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Congratulations to this year’s Twenty Under Forty! Joseph Barber Dave Becker Ryan Bingman Sarah Meyer-Reyerson Amy Mohr Aram Susong Jordan Alborn Wade Arnold Erica Feldick Derek Sallis

Lauren Finke Zach Shimp Jesse Knight Heidi DuCharme Scott Gall Louis Hagarty Nadia Korobova Akela McDonald Shannon Closson Mike McGill

It’s easier to succeed in business when you have a faithful, loyal and trusted companion Community National Bank.

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Jordan Alborn

Wade Arnold

Joe Barber

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Louis Hagarty

Jesse Knight

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Nadia Korobova page 20


Dave Becker

Ryan Bingman

Shannon Closson

Heidi DuCharme

Erica Feldick

Lauren Finke

Scott Gall

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Akela McDonald

Mike McGill

Sarah MeyerReyerson

Amy Mohr

Derek Sallis

Zach Shimp

Aram Susong

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A decade of class By JIM OFFNER

The Courier’s 20 Under 40 honors are always special, but this round has a bit more gloss, because the 20 young community leaders honored here represent the 10th anniversary class. Jim Offner Twenty Under is the Courier 40 came about as business editor. part of The CouContact him at rier’s determinajim.offner@ tion to heap some well-deserved recognition on some of the Cedar Valley’s leaders of tomorrow who have demonstrated the drive and ambition to become standardbearers of the present as well.

As usual, the winners were chosen by a panel of business leaders, including past 20 Under 40 winners. The selection committee, which generously answered the call and donated its time and expertise in poring over the mountain of worthy nominations, included: Bob Justis, vice president of Community Development with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber; past winner Karris Golden, chief operating officer with Wasendorf & Associates Inc.; Kim Burger, manager of the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau; Kathy Flynn, vice president of advancement with Hawkeye Community College; and past winner Tara Thomas, news anchor with KWWL-TV. All members of this 10th anni-

This year’s group of young professionals marks special milestone for 20 Under 40

versary class certainly compare well with their predecessors, not only in terms of talent but in the variety of their expertise. All 20 people under the age of 40 are making a significant impact in the Cedar Valley through their civic commitments or jobs. We’d like to express our deepest appreciation to each member of the selection committee for his or her service. It’s not an enviable job paring down the nominees to 20. Over a lengthy lunch in early August, the group met and came to its decision. They brought their own backgrounds, connections in the community and studied the nomination letters to come to a decision. Here are the members of the Class of 2011: Joe Barber, 35, president of


Iowa Laser Technology; Dave Becker, 35, senior vice president of Financial Resource Advisors; Ryan Bingman, 32, director of operations, Grundy County Memorial Hospital; Sarah Meyer-Reyerson, 37, director of the Waverly Public Library; Amy Mohr, 34, president of the UNI Alumni Association; Aram Susong, 32, jeweler with Facets by Susong; Jordan Alborn, 32, vice president/financial adviser with FSB Warner Financial Services; Wade Arnold, 32, president/CEO of T8 Webware; Erica Feldick, 29, certified financial planner with Jacobson Financial Services; Lauren Finke, 29, executive director of Volunteer Services of Cedar Valley; Zach Shimp, 38, general manager of Target Distribution; Jesse


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Knight, 36, hydraulic design engineer, John Deere; Heidi DuCharme, 28, nurse manager, Allen Hospital Heart Lab; Scott Gall, 38, co-owner, The Runner’s Flat; Louis Hagarty, 36, funeral director at Hagarty-WaychoffGrarup Funeral Service; Nadia Korobova, 33, assistant director of the University of Northern Iowa’s Office of International Programs; Akela McDonald, 31, administrative director, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare; Shannon Closson, 39, president/CEO Casting Cleaning Inc.; Mike McGill, 33, vide president of business development, Independence Federal Bank for Savings; and Derek Sallis, 32, IT instructor, Kaplan University.

See 20 UNDER 40, page 9

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Jordan Alborn Waterloo financial adviser steps up for community, youths By TIM JAMISON

WATERLOO — The annual Waterloo Jaycees Fireworks Festival is a potentially explosive organizational nightmare. But when the downtown festival faced the challenge of moving to a new location this year, Jordan Alborn was willing to face the fire as festival chairman. “The whole town is counting on it, and you’re expecting thousands and thousands of people, and it’s the one thing where we usually get the most flak,” said Jaycees past president Angie Fuller. “But Jordan was willing to step up and be the face. “There’s always a lot of people willing to help but not a lot of people willing to step up and lead,” Fuller said. “He’s one of the step-up people.” Alborn’s community involvement doesn’t end with the Jaycees, where he also serves as treasurer and a board member. The 27-year-old financial adviser at FSB Warner Financial Inc. volunteers his time to Junior Achievement and Big Brothers Big Sisters, too. The Eagle Grove native attended Wartburg College in Waverly for a couple of years before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa to earn a degree in finance. He landed a job at Farmer’s State Bank as a senior in college and stayed after graduation, advancing from a customer service representative to a credit analyst and eventually to his

■ NAME: Jordan Alborn ■ AGE: 27 ■ OCCUPATION: Financial adviser at FSB Warner Financial Inc. ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Waterloo Jaycees, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, NAIFA — Cedar Valley ■ EDUCATION: B.A. in finance, University of Northern Iowa (2007) ■ FAMILY: Wife, Sarah ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: My father died when I was 1, leaving my mother to raise two kids on her own. She could have felt sorry for herself but instead chose to pick herself up and go back to school for an advanced degree in order to provide for a better life for my sister and me. I admire her very much for her resiliency and “never give up” attitude on life and try to emulate that in my own life. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: Marie Easter. She has taken me under her wing and taught me a lot not just about the financial advisory business but also about life. She is a great person.

current position as a vice president/financial adviser. But it is Alborn’s volunteer work, much of it on behalf of children, that sets him apart from many other young professionals in the Cedar Valley. BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

See ALBORN, page 5 20 Under 40 winner Jordan Alborn on the Fourth Street Bridge in Waterloo.


ALBORN From page 4 “We’re given a lot of things in life,â€? he said. “So when you’re able to give back even a portion of what you’ve been given, it’s something you should do.â€? Alborn credits his family for teaching him the value of helping others. And his involvement as a big brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization was also steered by his background. “My dad died when I was 1, and my mom remarried when I was 8,â€? he said. “I understand the importance of having a father ďŹ gure in the lives of young people.â€? His work as a Junior Achievement volunteer allows Alborn to use his ďŹ nancial expertise while helping young people. “I have a real passion for ďŹ nan-


cial education and schooling,â€? he said. “When I was growing up there was never a class that taught you to have a good credit score and a strong ďŹ nancial foundation, but Junior Achievement does a lot of that.â€? Jordan and his wife, Sarah, don’t have children of their own yet. “That give me a little more time to volunteer,â€? he said. “But even when I do have kids, I think it’s going to be important to get them involved in these sorts of things like my parents got me involved.â€? And Alborn sees the Cedar Valley as the right place to do that. “This has been a great place for my wife and I,â€? he said. “We’ve seen a lot of changes. We continue to see growth in the industrial parks and TechWorks, the Gallagher Bluedorn (Performing Arts Center). It’s a great place to live and work and raise a family.â€?



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Wade Arnold Whiz kid keeps going and keeps giving back By JIM OFFNER

CEDAR FALLS — Reaching the top of a company would be enough for most 28-year-old executives. Not for Wade Arnold, who became chief executive officer at software developer T8 Webware in Cedar Falls at that tender age. For Arnold, a Dubuque native who has headed up T8 Webware for more than three years, climbing is part of moving forward. “I think my success has come from being consistent,” Arnold said. “We are never taking the future for granted at T8. We just do the best we can possibly do every day.” Cedar Falls real estate executive Ken Lockard nominated Arnold for the award. “Wade has not only shown dedication to the company and his position, but his sheer ability and entrepreneurism has been a role model for his 40-plus employees that work for him,” Lockard said. He noted Arnold has played a leadership role in the business community. “Wade has demonstrated his leadership within the community in the technology area and has sponsored Tech Brew many times, providing an opportunity for all those involved in technology to come together and mind-share,” Lockard said. “Wade also makes himself available to the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance when they have need of his abilities.” Arnold was with the former T8 Design when that company hit hard times and ownership changed. He had to let about 30

■ NAME: Wade Arnold ■ AGE: 32 ■ OCCUPATION: CEO, T8 Webware, Cedar Falls ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Executive board of the Technology Association of Iowa, organizer of Tech Brew; UNI computer science department advisory board; Cedar Falls Strategic Plan 2020 Committee. ■ EDUCATION: BS from UNI in computer science in 2001. MBA from University of Iowa in 2007. Will graduate with a MS in banking from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. ■ FAMILY: Wife Shannon; children David, 4; Regan, 3; and Clayton, 11/2. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “I think I have an incredible father, David. He paid for his medical school by going through the Army, so we were really instilled to work hard and never give up. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: Eugene Wallingford, the department head of computer science at UNI; Bob Smith, the president of Lockard Cos.; Ken Lockard; and Darin Beck, CEO of Barmuda Cos.

people go, but those whom he kept have stayed. T8 now employs 44 full-time and six part-time workers. What was the secret of turning company around? “I think staying focused on what you’re good at,” Arnold said. “The culture at T8 is people that like to solve hard problems.”

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Wade Arnold outside the Little Red School House Museum in Cedar Falls. Arnold has never stopped pushing himself. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Northern Iowa in 2001 and a master’s in business administration from the University of Iowa in 2007, Arnold now is enrolled in the master’s program with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Banking. “I keep getting additional degrees, which is like a sick obsession of mine,” he said. A healthier obsession is family. “Shannon is an extremely supportive wife, even with me working 70 hours a week and doing 20

hours of homework and going to class on Saturday.” The Arnolds, who have been married eight years, have three children: David, 4; Regan, 3; and Clayton, 1 1/2. Arnold said his passion for technology spills over to the Cedar Valley business community, working with budding entrepreneurs who are breaking into the technology sector. “I’m part of the executive board of the Technology Association of Iowa and have been doing that for two years now,” he said. “That’s designed to help technology companies grow in the

state.” He also is heavily involved in the monthly Tech Brew meetings, which bring active and potential players in the tech sector together to network and discuss the latest innovations. “We started that up a year ago, and we’ve really grown that,” he said. “We’ve sponsored six or seven of them, just trying to get people to come together to start companies. We’ve seen two or three companies start out of it. We also connect people like Ken Lockard and Mark Kittrell with UNI students. It’s really fun to see.”





10 years of 20 Under 40 2011 winners Joe Barber, Dave Becker, Ryan Bingman, Sarah Meyer-Reyerson, Amy Mohr, Aram Susong, Jordan Alborn, Wade Arnold, Erica Fedrick, Lauren Fincke, Zach Shimp, Jesse Knight, Heidi DuCharme, Scott Gall, Louis Hagarty, Nadia Korbova, Akela McDonald, Shannon Closson, Mike McGill, Derek Sallis.

2010 Agnes Kress, Amy Frost, Amy Wienands, Brad Nelson, Brenda Schares, Brian Eddy, Chad Shipman, Chris Hurley, Chris Western, Erica Martens, James (Corye) Johnson, Jason (Jay) Witham, Jenny Graeser, Lisa Zinkula, Michael Soppe, Ryan Frerichs, Sara Fogdall Miller, Sarah Parsons, Susan Roberts-Dobie, Tara Thomas.


thold, Randolph Bryan.

2006 Tammy Bedard, Dr. Kyle Christiason, Beth Cox, David Deeds, Tricia Freeman, Tim Godfrey, Blake Hollis, Jake Huff, Aimee Langlass-Landergott, Matt Loesche, Ryan Madison, Brad Metcalf, Andy Miehe, Dr. Brian Sims, Erik Skovgard, Carolynn Sween, Christy Twait, Deb Weber, Gary Wheat, Jamie Wilson.

2005 Sean Abbas, Bill Bradford, Renee Christoffer, Angela Conrad, Matthew Craft, Chris Fereday, Kim Fettkether, Mark Funk, Jennifer Goos, Morgan Hoosman, Brad Leeper, Krystal Madlock, Brent Matthias, Jim Mudd Jr., Josh Schmidt, Justin Sell, John Speas, Andrew Van Fleet, Jason Weinberger, Joanne Wzontek.

Dr. Nick Goetsch, Alan Sweeney, Amber Jedlicka, Allison Parrish, Antonio N. Mays, Brittany Argotsinger, Brooke Burnham, Brad Schweppe, Chassidi Ferguson, Chris Reade, Christy Justice, Crystal Ford, Crystal Buzza, Maggie Burger, Stacey Christensen, Sheri Purdy, Jon Hennings, Joseph Fuller, Dr. Ben Squires, Janelle Darst.




Brad Best, Eric Braley, Heather Bremer-Miller, Molly Brown, Aaron Buzza, Kelly Christensen, Andrea Elliott, Angie Fuller, Jessica J. Miller, Michael Muhammad, Marc Riefenrath, Francesca Zogaib, Jennifer Hartman, Kristin Schaefer, Chad Abbas, Tavis Hall, Julieanne Gassman, Dan Dougherty, James “Jamie� Fettkether, Dan Kittle.

Stacie Brass, Ben Buckley, Mike Byl, Steve Carignan, Amy Dutton, Jack Emkes, Rachel Ford, Ann Hermann, Ann Kerian, Lake Lambert, Scott Leisinger, Eric Locke, Doug Miller, Maria Murphy, Eric Ritland, Robert Smith, Mike Trachta, Stacy Van Gorp, Mike Walden, Dave Wilson.

2007 Emily Girsch, Dr. Matthew Kettman, Christopher Rygh, Ryan Sheridan, Christa Miehe, Niki Litzel, Heather Prendergast, Jenny L. Connolly, Nikki Wilson, Karris Golden, Danielle Rusch, Kelly Knott, Paresh Shettigar, Mike Young, Scott J. Sernett, Shelly Smith, Noel C. Anderson, Burton “Bud� Field, Alyssa Bec-

Sarah Albertson, John Bunge, Steve Burrell, Telisa Burt, Bryan Burton, Jim Coloff, Katherine Cota-Uyar, Jeff Danielson, Abraham Funchess, Brad Jacobson, Scott Larson, David LeCompte, Jeff Mickey, Andy Miller, Marcus Newsom, Jack Nooren, Lisa Rivera-Skubal, Matt Rolinger, Sharon Samac, Joe Surma.

Having grown up in the Midwest, I had a desire to connect to the larger world. Wartburg’s study abroad program gave me the chance to study in Paris, and it was an amazing experience. I also studied at Wartburg West and lived in the urban setting of Denver, Colo. I discovered that being connected to a community, large or small, is important to me. Now, I volunteer for organizations like the United Way and Relay for Life; and I love my community. My educational experience at Wartburg gave me the passion to live what I learned. — Christa Leary, ’02, BA Marketing Director First National Bank

This is my Wartburg story.

What’s yours?

2002 (21 selected) Troy Boelman, Blake Borwick, Drew Conrad, Barry DeVoll, Bryan Earnest, Theresa Hardy, Quintin Hart, Wade Itzen, Chris McGovern, Beth Meyer, Mason Moore, Mike Newland, Christopher Olmstead, Mike Place, Aimee Shepard, Lynn M. Smith, Robert L. Smith, Chad Stroschein, Chris Thomas, Cathy WilsonSands, John Wood. For more information, scan this code using a QR code reader app on your smartphone.

Leadership. Service. Faith. Learning. 8BSUCVSH#MWE 8BWFSMZ *PXBtXXXXBSUCVSHFEV WO-102811026





Joe Barber Dumont native moves up ladder at Iowa Laser Technology By JON ERICSON

CEDAR FALLS — Some people still find success the old-fashioned way. They work hard, get an education and move up the ladder. That’s just how Joe Barber has gone about things. The Dumont native is president of Iowa Laser Technology, arriving at the position last December after 16 years with the company. Barber started working at Iowa Laser Technology in the summer of 1994. He commuted from Dumont that summer as he prepared for his first year at the University of Northern Iowa. He continued working part time while going to school. When he graduated in 1988, Iowa Laser Chief Executive Officer Mark Baldwin sat him down to talk about Barber’s options. Baldwin extended an offer to make a career in the company. The rest, as they say, is history. After college Barber worked in order entry, then in sales. In 2002 he became sales and marketing manager. In December, Barber moved up to president. “The company has been fantastic as far as providing opportunities for us,” Barber said. Baldwin said it has served Barber well to move up within the company. “He has the respect of everybody,” Baldwin said. According to Baldwin, Barber is a manager who makes people better. He gives people opportunities, then gets out of the way with the expectation the employ-

■ NAME: Joe Barber ■ AGE: 35 ■ OCCUPATION: President of Iowa Laser Technology, Inc. in Cedar Falls ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Tiger Cub Leader, Pack 69, Waverly; member of the Winnebago Council Executive Board, BSA; member of the Values in Action committee, Winnebago Council, BSA; various volunteer activities at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Waverly. ■ EDUCATION: B.A. in political science from University of Northern Iowa; Hampton-Dumont High School. ■ FAMILY: Wife: Melissa; son, Samuel, 8; son, Nicholas, 6; daughter: Alexandria, 2. ■ A MOMENT IN THE PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE ME: The time that I spent in Scouting, and achieving my Eagle Scout rank, helped to provide me with the self-confidence and basic leadership skills that I rely on every day. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: My parents would be my mentors. They instilled a work ethic and self-confidence in me through their example that has allowed me to be successful.

ee will meet their responsibility. Barber and his wife, Melissa, settled in Waverly after a few years in Cedar Falls. They were both raised in small towns and find Waverly offers both a smalltown feel and amenities. It is there that Barber has invested in the community.

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographe

Joe Barber on the Parkade in Cedar Falls. He finds time to fill several roles at his house of worship, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, including assisting in Communion and helping out with education programs. He also serves on the board of the Winnebago Council of the Boy Scouts of America and as a Cub Scout leader. “It’s like all things: It comes down to juggling your time,”

Barber said. He credits his wife for being active as well, and says they operate as a team. Baldwin said the business community will see more of Barber as he gets more involved in community business organizations in his role as president. Barber knows others who have been 20 Under 40 honorees, and he was excited to

hear he had been selected. “It’s a big honor,” Barber said. He’s a firm believer the Cedar Valley is headed in the right direction. “We’ve been kind of lucky that we’ve been kind of insulated from the worst of the recession. I think people recognize this is an excellent place to live and do business,” Barber said.


20 UNDER 40 From page 3 As you leaf through this publication you will see that this class upholds the now-decade-long tradition 20 Under 40 has established. How they ďŹ nd time to do their jobs and the many community functions to which they belong is amazing. Thanks also to Main Street Waterloo and Community Main Street in Cedar Falls for their cooperation in our two-day photo shoot for the project in September. Beautiful late-summer weather also provided a nice backdrop for the photos, taken around both downtown areas.




