwest as an Aspirational Region.” The authors: Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow, Chapman University; Mark Schill, vice president for research, Praxis Strategy Group; and Ryan Street, distinguished fellow, Sagamore Institute; completed an in-depth study of the Midwest Great Lakes Region, which included Cedar Rapids.

GDP refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of an area’s standard of living.

In the report (available here: mediafiles/kotkin-paper.pdf), the authors analyzed Scan to view the report “Clues from the Past: The Midwest as an Aspirational Region”


Dee Baird, president & CEO of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, says GDP is also a universal measure of economic health. “This ranking put the Economic Alliance and the Creative Corridor in a position of strength to achieve our goal to be the top economic growth region in the country,” Baird says.




Top 20 Recession-Proof Cities The Daily Beast, 2010

Best Places for Business & Careers, June 29, 2011

Our city is ranked #11 out of the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., based on costs, income growth, educational attainment and projected economic growth.

Cedar Rapids is one of Top 20 Recession-Proof Cities, according to The Daily Beast. We ranked #5 because of our overall employment, per capita personal income and metropolitan area GDP increases.

National Recognition

Cedar Rapids is a “Boom Town” & “Bright Spot” Time Magazine announced Cedar Rapids as one of ten cities considered as a “Boom Town” & “Bright Spot” in the nation’s economic landscape. Time Magazine, March 29, 2012



Ribbon Cuttings Innovation Councils Name Chair and Vice chairs One of the key features of the new Economic Alliance structure is the creation of Innovation Councils that will help connect customers to the organization and ensure broad involvement in the shaping of the strategic focus of the organization. Innovation Councils were created to focus on three of the Economic Alliance’s core functions: business support, community development and economic development. The chair and vice chair for 2012 are as follows:

Boys & Girls Club of America April 20, 2012

Business Support Innovation Council

Chair: Julie Hein, KZIA Z102.9 and 1600 ESPN Radio

Vice Chair: Mike McGrath, McGrath Powersports

Community Development Innovation Council

Dental Associates April 26, 2012

Chair: Brian Brandt, Principal Financial Group

Vice Chair: Cathy Terukina, SourceMedia Group

Economic Development Innovation Council ESCO Group April 26, 2012 Chair: Rod Dooley, Rockwell Collins

Vice Chair:

Dan Smith, Whirlpool

We appreciate their willingness to take on these roles as the Economic Alliance moves forward to achieve the vision of becoming the top economic growth region in the country.

1-800 Flowers (NE) April 27, 2012

JUNE 2012


Ribbon Cuttings

1-800 Flowers (NW) April 27, 2012

Honkamp Krueger May 3, 2012

Kaplan Nursing Lab May 8, 2012

Kirkwood Wind Turbine May 10, 2012

Laurel May 17, 2012

University of Iowa Community Credit Union (SW) May 17, 2012

To celebrate your business with a ribbon cutting contact the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance at 319/398-5317.

Hospice House of Mercy May 23, 2012



May PM Exchange Recap University of Iowa Community Credit Union celebrated the opening of its newest facility located at 2340 Edgewood Road SW with a ribbon cutting and served as the host of May’s PM Exchange. Guests enjoyed an evening of networking, refreshments, tours and live musical entertainment provided by B.F. Burt. UICCU is a member owned financial cooperative with nine office locations.

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

JUNE 2012


Economic Alliance Welcomes Three New Employees We’re happy to welcome new employees to the Economic Alliance!

Sarika Bhakta has been hired as the District Improvement

Specialist. In her new position, Bhakta will work with the Downtown Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District (SSMID), the Medical SSMID, and will be involved with other areas, including Park CR and streetscape. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 14 years in various markets including Cedar Rapids, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. She most recently came from the American Red Cross where she worked for the last eight years, having specialized in marketing, operations and resource development for the agency. Contact Sarika at or by calling 319/730.1427.

Jody Bowers

has begun work as the Executive Assistant. Bowers will provide assistance to the Economic Alliance President & CEO Dee Baird and Executive Vice President Doug Neumann. She spent the past six years as the executive assistant for the Greater Cedar Rapids Home Builders Association. Contact Jody at or by calling 319/730.1428.

Laura Paulsen is the new Research Specialist with an emphasis

in public policy.

Paulsen completed her graduate degree in urban and regional planning, specializing in economic development, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. In 2011, she served as the research and business development intern for the former Priority One organization. Contact Laura at or by calling 319/730.1406.


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Economic Alliance June Report 2012  

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