Inside this issue: â€˘ Becoming Stronger Together
2______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ October 2011
Table of Contents Article.......................................... Page Featured Member of the Month...............4 All aBoard................................................5 LFS Golf Outing Recap...........................5 Members in Motion............................. 6-7 Linn Area BizPac.....................................7 Calendar of Events...................................8 Good Morning Cedar Rapids...................9 Stronger Together............................ 10-11 Chamber Academy................................12 Business Input Sessions.........................13 New Members........................................14 Priority One............................................15 November PM Exchange.......................15 EDC........................................................16 Business Success Initiative....................17 September PM Exchange Recap............18 October PM Exchange...........................18 Stronger Together: A Joint Annual Meeting........................19
2011-2012 Board of Directors Officers
Nancy Kasparek, U.S. Bank NA, Chair Rob Frederick, Transamerica Companies, Chair-Elect Chuck Peters, SourceMedia Group, Immediate Past Chair Bill Vincent, Clifton Gunderson LLP, Treasurer
Board of Directors
Jill Ackerman, Marion Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Director Dawn Ainger, Genova Technologies, Inc., Director Tom Anderson, Merrill Lynch, Director Dee Baird, CR Area Chamber of Commerce/Priority One, President P1 Todd Barker, Todd Barker Iowa Realty Commercial, Director David Benson, CR Community School District, Director Barry Boyer, Chair, Priority One, Honorary Director Scott Byers, NAI Iowa Realty Commercial, Director Lijun Chadima, Thorland Company, Director Ron Corbett, Mayor, City of Cedar Rapids, Honorary Director Jeff Elgin, J & T Elgin LLC, Director Jim Ernst, Four Oaks, Director Gary Ficken, Bimm Ridder Sportswear, Director Ron Fielder, Grant Wood Area Education Agency (retired), Director Kristie Fisher, Kirkwood Community College, Director
Scott Gasway, J.P. Gasway Company Inc., Director Vern Gebhart, Alliant Energy, Director Bernard Gill, Ascott Transportation Service, Director Shannon Hanson, ImpactCR, Honorary Director Brad Hart, Bradley & Riley PC, Director Tom Hobson, Rockwell Collins, Inc., Director Tim Kintner, Bankers Trust Company, Director Christine Landa, Junior Achievement of Eastern IA, Director Robb Loftsgard, Wells Fargo Bank, Director Stephanie Neighbor, Chair, Marion Chamber, Honorary Director Curt Nelson, Entrepreneurial Development Center, Honorary Director Doug Neumann, Cedar Rapids Downtown District, Honorary Director Ron Olson, Paulson Electric Company, Director Jeff Pomeranz, City Manager, City of Cedar Rapids, Honorary Director John Sheehan, St. Luke’s Hospital, Director David Sorg, Leadership for Five Seasons, Honorary Director Tim Spain, United Fire Group, Director Michael Sundall, Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, PC, Director Bill Vernon, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, Director Brandt Worley, Worley Warehousing, Inc., Director
©2011 Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
staff, 190 34 private rooms. Experience matters. Our newly expanded ER means patients spend time getting treated, not waiting for treatment. Less than eight minutes. That’s the average waiting time in St. Luke’s ER.