Thanks also to The Courier staffers who put this publication together. It is a labor of love by all of those involved. They include photographers Rick Chase, Matthew Putney and Brandon Pollock, who lugged camera equipment and lights to all shooting locations; writers Emily Christensen, Jon Ericson, Kristin Guess, Karen Heinselman, Meta Hemenway-Forbes, Tina Hinz, Holly Hudson, Tim Jamison, Pat Kinney, Dennis Magee, John Molseed, Jim Offner, Melody Parker, Jeff Reinitz, Amie Steffen, Matt Wilde, Andrew Wind and Josh Nelson. Graphic designer David Hemenway and Matthew Putney designed the cover, and the page layout was done by Douglas Hines.

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Dave Becker


Cedar Valley financial adviser knows time spent with children is a worthy investment


CEDAR FALLS — As a financial adviser, Dave Becker knows a small investment over a long period of time can grow into a sizable sum. A small investment of time in a young person’s life can have a major effect under that same principle, said Becker, senior vice president at Financial Resource Advisors. Becker volunteers his time with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and spends mentors a Waverly fifth-grader. The two spent time over the summer swimming, playing basketball and mountain bike riding. “It was rough, but I managed,” he joked. “I’ve always had a heart for kids, and I hate to see kids in a situation that’s less than ideal.” The time he spent with the young man may not seem like much of an investment now, but like any other investment, over time it can pay significant dividends. “If you can change the trajectory of their life just a little bit when they’re young, when they’re 30, 40, that change can be exponential,” he said. “That hour or two during the week can make a real difference.” Becker, a father of three, tries to spend as much time as possible with his family. He uses his experience and knowledge in finance to help organizations in which his family is involved. He has worked as the treasurer for his son’s Cub Scout troop and has used his skills to help out his church, Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls. “I look at it and say, ‘Why wouldn’t I do it?’” Becker said. “If there’s something that needs to be done, I don’t like to be the person who steps back in line.” “As a firm, that’s paramount to being part of the team,” said Jay Bullerman, president and

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Dave Becker along the Cedar River in Waterloo. CEO of Financial Resource Advisors. “He’s always willing to help out.” Becker also coaches with the Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Association. By volunteering his time and having lunch at school with his kids once a month, Becker said, he wants to invest as much time as possible into his own kids’ lives as well. “Many folks die with the regret of not spending more time with their loved ones,”

Bullerman wrote in his nomination of Becker. “Dave has vowed never to be in that position.” Becker and his wife, Staci, also volunteer their time for Prairie Lakes Church, teaching Sunday school and helping in the church nursery. Becker grew up in Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University. He moved to Iowa to be closer to his wife’s parents.

■ NAME: Dave Becker ■ AGE: 35 ■ OCCUPATION: Senior vice president, Financial Resource Advisors ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Association coach, volunteer roles at Prairie Lakes Church, Cedar Falls. ■ EDUCATION: Graduated from Illinois State University, 1998 certified financial planner, 2004, chartered financial consultant,

2005 ■ FAMILY: Wife Staci Becker; sons Christian, 7, Carson, 4, daughter, Anna, 5. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “When I was selling cheese for my Boy Scout troop, my mom told me the early bird gets the worm. That really stuck with me, that never-give-up attitude.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: “My life has been a cumulative effect from a lot of people investing in me.”





Ryan Bingman Grundy Center transplant gets involved with community By JOSH NELSON

GRUNDY CENTER — Look at all the boards, community groups and organizations in Grundy County, and you’ll see one name come up a lot. That is because Ryan Bingman, a 34-year-old Grundy Center transplant, is a person in demand. Aside from his job as director of operations at the Grundy County Memorial Hospital, Bingman is the incoming president of the town’s Kiwanis Club. He is helping iron out the city’s long-term strategic plan as a member of the Grundy County Development Alliance board. But Bingman, a native of Madrid, Iowa, said he’s only doing his part to make Grundy Center a good place to live. “I don’t feel like it’s anything special what I’m doing,” he said. Bingman joined the hospital staff in 2007. He left a job as landscape and grounds maintenance manager at Monmouth College in Illinois. When he got to Grundy Center, he jumped headfirst into community improvement. His activities varied from organizing Easter egg hunts to overseeing an $18.5 million construction project that added inpatient facilities and a medical office park to the hospital grounds. Longtime residents appreciate the effort. “He’s a young family man and has a lot on his plate, but he’s always willing to step up and volunteer,” said Rich Riesberg, Grundy Center city clerk.

■ NAME: Ryan Bingman ■ AGE: 34 ■ OCCUPATION: Director of operations, Grundy Center Memorial Hospital ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: President-elect, Grundy Center Kiwanis; member, Grundy Center Communitywide Strategic Planning; board member, Grundy County Development Alliance ■ EDUCATION: Iowa State University, B.A., landscape architecture ■ FAMILY: Wife Brandy, sons Evan, 4, and Samuel, 7 ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: Seeing his parents being involved in their lives through sports events and other community events. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: His parents, because they “pushed me to be the best that I could.”

Riesberg, also the Kiwanis Club secretary, said getting young professionals or families like Bingman’s involved in the community is necessary to making the town stable. Bingman’s many activities also helped land him a spot on the town’s strategic planning committee, Riesberg said. Bingman said he is glad to have that strong connection to the town. He chose Grundy Center for its family-friendly, smalltown atmosphere. “It seemed like people were just proud of community when we were looking around,” he said. “It seemed like a nice fit. It is a nice

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Ryan Bingman in downtown Cedar Falls. fit.” Pamela Delagardelle, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said Bingman has taken a leadership role in the hospital’s expansion projects. He helped bring staffing levels at the facility from 90 to 210 in that time. He also has been instrumental in getting numerous awards from hospital groups and Grundy Center for its performance, Delagardelle said.

“He’s the neatest young man,” she said. Bingman made sure stakeholders, like doctors and nurses, had input on how the new hospital wings would function. He also managed to get the project finished on budget and on time, which two previous building projects failed to do. “It was a much more efficient and focused project under his

leadership and direction,” Delagardelle said. Bingman said his parents were highly involved in the community when he was growing up, which set the stage for his volunteerism also. “Everybody goes back to the ‘my parents’ thing, but both my parents — my mom and dad were very active in our lives growing up,” he said.





Shannon Closson Casting Cleaning CEO calls her efforts a return for kindness By JOHN MOLSEED

CEDAR FALLS — When Shannon Closson volunteers her time, she sees her efforts as payback those who have helped her. “My father has always taught me you’re truly successful if you give back to those in need,” she said. When her mother, Kathy Bunger, was in need Closson got involved. As co-chairperson of the American Cancer Society Swing for the Cure fundraiser, Closson helped lead a campaign committee that raised about $90,000. Closson credited her mother, who is battling cancer, with inspiring those efforts. “Watching my mom and seeing her courage in what she has gone through, she’s inspired a lot of people,” Closson said. The fundraiser had an emotional urgency that motivated her. “It was something we were very passionate about. We took it and ran with it.” The two even teamed up to raise money for a friend who needed help with medical bills after being stricken with cancer. “She’s always thinking of others,” Closson said of her mother. Closson, president and CEO of Casting Cleaning Inc. in Cedar Falls, bought the business from her parent about three years ago. She worked there part time while she was a student

■ NAME: Shannon Closson ■ AGE: 39 ■ OCCUPATION: President, CEO of Casting Cleaning Inc., Cedar Falls ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: American Cancer Society Pink Ribbon Swing for the Cure committee co-chairwoman of the sponsorship committee, member of the University of Northern Iowa Panther Scholarship Club board of directors. ■ EDUCATION: Graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. degree in psychology and a Master’s in business administration. ■ FAMILY: Sons Dalton, 11, and Gabe, 8 ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “Raising a family.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: “My mother (Kathy Bunger) and her courage in what she has been through,” “My father (Sid Bunger) always said you’re truly successful if you give back to those in need.”

at University of Northern Iowa. After graduating, Closson went on to become human resource manager, general manager and eventually took the top spot. “The opportunity was one I couldn’t pass up,” she said. By taking over the business, she keeps it in the family and on its original mission. “We like to keep it personable and a family-type environment,” she said. Closson also shows her appreciation for her education by

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Shannon Closson in Cedar Falls.

“My father has always taught me you’re truly successful if you give back to those in need.” Sharon Closson CEO of Casting Cleaning

serving as a member of the UNI Panther Scholarship Club board of directors. Closson was a team captain and letter winner for

the UNI swim team. The club raises money for scholarships for Panther athletes. She said helping other athletes secure

scholarships is another way to show her appreciation for the opportunities she had at UNI. “I think it’s important to bring in different athletes,” she said. Closson was nominated by Maria Murphy, a previous 20 Under 40 honoree, who stated Closson is committed to her family, business and community in her nomination.





Heidi DuCharme Contagious attitude propels nurse manager of 3 Heart at Allen By AMIE STEFFEN

WATERLOO — Friends and coworkers say the reason Heidi DuCharme is able to help people manage heart disease is her communication style doesn’t demean them. DuCharme, 29, said that communication style comes from her own struggles with taking off weight. “I kind of can relate to what they’re going through, so it’s easier for me,” DuCharme said. “I live with it every day.” Hired by Allen in 2005 and almost immediately put into a leadership position at the hospital’s HeartAware program, DuCharme’s job was counseling people on not only weight loss through diet and exercise but also behavioral changes. People would take an online assessment, then be recommended to see DuCharme for advice. “I’d teach people to grocery shop, do small things a little at a time,” she said. “I’d show them how easy it is to cook a 30-minute meal that’s healthy for you, and it won’t cost you a lot of money.” DuCharme said her own desire to take off weight — nearly 50 pounds, though she says that amount wasn’t healthy for her, and she’s since put a bit back on to achieve a normal weight — helps her identify with her clients. Advice like that helped Sarah Albertson, who said it was high cholesterol that put her at risk. “I hate to be overdramatic, but

■ NAME: Heidi DuCharme ■ AGE: 29 ■ OCCUPATION: nurse manager of 3 Heart at Allen ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Go Red for Women, American Heart Association Heart Walk, Western Home Communities, Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition ■ EDUCATION: West Central Maynard High School ’01, Allen College ’06 ■ FAMILY: husband Nick; stepdaughter Alyssa, 13; dog Maddie, 2 ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “I lost 50 pounds at one time. That kind of inspired me to help other people. I learned how easy it was to eat right and find time to exercise. That helped my passion.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: “My parents, Pat and Karla Grennan. ... My dad has always worked hard to always do more for his family, and he always taught me to have fun in what I do. (My mom) is the most supportive person. They’ve always wanted to make sure that I was happy; they’ve always supported every decision I’ve made.”

it was almost life-changing the way Heidi walked me through this program,” said Albertson, the director of health care marketing at ME&V. “She was really inspiring and encouraging in a very nonthreatening way.” Others noted it was incredible how quickly DuCharme moved up at Allen. “Right out of college she was put into a leadership position,”

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Heidi DuCharme in Cedar Falls. said Angie Fuller, director of development at Allen, who has worked with DuCharme on the Go Red for Women event. “I thought, ‘Wow, somebody who just graduated from college.’ Her personality stood out. She made people want to change their habits, especially when it comes to diet and nutrition.” After two years of overseeing HeartAware, DuCharme was promoted to nurse manager of 3 Heart at Allen, her position since

last October. While she misses HeartAware and directly working with patients at risk for heart problems, DuCharme said, she has always been driven to move up in her career. “When I have my mind set on something, I figure out a way to get there,” she said. That kind of attitude is contagious, said Albertson. “I encouraged a lot of people to go see her,” she said. “She’s

very energetic, upbeat, kind and compassionate — the opposite of judgmental. (She’s) somebody that everybody enjoys being around.” And she is someone Allen wants to keep encouraging as well. “She’s just been a positive person in this community; someone we want to hold on to,” said Fuller. “She’s just a bright person who cares about others, and I hope she stays around for a long time.”





Erica Feldick Financial planner finds there’s no place like home By TINA HINZ

CEDAR FALLS — Erica Feldick never thought she would return to live in the Cedar Valley — or work for her family’s business. Now she has fallen in love with both. About 11 years ago, the Cedar Falls native left the state to attend the University of Kansas. She was a cheerleader for football and men’s basketball. Feldick graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004 and got married that December. She and her husband, Erik, decided to establish roots in the Cedar Valley. She had planned on becoming an attorney and spent a year at an area law firm. But while Feldick, 30, liked aspects of the profession, “I wasn’t sure if that was me.” “I just was looking for a career that I would love, something that would be a long-term calling and a passion where I could kind of walk beside my clients and develop more long-term relationships with them,” she said. “And I wanted to be seen as a resource for them and just have an honest relationship.” Feldick found just that as a financial consultant at Jacobson Financial Services. Her father, Wayne Jacobson, also is a consultant and mother, Brenda, is office administrator. Since joining the team in 2006, Wayne Jacobson couldn’t be prouder of her growth and development. Professionally, she is fully securities licensed with Series 7 and 66 licenses, meaning she can buy and sell on the New York stock exchange and provide advice for clients. She also is licensed to advise clients on life and disability insurance and annuities. Feldick is one of the youngest people he

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Erica Feldick on the Parkade in Cedar Falls. knows who is a certified financial planner, Jacobson said. Iowa has 516 CFPs. Nationally, just more than 23 percent are female, and only about 3 percent fall between the ages of 20 and 29. Feldick was 27 when she earned the designation in 2008. “You kind of surrender yourself to a professional code of ethics,” Feldick said. “It’s in addition to all the things you’re supposed to do anyway.” The process took two years to complete. It involved five tests, along with a two-day written final exam in Minneapolis, which cover financial, tax, employee benefit, retirement and estate planning, as well as insurance and investments. She has to meet continuing education requirements. Heather Gunderson serves with Feldick on the Black Hawk County Estate Planning Council, made up of 35 accountants, attorneys, insurance and trust officers. Feldick recently was elected to the board by nomination from the business community.

See FELDICK, page 17

■ NAME: Erica Feldick ■ AGE: 30. ■ OCCUPATION: Financial consultant at Jacobson Financial Services in Cedar Falls. ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Chapter president of Financial Planning Association of Eastern Iowa; Black Hawk County Estate Planning Council board; YWCA board of Trustees; columnist for Courier’s Cedar Valley Business Monthly; invited to present at fifth annual Power of the Purse financial education seminar hosted by University of Northern Iowa Foundation and Women’s Philanthropy Council; chairwoman for two years of sponsorship committee for American Heart Association’s Cedar Valley Go Red for Women; chairwoman for two years of Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce golf outing; member of Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy; active in Heartland Vineyard Church music ministry and small group. ■ EDUCATION: Cedar Falls High School; majored in journalism, University of Kansas, 2000-2002; bachelor’s in English and political science, University of Iowa, 2002-2004. ■ FAMILY: Husband, Erik; daughter, Ava, 6 months.

■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: The birth of my daughter. I think in that moment I realized that raising her would probably be the most important job I’d ever have. She’s made me grow a lot. I feel like she really motivates me and gives me a lot of courage and strength I didn’t know I had. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: The first one would be my dad, Wayne Jacobson. I just think he’s a consummate professional. He has kind of a never-give-up attitude, and he’s such a hard worker. All of those qualities are really inspirational for me, and obviously his experience and his advice are also so important. My other one would be my grandpa, Jack Dykes, my mom’s dad. He passed away, but he was the store manager of the Hy-Vee in Centerville for many years. I remember as a little girl coming into the store and noticing how he had a way of making everyone he talked to feel important and special. He knew most of their names, and he was never above bagging groceries and helping people to their cars. I remember thinking that I want to be like him. I want the people I work with to feel special, and I still feel that way.





Lauren Finke Executive director leads volunteer center to growth in all areas By HOLLY HUDSON

WATERLOO — Lauren Finke admits she was a bit green to the world of nonprofits when she took over as executive director of the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley. “I was the assistant director at the time, and I willingly accepted the position,” she said. “It has given me the opportunity to grow professionally and stretch my leadership skills. It’s been amazing. “I have a wonderful staff. I really enjoy working with them. And the board of directors is very engaged in what we are doing.” While Finke may deflect the praise that comes her way, it is difficult to argue with the progress the VCCV has enjoyed during her three-year tenure. “The Volunteer Center has seen growth in all areas during Lauren’s time with the organization which can be, in part, attributed to her drive and work with the board of directors,” said Chelley Pratt, president of the VCCV board of directors. “Last year alone, volunteer placement increased over 200 percent from the previous year, and more than 40 service learning projects were completed in our local schools through Lauren’s guidance with her team.” What Finke may have lacked in experience she more than makes up for in passion. “The center is extremely important to the Cedar Valley,” Finke said. “We recruit and refer volunteers to more than 75 agencies in the community. We had 6,500 volunteers come through our doors to support those 75 agencies with things they need to be successful. “We have an online database, and agen-

MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor

Lauren Finke in downtown Waterloo. ■ NAME: Lauren Finke ■ AGE: 29 ■ OCCUPATION: Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley executive director. ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Personally, I’m involved with Pet Pal and The Arc. I have my hands in a lot of different things. It’s hard to differentiate from my work.” ■ EDUCATION: Graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in communications. ■ FAMILY: Married to Joe Finke. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “Rather than a specific moment, I think the people in my life have really helped shape me, particularly my family. They have provided me with a sense of direction and the motivation and values to be successful now.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: “My (maternal) grandmother, Joan Poe, was definitely my mentor. She was the owner of Standard Distributing. She was a very savvy businesswoman and did a lot of things women didn’t do back then. She led by example. She was a wonderful lady.”

cies can post volunteer opportunities on our website.” Finke also has worked hard to build relationships in the community to promote volunteerism. “I am out and about all the time,” she said. “I’m in classrooms, and we’ve got a great relationship with the college and with businesses looking for volunteer opportunities for their employees. And I do a lot of training with nonprofit organizations.

“Waterloo-Cedar Falls is ranked 11th volunteer-wise (among similarly sized cities), and Iowa is ranked second in the nation,” she said. “We are working to maintain and increase those statistics.” Board member Floyd Winter is impressed with what Finke has accomplished. “Lauren has directed the VCCV in carrying out its mission and vision by working with the board of directors to promote and support effective volunteerism in the

community,” he said. “She has greatly improved the financial stability of this not-for-profit organization by working with board members and volunteers in a variety of fundraising activities. “Lauren has taken a very active role in the community by connecting with the many not-for-profit agencies serving our community. Lauren has also created partnerships with businesses and industries in the Cedar Valley, and these partnerships have markedly expanded volunteer service opportunities for their employees.” When she is not involved with VCCV business, Finke works as a server at Montage in Cedar Falls, but does find the time to enjoy herself. “I love spending time with my family,” she said. “UNI football is a big passion of mine. And I like to travel. I enjoy seeing and trying new things.” Finke advises young people to be patient. “Opportunities will come,” she said. “Get involved. Be persistent. Continue to make connections and network. Learn what your strengths are and use them.”





Scott Gall Big heart keeps him running to help others By META HEMENWAY-FORBES

CEDAR FALLS — He was at mile 41 of the Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions in September, racing against the top trail runners in the country. Scott Gall had led or was in second place for the first 30 miles of the grueling race through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Gall, of Cedar Falls, is used to winning. The former Olympic trials marathon qualifier is also a national snowshoeing champion. He placed fifth at the Mountain Running World Championships. He grabbed the top spot at the Ice Age 50k in May. But this race, the longest he’s attempted, was a different story. By mile 38, he was dragging. At mile 41, with still a hair more than 21 miles to go, he turned in his race bib. In the racing world, that’s called a DNF — did not finish. Could he have completed the race? Not without sacrifices he wasn’t willing to make. “It beats you up,” said the 37year-old elite distance runner. “I don’t want to go to the well so much that I’m not healthy. I have two kids and a wife at home.” That unselfish nature resonates with his family, friends and the greater Cedar Valley. Gall, who owns the Runner’s Flat in Cedar Falls with his wife, Sarah, has been instrumental in expanding the running and fitness circuit

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Scott Gall takes a breather in Cedar Falls. ■ NAME: Scott Gall ■ AGE: 37 ■ OCCUPATION: Owner of the Runner’s Flat, professional endurance runner ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails, Heartland Vineyard Church, local schools, fitness groups ■ EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind. ■ FAMILY: Wife Sarah; daughter Charlee Sue; son Jeremy.

locally. A friend and mentor to beginner and middling athletes, he volunteers with several local organizations, including the Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails. “He’s one of the most generous people with his time and

■ MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: His best friend, Jeremy, was killed in Afghanistan. “It inspired me to be a source of change. There’s a song called ‘Torch Us Together.’ Two torches together make a bigger fire.” ■ MENTOR AND WHY: His dad, who worked double and triple shifts at a factory to support his family and strongly encouraged his children to go to college. “He said, ‘We don’t care where you go, as long as you go.’”

talents I’ve ever seen,” said Steve Burrell, a local runner. “He’ll run 5 to 6 miles with a group of beginners on trails and reschedule to get his own workout in. The guy goes out and hand mows the trails. After running three hours, then working at the store,

he’ll go out and mow before he goes home for dinner.” Those who know him say Gall was born with a talent for running, but his real gift is his heart. He was a special education teacher for a decade before opening the Runner’s Flat. He organizes groups to run, bike, swim and snowshoe for people of all abilities. He is heavily involved in his church, plays the drums in a worship band that meets once a month at the Hub in Cedar Falls and holds small group Bible studies in his home. Gall is often asked to speak to students and at community events about the importance of fitness. Future plans include organizing Flatline Adventures, a program for troubled young men. “My best friend from college was killed in Afghanistan,” Gall

said. “I took a stance then that wherever I live I would create a life where I invest in other people. I hope I have held to that commitment. I want to be the best father and husband I can be and put 110 percent into work and training. No coasting.” Gall is working on Running Village, a website to educate athletes, offer shoe and equipment reviews and drive traffic to locally owned fitness stores across the country. The website launches in December. The support of family, friends and the community allows him to do it all. “The fact that we have a store that employs both of us and one of us gets to hang out with the kids, that’s crazy good,” Gall said. “We opened hoping we could do exactly what we’re doing now.”



Technology changing our world “Wow, you were around for the original ‘Star Wars!’ ” These words, directed at me by one of the many University of Northern Iowa students we hire at Community National Bank each year, was a less-than-pleasant reminder of the generational gaps we face in the workplace today. Needless Rhonda to say, I did not Hinton is a commercial choose to follow up his comment lender with Community with the fact that National Bank in I also first learned Waterloo. Contact to type on a manher at 291-9000. ual typewriter. As much as some of us hate to admit it, times are changing, and it is important to keep up. Recently it seems that those changes have come most frequently in the technological realm. Smart phone software creators such as BlackBerry, Apple and Google have made texting, browsing and accessing work and personal email a breeze. Social

media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have every person from grade school student to CEO finding something in common. So where, you ask, does this merge with the world of banking? At Community National Bank, it is important for us to advance technologically without losing the personal touch and close customer relationships we are proud of as a true local bank by staying “Always by your side.” In the past year alone, we have implemented such services as online banking, mobile banking (there’s also an app for that!), merchant capture, a Community National Bank Facebook page and a QR code for linking smart phone users with our Facebook page instantaneously. If you’re like me and had to Google “QR code” to just see what it is, next time you go to the grocery store or sift through your mail, notice the tiny black and white contact square now placed on many household items. Not only is it important to

keep up with technology, but it is necessary in order to reach more people across demographics. Even though many of you reading this article may not understand a single word I said in the previous paragraph, our hope is that a pair of eyes will fall on these words surprised and excited that a local, more personal bank offers the same products and services as one on a national scale. Congratulations to this year’s 20 Under 40 winners. You have proven you have the tools to propel both yourselves and the Cedar Valley into the future— it’s bright, it’s advancing and it’s just waiting for people like you to commit to its success. Because of you our community is a better place, and for that, we are all thankful.



FELDICK From page 14 That’s a “real honor” at such a young age, Gunderson said. Feldick is the board’s only CFP. Gunderson works for the accounting firm Bergan Paulsen in Waterloo. Feldick and her dad visit at least twice annually to share information. “I really feel like she takes the time to get to know the clients to make the best recommendations for them,” Gunderson said. “She really cares.” Feldick further serves the community by volunteering her time and talents for various organizations. Among those is the Greater Cedar Valley Chamber golf committee. She served four years, moving from a member to chairwoman, according to Kim Schleisman with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Cham-

ber. Feldick was instrumental in combining the Waterloo and Cedar Falls golf committees into one task force. “No matter how small or large the task, Erica is very willing and able to help make the Cedar Valley a better place,” Schleisman said. Feldick wishes she had more hours in a day and keeps a mental list of causes she hopes to help out in the future. She credits local teachers, coaches, families, parents and others for leading her to success professionally, as a young woman and as a mother to Ava, 6 months. “I think it’s good to leave (home) because you realize what you had,” she said. “I am thankful I was given the foundation and the values and just the love from so many people who have taken the time to mold me and shape me and help me grow and help me fly.”




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Louis Hagarty


Making a career out of compassion


WATERLOO — At age 22, Louis Hagarty Jr. learned an important lesson about life’s uncertainty. Everything appeared to be falling into place for Hagarty. He had graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a degree in marketing and management. Two years later he had just been promoted at his job at a company in Minneapolis. That was on Monday. By Friday his department had been laid off, Hagarty included. “It was a humbling experience and made me realize not to take anything for granted,” Hagarty said. Hagarty used the opportunity to make a career change that has served him well. He enrolled in mortuary school in Chicago and pursued a career in the funeral home industry. Today, at age 36, he is more than a decade into his job as a funeral director at Hagarty-WaychoffGrarup Funeral Service, where his father, Louis “Louie” Hagarty Sr., is a partner. The Courier’s 20 Under 40 winner is able to apply his management and organizational skills to make sure a funeral service goes smoothly. His job can entail everything from embalming the body of the deceased to meeting with the family to preparing for the visitation to conducting the service. In all dealings, Hagarty strives to be a compassionate figure who is sensitive to the grief of the families he works with on a daily basis — a lesson he learned from his father, also his mentor. “It’s a tough time in people’s lives. It’s nice to be able to do something to help them,” Hagarty said. The funeral director profession can be stressful, Hagarty said. The biggest challenge, he said, is the unpredictability of the work, a fact that didn’t bother him as a

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Louis Hagarty stands under the mural on Lafayette Street in downtown Waterloo. ■ NAME: Louis Hagarty ■ AGE: 36 ■ OCCUPATION: funeral director at Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Easy Riser Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, Covenant Foundation board of trustees, a member of St. Edward Catholic Church in Waterloo. ■ EDUCATION: Columbus High School; University of St. Thomas; Worsham College of Mortuary

single young man but can be hard now that he is a husband and father. Death doesn’t happen on a schedule, and funeral directors have to take turns being avail-

Science ■ FAMILY: wife, Sheila; son, Nicholas, 5; stepdaughter, Kalli, 15. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: father, Louis “Louie” Hagarty Sr. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: Two years out of college, Hagarty received a promotion and then was laid off within a week. “After that I made my decision to go to mortuary school, so everything happens for a reason.”

able on holidays, weeknights and weekends. As a funeral director in his hometown who is active in clubs and organizations, it is not

uncommon to have to help plan a service for a relative of a friend of the family or acquaintance. On occasions, he’s helped with services for a member of his own family. A good funeral director is able to talk with people who are dealing with intense grief and loss, Hagarty said. Hagarty is both professional and compassionate and treats everyone with respect and dignity, Roseann Cory, an aunt, wrote when she nominated Hagarty for the Courier’s 20 Under 40 award. “He always has a smile and an encouraging word,” Cory wrote. “He goes above and beyond what is expected of him.”

Hagarty is also appreciated in the community for his volunteer service. He serves on the Covenant Foundation board of trustees and recently accepted a position on the executive committee, said Dave Peters, chairman of the board and president of Peters Construction. Hagarty is an active participant and demonstrates leadership, Peters said. “He came to us recommended, and he’s been a very valuable asset,” Peters said. Having other interests and hobbies helps Hagarty keep balance and perspective in life and in work. He also likes to contribute to organizations that allow him to learn new things and that support causes he believes in.





Jesse Knight Engineer connects with kids, showing them new possibilities By JEFF REINITZ

WATERLOO — The task seemed easy: Tell a robot how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The middle school students instructed Jesse Knight — the flesh-and-blood stand-in for the robot — to start by putting the peanut butter on the bread. He picked up the jar and placed it on a slice. Not like that, came the response. Then the wheels started turning. Students were considering the details and individual steps between having a jar and a loaf and having a completed PB&J. Knight, a 37-year-old hydraulics design engineer from John Deere, sees speaking to students about applying themselves in science as a way to get them to steer clear of other influences. He also coaches young people in sports and is a regular chaperone at Westminster Presbyterian Church’s middle school dance. “This is how can I give some of the things I’ve been blessed with back to the community,” Knight said. Growing up in rural Kentucky, Knight had few opportunities. Aside from dangerous work in the coal mines, the possibilities were limited. Higher education wasn’t a family tradition. His parents had split up, and Knight was largely raised by his grandmother. But as he began to plan for his future, a cousin encouraged him to apply himself. You’re smart, she told him. Go to college. He enrolled at a community college, took out student loans and worked his way up to earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1997. He credits his high school wrestling training with keeping him disciplined.

■ JESSE KNIGHT ■ AGE: 37 ■ OCCUPATION: Hydraulic design engineer at John Deere ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Coaching football for the Youth Sports Foundation and flag football, softball and tee-ball for Waterloo Leisure Service; Parent volunteer with the Wahawk Wrestling Club and West High Wrestling; mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters; teaching Junior Achievement at elementary schools; supporting John Deere Engineering Week at Hoover and Central Middle schools and Webster County High School in Kentucky; church volunteer activities. ■ EDUCATION: University of Kentucky — B.S. in mechanical engineering. ■ FAMILY: Wife, Tasha; four children: Cole, Victoria, Alexandria, Cameron. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: My graduation day from the University of Kentucky was a milestone 22 years in the making and helped set the stage for opportunities that I have today. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: My great-aunt, Anna Lou Price, has been one of my strongest influences. She continues to be a positive and active role model for me.

“The amount of work and training involved in the sport, it just helped solidify me,” he said. Knight worked in a hydraulics manufacturing in Kentucky. It was a job with a 70-mile commute each way, and it wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. So after three years, he looked for other work and found an opening at the John Deere plant in Moline, Ill. He later moved to Deere’s hydraulic operations in Waterloo and liked

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Jesse Knight outside the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo. He recalled running into a stu- day. I thought that was great,’” the community. In addition to raising four dent from his robot presentation Knight said. “The kids are starting to see a children — including a special- after school. Someone had told needs son — with his wife, Tasha, him the child, who did a good connection, so I know I’m reachKnight coaches youth flag foot- job in the activity, was in a gang. ing them. But it also feels like ball, softball and tee-ball and vol- Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. I reached a kid that maybe we “He said, ‘You’re Mr. Knight. can alter his life down the line,” unteers with the local youth and high school wrestling programs. You were in my class the other Knight said.




Nadia Korobova


An American dream come true


CEDAR FALLS — Nadia Korobova’s story sounds like something straight from a best-selling novel — young Ukranian woman comes to the United States with $100 and a dream. But she swears it is all true. “America truly is the land of opportunity,” said Korobova, assistant director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Northern Iowa. Korobova came to Iowa as an 18year-old college exchange student. Her Ukrainian college offered a program that matched students with American colleges based on their career interests. Korobova chose criminology and by chance landed at UNI. “The closest I knew of Iowa on the map was Chicago,” she said. But after just a week on campus Korobova knew she had found her place. She finished her year of schooling, returned home to get her degree and then came back to UNI to earn her master’s degree in public policy. Following graduation she took a job at Hawkeye Community College. She returned to UNI three years ago. “When I was here as an international student the level of support I received from people, I wouldn’t be able to succeed without that support, so what I am trying to do now is pay back all those things and effort and time that people invested in me by helping other students,” she said. Korobova’s personal experience helps put new international students at ease, said Beccy Johnson, a secretary in International Programs and Korobova’s nominator for the 20 Under 40 honor. “They know they can come to her, and she will help them or hug them as needed,” Johnson said. It isn’t just international students benefitting from Korobova’s time and talents. She is an adjunct instructor at Hawkeye Community College, teaches a Russian cooking course and a Learning After 50 course where she can “sit and talk to people about the Ukraine.” She also sat on the Cedar Valley Conference on Human Rights committee. Despite familial ties to the Ukraine, Korobova, who earned her citizenship four years ago, said after 15 years America is definitely her home. “In that first week I knew I belonged

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Nadia Korobova takes a break in Cedar Falls. here,” she said. “Back in my country, a lot of things are determined by your origin. When you come to an interview they look at your last name first, and it matters who your dad is and who your dad knows.” But here she has her American dream. She has a house. A car. An education. “All those things that truly are the American dream I built it, and I built it for myself,” she said. “It really, truly is possible.” Especially in Iowa. “I can’t imagine how my experience was if I had come to Texas or a big city in New York. I doubt I would have the same openings and support system or that people would be as friendly as they are here,” she said. “Everyone was here to help me. People were very kind to me.”

■ NAME: Nadia Korobova ■ AGE: 32 ■ OCCUPATION: Assistant director of international programs, University of Northern Iowa ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: committee member for Cedar Valley Conference on Human Rights (former Cedar Valley Conference on Race), guest speaker for Wapsie Valley Schools elementary students, volunteer Russian translator for various occasions, volunteer speaker on the Ukraine at various venues, member of numerous committees at UNI ■ EDUCATION: Ph.D. (educational leadership and policy studies) from Iowa State University, to be completed in May 2012; Master of Arts in public policy from University

of Northern Iowa, May 2001; Bachelor of Arts in international law and English from Taurida National V.I. Vernadsky University (former Simferopol State University), Simferopol, Ukraine, June 1998 ■ FAMILY: mother Galina and sister Anya in the Ukraine; boyfriend Ryan ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: Moving to the U.S. at the age of 18 with $100 in my pocket to realize my American dream. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: My mother is truly my trusted friend, counselor, teacher, and guide. Everything she accomplished in her life has been due to her intelligence, hard work, persistence, and kindness. She is guiding me through my life with a listening ear and thoughtful advice.





Akela McDonald Wheaton planning manager isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves By PAT KINNEY ■ NAME: Akela McDonald ■ AGE: 31 ■ OCCUPATION: Administration director of planning and food and nutrition services


Board member, Northeast Iowa Food Bank; board member, MET Transit; board member, YWCA ■ EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta; master’s in health care administration from Texas Woman University in Houston. ■ FAMILY: single; immediate family in Dallas ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: I can’t really pinpoint a defining moment that has shaped me. However, I will say that I have an innate sense of determination. I would have to thank my parents for that. They have always encouraged to me to go after my dreams. Having determination and seeking my dreams has never failed me and this is the message that I pass on to young people. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: while I don’t have formal mentors, there are many people that I look up to. I take character traits from them and try to apply them to my own life. For instance, I would pattern my life to have my mom’s faith and her strength and my dad’s (who is now deceased) integrity and his skill at building relationships. There are many other informal mentors in life, too many to name.

WATERLOO — Akela McDonald isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She proved that in the aftermath of RAGBRAI’s 2010 overnight stop in Waterloo as a member of the committee planning the event. Faced with a wet, rainy mess after thousands of bikers rolled out of the overnight campground south of town near Lost Island Adventurepark and South Hills golf course, she recruited a cadre of volunteers — and rolled up her own sleeves — to clean up the grounds. “It was a lot of work, a lot of hard work, but fun,” she said “I met a lot of people.” It is the same way she has taken on challenges in her career as a health administration professional and as a community volunteer — straight on, one at a time, with an ability to work with people and pull them together to achieve results. Just as she aspires to bring the best out of fellow volunteers, one of her main goals now is to put Wheaton Franciscan HealthcareIowa’s best foot forward in the Cedar Valley. McDonald is manager of planning and projects with WFHIowa, a position she’s held since 2007 after interning there in 2006. She returned after working six months at the Wheaton’s corporate office in Milwaukee. Her predecessor in that job was Beth Knipp, who now works with the Black Hawk County Gaming Association.

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Akela McDonald in downtown Waterloo. “I liked to plan. I’m a planner professionally and personally,” she said. That includes building personal as well as professional relationships. “That’s what motivates me,” she said, “getting beyond the surface” of people’s professional roles to know the individuals she interacts with. That is the key to accomplishing goals. “It goes back to having those great relationships with people,” she said. “You lean on those, and you use those to your advantage. People are willing to help you out

when you really need it.” The RAGBRAI cleanup is a case in point. She motivated volunteers to do “some of the nastiest, dirtiest garbage removal ever created,” said Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare spokesperson Chris Hyers, who nominated McDonald for 20 Under 40 recognition. McDonald prefers to effect incremental changes as steps toward larger progress. “For my job here, I hope we get out in the community more,” she said. She hopes to raise Wheaton’s

profile though activities such as its community program, support of the Waterloo Catholic Worker house and sponsorship of women’s conferences through National Women’s Health Week. Personally, she also serves on the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and MET Transit board of directors, among other capacities. Since McDonald became “a permanent member of Wheaton’s Iowa team, she got to work making the kind of personal and professional difference worthy of recognition,” Hyers said.