Before you even walk through our doors, check the real-time wait times at stlukescr.org/ER
Dr. LinDer, St. Luke’s er
October 2011______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3
From the Chairman’s Desk: I believe we are stronger together. What’s more important is that we have heard from the vast majority of you – the investors, customers and stakeholders of the Chamber – that you believe we are stronger together. It’s been that guiding principle that has led us from concept discussions last February to a new, more powerful, more unified economic development organization that will bring us closer to our goal to be one of the top economic growth regions in the country. On September 7th, the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cedar Rapids Downtown District and Priority One publicly announced their intent to bring their organizations together. A formal merger vote is scheduled for late October, which would allow us to launch as a new organization on January 1, 2012. While we continue to lay the groundwork for the merger of these three organizations, dialogue continues regarding inclusion of other activities revolving around economic and community development. Many of you already have had a voice in this new direction, but as we build the details of this new organization, we want to further involve the business community by communicating what’s going on, and most important, by getting your feedback and insights. To that end, we have scheduled a series of seven Business Input sessions in the month of October. See details on Page 13 of this newsletter, or check www.cedarrapids.org for details and to RSVP. We want to hear from you! Creating this new organization won’t be easy, but the work is worth the reward. Some will tell you it has been a long time coming. Others may tell you that they are surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. Almost everyone in the small, medium and large group presentations that our leaders and boards have presented to so far, says it is a good thing for our community. As the Chamber embraced regionalism, it was only natural to look inward to our own process, and see that we could be stronger as a community if we combine forces with organizations that have a similar focus. To become stronger together, we believe: Focus matters. The new organization will maintain a sharp focus on areas in which we individually have thrived, but bring expanded resources and greater integration of all aspects. We know that our downtown area is the heartbeat of the region. We know that job creation and capital investment drive an economy. We know that support of locally-owned, small business is critical as well. We must coordinate public policy and economic development. Most successful, high-growth areas have built and supported one regional economic development organization that aligns community goals and resources. And those goals are presented with one regional voice that gives small and large businesses a stronger overall voice for their needs. Quality of life will be an indicator of success. Many have asked, should this be part of our focus? Simply, yes. We must support initiatives that make our region attractive to both current and future residents and companies that look to attract a diverse and strong workforce. We have the right ingredients for this region to become the envy of our state – and I am not above saying I’d like nothing more. I know what this community has to offer, and I know that combining our talents with a central vision will make a difference in how the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area fares in the future. And I can’t wait to see where it leads. Nancy Kasparek, Chair, Board of Directors
October 2011 Volume 81 No 2 (USPS558-200) Chamber Report (ISSN 10850775) is published monthly by the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, 424 First Avenue NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.
Subscription price of $35 per year is included in an annual chamber membership. Periodicals postage paid at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Postmaster: Send changes to: Chamber Report Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 424 First Ave. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196
Chair: Nancy Kasparek Interim President: Dee Baird Editor: Kari Stillman Contact the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce at 319398-5317 for reprint permission.
4______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ October 2011
At Work Events CarePro is not just about prescriptions and supplements, wheelchairs and in-home nursing care. We help our customers take control of their health and improve the quality of their lives. This commitment to our patients has been with us since we started as a community pharmacy in 1971. But over the past 40 years, CarePro has grown into a multi-faceted organization, a truly unique health resource. Our business has grown dramatically to serve our customers’ needs, encompassing five service categories that meet a variety of healthcare needs.
CarePro Pharmacies connect clients with clinical expertise and consultations at several community pharmacies, including A Avenue Pharmacy and Fifth Avenue Pharmacy in Cedar Rapids, Shepley Pharmacy in Mount Vernon, Liberty Pharmacy in North Liberty and Tipton Pharmacy in Tipton. And when specialized medications are required, CarePro Compounding in Cedar Rapids prepares custom-formulated prescriptions in our state-of-the-art pharmacy lab. CarePro Home Medical provides medical equipment & supplies to our customers through locations in Cedar Rapids and Coralville. We serve people of all ages with products that make life easier and leave them with peace of mind. We also take the worry out of home care decisions with CarePro Home Care. Whether the need is just a few hours or all day, we’re available 24/7 to meet a range of medical needs in the comfort of our patients’ homes. Our nurses answer questions, provide treatment and assist with everyday tasks. We know patients respond to treatments differently and traditional medicine may not address the problem. CarePro Health Clinic conducts consultations to introduce patients to complementary approaches as well as conventional medicine. We also connect clients with information and guidance to achieve a healthier lifestyle through CarePro Healthy Living. Building on the collective expertise of our staff, we empower our customers with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their health. Our Health Risk Management division works closely with local businesses to promote the health and wellness of their employees. These five areas, combined with our compassion, innovation and professionalism, make up CarePro. We are proud to be employee-owned and locally-driven to enhance the health of the Corridor. For more information, visit our website at
October 2011______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5
Monday, October 17 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Mount Mercy University ImpactCR, an organization within the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, has announced the return of “All aBoard: Leadership through Committees, Boards & Commissions” scheduled for Monday October 17th at Mount Mercy University. All aBoard: Leadership through Committees, Boards & Commissions, is dedicated to educating individuals with a desire to serve the community through leadership. All aBoard is a high-value, low-cost opportunity to advance the leadership skills of the next generation of community leaders in the Cedar RapidsIowa City Corridor. From basic board functions to the enhancement of current roles served, this workshop offers direction from the Corridor’s leading service and civic professionals. Cost to Attend: $20, ImpactCR members and full-time students with a student I.D. receive a $10 discount.