Mike McGill ‘Mr. Independence’ deeply involved in his community By JIM OFFNER

INDEPENDENCE — Mike McGill sensed a need to get involved in his community early in his adult life. He says the payback is a sense of satisfaction that he is doing his part to build a better place to live. What he didn’t expect, he said, was to be honored with a Courier 20 Under 40 award. “It’s a humbling experience because I know there are so many people my age and younger and older that are doing so much for their communities and businesses that may not be recognized this year,” said McGill, 33, vice president of business development at Independence Federal Bank for Savings. “It feels good, but it was definitely a surprise.” McGill, who is single and a native of Independence, long has wanted to play a role in building a family-friendly, vibrant community. The list of McGill’s volunteer duties reads like a resume, starting during his college years at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served various leadership roles with the Public Relations Student Society of America, including membership on the PRSSA’s national committee. That role helped him jump into the professional world, where he took his volunteerism into the community. Among the roles he has filled are mentor with the Independence Community School District; board member with the Independence Celebrations Committee; Independence Ambassadors; Lions Club; Indee’s CruiseMeisters; MakeA-Wish 2011; board member of Community Housing Inc.; and volunteer instructor with Junior Achievement. “A lot of us have to do so much

■ NAME: Mike McGill ■ AGE: 33 ■ OCCUPATION: Vice president of business development at Independence Federal Bank for Savings ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Mentor, Independence Community School District, 2002-present; PR/marketing, Independence Day Celebrations Committee; Santa Claus Independence Community Christmas dinner; board of directors, Independence Celebrations Committee ; Independence Ambassadors; Lions Club; Indee’s CruiseMeisters; Make-A-Wish 2011; board of directors, Community Housing Inc.; volunteer instructor, Junior Achievement; co-chairman, Build for the Future (PAC); RAGBRAI committee; Friend of Education Award, Independence School District; 2005 Citizen of the Year Award from Independence Area Chamber of Commerce. ■ EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts degree in communications, with emphasis in public relations from University of Northern Iowa, 2002. ■ FAMILY: Single. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “I guess I think it could have been getting involved in the chamber and serving on committees and serving the community. That experience kind of shaped me professionally, as well as outside the office.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: My mother, Mary, and my father, Gary.

for our families, friends and businesses that we sometimes don’t realize it,” McGill said. “I think a lot of it is for my community in general. When you can go out and help improve the aesthetics of the community or morale just by volunteering, it speaks well for anybody to be able to do that. I

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Mike McGill outside the Waterloo Center for the Arts. think anytime you strive to make your home a better place for people to live, that’s doing good due diligence.” Emily Cahalan, a systems analyst with University of Northern Iowa’s informational technology department, nominated him for the award. Cahalan said McGill is known

to many as “Mr. Independence.” “He loves the community and is involved in almost everything,” Cahalan said. “I sent him an email asking him what committees he is on, and this was his response. A friend of mine recently sent me a thank you card with the word “integrity” in caps with the following below it: ‘We

make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.’ That exemplifies why so many enjoy philanthropy. We all want to have a positive impact on individuals, our community and, in some cases, our country. Doing that simple deed or act of kindness will possibly change the course of someone’s life in a positive way.”





Sarah Meyer-Reyerson Library director checks out volunteering By KRISTIN GUESS

WAVERLY — Sarah Meyer-Reyerson participates in more committees and volunteer groups than she has time for. But pushing herself has proven not only to be possible, but rewarding. Director at the Waverly Public Library and an active volunteer in her church, Meyer-Reyerson spends any free time with her family. “I have more to do than I have time to do it, but while your kids are that age, you just feel like you need to get involved because it’s important,” she said. She is involved in numerous organizations, supervises 18 people and oversees teen programming at the library, while also volunteering in her community. She was a leader in the library’s involvement with the Waverly Historic Preservation Commission. Appointed by the mayor, she serves as city staff liaison. “Under Sarah’s guidance, the Waverly Public Library has become a jewel of the city of Waverly,” said Diana Blake, president of Waverly Public Library board of trustees. “They recognize her as a leader who empowers them and allows them to energize the library.” When the city was hit by devastating flooding in 2008, she took on the role of community leader. She encouraged other city leaders and organizations to install offices at the library while their buildings were refurbished. She provided assistance with the Bremer County Recovery Coalition, running an emergency operation center through the library. In the event of a future disaster, MeyerReyerson is experienced and prepared, qualifying as a public information officer with training from the National Incident Management System. She attributes her passion for knowledge and helping others to a culmination of many events in her life. Growing up, she knew she liked to teach, but had a broad range of interests.

■ NAME: Sarah Meyer-Reyerson ■ AGE: 38 ■ OCCUPATION: Waverly Public Library director ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Waverly Rotary Club and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waverly. ■ EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in English, Luther College, Decorah, 1996, master’s of library and information science, University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, 2009, and Level VI public librarian’s certification from State Library of Iowa. ■ FAMILY: husband Jason, physics and engineering teacher at Waverly-Shell Rock High School; daughter Grace, 12; and son Ethan, 7. ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “I don’t think about it so much in moments, but in people in my life who have shaped me in one way or the other.”

“Every stage of my life I’ve met people who have really had an impact on me,” she said. Her father, Tom Meyer, encouraged her to do whatever she wanted for a career, and her mother, Catherine Meyer, kept her grounded in Sunday school classes. A high school track coach at Northwood-Kensett High School in Northwood, where she grew up, co-workers and library patrons have continued to push her to her full potential. “I think even toward the end of my college career I wasn’t exactly sure where I was headed,” she said. Until Diane Scholl, her advisor at Luther College, suggested library work. “Which honestly I hadn’t even considered or thought about. When I went out to find a job I kept that in the back of my mind,” Meyer-Reyerson said. She was director at the Evansdale Public Library before joining the Waverly Public Library as assistant director. After eight years she was promoted to director in

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Sarah Meyer-Reyerson in downtown Waterloo. 2005. She considers her career an extension of education. “We get to know a lot of people in the community. I think it’s the place people go to for questions if they have nowhere else to go, and we can put them on the right path,” she said. In this capacity she is able to work with children, the elderly and everyone in between. “As people age it’s so good to keep interest in something. ... It’s a great place to have an endless supply of new things to learn about. We work really hard to

make kids and people of all ages to feel comfortable.” As far as mentoring others, Meyer-Reyerson hopes she has had a positive impact on younger generations. “One of the reasons is sometimes you can’t tell the outcome or the impact you have on kids that you meet, but that’s one of the reasons I’ve taught Sunday school for so many years. You get to know the kids, and maybe in some small way they know you were interested in them, and you cared about them, and the community they were in was a positive place.”





Amy Mohr A citizen of the world puts down Cedar Valley roots By EMILY CHRISTENSEN ■ NAME: Amy Mohr ■ AGE: 34 ■ OCCUPATION: University advancement (title is president of the UNI Alumni Association) ■ CURRENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Cedar Falls Community Main Street (Organization and Development Committee), Cedar Valley Young Professionals (board VP), KHKE-KUNI Friends board (secretary), College Hill Partnership board of directors ■ EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in leisure services-programming, master’s in management-nonprofit leadership ■ FAMILY: Husband, Brent Johnson ■ MOMENT IN MY PAST THAT SHAPED ME: I had the opportunity to study under some incredible professors at UNI. One of my first courses was Diversity in Leisure Services, during which I learned to look at the world differently and to question long-standing societal expectations and norms. I carry those lessons with me every day. ■ MENTOR: During my college internship I had the opportunity to work with Kim Burger, who is the director of the Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau. She probably doesn’t realize the impact she has on those around her, the tremendous impact she has on the community. Her professionalism, dedication to the Cedar Valley and willingness to mentor young professionals has had a huge impact on me personally. She took the time to teach me, even when it wasn’t directly related to the task at hand, because she knew that I would need that knowledge as a new professional in the working world. She gives tirelessly of her time to her community, which inspires others to do the same.

CEDAR FALLS — Amy Mohr is something of a world traveler. She was born in Tripoli, Libya, where her parents met and were married while teaching there. The family returned to Iowa just before Mohr’s second birthday, but within a few years they were on the road again, this time heading out for 10 years in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Mohrs returned to Iowa in time for Amy and her twin brother to graduate from high school and enroll in college. “With the amount of traveling we were able to do and the different religions and cultures we were exposed to, I think my brother and (older) sister and I all have a much different take on things that are going on in the world and a better understanding of other people and other cultures,” Mohr said. “You wouldn’t think to look at someone who is blond-haired and blue-eyed and think that they would have any sense of what it feels like to be a minority, but when you travel abroad you are the minority. Having that experience you can relate to people in a different way.” Mohr was often asked to participate in international experiences, like Camp Adventure, during her college career — she graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in leisure services in 1999 — but by that time she was ready to stay stateside. “I spent a lot of time traveling growing up, so I didn’t really have that bug to do that in college. I wanted to see more of my own country and experience my own community, so I got pretty involved with the local Cedar Valley volunteering through my

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Amy Mohr in Cedar Falls. internship with UNI and then kept that going as a working professional,” she said. More than a decade later Mohr is familiar with the lay of the land in the Cedar Valley. In addition to her work at UNI she serves as vice president of the Cedar Valley Young Professionals networking organization, volunteers with Cedar Falls Main Street, College Hill Partnership and the board of directors for the Friends of KUNI/KHKE. “When I think of young lead-

ers in this community the first person that comes to mind is Amy,” Jenny Graeser, a previous 20 Under 40 winner and CFYP president, wrote in nominating Mohr. “She is someone who has greatly impacted this community in many ways, not only through her work but also by her philanthropy.” Mohr said in her early days of volunteering she was placed on committees with other young professionals, which helped her make connections with like-

minded people. “Our life is here in the Cedar Valley. It’s a quality of life. In the Cedar Valley we are lucky to have so many great things. ... It’s a great place for young people and to raise families,” she said. And when the itch to explore hits, Mohr has plenty of plans for that, too. Her twin and his wife are currently living in Paris — the next stop on Mohr’s international itinerary. And a trip to Costa Rica may also be in the works in the near future.





Derek Sallis Building relationships as teacher, mentor and coach across the community By ANDREW WIND

WATERLOO — The work Derek Sallis does is all about building relationships. That is a key component whether he is teaching a college class, coaching student athletes, mentoring young men or doing outreach and evangelism. Sallis, 31, is an adjunct information technology instructor at Kaplan University in Cedar Falls. But he can be found working with boys on East High School’s basketball team and on George Washington Carver Academy’s track team as an assistant coach. Or mentoring athletes and other young men through the First Steps program. Until recently he was involved in Shout Ministries, a Christian outreach and evangelism group where he was vice president. His attention is now shifting to developing a nonprofit centered around his training in art, graphic design and building websites. It is a busy life, but Sallis enjoys the activity. “I can’t sit still. That’s my nature,” he said. Sallis played basketball at Marshalltown Community College and Centenary College in Shreveport, La., after graduating from East High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and returned to the Cedar Valley in 2005 but struggled to find work in his field. After 1 1/2 years working in cell phone sales he headed to the University of Northern Iowa to continue his education. Sallis expects to complete requirements this month to earn his master’s in performance and training technology. In the meantime, he has embraced relationship-oriented work and volunteer opportunities. He has a “passion for helping people,” Heather and Ryan Sallis, Derek’s brother and sister-in-law, wrote in their 20 Under 40 nominating letter. “He wants to help people, people who face obstacles and barriers that keep them from reaching their highest potential.” At Kaplan, Sallis’ teaching focuses on a wide range of computer technology. The position has “definitely helped me continue to develop my people skills” as he works with students from recent high

■ DEREK SALLIS ■ AGE: 31 ■ OCCUPATION: IT instructor at Kaplan University and mentor with First Steps ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Shout Ministries ■ EDUCATION: Associate’s degree from Marshalltown Community College, 2002; bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Centenary College, 2005; master’s degree in performance and training technology from the University of Northern Iowa, expected completion November. ■ FAMILY: Parents Larry and Barb Sallis; brothers T.J. and Ryan Sallis; Ryan’s wife, Heather, and children Eli and Kyler ■ A MOMENT IN YOUR PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOU: “My last year or two in Louisiana.” Sallis found himself reevaluating his life when a teammate died of natural causes and he sustained injuries that would limit his basketball career. He learned how to “stay focused and out of trouble” in an atmosphere where it was “really easy to get into trouble.” He added, “A lot of struggle and hope came out of that experience. It’s definitely made me the man I am today.” ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: His father, Larry Sallis, and godfather, Sammie Dell. “He’s definitely showed me the importance of responsibility,” Sallis said of his dad. Dell, who died in 1995, was his dad’s best friend. The two were “always out in the community” getting involved and making sure Sallis understood the importance of having a job.

school graduates to mothers looking to expand their job skills. Sallis’ work at the front of a classroom puts him in the same arena as his parents, Larry and Barb, who are educators at Carver Academy. Sallis said the transition from coach and mentor to classroom instructor was difficult, but he has grown to handle both roles well. He has been an assistant coach for six years at East and three years at Carver. “I really love that,” he said. “I have a knowledge and understanding of the sports. It builds a bridge between me and the young men I work with. I really like to see them excel.” He works to motivate the athletes for the

MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor

Derek Sallis in downtown Waterloo. future, as well. “I try to have them think about tomorrow, next season, next year,” and whether they’d like to go to college or learn a trade, Sallis said.. His mentoring work is similar. “It’s a relationship you’ve got to form,” Sallis said. He serves as a case worker with the state-supported program First Steps, mentoring a half dozen young men. Sallis helped develop Shout Ministries, which came out of Bible studies with a group of friends. The organization strives to bring “culturally relevant evangelism”

to the community, he said, and is “really big on having the gospel shared outside of the church walls.” It has sponsored slam poetry sessions, Hoopin’ for Jesus basketball tournaments, and 5K walk/runs. Laura Hoy, missions director at Orchard Hill Church, called Sallis “a man of faith and integrity.” “Derek is great at taking his passion and then translating it into action that benefits the community,” said Hoy, who has known him for about five years. “I really see him as a bright light in our community.”





Zach Shimp He served his country, now he's serving his community By MATTHEW WILDE

CEDAR FALLS — Zach Shimp is living the dream. The 39-year-old says he has a loving family, works for a great company and finds time to help others. And Shimp is able to do it all in his hometown of Cedar Falls — one of the best places on earth, he said. Anything Shimp set his mind to he has accomplished. ■ Shimp wanted to serve his country and see the world. He joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Northern Iowa and became a military policeman, spending six years on active duty, including stints in Germany and Bosnia. ■ A desire to return home and comfortably support a family motivated Shimp to become general manager of the Target distribution warehouse in Cedar Falls, in charge of more than 500 employees. ■ Volunteerism is dear to Shimp’s heart. Despite time commitments from a demanding job and four children, ages 7 to 16, he still finds time to be vice president of the Black Hawk County Boys and Girls Club board of directors and participate in a host of charitable events. “I definitely have the dream job ... and life,” Shimp said. “My four kids are a blessing. We enjoy where we live, and I have the flexibility (to make it all work). “I learned from Mom that hard work and discipline will get you want you want.” If there is anyone who deserves The Courier’s 20 Under 40 honor — recognizing 20 adults under 40 years old making a difference in the Cedar Valley through professional, charitable and personal achievements — it’s Shimp, said Jason Witham. A past recipient himself, Witham, president of Witham Auto Centers, said Shimp exemplifies what the award is all about. Witham said his longtime friend was barely settled in Cedar Falls for good when he offered to use his leadership skills to help the local Boys and Girls Club succeed. “He gives back to the community, active

■ NAME: Zach Shimp ■ AGE: 39 ■ OCCUPATION: General manager of the Target Distribution Center in Cedar Falls. ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Black Hawk County Boys and Girls Club Board vice president, member of the Cedar Falls 20/20 Vision plan committee, USA Swimming official and several work-related charities like taking part in the cystic fibrosis walk, Adopt-A-Highway program, American Cancer Society fundraisers, making 4,000 food relief kits a year. ■ EDUCATION: 1990 graduate of Cedar Falls High School, 1994 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in criminology. ■ FAMILY: Wife, Kerri and children: Lizzie, 16; Natalie, 14; Ellie, 10; and Kane, 7. ■ MOMENT IN THE PAST THAT HELPED SHAPE YOUR LIFE: We moved eight times as a family, including five states and two countries. All those moments made me realize home is what you make of it. We learned a lot about different cultures and environments. ■ A MENTOR AND WHY: My mother, Carol. As a single mom, she worked hard to raise me and my older sister. I think the work ethic she instilled and the discipline to work hard had a big influence in my life. I try to pass the same things along to my children.

with his family and excels in his career. He’s a hard worker, a great friend and a mentor to young people,” Witham said. (Zach) is always willing to help when asked.” The modest Shimp, though, isn’t one to take praise lightly. He credited his mother, Carol, with making him the person he is today. Shimp’s parents divorced when he was young, and his mother, a nurse, basically reared two children on her own. “Don’t expect anything to be handed to you. Go work for it,” Shimp said. That’s exactly what he did. Shimp joined the military to pay for college. A devout family man, he decided to leave the Army to avoid long separations. Shimp chose Target because of the friendly work environment and commitment the company has toward family and the communities it serves.

RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer

Zach Shimp in Cedar Falls. While traveling in the military and working in various states with Target, Shimp and his wife, Kerri, realized they ultimately wanted to raise their children in the Cedar Valley. People don’t realize how friendly the area is and what it has to offer until they’re gone, Shimp said. He strives to make sure the community

remains a great place to live. There’s no better way than being a mentor. Shimp believes showing children what can be achieved through hard work motivates them. “That’s the value,” he said. “There’s opportunities that can be achieved when you go for it.”



Aram Susong



Jewelry satisfies creative side of a math mind


WATERLOO — When Aram Susong enrolled in college, he had no intention of following his father, Dave, and brother, David, into the jewelry business. He majored in finance, and after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa he went into banking. “I had a good time, but I felt like I could be doing more,” Susong recalled. The button-downed corporate culture couldn’t quell his creative bent, and he decided to join his father and brother in the family business. In 2008, the Susongs opened Facets by Susong, a full-service custom design jewelry business. Susong serves as Facets’ lead CAD designer, using computers to customize jewelry. “We like being on the cutting edge of technology. The technology is really cool, but our first thought is always ‘how will it help our customers?’” He describes his design style as “traditional with a modern twist.” “When I go to a wedding and hear people talking about the wedding rings — and I’m the one who made them — that’s fun,” Susong said. He related a story about dinner with friends in which a female guest said she didn’t get the importance of wearing jewelry. “Then I asked about the pendant she was wearing, and she said her brother gave it to her before he passed away. She started tearing up and said, ‘Now I get it.’ There is so much meaning wrapped up in jewelry that we give or receive.” In 2010, Susong was a finalist in the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, and this year was featured in a national article, “Mastering Complexities,” about his experience using CAD and positive experiences for customers.

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Aram Susong takes a break along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo.

■ ARAM SUSONG ■ AGE: 32 ■ OCCUPATION: Jeweler ■ VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: Kimball Ridge board president; Waterloo Kiwanis Club; Beau’s Beautiful Blessings nonprofit organization, board of directors; formerly on the Hawkeye Chapter of the American Red Cross board of directors ■ EDUCATION: West High School graduate, 1997; University of Northern Iowa, bachelor’s degree in finance

■ FAMILY: Wife Katy and two children, Samuel, 7, and Molly, 5 ■ MOMENT IN PAST THAT SHAPED YOU: “There have been so many of them. A lot of things have influenced and shaped me, and I’ve tried to learn something from everyone in my life.” ■ MENTOR: “My dad, Dave Susong, who taught me faith and gave me guidance, who was always there for his kids, attending every game or function, and who leads by example.”

“I’ve always been a caring and In the midst of a busy career and family life, Susong has made compassionate person. No matit his priority to be active in the ter what’s going on in your own life, there are people who are community.

dealing with harder things. It’s important to give back.” Velda Phillips, executive director at Friendship Village, nominated Susong for the 20 Under 40 honor. “He’s a hard worker and fun to be around, willing to pitch in and do whatever needs to be done. He has a lot of potential the community should be tapping into. We need to foster young people because they have a lot to offer our community,” she said. He is current president of the Kimball Ridge board of directors and a member of Waterloo Kiwanis Club, where he led the creation of the “Character Counts” essay competition. He

also is a board member of Beau’s Beautiful Blessings, a nonprofit that creates awareness about epilepsy, brain abnormalities and intellectual differences. He helps raise funds for medical equipment and camp scholarships for special needs children. “I think about my own children and that really hits home for me. It has a direct impact on kids, so whatever I can do to help, I will,” Susong said. The Susongs attend Prairie Lakes Church, and Susong serves on the church’s grounds team, the “sod squad.” An avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he also enjoys running, biking, fishing and hunting.





Catching up with former 20 Under 40 winners I have enjoyed the 20 Under 40 issue of the Cedar Valley Business Monthly for many years. It is always inspiring to see the great men and women who are living, working and making a difference in the Cedar Valley. Realizing I was going to Katherine be writing this Cota-Uyar article for the is program 20 Under 40 manager at the issue, I thought John Pappajohn it would be great Entrepreneurial to catch up with Center at the University of Northern a few previous Iowa. Contact her 20 Under 40 at (319) 273-5732 recipients. or katherine.cota@ Jeff Danielson was selected as a 2004 20 Under 40 recipient. At the time he was a 10-year veteran of the Cedar Falls Fire Department, a Waterloo resident, a member of the Waterloo Programming, Planning and Zoning Commission and a commissioner for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He had previously served a six-year stint in the U.S. Navy. He was also running for the Iowa Senate in 2004. In 2006, Danielson was elected as president pro tempore for the Iowa Senate. He was the youngest person in Iowa history to be elected to the position. He is now in his second term in the Senate and teaches at the University of Northern Iowa. He also still ďŹ ghts ďŹ res.

“I’ve never left the ďŹ rehouse, it keeps me grounded,â€? he said. Danielson believes politics is less civil these days and that statesmanship is a lost art. “I’m proud to be a public servant and hope others still consider public service a valuable pursuit. We need strong leaders in the private, nonproďŹ t and public sectors alike.â€? Danielson notes he is in the “people businessâ€? and believes the information he gets from people when connecting with them makes him a better decisionmaker. “I’ve grown a bit grayer but none the worse for wear. I enjoy the work and still learn something new every day. Life is meant to be lived.â€? On a personal note, his son is now in college and his daughter is in high school. He is also enjoying the opportunity to teach UNI students about the policy process. Danielson concluded with a reective thought from his 2004 proďŹ le: “I said back then opportunities abound to get involved as long as you’re willing to seek them out and the Cedar Valley continues chugging right along, even in difficult economic times. Get out there and get after it!â€? Drew Conrad was part of the 2002 20 Under 40 group. He worked at the Institute for Decision Making at UNI then and still does. He is now a senior program manager for the organization and has greater leadership responsibilities in his work with communities and economic devel-

Learn from the comfort of your home or ofďŹ ce! Panther &2%%WEBINARSBY Speakers 5.)FACULTYANDSTAFF .OV s.OONnPM “Problems? Probably Perceptionâ€? Nichole Johnson, communication studies &EB s.OONnPM “Building Your Personal Brand Through Social Media Marketingâ€? Matthew Wilson, marketing

opment organizations in and outside Iowa. Additionally, he became special projects manager in 2008 for UNI’s Business and Community Services division. This role requires him to build and maintain UNI relationships with state and federal agencies and other organizations. Conrad has become more involved in service to the Cedar Valley, Iowa and nationally since his 2002 proďŹ le. He is or has been involved with the Waterloo Economic Development Corporation, Professional Developers of Iowa, Leadership Iowa board of governors, Iowa Workforce Development board, Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Council and at the national level by serving on the Council for Community and Economic Research. He has served on the Cedar Valley

Sports Commission and has been active in St. Edward’s Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Dubuque. In 2002, Conrad was asked to choose one word to describe himself. He chose “observant.� He believes he has become more observant over the last nine years, especially in leadership roles. “Everyone is shaped by their life experiences and so I try to understand and appreciate other people’s perspective. It helps me understand what motivates an individual,� said Conrad. Conrad cannot believe it has been nine years since he was selected. He says he has, “grown to better understand how my values and faith shape what I volunteer for or associate myself with. My wife, Angela, does a great job of putting her faith and

values into practice, which has been a great learning experience for me.â€? When asked what ďŹ nal thought he would share, he replied, “We all have talents. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses and try to understand and appreciate the talents of others.â€? The ďŹ nal proďŹ le is me. In 2004, I was selected as one of the 20 Under 40, and like Danielson and Conrad, many things have changed for me and for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center since then. In 2004, the JPEC was located in the Curris Business Building. Today, the JPEC is located in the Business and Community Services building on the south side of the UNI campus.

See WINNERS, page 29





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WINNERS From page 28 The JPEC also houses the Student Business Incubator, a program of the JPEC. In 2004, the SBI program was just getting started. Today the SBI is full of student entrepreneurs every semester and has had several successful student and company graduates. In addition to the SBI program, there is a growing academic program in entrepreneurship and a student organization, UNI Entrepreneurs, which has taken second


place nationally for its sustainability work with Cottonwood Canyon in downtown Waterloo. Student entrepreneurship is the primary focus of the JPEC. My 2004 profile also talked about the Cedar Valley Venture Fund, which had just formed at the time. Since 2004, the CVVF has invested in seven Iowa companies and many of those companies are continuing to grow. As was noted in the 2004 profile, we still help with business planning and do some public speaking on a limited basis to benefit the Cedar Valley, but we have also taken on work for UNI’s intellectual property and technology transfer activities which

was not part of the JPEC’s duties then. Two things from the 2004 profile that have not changed are: (1) the Cedar Valley is still a great place to live and own a small business, and (2) if I was handed


a free plane ticket I would still grab my husband and we’d go visit family. After talking with Danielson and Conrad and doing a little reflection, the thing I realized is (and you’ve heard it before), the

PAGE 29 more things change, the more they stay the same. By that I mean, the 20 Under 40 are still and always will be leaders in the Cedar Valley and people committed to making this the place we know and love.

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Blue Zones are Geographically Defined Areas Where People Live Measurably Longer  ยอ–ยย‹ยย—ย–ย‡ย•ย›ย‘ย—ย…ย‘ย—ยŽย†ย”ย‡ยƒย†ยƒยย†ย”ย‡ย•ย’ย‘ยย†ย–ย‘ยƒยˆย‡ย™ย‡ยยƒย‹ยŽย•วกฦคยŽย‡ยƒย†ย‘ย…ย—ยย‡ยย–วกย‰ย‡ย–ยƒย…ย—ย’ย‘ยˆย…ย‘ฦกย‡ย‡วกย‘ย”ย›ย‘ย—ย…ย‘ย—ยŽย† ยŠย‡ยŽย’ย…ยŠยƒยย‰ย‡ย–ยŠย‡ย…ย—ยŽย–ย—ย”ย‡ย‘ยˆ ย‘ย™ยƒยˆย‘ย”ย‡ย˜ย‡ย”วค ย‘ย‹ยย…ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›ยŽย‡ยƒย†ย‡ย”ย•ย–ย‘ย„ย”ย‹ยย‰ย–ยŠย‡ยŽย—ย‡ย‘ยย‡ย•ย‹ยย‹ย–ย‹ยƒย–ย‹ย˜ย‡ย–ย‘ย–ยŠย‡ ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›วคย”ย‡ยƒย–ย‹ยย‰ยƒยŽย—ย‡ย‘ยย‡ย•ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›ย–ย”ยƒยย•ยˆย‘ย”ยย•ย–ยŠย‡ย‡ยย˜ย‹ย”ย‘ยยย‡ยย–ย•ย‘ย–ยŠยƒย–ย’ย‡ย‘ย’ยŽย‡ย™ยŠย‘ยŽย‹ย˜ย‡ย‹ยย–ยŠย‡ย ย…ยƒยยย‘ย”ย‡ย‡ยƒย•ย‹ยŽย›ยƒย†ย‘ย’ย–ย„ย‡ยŠยƒย˜ย‹ย‘ย”ย•ย–ยŠยƒย–ยŠย‡ยŽย’ย–ยŠย‡ยย–ย‘ยŽย‹ย˜ย‡ยŽย‘ยย‰ย‡ย”วกย„ย‡ย–ย–ย‡ย”วคย‹ย–ย–ยŽย‡ย…ยŠยƒยย‰ย‡ย•ย–ย‘ย›ย‘ย—ย”ยŠย‘ยย‡วกย™ย‘ย”ยวก ย•ย…ยŠย‘ย‘ยŽวกย•ย‘ย…ย‹ยƒยŽวกย’ยŠย›ย•ย‹ย…ยƒยŽวกยƒยย†ย’ย‘ยŽย‹ย…ย›ย‡ยย˜ย‹ย”ย‘ยยย‡ยย–ย•ย…ยƒยยยƒยย‡ยŠย‡ยƒยŽย–ยŠย›ย…ยŠย‘ย‹ย…ย‡ย•ย–ยŠย‡ย‡ยƒย•ย›ย…ยŠย‘ย‹ย…ย‡ย•ย•ย‘ย–ยŠยƒย–ย™ย‡ยŽยŽวฆย„ย‡ย‹ยย‰ ย‹ยย’ย”ย‘ย˜ย‡ย•ยยƒย–ย—ย”ยƒยŽยŽย›วคยŽย—ย‡ย‘ยย‡ย•ยƒย”ย‡ย‰ย‡ย‘ย‰ย”ยƒย’ยŠย‹ย…ยƒยŽยŽย›ย†ย‡ฦคยย‡ย†ยƒย”ย‡ยƒย•ย™ยŠย‡ย”ย‡ย’ย‡ย‘ย’ยŽย‡ยŽย‹ย˜ย‡ยย‡ยƒย•ย—ย”ยƒย„ยŽย›ยŽย‘ยย‰ย‡ย”วค  ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›ยŽย‡ยƒย†ย‡ย”ย•วกย’ย‘ยŽย‹ย…ย›ยยƒยย‡ย”ย•วกย…ย‘ย”ย’ย‘ย”ยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยย•วกยŠย‘ย•ย’ย‹ย–ยƒยŽย•ยƒยย†ย•ย…ยŠย‘ย‘ยŽย•ยƒย”ย‡ยƒยŽย”ย‡ยƒย†ย›ย‘ยย„ย‘ยƒย”ย†ย–ย‘ย„ย”ย‹ยย‰ ย–ยŠย‹ย•ย‘ย’ย’ย‘ย”ย–ย—ยย‹ย–ย›ย–ย‘ย–ยŠย‡ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›วคยŠย‹ย•ย”ย‡ย“ย—ย‹ย”ย‡ย•ย‘ย—ย”ย…ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›ยย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ย–ย‘ย‰ย‘ย–ย‘ยŽย—ย‡ยœย‘ยย‡ย•ย’ย”ย‘ยŒย‡ย…ย–วคย…ย‘ยศ€ย•ย‹ย‰ยวฆย—ย’ยƒยย†ย’ยŽย‡ย†ย‰ย‡ย–ย‘ยŽย‹ย˜ย‡ยƒ ยŠย‡ยƒยŽย–ยŠย‹ย‡ย”ยŽย‹ยˆย‡วคย‘ย—ย”ย’ยƒย”ย–ย‹ย…ย‹ย’ยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยย™ย‹ยŽยŽย„ย‘ย‘ย•ย–ย–ยŠย‡ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›วฏย•ย…ยŠยƒยย…ย‡ย–ย‘ย„ย‡ย•ย‡ยŽย‡ย…ย–ย‡ย†ยƒย•ย‘ยย‡ย‘ยˆอ˜ย’ย‹ยŽย‘ย–ย…ย‹ย–ย‹ย‡ย•ย–ย‘ย•ยŠยƒย”ย‡ย‹ยอ‚อ–อ™ยย‹ยŽยŽย‹ย‘ยยˆย‘ย”ยŠย‡ยƒยŽย–ยŠยƒยย† ย™ย‡ยŽยŽยย‡ย•ย•ย’ย”ย‘ยŒย‡ย…ย–ย•ย‹ยย‘ย—ย”ยƒย”ย‡ยƒวคย‡ยƒย”ยยย‘ย”ย‡ยƒยย†ยยƒยย‡ย›ย‘ย—ย”ยŽย‡ย†ย‰ย‡ย–ย‘ย†ยƒย›ย„ย›ย‰ย‘ย‹ยย‰ย–ย‘ยŠย–ย–ย’วฃศ€ศ€ย™ย™ย™วคย„ยŽย—ย‡ยœย‘ยย‡ย•ย’ย”ย‘ยŒย‡ย…ย–วคย…ย‘ยศ€





Alliance & Chamber Surveys Investors on Government Relations Priorities Š‡ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‹•…‘†—…–‹‰ƒ•—”˜‡›‘ˆ‹˜‡•–‘”•‘‹••—‡•™Š‹…Šƒ”‡Ž‹‡Ž›–‘„‡…‘•‹†‡”‡††—”‹‰–Š‡ ͖͔͕͖–ƒ–‡Ž‡‰‹•Žƒ–‹˜‡•‡••‹‘ǤŠ‡•—”˜‡›Š‹‰ŠŽ‹‰Š–•‹••—‡•™Š‹…Šƒơ‡…––Š‡„—•‹‡••…Ž‹ƒ–‡‰‡‡”ƒŽŽ›ǡƒ•™‡ŽŽƒ•‹••—‡••’‡…‹Ƥ…–‘ƒ„—•‹‡••‘” ‹†—•–”›•‡‰‡–Ǥ ••—‡•ƒ††”‡••‡†‹–Š‡•—”˜‡›†‹•–”‹„—–‡†…–‘„‡”͕͛‹…Ž—†‡†ǣ†‹•–”‹„—–‹‘ƒ†’‘–‡–‹ƒŽ‹…”‡ƒ•‡‘ˆ–Š‡ˆ—‡Ž–ƒšǡ‡†—…ƒ–‹‘ –”ƒ•ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘ǡ…‘‡”…‹ƒŽƒ†‹†—•–”‹ƒŽ’”‘’‡”–›–ƒš”‡ˆ‘”ǡƤƒ…‹ƒŽ•—’’‘”–‘ˆ ‘™ƒǯ•—‹˜‡”•‹–‹‡•ƒ†…‘—‹–›…‘ŽŽ‡‰‡•ǡƤƒ…‹ƒŽ •—’’‘”–ˆ‘” ǯ• •–‹–—–‡ˆ‘”‡…‹•‹‘ƒ‹‰ǡ…‘–‹—‹‰–Š‡”‡•‡ƒ”…Šƒ††‡˜‡Ž‘’‡––ƒš…”‡†‹–ǡ†‹”‡…–‹…‡–‹˜‡•–‘„‡—•‡†‹‡…‘‘‹… †‡˜‡Ž‘’‡–‡ơ‘”–•ǡŠ‡Ž’ˆ‘”Ž‘…ƒŽŽ›‘™‡†„—•‹‡••‡•ǡƒ†ˆ—†‹‰ˆ‘”–‘—”‹•–‘†”ƒ™‘”‡’‡‘’Ž‡–‘ ‘™ƒǤ  ‹’‘”–ƒ–”‘Ž‡’Žƒ›‡†„›–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‹•–‘ƒ†˜‘…ƒ–‡ˆ‘”–Š‡•–”‘‰‡•–„—•‹‡••…Ž‹ƒ–‡ǤDz‡…ƒ‘Ž›†‘–Š‹•™‹–Š–Š‡ ‹’—–‘ˆ‘—”„—•‹‡••Ƭ‹•–‹–—–‹‘ƒŽ‹˜‡•–‘”•Ǥ‡ǯ”‡ƒŽ™ƒ›•™‹ŽŽ‹‰–‘„—‹Ž†•–ƒ–‡™‹†‡…‘ƒŽ‹–‹‘•–‘ƒ†˜‘…ƒ–‡ˆ‘”„—•‹‡••ǡ„—–‹–ǯ•‘•–‹’‘”–ƒ– –‘Š‡Ž’ƒ††”‡•••’‡…‹Ƥ…‹••—‡•ˆ‘”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›„—•‹‡••‡•ǡ‹ˆ’‘••‹„Ž‡ǡdz•ƒ‹†‹‡…”ƒ”›ǡ˜‘Ž—–‡‡”Šƒ‹”‘ˆ–Š‡ ‘˜‡”‡–‡Žƒ–‹‘• ‘‹––‡‡Ǥ  Dzƒ…Š ƒŽŽǡ–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”ǯ• ‘˜‡”‡–‡Žƒ–‹‘•‘‹––‡‡ƒ†‘’–•–ƒ–‡”‹‘”‹–‹‡•ƒ†ƒ‘Ž‹…›‰‡†ƒǤŠ‹•‹˜‡•–‘”•—”˜‡› ‹•…‘†—…–‡†–‘‡•—”‡–Šƒ––Š‡”‹‘”‹–‹‡•‹…Ž—†‡•’‡…‹Ƥ…‹••—‡•‹’‘”–ƒ––‘‘—”‹˜‡•–‘”•ǡƒ•™‡ŽŽƒ••—’’‘”–‹‰‰‡‡”ƒŽǡ‰‘‘†„—•‹‡••…Ž‹ƒ–‡ ’‘Ž‹…‹‡•ǡ•ƒ‹†–‡˜‡ ‹”ƒǡŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‹”‡…–‘”‘ˆ ‘˜‡”‡–‡Žƒ–‹‘•Ǥ ‘”‘”‡‹ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘’Ž‡ƒ•‡…ƒŽŽ–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‘ƥ…‡ƒ–͖͖͗Ǧ͕͕͙͚‘”˜‹•‹–—•ƒ–™™™Ǥ‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡Ǥ…‘‘” ™™™Ǥ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›Šƒ„‡”Ǥ…‘Ǥ