Hors d’œuvres and beverages included
11th Annual LFS Alumni Golf Outing Friday, September 9th at Airport National
A record-breaking 101 golfers! Class with most participants? 1999!
Best score Christine Landa, Robb Loftsgard, John Negro and Scott Friauf Men Longest Drive – Josh Moore Closest to Pin – Kyle Wilcox Longest Putt – Tim Kiesey Kris Gulick, Rhonda McCombs, Sandi Fowler, Heather Fortune-Vestweber, Bonnie Beardsworth, Gary Dusil.
Jace Bisgard, Shawn Gerdes, Andy Johnson and Mike Butterfield.
Women Longest Drive – Rhonda McCombs Closest to Pin – Kelly Thompson Longest Putt – Laurie Wahlert
6______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ October 2011
Miller Family Eye Care
Buffalo Wild Wings
Dublin City Pub
MercyCare Community PhysiciansÂâ€“ Dr. Collette
October 2011______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 7
Linn Area Have you ever thought of running for public office but not sure where to start? We are here to help. On Tuesday, October 25 the Linn Area BizPAC will sponsor a Candidate School for those interested in running for elected office. This event is free, open to the public and provides an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about elected office at all levels. Speakers include representatives from the Linn County Auditorâ€™s Office to explain resources available to candidates as well as processes to follow, Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure will review what is needed for paperwork, media representatives, fundraising experts and those that can help you with mobilizing volunteers. Donâ€™t miss this opportunity to learn more about what it takes to run for elected office.
Kosama Complete Body Transformation
When: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Where: Chamber Board Room Register: Online at www.cedarrapids.org/events or contact Sara Mentzer at email@example.com Registration is free and lunch is provided.
St. Mary Lawrence Center Community Center
Young Parents Network
Boys & Girls Club September 15th
8______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ October 2011
Events Calendar October ❖❖ Wednesday, October 5 ImpactCR – Siren Wednesday 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Red’s Public House 112 2nd Street SE, Cedar Rapids Siren Wednesday provides a casual atmosphere for ImpactCR members and friends to network and meet new people. Details available at www.impactcr.org. We encourage you to bring a canned food item to donate to HACAP’s Food Bank! Complimentary
❖❖ Monday, October 17 ImpactCR – All aBoard: Leadership Through Committees, Boards & Commissions 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Mount Mercy University 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids All aBoard is a high-value, low-cost opportunity to advance the leadership skills of the next generation of community leaders in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor. Details available at www.impactcr.org.
❖❖ Tuesday, October 18 Chamber Academy: Business Legal Update 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Chamber Boardroom Presented by Vernon Squires, Bradley and Riley PC. $10 members/$25 future members Light breakfast provided
❖❖ Thursday, October 20 PMExchange – CarePro Health Services
Lounge at 5:30 pm. Please bring a canned non-perishable item for the Madge Phillips Food Pantry. RSVP by October 15th on the Chamber website.
❖❖ Tuesday, October 25 Linn Area BizPAC Candidate School 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Chamber Boardroom This candidate school is for those interested in running for office, and not sure where to start. Speakers include representatives from Linn County Auditors Office.