Alliance & Chamber Board Hear from State Economic Development Triad  ‹”‡…–‘”‘ˆ ‘™ƒ…‘‘‹…‡˜‡Ž‘’‡–—–Š‘”‹–›ǡ‡„‹—”Šƒ’”‡•‡–‡†–Š‡‰‘ƒŽ•‘ˆ–Š‡–ƒ–‡ǯ•‡™‡…‘‘‹…†‡˜‡Ž‘’‡– ‘”‰ƒ‹œƒ–‹‘ǡ ‘™ƒƒ”–‡”•Š‹’ˆ‘”…‘‘‹…”‘‰”‡••ȋ Ȍǡ–‘–Š‡ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‘ƒ”††—”‹‰‹–•’”‹Ž‡‡–‹‰Ǥ  Š‡‘ƒ”†ƒŽ•‘Š‡ƒ”†ˆ”‘ ‘™ƒ‘”ˆ‘”…‡‡˜‡Ž‘’‡–‹”‡…–‘”ǡ‡”‡•ƒƒŠŽ‡”–†—”‹‰‹–•‡’–‡„‡”„‘ƒ”†‡‡–‹‰Ǥ‹”‡…–‘”ƒŠŽ‡”– ’”‡•‡–‡† ǯ•…—””‡–‹‹–‹ƒ–‹˜‡•ǡ–Š‡”‡‘”‰ƒ‹œƒ–‹‘’Žƒǡƒ†•‡”˜‹…‡•„‡‹‰‘ơ‡”‡†–‘‡™„—•‹‡••ƒ†’‘–‡–‹ƒŽ‡’Ž‘›‡‡•Ǥ  ‹”‡…–‘”‘ˆ–Š‡‡’ƒ”–‡–‘ˆ†—…ƒ–‹‘ǡ ƒ•‘ Žƒ••™‹ŽŽ†‹•…—••Š‹•˜‹•‹‘ˆ‘”‡†—…ƒ–‹‘ƒŽ–”ƒ•ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘‹ ‘™ƒ†—”‹‰–Š‡‡…‡„‡” ‘ƒ”†‡‡–‹‰Ǥ  Š‡…—””‡–ƒ†‹‹•–”ƒ–‹˜‡–”‹‘‘ˆ ‘™ƒƒ”–‡”•Š‹’ˆ‘”…‘‘‹…”‘‰”‡••ǡ ‘™ƒ‘”ˆ‘”…‡‡˜‡Ž‘’‡–ƒ†–Š‡‡’ƒ”–‡–‘ˆ †—…ƒ–‹‘ƒ”‡™‘”‹‰–‘‰‡–Š‡”–‘‹’Ž‡‡–‹–‡‰”ƒ–‡†•–”ƒ–‡‰‹‡•–‘…”‡ƒ–‡͖͔͔ǡ͔͔͔‡™Œ‘„•ǡ†‡…”‡ƒ•‡–Š‡•‹œ‡‘ˆ‰‘˜‡”‡–ǡ‹…”‡ƒ•‡ˆƒ‹Ž› ‹…‘‡•ƒ†„‡…‘‡„‡•–‹–Š‡ƒ–‹‘‹‡†—…ƒ–‹‘Ǥ  ‘”‘”‡‹ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘’Ž‡ƒ•‡…ƒŽŽ–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‘ƥ…‡ƒ–͖͖͗Ǧ͕͕͙͚‘”˜‹•‹–—•ƒ–™™™Ǥ‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡Ǥ…‘‘” ™™™Ǥ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›Šƒ„‡”Ǥ…‘Ǥ

Alliance & Chamber Gathers Guidance on Direction of Future Projects and Programs  Š‡ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”Šƒ•„‡‡…‘†—…–‹‰ƒƒ”‡–‹‰ƒƒŽ›•‹•–Š”‘—‰Š‹–‡”˜‹‡™•™‹–Š‹˜‡•–‘”•ǤŠ‡’—”’‘•‡‹• –‘•‡‡‹’—–‘‡…‘‘‹…ƒ†…‘—‹–›†‡˜‡Ž‘’‡–’”‘‰”ƒ‹‰–‘‰”‘™‡š‹•–‹‰„—•‹‡••‡•ǡ†‡˜‡Ž‘’ƒ•–”ƒ–‡‰‹……‘—‹…ƒ–‹‘•‹‹–‹ƒ–‹˜‡ –‘‹…”‡ƒ•‡–Š‡’”‘ƤŽ‡‘ˆ–Š‡‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ƒ–‹‘ƒŽŽ›ƒ†‹–‡”ƒ–‹‘ƒŽŽ›Ǥ•–ƒ„Ž‹•ŠƒŠ‹‰Š‡”’”‘ƤŽ‡‹Ž‘…ƒŽǡ•–ƒ–‡ƒ†ˆ‡†‡”ƒŽ‰‘˜‡”‡–”‡Žƒ–‹‘•ǡ ƒ†ƒ––”ƒ…–•‹‰‹Ƥ…ƒ–‹˜‡•–‡–‹–‹‰Š–Ž›–ƒ”‰‡–‡†„—•‹‡•••‡‰‡–•ǤŠ‡Ƥ”•–’Šƒ•‡”‡’‘”–™‹ŽŽ„‡’”‡•‡–‡†–‘–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‘ƒ”† ‘‘˜‡„‡”͕Ǥ††‹–‹‘ƒŽ‹ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘™‹ŽŽ„‡”‡’‘”–‡†ƒ–•—„•‡“—‡–‡‡–‹‰•Ǥ   Š‡„‘ƒ”†ƒ†‘’–‡†ƒ’‡”ˆ‘”ƒ…‡‡ƒ•—”‡‡–•›•–‡‹…Ž—†‹‰ƒ„ƒŽƒ…‡†•…‘”‡…ƒ”†–‘‡ƒ•—”‡–Š‡‘”‰ƒ‹œƒ–‹‘ǯ•’”‘‰”‡••‘ ‰‘ƒŽ•ƒ†’”‹‘”‹–‹‡•Ǥ –™‹ŽŽƒŽ•‘‹’Ž‡‡–ƒ†ƒ•Š„‘ƒ”†‘ˆ‡…‘‘‹…ƒ†•‘…‹‘Ǧ‡…‘‘‹…‹†‹…ƒ–‘”•–‘‡ƒ•—”‡–Š‡”‡Žƒ–‹˜‡˜‹–ƒŽ‹–›‘ˆ–Š‡”‡‰‹‘ƒŽ ‡…‘‘›Ǥ  DzŠ‡„‡•–™ƒ›ˆ‘”–Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”–‘„—‹Ž†‹–••‡”˜‹…‡•‹•–‘Ž‡ƒ”‘”‡ƒ„‘—––Š‡ƒ”‡–‘’’‘”–—‹–‹‡•ƒ†…ŠƒŽŽ‡‰‡•ˆƒ…‡†„› ‘—””‡‰‹‘ƒŽƒ—ˆƒ…–—”‡”•ǡ•‡”˜‹…‡•ǡƒ†‹•–‹–—–‹‘•ǤŠ‹•‹–‡ŽŽ‹‰‡…‡ǡ™Š‡…‘„‹‡†™‹–Š‘„Œ‡…–‹˜‡–ƒ”‰‡–‹†—•–”›ƒƒŽ›•‹•†ƒ–ƒǡ’‡”‹–• –Š‡ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”–‡ƒ–‘‰‡–‘—”ƒ”‡–‹‰ƒ†•‡”˜‹…‡†‡Ž‹˜‡”›’Žƒ…‘””‡…–ǡdz•ƒ‹†–‡˜‡—•–ǡ‘ˆ–Š‡ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ ƬŠƒ„‡”ǤŠ‡•…‘”‡…ƒ”†ƒ††ƒ•Š„‘ƒ”†–‘‘Ž•ƒ”‡‡‡”‰‹‰ƒ•‘•–‡ơ‡…–‹˜‡–‘…‘—‹…ƒ–‡–Š‡‘”‰ƒ‹œƒ–‹‘•’”‘‰”‡••–‘™ƒ”†‰‘ƒŽ•™Š‹Ž‡ ”‡’‘”–‹‰‘‘—”‹’ƒ…–ƒ†–Š‡…‘†‹–‹‘‘ˆ–Š‡‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›‡…‘‘›ǡDz—•–…‘…Ž—†‡†Ǥ ‘”‘”‡‹ˆ‘”ƒ–‹‘…‘–ƒ…––Š‡ ”‡ƒ–‡”‡†ƒ”ƒŽŽ‡›ŽŽ‹ƒ…‡ƬŠƒ„‡”‘ƥ…‡ƒ–͖͖͗Ǧ͕͕͙͚‘”‡ƒ‹Ž‹ˆ‘̷…‡†ƒ”˜ƒŽŽ‡›ƒŽŽ‹ƒ…‡Ǥ…‘Ǥ





Professional Developers of Iowa Elects Alliance & Chamber CEO to Board of Directors Burlington, Iowa, October 2011วฃย—ย”ย‹ยย‰ย–ยŠย‡ยยย—ยƒยŽย—ย•ย‹ยย‡ย•ย•ย‡ย‡ย–ย‹ยย‰ย‘ยˆย–ยŠย‡ย”ย‘ยˆย‡ย•ย•ย‹ย‘ยยƒยŽย‡ย˜ย‡ยŽย‘ย’ย‡ย”ย•ย‘ยˆ ย‘ย™ยƒศ‹ ศŒวกย–ยŠย‡ ยย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ยŠย‹ย’ย‡ยŽย‡ย…ย–ย‡ย†Steve วค Dust, CEcD, Chief Eยšecutive Oฦฅcer, Greater Cedar alley Alliance, ย–ย‘ย–ยŠย‡ ย‘ยƒย”ย†ย‘ยˆ ย‹ย”ย‡ย…ย–ย‘ย”ย•วคย—ย•ย–ย™ย‹ยŽยŽย•ย‡ย”ย˜ย‡ยƒย–ยŠย”ย‡ย‡วฆย›ย‡ยƒย”ย–ย‡ย”ยย„ย‡ย‰ย‹ยยย‹ยย‰ย‡ย…ย‡ยย„ย‡ย”อ•ย•ย–วค  ย‘ย—ยย†ย‡ย†ย‹ยอ•ออ›อ—วกย™ย‹ย–ยŠย…ย—ย”ย”ย‡ยย–ยย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ยŠย‹ย’ย‘ยˆย‘ย˜ย‡ย”อ—อ•อ”วก ย‹ย•ยƒยย‘ย”ย‰ยƒยย‹ยœยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยย†ย‡ย†ย‹ย…ยƒย–ย‡ย†ย–ย‘ยƒย†ย˜ยƒยย…ย‹ยย‰ย–ยŠย‡ ย’ย”ย‘ยˆย‡ย•ย•ย‹ย‘ยยƒยŽย‹ย•ยย‘ยˆย‹ย–ย•ยย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ย–ยŠย”ย‘ย—ย‰ยŠยƒย™ย‹ย†ย‡ย”ยƒยย‰ย‡ย‘ยˆย’ย”ย‘ย‰ย”ยƒยย•ยƒยย†ย•ย‡ย”ย˜ย‹ย…ย‡ย•วคย•ยƒยยƒย•ย•ย‘ย…ย‹ยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยวก ย’ย”ย‘ย˜ย‹ย†ย‡ย• ย’ย”ย‘ยˆย‡ย•ย•ย‹ย‘ยยƒยŽย–ย”ยƒย‹ยย‹ยย‰ย–ยŠยƒย–ยŠย‡ยŽย’ย•ย‹ย–ย•ยย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ย†ย‘ยƒย„ย‡ย–ย–ย‡ย”ยŒย‘ย„ยˆย‘ย”ย–ยŠย‡ย‹ย”ย…ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›วค  ย…ย…ย‘ย”ย†ย‹ยย‰ย–ย‘ย›ยย ยƒย”ยย‹ยวก ยšย‡ย…ย—ย–ย‹ย˜ย‡ย‹ย”ย‡ย…ย–ย‘ย”วกโ€œAs an organization, PDI fosters cooperation among its members to produce the best results for Iowa. As individuals, every PDI member makes his or her community a better place to live and work. Our board is committed to improving the Iowa business climate as well as deliver tools our members can use for program and professional development.วณ

Alliance & Chamber Completes Transfer of My Waterloo Days to Main Street Waterloo  ยŠย‡ ย”ย‡ยƒย–ย‡ย”ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”ย…ย‘ยย’ยŽย‡ย–ย‡ย†ย–ยŠย‡ย–ย”ยƒยย•ยˆย‡ย”ย‘ยˆย›ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒย›ย•ย–ย‘ยƒย‹ยย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย– ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ย‹ยย‡ย’ย–ย‡ยย„ย‡ย”วควฒย›ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒย›ย•ยŠยƒย•ย„ย‡ย‡ยยƒยย†ย•ยŠย‘ย—ยŽย†ย„ย‡ยƒย’ย”ย‡ยย‹ย‡ย”ย‡ย˜ย‡ยย–ยˆย‘ย”ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒยย†ย–ยŠย‡ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›วกวณย•ยƒย‹ย†ย–ย‡ย˜ย‡ย—ย•ย–ย‘ยˆย–ยŠย‡ ย”ย‡ยƒย–ย‡ย”ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”วคยŠย‡ยˆย‡ย•ย–ย‹ย˜ยƒยŽย‹ย•ย„ย‡ย–ย–ย‡ย”ยƒยŽย‹ย‰ยย‡ย†ย™ย‹ย–ยŠ ย™ยŠยƒย–ยƒย‹ยย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย–ย‹ย•ย™ย‘ย”ยย‹ยย‰ย‘ยวกย™ยŠย‹ยŽย‡ย–ยŠย‡ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”ยˆย‘ย…ย—ย•ย‡ย•ย‘ยยย‘ย”ย‡ย„ย—ย•ย‹ยย‡ย•ย•วฆย•ย’ย‡ย…ย‹ฦคย…ย‡ย˜ย‡ยย–ย•ยƒยย† ย’ย”ย‘ยŒย‡ย…ย–ย•วกวณวฒ ย™ยƒยย–ย–ย‘ย…ย‘ยย‰ย”ยƒย–ย—ยŽยƒย–ย‡ย—ย‡ ยƒยย•ย‡ยยƒยย†ย‘ย„ ย—ย•ย–ย‹ย•ย™ย‹ย–ยŠย–ยŠย‡ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”ย–ย‡ยƒยยƒยย† ย‡ฦกย—ย”ย–ยœ ย™ย‹ย–ยŠยƒย‹ยย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย–ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยˆย‘ย”ย™ย‘ย”ยย‹ยย‰ย–ย‘ย‡ยย•ย—ย”ย‡ย–ยŠย‹ย•ย–ย”ยƒยย•ย‹ย–ย‹ย‘ยยยƒย‹ยย–ยƒย‹ยย‡ย†ย–ยŠย‡ย‹ยย–ย‡ย‰ย”ย‹ย–ย›ย‘ยˆย›ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒย›ย• ยƒยย†ย’ย”ย‘ย˜ย‹ย†ย‡ย†ยƒย‹ยย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย–ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ย™ย‹ย–ยŠย•ย‡ย‡ย†ย…ยƒย’ย‹ย–ยƒยŽย–ย‘ย‰ย‡ย–ย–ยŠย‡อ–อ”อ•อ–ย•ยŠย‘ย™ย—ยย†ย‡ย”ย™ยƒย›วกวณย•ยƒย‹ย†ย—ย•ย–วค  ยย›ย“ย—ย‡ย•ย–ย‹ย‘ยย•ย”ย‡ย‰ยƒย”ย†ย‹ยย‰ย›ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒย›ย•ย•ยŠย‘ย—ยŽย†ย„ย‡ย†ย‹ย”ย‡ย…ย–ย‡ย†ย–ย‘ยƒย‹ยย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย–ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘ยƒย–อ—อ•อวฆอ–ออ•วฆอ–อ”อ—อœ ย‘ย”ย‡ยยƒย‹ยŽย‹ยยˆย‘ฬทยยƒย‹ยย•ย–ย”ย‡ย‡ย–ย™ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วคย‘ย”ย‰วค

Congratulations to all of the The Courier's 2011 20 under 40 recipientss! We wish you continued success in your business and personal endeavors and thank you for your continued support of the Cedar Valley! We would like to encourage you to continue to engage your community through the wide variety of Alliance & Chamber projects and programs. *Indicates Alliance & Chamber Investor

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      ศ—          วฆ  วฆ   ศ—        ศ—      ศ—       ศ—  






Welcome New Alliance & Chamber Investors! Fusion Dance & Fitness

Tวฏs Indoor Inฦชatable Park

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อ—อ”อœอ˜ย–ยŠย–วค วควคย‘ยšอ–อ•อ™อš ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วก อ™อ”อ›อ”อ˜ ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ–อ—อ—วฆอ”อ›อ˜อ› ย‡ย„ย•ย‹ย–ย‡วฃย™ย™ย™วคยˆย—ย•ย‹ย‘ยย†ยƒยย…ย‡ฦคย–วคย…ย‘ย ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃยˆย–ย‘ยย‹ยŽย•ย‘ย

อ•อ•อ–อ™ย‘ยŽยŽย‡ย‰ย‡ย“ย—ยƒย”ย‡ยƒยŽยŽ วควคย‘ยšอ•อ•อ–อ— ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ™อ”อšอ•อ— ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ–อšอšวฆอœอ”อšอœ ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃยƒย–ย‹ย‡ยƒย”ย”ย‡ย

อ–อ—อ”อ–อ• ย–วค ยŠย—ยย†ย‡ย”ย‹ย†ย‰ย‡ยƒยŽยŽ ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ™อ”อšอ•อ— ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ–อšอšวฆอ•อ›อ›อ• ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃยƒยฦฌย‹ฦกยƒยย›ย‘ย‰ย‡ย”ย•

Next Level Extreme Fitness

State Farm โ€“ Ryan Sullivan Agency

Hummer Limo Services อ–ออ”อย‹ยŽยŽย•ยวค ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วก อ™อ”อ›อ”อ• ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆออšอ•วฆอ”อ—อœอ ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃ ยƒย•ย‘ย ย—ย–ยŠย”ย‹ย‡

อ—อšอ•อ˜ย‡ย†ยƒย” ย‡ย‹ย‰ยŠย–ย•ย”วค ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ™อ”อšอ•อ— ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ–อ—อ•วฆอ–อ•ออ ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃย›ยƒยย‘ย™ยย•


อ•อœอ”อยย‹ย˜ย‡ย”ย•ย‹ย–ย›ย˜ย‡ ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ™อ”อšอ•อ— ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ–อ—อšวฆอ•อ”ออ ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃย›ยƒยย—ยŽยŽย‹ย˜ยƒย

2011 Cedar Valley Leadership Institute ยŠย‡ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›ย‡ยƒย†ย‡ย”ย•ยŠย‹ย’

ยย•ย–ย‹ย–ย—ย–ย‡ย•ย–ยƒย”ย–ย‡ย†ย‘ยย…ย–ย‘ย„ย‡ย” อ™ย–ยŠยƒยย†ย™ย‹ยŽยŽย…ย‘ยย–ย‹ยย—ย‡ย–ย‘ยย‡ย‡ย– ย–ยŠย‡ยˆย‹ย”ย•ย–ย‡ย†ยย‡ย•ย†ยƒย›ย‘ยˆย‡ย˜ย‡ย”ย› ยย‘ยย–ยŠย–ยŠย”ย‘ย—ย‰ยŠยƒย›ย‘ยˆอ–อ”อ•อ–วค ย‘ย˜ย‡ยย„ย‡ย”ย•ย…ยŽยƒย•ย•ย–ย‘ย’ย‹ย…ย‹ย• Leadership through Community Volunteerism.

TargetClick Marketing Solutions, LLC อœอ•อ–อ” ย‡ยยย‹ยย‰ย•ย”วควกย–ย‡วคอ•อ—อ— ย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ™อ”อšอ•อ— ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอ™อ›อ™วฆอ”อ–อ—อ™ ย‡ย„ย•ย‹ย–ย‡วฃย™ย™ย™วคย–ยƒย”ย‰ย‡ย–ย…ยŽย‹ย…ย ยยƒย”ยย‡ย–ย‹ยย‰วคย…ย‘ย ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃย‘ย—ย‰ย”ย‡ย‡ย•วก

ย”ย‡ย‰ ยƒย•ย•วก ยŠย‡ย”ย‡ย•ย‡ย—ย•ย–ย‡ย”

Toni Van Hooreweghe อ•อ•อ–อšย‹ยย†ยย‡ย”ย”วค ยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วก อ™อ”อ›อ”อ– ยŠย‘ยย‡วฃอ—อ•อวฆอšอ•อ”วฆอšอ™อ—อ ย‘ยย–ยƒย…ย–วฃย‘ยย‹ยƒย ย‘ย‘ย”ย‡ย™ย‡ย‰ยŠย‡

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NOVEMBER Alliance & Chamber Calendar of Events Nov. 1 Tues.ย‡ย…ยŠย‘ย”ยย•ย‘ยƒย”ย†ย–ย‰วควกอ˜อ”อ”ย‡ย•ย–ยˆย‹ย‡ยŽย†ย˜ย‡วควกยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วกอ—วฃอ”อ”ย’ย ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ย‘ยƒย”ย†ย‘ยˆย‹ย”ย‡ย…ย–ย‘ย”ย•ย–ย‰วควกอ˜อ”อ”ย‡ย•ย–ยˆย‹ย‡ยŽย†ย˜ย‡วควกยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วกอ˜วฃอ”อ”ย’ย Nov. 2. Weds. ย‘ย—ยย†ย–ยƒย„ยŽย‡วกย‡ย•ย–ย‡ย”ย ย‘ยย‡วฆย‘ย—ย–ยŠยƒยย’ย—ย•วกอ™อ—อ•อ• ย›ยƒย…ย‹ยย–ยŠย”วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ›วฃอ”อ”วฆอวฃอ”อ”ยƒย    ย‡ย†ยƒย”ยƒยŽยŽย‡ย›ย‡ยƒย†ย‡ย”ย•ยŠย‹ย’ ยย•ย–ย‹ย–ย‹ย–ย‡วกอœวฃอ”อ”ยƒยวฆอ˜วฃอ”อ”ย’ย Nov. 3 Thurs. ย”ย‡ยƒยยˆยƒย•ย–วกยŽยƒย”ย‹ย‘ย ยยยย‹ย˜ย‡ย”ย•ย‹ย–ย›ยŽยƒยœยƒวกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วกอœวฃอ”อ”ยƒย   ย‡ย…ยŠย„ย”ย‡ย™วกย‘ย‘ย†ย‘ย‘ย‘ย—ยย‰ย‡วกอ—อ•อ™ยƒย‹ยย–วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วกอ™วฃอ”อ”วฆอ›วฃอ”อ”ย’ย ย—ย•ย‹ยย‡ย•ย•ยˆย–ย‡ย” ย‘ย—ย”ย•วกย†ย˜ยƒยย…ย‡ย†ย›ย•ย–ย‡ยย•วก ยย…วควกอ–ออ˜อ™ย‹ย”ย’ย‘ย”ย–ยŽย˜ย†วควกยƒย–ย‡ย”ยŽย‘ย‘วก อ˜วฃอ”อ”วฆอšวฃอ”อ”ย’ย Nov. 8 Tuesวคยย„ยƒย•ย•ยƒย†ย‘ย”ย–ย‰วควกยŽยƒย”ย‹ย‘ย ยยยย‹ย˜ย‡ย”ย•ย‹ย–ย›ยŽยƒยœยƒวกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วกอ˜วฃอ”อ”วฆอ™วฃอ”อ”ย’ย Nov. 9 Weds. ย‹ย’ยŽย‘ยยƒย–ย•ยย‡ย‡ย–ย‹ยย‰วกยƒย›ย• ยยวกอวฃอ”อ”ยƒย Nov. 10 Thursวคย‹ย…ย–ย‘ย”ย›ย‡ยŽย‡ย„ย”ยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยวกย‡ยƒย˜ย‡ย” ย‹ยŽยŽย•ย‘ย—ยย–ย”ย›ยŽย—ย„วกอœอ–อ—อ”ย‡ยƒย˜ย‡ย” ย‹ยŽยŽย•ย”วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ˜วฃอ”อ”วฆอ™วฃอ—อ”ย’ย Nov. 11 Fri.  ย‘ย˜ย‡ย”ยยย‡ยย–ย‡ยŽยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยย•ย‘ยยย‹ย–ย–ย‡ย–ย‰วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•ย‘ยˆยˆย‹ย…ย‡วกอ›วฃอ—อ”วฆอœวฃอ—อ”ยƒย Nov. 16 Weds. ย‹ย…ย”ย‘ย•ย‘ยˆย–ย‘ยยย—ยย‹ย–ย›ย‘ยยย‡ย…ย–ย‹ย‘ยวฆ ย‘ย…ย—ย•ย‘ยย‘ย—ย”ย—ย•ย‹ยย‡ย•ย•ย‡ย”ย‹ย‡ย•ศ€ยˆยˆย‹ย…ย‡ย‹ย’ย•ยƒยย† ย”ย‹ย…ยย•วกย—ย†ย†ย†ย˜ย‡ย”ย•ย–ย‹ย•ย‹ยย‰วกยย‡ย—ย†ย†ย‡ยย–ย”ย‡วกออ•อ™ย‡ย…ยŠยย‘ยŽย‘ย‰ย›ยย™ย›วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•วก อ›วฃอ—อ”วฆอวฃอ”อ”ยƒย Nov. 17 Thurs. ยย˜ย‡ย•ย–ย‘ย”ย‡ยŽยƒย–ย‹ย‘ยย•ย‘ยยย‹ย–ย–ย‡ย‡ย–ย‰วควกย‡ย†ยƒย” ยƒยŽยŽย•ยˆยˆย‹ย…ย‡วกอœวฃอ”อ”ยƒย Nov. 24 Thurs.ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”ย‘ยˆยˆย‹ย…ย‡ย•ย™ย‹ยŽยŽย„ย‡ย…ยŽย‘ย•ย‡ย†วค Nov. 25 Fri. ยŽยŽย‹ยƒยย…ย‡ฦฌยŠยƒยย„ย‡ย”ย‘ยˆยˆย‹ย…ย‡ย•ย™ย‹ยŽยŽย„ย‡ย…ยŽย‘ย•ย‡ย†วค


robert l. smith, jr.

executive director, UNI center for urban education (UNI-CUE)

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Disclosure rules help you make informed decisions In 1990, the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act required that certain information be included in a nutrition label thereby assisting consumers in making more-informed choices. If you’ve ever used that information to Stacie Brass make a buying is a certified decision at the pension store, consultant and grocery investment adviser you know what representative with I’m referring to. the Accel Group S i m i l a r l y, in Cedar Falls. in October of Contact her at last year, the 596-1101. Department of Labor issued final regulations that require plan administrators (typically employers/plan sponsors) to disclose certain fee and investment information to covered participants and beneficiaries in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 participant-directed individual account plans, including the vast majority of 401(k) and private-sector 403(b) plans. The new disclosure rules are intended to help ensure that participants have the information necessary to make informed decisions about plan participation and the selection of investment choices for their accounts. For the most part, the information that is required to be disclosed is not dissimilar from information already available today via websites, enroll-

ment books, quarterly statements or prospectus. However, the new regulations require information be made available in a more uniform comparative format, which may help plan sponsors, as well as participants, effectively compare alternatives. There are two key deadlines to comply with the different requirements of the new regulations: DISCLOSURE TO PLAN SPONSORS — Effective April 1, revisions to ERISA section 408(b)(2) will require plan service providers (including financial advisors) to disclose plan fees and services to plan sponsors. The disclosure must be in writing with a description of the services provided and the percentage, formula or dollar amount of compensation received. Further, the service provider must declare whether it serves as a plan fiduciary or not. DISCLOSURE TO PLAN PARTICIPANTS — Effective for plan years beginning on or after Nov. 1 of this year, revisions to ERISA section 404(a) will require plan sponsors to disclose to their plan participants (including non-participating eligible employees) the fees paid directly through their investments. The practical implications of these new regulations, although somewhat difficult to predict, most certainly involve greater discussion centered on fees. Plan sponsors may be surprised in some cases by learning the plan

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costs leads to an opportunity to consider the value proposition and competitive position that your current providers offer. ERISA does not require that your plan be the lowest cost option; rather, that as the plan sponsor you understand the fees and expenses associated with your plan and have determined whether they are “reasonable.” For our clients, we recommend a benchmark study every three to four years comparing their plan expenses to industry averages as well as a periodic market analysis. Regardless of your process, be sure to document carefully. You may also want to consider starting a dialog with your employees in advance. Helping them understand the changes to their

quarterly statements and new disclosure notices may avoid questions later. We also recommend that you not lose sight of the forest for the trees here. True, plan expenses are an important component to consider when evaluating your plan, but it is just one component. You should also consider the overall operation of your plan, plan design, performance of your investment alternatives, satisfaction with service providers and related factors. In summary, while there is certainly some additional work involved with compliance with these new regulations. At the end of the day, the ability to more clearly understand plan fees and expenses is likely worth the effort.

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they once thought was “free” may have additional asset-based fees buried in the plan’s investment options they didn’t clearly understand. Participants may have questions about whether the fees they are paying are reasonable given the value they’re receiving and the process the plan sponsor is using to determine reasonableness. There is a lot of good news here for plan sponsors and participants alike. First, the burden to meet the requirements is met primarily by service providers. Second, it creates a tremendous opportunity to get a good “look under the hood” and determine exactly what each component of your plan (record keeping, education & advice, investments etc.) costs. Further, an understanding of





Gen Xâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ers must consider needs of three generations If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a member of Generation X â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the age group born between 1965 and 1981 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you may well be in the busiest time of your life. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re probably in the early to middle stages Jana Eilderts of your career, for is a ďŹ nancial one thing, and if adviser with you have children, Edward Jones theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re likely in Cedar Falls. Contact her at still at home. Yet 277-6583. despite the hectic nature of your days, you still have to look after the ďŹ nancial concerns of your children, yourself and possibly even your parents. This three-

generational effort may seem challenging but with some planning and persistence you can help your family make progress toward a variety of goals. To begin with, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consider the needs of your children. Obviously, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already providing for their living expenses, so from an investment point of view, your biggest concern may be how youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help them pay for college. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a suggestion: Put time on your side and start saving as soon as possible. You might want to consider opening a 529 college savings plan, which offers potential tax advantages. Saving for college is important â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but so is saving for your own retirement. Consequent-

ly, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to ďŹ nd the right balance of resources to devote to these two goals. To avoid shortchanging yourself, take full advantage of your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. Contribute as much as you can afford right now, and whenever you get a raise, increase your contributions. At the very least, put in enough to earn your employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s matching contribution if one is offered. Your 401(k) accumulates on a tax-deferred basis, and your contributions are generally made with pretax dollars, so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. You arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t conďŹ ned to investing in a 401(k), either, because

you can also put money into a traditional IRA, which accumulates tax deferred, or a Roth IRA, which accumulates tax free, provided youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at least age 59½ when you start making withdrawals and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve held your account at least ďŹ ve years. Once youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve started saving for college for your children and investing for your own retirement, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got one more generation to consider â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the older one. For example, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to make sure your parents have adequate ďŹ nancial protection for their health care expenses. If your parents have saved and invested throughout their lives, they may not need any ďŹ nancial help from you â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but that

doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never be called upon to straighten out their affairs. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why now is the perfect time to ask your parents some key questions: Where are your assets located? Do you have a will? How about a durable power of attorney? You might think these inquiries will make you sound â&#x20AC;&#x153;selďŹ sh,â&#x20AC;? but the opposite is true: The more you know about your parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ďŹ nancial situation and estate plans, the bigger help youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be to them and to other members of your family, if the day arrives when your parents need some assistance. It may not always be easy to act on behalf of three generations â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth the effort.

McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s launches in-store TV Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES â&#x20AC;&#x201D; McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s customers will soon be able to have local school sports, movie previews and heartwarming human interest stories to go with their fries â&#x20AC;&#x201D; McTV is here and in high deďŹ nition. In one of the most unusual twists in niche programming, the global fast-food chain is launching the McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Channel, a digital network of exclusive original content targeted at dine-in customers. The programming will be customized to speciďŹ c communities around the restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming ďŹ lms, albums and TV shows.

The move is part of a broader digital-age strategy by corporate America to create its own platforms to speak directly to customers in an environment uncluttered by other media. Just as individuals have ďŹ&#x201A;ocked to social media to tell their own stories, McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is the latest in a growing number of image-conscious corporations and institutions that will reach out to consumers by acting as their own studios and networks. The McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Channel is being rolled out slowly during the next few months. The new restaurant TV channel marks another public space where the individual will have trouble escaping the small screen or advertisements. /UR3ERVICES


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Questions workers should ask about 2012 health benefits MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO — Many U.S. employers will drop a bunch of health-care options in their workers’ laps in the next few weeks, if they haven’t already. If you’re one of those workers, unless you change jobs or lose your job, the choices you make will stick with you and possibly your family for all of 2012, so it’s important to scrutinize and compare health-plan options. You may be tempted to automatically re-enroll in the same plan you have now, but that could cost you. Many plans are shifting costs and benefits, and some employers have introduced new ways for workers to save money, experts say. “If an employee blows off openenrollment communications, the employee could pay more because they’re missing incentives to pay less that are tied to participation in wellness activities,” said Eric Parmenter, vice president of consulting for High Roads, a benefit consulting firm in Nashville, Tenn. For next year, employers gener-

ally aren’t as interested as they have been in recent years in raising workers’ premium contributions, but they’re finding other ways to pass on higher health care costs, said Michael Thompson, principle in human-resource services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. “There’s not as much focus on increasing premiums for workers as much as there is on increasing the amount of cost-sharing workers have at the point of service,” he said. People who use their health plan might feel more of a squeeze than those who don’t, said John Asencio, senior vice president of Sibson Consulting, a humanresource consulting firm in New York. “If you had a $15 copay, you’ll probably see those go up to $20, $25 for physician office visits,” he said. The good news is underlying benefit-cost increases are expected to be moderate, compared with earlier in the 2000s, when double-digit premium spikes whipsawed employers and employees alike.

Though they still far outpace general inflation and workers’ wage gains, health-benefit costs are on track to rise 5.4 percent on average next year, the lowest rate of increase in 15 years, according to preliminary survey data from Mercer, a consulting firm in New York. If employers did nothing to manage the cost increase through plan-design changes, the increase would be 7.1 percent. The overall trend of the past five years has been about 9 percent, according to Mercer’s findings. Use of health-care services declined last year as people were left with less disposable income in a struggling economy and more workers faced higher out-of-pocket medical costs, said Beth Umland, director of research for health and benefits for Mercer in New York.

“If money is tight and you’ve got a $1,000 deductible, you might think twice about going to the doctor if you also think you could put it off,” she said, noting the average deductible has doubled in the past five years. Here are some bottom-line questions to consider as you compare your 2012 options: WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR? As part of the health-reform law that kicks in more comprehensively in 2014, most employers already extend coverage to workers’ adult children up to age 26 even if they’re married or in school. And they have to offer free preventive care for a number of services such as colonoscopies and mammograms. For 2012, many employers are offering what are called consumer-driven health plans, which have high deductibles and often attached savings

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accounts. They’re trying to control costs before 2014, when they have to extend coverage to parttime workers putting in at least 30 hours a week, among other anticipated costs, Umland said. For 2012, the minimum annual deductible required for highdeductible health plans to be coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) is unchanged at $1,200 for self-only coverage and $2,400 for family coverage. But the annual maximum for workers’ out-of-pocket expenses is going up $100 to $6,050 for single coverage and rising $200 to $12,100 for family coverage next year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Out-of-pocket expenses include deductibles and copayments but exclude premiums.

See BENEFITS, page 43


BENEFITS From page 42 Workers with HSAs for themselves only can contribute up to $3,100 to their accounts in 2012 compared with up to $6,250 for workers with family coverage in a high-deductible health plan. Those limits are slightly higher than for 2011. WHAT WOULD THE PLAN COST ME? If your plan is shifting to coinsurance, where you pay a percentage of the total instead of a flat fee, you may have to think differently. “If you had a $10 or $20 copay, it was easy to understand what it was going to cost you when you went to the doctor,” Thompson said. “If the plan now has coinsurance and a deductible, that visit may cost over $100 if you haven’t met your deductible.” In making a total estimate of what a plan might cost you, first



take stock of the premiums, the amount you contribute each month out of your paycheck, which will likely be higher for a more comprehensive benefit plan than for a bare-bones one. The second part relates to your out-of-pocket costs. For this, consider your recent history of health services. If you see a doctor or need blood work drawn frequently, for example, your copay or coinsurance amounts could make a big difference in your overall spending projections. Next, if you’re considering a health plan with a savings account such as an HSA, factor in what, if anything, your employer contributes to that account that may offset your costs. Your monthly premiums will likely be lower, but don’t forget unpredictable and intangible costs. “How much am I saving for sure vs. how much might I lose if I actually use the plan?’ ” Umland suggested asking. Plus, are you OK with managing another financial account? Try to find out

how many extra administrative tasks you may need to do to use the HSA funds. Some offer debit cards you can swipe, but others may force you to submit and track claims for reimbursement. WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET REALLY SICK OR INJURED? Try to run a worst-case health scenario under each of the plan options to see how financially exposed you would be among them should you or one of your covered dependents have a grave accident or illness. Know what expenses are counted in the out-of-pocket maximums. “How much would I be out of pocket in this option vs. this option if I suddenly need $50,000 worth of care?” Asencio said. ARE MY MEDS COVERED? If you’re on maintenance medication for a chronic illness, check to see if any plans will waive your copay or coinsurance on certain prescription drugs, making them effectively free to encourage you to keep taking them, Thompson said. You may have to talk to a


“If you had a $10 or $20 copay, it was easy to understand what it was going to cost you when you went to the doctor. If the plan now has coinsurance and a deductible, that visit may cost over $100 if you haven’t met your deductible.” Michael Thompson principle in human-resource services at PricewaterhouseCoopers

health coach or participate in a disease-management program to get the free meds, but more employers are trying this option to get a handle on their longterm health costs. Some plans also offer a separate out-ofpocket maximum for prescrip-

PAGE 43 tion drugs, he said. AM I LEAVING MONEY ON THE TABLE BY FAILING TO PARTICIPATE IN WELLNESS PROGRAMS AIMED AT MAKING OR KEEPING ME HEALTHY? Whether it’s a game-oriented workplace exercise competition, private dietary counseling, talking to a health coach or taking classes to help you quit smoking, you may not be able to afford to ignore your employer’s 2012 wellness offerings. “While these programs have been around for a while, employers are really taking them seriously now as a way to manage costs,” Umland said. You may not have to do much work to score a break on your health-care costs. In fact, some employees may end up paying $25 to $50 more in premiums per month or hundreds of dollars more in deductibles if they don’t complete a health risk assessment or other activities meant to gauge their general health status, Asencio said. “Companies are getting more aggressive around these issues.”