❖❖ Wednesday, October 26 Regional Sustainable Business Alliance Round Table
❖❖ Wednesday, November 2 Regional Sustainable Business Alliance 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
HR Green Inc. 8710 Earhart Lane SW, Cedar Rapids
❖❖ Thursday, November 3 PMExchange – Hy-Vee 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
3600 Hwy 151E, Marion
Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Theme: Engaging Employees & Top Leaders. Round Table Discussions are free, open events to discuss green business concepts and share ideas, solutions, and questions. Complimentary
❖❖ Thursday, October 27 Regional Sustainable Business Alliance 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Rockwell Collins, Inc. 400 Collins Rd NE, MS 124-323, Cedar Rapids LEED Design & Sustainable Construction Green Facility Hosted by
Member event Complimentary
Join us for the Class of 2009 scavenger hunt/reunion. We’ll start at the Piano
See the last page of this Chamber report for more details
Piano Lounge 208 2nd Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids
Hawkeye Downs Expo Center
Limited to 30 guests
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Theme: Sustainable Stormwater Management
CarePro Health Services 1014 5th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids
Leadership for Five Seasons Class of 2009 Reunion
A Joint Annual Meeting
Registration is free but required. Lunch will be provided.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
❖❖ Thursday, October 20
❖❖ Tuesday, November 1
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 impactcr.org for details. For the latest listing of events or to register and pay on-line please visit www.cedarrapids.org
❖❖ Tuesday, November 8 ImpactCR Siren Wednesday – on Election Tuesday! 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Location: TBD Details available at www.impactcr.org Siren Wednesday provides a casual atmosphere for ImpactCR members and friends to network and meet new people.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for most Chamber events. Contact The Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Calendar As a Chamber member, businesses can login at
www.cedarrapids.org and submit their own event. Visit
www.cedarrapids.org/events to view the numerous events being held by Chamber members throughout the community.
October 2011______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 9
Thursday, December 1st
Join us in the fast lane as we celebrate Good Morning Cedar When: 7:15- 8:45 a.m. Rapidâ€™s 20th anniversary of Where: Hawkeye Downs Speedway Expo Center 4400 Sixth Street SW recognizing local businesses Guest Emcee: Casey Prince, Theater Cedar Rapids success stories. This event is Cost: $35 per person; $350 Table of Ten generously sponsored by Tickets on sale now! Guaranty Bank.
Itâ€™s no coincidence we keep our studio well stocked with these.
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hristine Landa knows firsthand the excitement – and the anxiety that can come from an organizational blend, such as the one announced by the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Priority One and the Cedar Rapids Downtown District on September 7. The organizations, which announced they had filed a letter of intent to bring together the three business and community based organizations as one new organization in early 2012, look to combine their strengths and emerge as a powerful, effective regional organization. “It is rare, in the life cycle of most organizations, that you have the opportunity to stop midstream, recalibrate, collaborate and chart a new course that can better serve your constituents,” says Landa, whose organization, Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, combined forces with another chapter in 2005 to become a regional entity. “It’s remarkable to be able to look at each organization’s core competencies and best practices, as well as the combined growth opportunities, and create a new plan.”
Our vision is to be one of the top economic growth regions in the United States. Effectiveness, innovation, collaboration, efficiency, communication and capacity are just a few of the compelling concepts behind this strategy. “These business drivers are the reasons behind any soundly constructed business reorganization or merger,” says Dee Baird, President and CEO for Priority One and Interim CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. “They are exactly what we seek to build in this new corporation. Our best practices, combined together, will give us the bench strength our community deserves when it comes to regional economic development, the business climate, and ultimately quality of life. All three are interdependent on each other for success.” Lon Olejniczak, Senior Vice President at Transamerica and a member of the Unification Council which will help guide the process, couldn’t agree more. “If we want to be one of the best performing economic engines in this state or region, we have to look inward first. We have to approach the future with one voice, backed with expertise and experience,” says Olejniczak. “This self-examination translates to specific action.” “Coming together, as these organizations plan to, takes the individual focuses of each individual group, and leverages their synergies in a way that will strengthen their
focus on the community and increase their capacity as an organization, rather than diminish it,” adds Olejniczak.
Rocking the Boat.
Change is not easy. People like the familiar and there are many, many people who have devoted an enormous amount of energy to “We have t the three individual organizations, leading up “That is a key to the shift in structure. need the “When you merge organizationally, you will always have people who feel emotionally tied to the individual entities,” reminds Landa. “We are really fortunate to have dedicated people from all three organizations who are willing to come to the table, put turf and emotional connections to the side and talk about how to build this new corporation in a way that honors the historical contributions of each while moving our community forward in a way that will benefit all. Their dedication to the community overrides their passion for the individual entities. That is how real progress is made.” “This is moving quickly,” says Baird. “But the reason we are able to do this in such a concerted and focused manner is because of the vast expertise of our base. In this community alone, the bandwidth of expertise runs deep when it comes to advising on legal and organization issues and structure. We absolutely could not accomplish this without the help of our board members and volunteers who have not only embraced this change, but helped us move forward in a timely way.”
One voice. One Region.
Most successful, high-growth areas have built and supported one regional economic development organization that aligns community goals and resources. And those goals are presented with one regional voice that gives small and large businesses a stronger overall voice for their needs. In many ways, these organizations have been working together all along, but within their specific, structured and insular capacities. The flood of 2008 brought all three organizations into a much closer working relationship, forging collaboration out of necessity in a time of crisis, but awakening the idea of what an organization that combines those strengths could potentially accomplish. As many stated throughout the small group presentations in the early formation of this process, this unification of the three separate entities makes sense. Many were surprised
October 2011____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 11
it had not been achieved before this. But almost all see the efficiencies and the capacity this proposed new organization brings to the table. Many expressed excitement and increased optimism for the potential benefit to the region.
the right people at the table,” says Olejniczak. part of the success of this initiative. You always e right people to drive even the best ideas.” Focus matters.
Many have asked, what becomes of the individual entity’s primary focus? Will we lose focus on downtown development, or manufacturing jobs and job creation? While still in the planning and structuring phase, we know this: business brings jobs. Jobs create prosperity. Prosperity feeds and drives the region and people’s needs are as large a part of retaining the workforce as are the jobs themselves. The new organization will maintain its focus on business, and expand its economic development focus beyond our traditional sectors, while recognizing the importance of the downtown core and nurturing that as an economic center that should be grown and cultivated carefully, with a mix of business, residential and amenities that create the urban core of the region.
Much to be done.
In the next few months, much will happen, both in the public eye and behind the scenes. The first, very public show of solidarity between the three organizations will be the Joint Annual Meeting: Stronger Together, on November 1. (See page 19 for details) This first public exercise in collaboration comes on the heels of months of work presenting to small groups, holding joint staff, board and committee meetings and the legal and organizational research and work that have gotten us this far. However, with a few months remaining and much organizational visioning and planning to go, we need the input of all our individual base constituencies to provide input, ask questions, challenge us to find strong solutions and become a part of the process of this historic uniting of community focused organizations at a time when our region is poised to experience exponential growth. In order to gather that input, we encourage all to attend any of our Business Input Sessions scheduled in October. Input from the base constituency of all three organizations is critical as we move forward. See page 13 for a list of dates and locations for these important events and plan to attend and let your voice and expertise be a part of the momentum we are building as a region. To read the original announcement and find future correspondences and articles, visit www.strongertogetherCR.blogspot.com.
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Business Legal Update Tuesday, October 18th 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Chamber Boardroom $10 members/$25 future members (cost includes sales tax, light breakfast provided)
While hot topics are constantly changing, certain workforce issues seem to be constant human resource concerns. This session will ensure that your company is not falling behind when it comes to current issues and discussions affecting your workplace. Spend time with Vernon Squires, of Bradley and Riley PC, as he shares current issues affecting your business.
“Very much a can-do attitude.” Lisa Coester
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October 2011____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 13
A Series of Business Input Sessions Downtown The Board Chairs of Priority One, the Chamber and October 11, 2011 – 8:00-9:00AM the Downtown District recently announced an approved Armstrong Food Court, 210 Third Avenue SE letter of intent to unite the three organizations by creating NW/SW one new entity. Focus of the new organization will October 11, 2011– 12:00-1:00PM include better integration of resources for economic Van Meter Inc., 850 32nd Avenue SW development, increased public policy coordination and NE/SE a unified voice for local and regional efforts. October 18, 2011 – 7:30-8:30AM Investors, Members, Partners and other stakeholders Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel from each organization are invited and encouraged to & Convention Center, 90 Twixt Town Rd NE attend one of a series of business input sessions scheduled NW/SW throughout the next month. October 25, 2011 – 7:30-8:30AM Agenda for each session will include: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd SW ❖❖ Formal presentation about the history of Hiawatha the project October 26, 2011 – 7:30-8:30AM ❖❖ Explanation of new organization purpose, City of Hiawatha Community Room, 101 Emmons Street structure and timeline NE/SE ❖❖ Feedback from current stakeholders October 26, 2011 – 12:00-1:00PM ❖❖ Facilitated small group breakout session El Kahir Shrine, 1400 Blairs Ferry Rd NE with Q&A Downtown October 28, 2011 – 12:00-1:00PM Input sessions are free to attend – food and beverage will be provided. Dublin City Pub, 415 First Street SE Register to attend on the chamber website for each individual session.
Discover a New Way.
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October 2011____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 15
The state of the economy over the past three years has forced many companies to reevaluate their corporate footprint and consider consolidations rather than expansions. Though our economy, both locally and globally, is still in a recovery phase, businesses have begun to make location decisions and to announce hiring increases, generating exciting activity in the Cedar Rapids area. August 31 marked the end of Priority One’s fiscal year, which saw an increase in overall project activity and capital investment creation. While there was a slight decrease in job creation from the previous year, the average salary for new jobs nearly doubled. Over the last 12 months, Priority One assisted 15 existing business with expansions and facilitated the attraction of two new companies to the Cedar Rapids area, AgSugar International and mCube. These projects produced over $218 million in capital investment and created 714 new jobs with an average salary of $70,616 per year. By staying focused on basic sector, interstate commerce industries where our region has an established history of success, partnering with academic institutions and other economic development partners to research potential new markets, maintaining strong relationships with corporate decision makers through the headquarter contact program, and developing new contacts and potential clients through industry conferences and office visits, Priority One continues to keep the Cedar Rapids area competitive, attractive and prepared for new opportunities. Priority One has already announced its first two projects for 2012. H.J. Heinz Company, Inc. has received approval for state and local funding to assist with the proposed expansion of their plant at 4601 C Street SW in Cedar Rapids. The expansion is primarily machinery and equipment, but would also include small building additions. Heinz has expanded the Cedar Rapids plant five times, most recently in 2010. California-based AirCover Integrated Solutions has applied for funds to assist with establishing operations in Cedar Rapids. The company is looking to lease space in the downtown Cherry Building, to manufacture, assemble, test, and sell their QuadRotor unmanned surveillance systems. The project represents $5 million in capital investment and will create 15 to 25 jobs over the next three years.
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ENTREPRENEURS’ CORNER Experience Corridor Innovation First-Hand at Innovation EXPO 2011 Curt Nelson, President & CEO, Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC)
Innovation is frequently mentioned as a key component of economic development—on both national and local scales. However, developing an innovation-centric entrepreneurial culture, where new ideas, as well as those driving them are embraced, is a continual challenge for highly-established business communities. Successful entrepreneurs are typically risk takers with high senses of urgency and egos that demand success and are not easily dissuaded by rejection. They tend to lack strong organizational skills, fly more by will than process or structure, and see no problem with continually challenging the status quo. Innovation and the related creation of vibrant new businesses are historically driven by such entrepreneurs. On October 26, you have an opportunity to support area innovators by participating in Innovation EXPO 2011, an event that will showcase over 50 new, innovation-driven businesses as well as angel, seed, and venture capital investors from across the country. This collaborative event is brought to you by EDC, the
University of Iowa, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI), and the Iowa Capital Investment Corporation (ICIC) and will include: ❖❖ TAI Pitch & Grow – where 16 entrepreneurs at virtually any stage will practice their pitch before a supportive “think tank” of industry experts. ❖❖ ICIC Seed & Venture Forum – where eight to ten early-stage companies will present to a panel of seed and venture capital experts from across the country. ❖❖ EDC Entrepreneur Showcase – where we will feature 50 entrepreneurs and inventors who will showcase their businesses in a convention-like setting. This is a great opportunity to get a first-hand look at the process of converting innovation to vital businesses and meet the entrepreneurs who have taken the risks to bring these new economic engines to life. We invite you to participate and help our region bridge the cultural gaps required to truly drive an innovation-based economy.
Visit www.edcinc.org for more details.
you want to go?
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October 2011____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 17
Disaster Plans Crucial to Businesses Preparing a business for a disaster is essential to ensuring an organization rebounds quickly while keeping losses as minimal as possible. The flood of 2008 was a wakeup call for many local businesses that did not have plans in place. Whether it be flood, fire, tornado or other such disaster, the Case Management Team of the Chamber’s Business Success Initiative has found that flooded businesses who had at minimum elements of a disaster plan in place fared better than those less prepared. Bob Harschnek, case management team leader, reports having a strategic plan, sound management planning practices, strong cash flow, manageable debt and good accounting records along with the back-up of critical information proved invaluable. These businesses had also reviewed insurance coverage options for all possible disasters and included such potential disasters as part of their risk management program. Gary Ficken, owner of Bimm Ridder Sportswear, said his business was lucky to survive the Cedar Rapids flood of 2008 without a disaster plan in place. Ficken now travels the Midwest, speaking to business communities about the importance of business continuity plans.
“I never thought about it before,” Ficken said. “It brings a calming effect to a world of chaos.” Jami Haberl, executive director of Safeguard Iowa Partnership, said planning does not have to be an elaborate process. Understanding basics involved in disaster planning and developing relationships so businesses know who to call upon in a crisis are the most crucial elements, according to Haberl. “Going forward business communities need to embrace the value of disaster planning,” Harschnek said. “One example is having a communications process in place. Businesses must communicate to customers once they have resumed operations. If they don’t, the competition will.” As part of the Chamber’s Business Success Initiative, free advisory services on disaster planning are available to flood affected businesses in Cedar Rapids through the end of the year by contacting Harschnek at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (319) 731-5844.
Legislative Preview Friday, December 2nd, 2011 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Chamber Board Room 424 1st Ave NE Join us for an opportunity to discuss with our local legislators policies and priority issues for the 2012 Legislative Session.We have heard from the Governor’s office education reform and property tax reform are priorities of the administration. What is a priority for you and business in this area?
For reservations, please contact Sara Mentzer at (319) 398-5317 or email@example.com. Online registration is also available on the Chamber website under Calendar > Events. We look forward to seeing you on December 2.
Thank you to our event sponsor Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC.
18 ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� October 2011
September PM Exchange Recap Members enjoyed an Iowa, Iowa State and UNI tailgate themed PM Exchange on September 15th hosted by Tektivity Inc. Beverages, appetizers and plenty of networking opportunities were available as Tektivity showed off their new office space located at 9440 Atlantic Dr SW, Ste 2.
• PM Exchange •
Happy 40th Birthday, CarePro!
Ribbon Cutting • Refreshments • Beverages
A chance to win an iPod touch! Thursday, October 20th 5-7 p.m. 402 10th Street SE • Cedar Rapids
Contact the Chamber 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 Chamber can help you gain exposure and positively impact your bottom line. Contact Kari Stillman at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2011____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 19
you are cordially invited to celebrate our community kaleidoscope
11.1.11 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. hawkeye downs expo center 440 sixth street sw cedar rapids
join us to review a successful year in community and economic growth, and to experience new strength in synergy presented by
PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
424 First Avenue NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52401-1196
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Central. Distinctive. Cooperative.
Singles to suites & small to large! Premier office space at 305 Second Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids Take a tour! 319-730-7700
The Chamber Report, is the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber's of Commerce monthly newsletter.