Employers face higher health care costs for next year The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Health care costs rose faster than inflation and wages this year — a trend that will hit home for many workers in the next several weeks as employers offer open enrollment. Employers usually pick up much of the tab for health insurance, but many are expected to shift more of this growing burden onto workers next year. That means employees are likely to see higher premiums and deductibles. And a growing number will be required to pay more up front, as more companies are adding “consumer-driven” plans. For some time, workers have been feeling the pain of paying more. Kaiser Family Foundation reported recently the typical annual premium for family coverage rose 9 percent this year, at

a time when pay went up an average of 2 percent. The total annual premium — shared by employers and workers — amounted to $15,073 for family coverage and $5,429 for singles, Kaiser says. Kaiser estimates up to 2 percentage points of this year’s increase can be attributed to popular new benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul that won’t take full effect until 2014. That law requires many health plans to fully cover preventive care, such as immunizations and mammograms. And young adults now can stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26. Kaiser figures that 2.3 million young adults were added to parents’ plans this year thanks to the law. A recent survey by benefits consultant Mercer found costs next year are expected to go up by

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an average of 5.4 percent — the smallest increase in 15 years. Some of that is because of a drop-off in the number of people seeking care, possibly to save money during the weak economy, said Melissa Jimeno, a principal in Mercer’s Baltimore office. But Jimeno added wellness programs offered by employers to try to get workers with chronic conditions to take better care of themselves also appear to be paying off. Here are the details of what you might see in your enrollment package: HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLANS: These health plans, which come with an employee-controlled spending account, are about 15 percent cheaper than the usual offerings, Mercer reports. That’s one reason they appeal to employers. The steep deductibles — they averaged $1,908 this year, Kaiser

reports — keeps premiums lower. The plans often are paired with a health savings account. Workers — and sometimes employers — contribute money into a taxfree account that employees can tap to pay the deductible or medical expenses. Money that’s not used will accrue over time to be used for future health bills. And if workers leave their jobs, they can take the money with them. The theory is that when employees control how money is spent in the account — and, ultimately, how much they can end up with — they will be savvier shoppers of health care. Some health experts say these plans aren’t suitable for workers with chronic health problems because they won’t be able to build up any money in their savings accounts. Only 4 percent of employers in 2006 offered such a plan, Kaiser

says. Now, 17 percent do. “This is the quiet revolution going on in health insurance,” said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s chief executive. “Those plans are certainly cheaper, but the nature of health insurance is changing without a great deal of analysis or debate.” Altman said insurance is gradually shifting from the comprehensive coverage favored by liberals to the model championed by conservatives who want workers to have “skin in the game.” WELLNESS PROGRAMS: Companies continue to prod workers to live more healthful lifestyles. “Employers are saying, ‘If we are going to control health care costs, we really have to work on the most serious problem: employees’ poor health habits,’ “ said Helen Darling, president of

See EMPLOYERS, page 45

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EMPLOYERS From page 44 the National Business Group on Health, a nonproďŹ t that advocates for large employers. HEALTH REFORM CHANGES: Many employers exercised their right last year to maintain a â&#x20AC;&#x153;grandfather statusâ&#x20AC;? that allowed them to delay adopting some of the


early beneďŹ ts of the health care act. The catch: They couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t substantially raise premiums or make major changes to the plan. But a lot of employers discovered grandfather status wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as beneďŹ cial as they thought and are giving it up next year. That means your premiums could go up sharply or youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll pay more for services. But you could also see new beneďŹ ts, such as having preventive care fully covered.



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Five common myths about entrepreneurs VIVEK WADHWA The Washington Post

The legends of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and other high-tech entrepreneurs have fed a stereotypical vision of innovation in America: Mix a brainy college dropout, a garageincubated idea and a powerful venture capitalist, stir well, and you get the latest Silicon Valley powerhouse. That’s Hollywood’s version of technological innovation; unfortunately, it’s also the one that venture capitalists try to fund and government planners seek to replicate. But these individuals are not America’s typical entrepreneurs. To find them, first let’s dispense with some major misconceptions about where our best ideas comes from. 1. AMERICA’S TECH ENTREPRENEURS ARE IN THEIR 20S.

My research team at Duke University has studied the backgrounds of the country’s entrepreneurs, and our findings debunk this popular notion. Our 2009 survey of 549 company founders across a dozen fast-growth industries found that, in fact, the average and median age of these founders when they started their companies was 40.Twice as many were older than 50 as were younger than 25; twice as many were over 60 as under 20. Seventy percent were married when they launched their first business; an additional 5.2 percent were divorced, separated or widowed. Sixty percent had at least one child, and 43.5 percent had two or more children. Entrepreneurs are motivated to risk starting a venture because they get tired of working for

others, have ideas for new businesses based on the experience they gained working for others or want to strike it big before they retire. The mythology of the kid in the garage is grounded more in Hollywood than in Silicon Valley. 2. ENTREPRENEURS ARE LIKE ATHLETES, BORN, NOT MADE. Silicon Valley investors such as Jason Calacanis proudly proclaim that successful entrepreneurs come from entrepreneurial families and start off running lemonade stands as kids. After meeting Wharton Business School students last year, venture capitalist Fred Wilson blogged that he was shocked when a professor told him that you can teach people to be entrepreneurs. “I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for almost 25 years now,” he wrote, “and it is ingrained in my mind

that someone is either born an entrepreneur or is not.” They’re wrong. Our research revealed that 52 percent were the first in their immediate families to start a business — as were Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Russell Simmons. Their parents were academics, lawyers, factory workers or bureaucrats. Only about 39 percent had an entrepreneurial father, and 7 percent had an entrepreneurial mother; some had both. Only a quarter caught the entrepreneurial bug in college. 3. COLLEGE DROPOUTS MAKE BETTER ENTREPRENEURS. Silicon Valley is debating the Thiel Fellowship, which offers students $100,000 to drop out of college. The logic? That higher education is overpriced and unnecessary, and that bud-

ding entrepreneurs are better off building companies than studying irrelevant subjects. No doubt some brilliant people may get by without a college education. But our research finds that U.S.-born founders of engineering and technology firms tend to be well educated. And on average, companies founded by college graduates have twice the sales and workforce of companies founded by people who didn’t go to college. Surprisingly, attending an elite university doesn’t provide a significant advantage in entrepreneurship. What matters is the degree; the choice of major or college doesn’t play a big role in success. The greater the education of the founder, the higher the business’s profits, sales and employment.

See MYTHS, page 48

To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. ~ Anatole France




on all that you have accomplished. You are a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, friend and boss. Your commitment and dedication to your family, community and career are an inspiration! Cheers to you! Bob, Dalton & Gabe Sid & Kathy The CCI Gang



EPA wants to put to rest â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mythâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of farm dust rules WASHINGTON (AP) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The EPA is trying to put to rest what it calls a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mythâ&#x20AC;? that it is going to crack down on farm dust. In letters to two senators in mid-October, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t expand its current air quality standards to include dust created by agriculture. Republicans and some farmstate Democrats have used the issue on the campaign trail, arguing that the EPA is set to penalize farmers for everyday activities. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in a recent debate that the agency is â&#x20AC;&#x153;out of controlâ&#x20AC;? and was preparing to regulate dust. The House GOP has pushed a host of measures aimed at weakening or scrapping environmental regulations in recent months, saying they view them as job killers. Similar efforts are not expected to be successful in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Obama administration officials have tried to deďŹ&#x201A;ect talk of a dust


rule for months, to little avail. A statement released by the agency last month said â&#x20AC;&#x153;EPA hopes that this action ďŹ nally puts an end to the myth that the agency is planning to expand regulations of farm dust.â&#x20AC;? National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said there has been considerable anxiety in farm country about the possibility of increased regulation on agriculture. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope this action ďŹ nally puts to rest the misinformation regarding dust regulation and eases the minds of farmers and ranchers across the country,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said. Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns and South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem, both Republicans, have pushed legislation to block the dust rule if it had been proposed. Noem issued a statement saying the announcement did nothing to change the fact the agency has the ability to regulate farm dust. But Johanns called the EPA statement a â&#x20AC;&#x153;victory.â&#x20AC;?



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MYTHS From page 46 4. WOMEN CAN’T CUT IT IN THE TECH WORLD. Women start only around 3 percent of the nation’s technology companies. They are almost absent in high-level technology positions. They contribute to fewer than 5 percent of all I.T. patents and 1.2 percent of opensource software. This despite the fact girls match boys in mathematical achievement, 140 women enroll in higher education for every 100 men, and women earn more than half of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees and nearly half of all doctorates. Yet our research found almost no difference in the factors driving success for male and female company founders. They had the same motivations, were of the same age, had similar levels of experience and about equally enjoyed the culture of start-ups. Men and women were equally likely to have children at home. It’s not that women don’t do well in business. According to research by the venture capital firm Illuminate Ventures,




women-led companies are more capital-efficient, and venture-backed companies run by women have 12 percent higher revenue. The problem is a broader one. Few girls get encouragement to study engineering; they encounter negative stereotypes in the workforce; when they approach venture capitalists, they are asked demeaning questions such as, “How are you going to manage your company when you have children?” 5. VENTURE CAPITAL IS A PREREQUISITE FOR INNOVATION. The National Venture Capital Association touts its members’ impact on the U.S. economy. But less than 5 percent of venture capital goes to early-stage companies — those taking the risk of developing innovative products. Our analysis of more than 500 companies in high-growth industries revealed that not even 11 percent of these companies took venture capital at any stage of their existence. The Kauffman Foundation ran a similar analysis of companies on the Inc. magazine 500 list and found that only 16 percent of them raised venture capital. The reality is that venture capital follows innovation.

Such investors seek out compa- stimulate innovation; it wants in nies that already have working once it looks like a good bet. Vivek Wadhwa, a Washingproducts and proven business models. Venture capital doesn’t ton Post columnist, is the direc-



NOVEMBER 2011 tor of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University.







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Firm guidance can streamline vendor meetings rude, so they wait for the person to finish, silently gritting their teeth all the while. Q. Can you suggest a nice way to The quick fix for this predicainterrupt during a business con- ment is learning to interrupt in a courteous manner. When a longversation? For the past week, I have been meeting with vendors winded vendor reaches the end of a sentence, you should immewho hope to sell their products diately jump in and gracefully to our company. Some of these people spend a lot of time chat- redirect the discussion. For example: “Bob, let me stop ting or giving me unnecessary you there for a minute. Since we information. have limited time, I want to be I am a polite and courteous sure we review all the price and person, but this is sending me delivery options. What informaover the edge. These incessant talkers are wasting time that I do tion do you have about that?” An even better strategy, hownot have. How do I get them to ever, is to take control from the focus on the business at hand? beginning. As the buyer, you A. You have not only diagnosed hold the “power position” in these meetings, so you have your own problem, but also every right to define the agenda identified the solution. Most and manage the time. people held hostage by longStart by saying, “Here’s what winded conversationalists are I’d like to cover today,” then list simply being too polite. They the points you want the seller believe interrupting would be By MARIE G. MCINTYRE

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Right Where Yo u Live.

to address. To speed up a sluggish conversation, offer a gentle reminder: “Since we only have 15 minutes left, let’s talk about contract terms.” Most vendors will appreciate this guidance, because they are eager to make a good impression. Annoying a potential customer is the last thing they want to do.

Q. After my manager resigned, I began reporting directly to the vice president of our department. For the past few months, she has praised my outstanding performance and frequently asked for my advice. She also included me in her weekly staff meetings. A few weeks ago, the vice president hired a new manager who is likely to become my boss. She is now consulting him instead of me. I have also been removed from the weekly meetings. No


one has told me what’s going on, so I’m becoming concerned about my future. Does this situation sound normal?

A. Not to worry. You’re simply experiencing the turmoil that frequently follows an unexpected management departure. Having been left without a boss, you were temporarily elevated to the next level, where you found yourself assuming additional responsibilities and participating in higher-level discussions. Now, however, the hiring of your manager’s replacement has restored the previous order, leaving you to wonder where all those fun new duties went. Had anyone bothered to view this situation from your point of view, they would have realized that you deserve an explanation of the transition process. Unfor-

tunately, no one appears to have given this any thought. The good news, though, is that your interim reporting relationship provided a rare and valuable opportunity to impress the vice president. Having observed your talents firsthand, she is quite likely to support your advancement in the future. To maintain this momentum, you must now concentrate on developing a strong, positive connection with your incoming boss. Since he’s the one who will be writing your next performance review, you don’t want any lingering resentment to contaminate that relationship. Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics.” Get free coaching tips at http://www.yourofficecoach. com, or follow her on Twitter @ officecoach.


Ake la McD ona ld, FAC HE Positive P ositi itive Role Role l Mod Model: del: Akela McDonald has made a tremendous impact in this community in just a few years. She brings a wealth of knowledge creativity and energy to many volunteer roles from the YWCA, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and Met Transit Boards to speaking at schools as a successful role model for young women. Akela’s work with the 2010 Waterloo RAGBRAI Committee showcased her talent and her impact. No challenge too great – she dove in, devoted countless hours to organize, recruit, train and supervise all the behind the scenes people that made the stop a success. In the community and in her profession, she is an example to others. A quiet, effective and trusted leader with accomplishments that are uncommon for her youth. Congratulations Akela!

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Finding continuous improvement a challenge for businesses pressures are not likely to sub- find and feel comfortable with a more difficult than changing a increases. But there is no greater swimming stroke. The challenge reward for a leader than seemore efficient stroke. side anytime soon.” Changing habits and mindsets increases dramatically as the ing improvement successfully Unless your business is located on a major thoroughfare or in in an organization is many times size and age of the organization occur. a mall with several competitors nearby (e.g., a gas station or restaurant) it may seem like you’re swimming in a one-lane pool. Direct feedback as to how you’re doing relative to others will be difficult. Thus, it becomes critical to establish clear, meaningful and objective metrics with would like to congratulate goals to measure progress. Louis for being recognized as one of the Industry associations or external experts can be helpful in Courier’s 20 under 40 winners. providing reasonable targets for improvement. An accomplishment that Even with hard evidence, there’s a natural tendency to is well deserved. rationalize away the performance gap: ■ The other swimmers are 400 South St Waterloo, Iowa • 319-234-6274 younger; they should be in better 300 W Ridgeway Ave., Waterloo, Iowa • 319-233-3393 shape. ■ The other swimmers are older; they’re retired and get to swim everyday. ■ The other swimmers are right-handed. Likewise, a typical reaction from employees, even when faced with compelling evidence of the performance gap and case studies for proven techniques is that it won’t work within their organization because “we’re different.” Experience with organizations, both public and private, from a wide range of industries has resulted in my Two Laws of Organizational Diversity: ■ Rule No. 1: Every organization is unique. ■ Rule No. 2: No organization is as unique as it thinks. Therefore, have the courage to utilize proven improvement They say tools even if the case studies are behind every not from your industry. Modify their use as appropriate to fit successful man... your organization’s needs. Finally, understand that change, even for the better, is ...Stands a a long, slow process with few very proud shortcuts. In the case of my family. swimming, I’m in the process of undoing over 40 years of bad habits. It feels awkward, certainly harder than my old method. But hopefully I’ll eventually 319-239-9023

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This past summer I was enjoying a lap swim over lunch at the local aquatics center when the swimmer in the neighboring lane tapped me on the shoulder. “Can I offer you some advice?” He asked. (It’s never good when a complete stranger starts a conversation like this.) “You’re working way too hard,” he explained. He went on to critique my stroke and offered several helpful sugRick Brimeyer gestions. Then is president of he closed with Brimeyer LLC, an independent the killer. “You look like you’re management consulting firm drowning.” located in Ames. Ouch! I wanted Contact him at to advise him that (515) 450-8855 or he should never www.brimeyerllc. work in a job com. where providing advice tactfully was crucial to success. On the other hand, it may explain why the lifeguards always appeared to be on edge whenever I swam. Nonetheless, I accepted his advice. Feedback when swimming is only a lane away and watching neighboring swimmers leaving me in their wake for as long as I could remember had left me to ponder the potential that I was doing something wrong. This experience caused me to think about the challenges that face many organizations wanting to improve. The first challenge is making the performance gap obvious to employees. As someone who works with organizations to help them identify and remove the waste in processes, a typical initial reaction often heard from employees is, “We’ve been cutting resources for the past 15 years. We’re already lean!” The goal is to translate this response into its more accurate corollary: “I can’t imagine getting our jobs done with fewer resources using our current lousy methods. I guess we better find a way to improve our processes because competitive





Inside hip, hard-charging YouTube, Google McClatchy Newspapers

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Clearly, this isn’t the typical American workplace. Just inside the sleek glass doors of YouTube’s corporate headquarters is a rock climbing wall — “for Googlers only.” Straight ahead, five guys in T-shirts and jeans cluster around a foosball table, engrossed in a lunch hour game. Nearby, a Russian film crew jabbers away, shooting footage for a documentary on the global company. Over at the reception desk, the candy jar is a big, red, furry head of Sesame Street’s Elmo, watched over by the receptionist’s tiny, quivering Chihuahua, who’s definitely not stuffed. And that’s just the lobby. From the standard company attire — jeans and T-shirts, mostly — to the indoor putting green, the outdoor Frisbee golf course and the gourmet cafe dishing up free fare all day, YouTube is a work environment that’s more akin to summer camp for adults. YouTube and Google, its parent company in nearby Mountain View, Calif., are two of Silicon Valley’s hotbeds of hiring. Jobs here are some of the most coveted around. “Google has an incredible amount of cachet. They offer benefits that blow away the competition,” said Dawn Block, a veteran Silicon Valley technology jobs headhunter. Behind all the perks and quirks, there’s a serious business. Google is a $170 billion global empire spanning more than 40 countries, with offices from Madrid to Mumbai. Having morphed far beyond its Internet search engine roots, Google’s business brawn has attracted antitrust scrutiny in this country and abroad. But the atmosphere inside its smaller YouTube subsidiary more closely resembles that of a young startup. To find out what it’s like to land a job and work at one of the hippest and most hard-charg-

ing companies in California, we recently spent an afternoon on YouTube’s campus. Our hosts: Christopher Dale and Josh Sassoon, two 30-somethings from Sacramento, Calif., who agree they took “meandering paths” to their Google jobs. Dale, 36, is a corporate communications manager who toggles his time between the Google and YouTube campuses. Growing up in Davis, Calif., Dale expected to become a lawyer, but an uninspiring summer job at a New York law firm stamped out that desire. Instead, armed with an English lit degree from Colgate University and a master’s from Cambridge, Dale landed in San Francisco at a high-tech PR firm where he merged his two passions: writing and technology. He arrived in 2000, just in time for the dot-com debacle. His employer went bankrupt; Dale survived by starting his own marketing firm and then joining a tech-focused PR agency. All the while, he kept hearing “all these cool things this company called Google was doing.” In 2007, Dale got an unsolicited email from a Google recruiter on LinkedIn. The interview process was “rigorous” and stretched over several months. Hired to handle global crisis communications and public affairs, Dale has been at Google for three years, and is known for his “anti-uniform” of hipster eyeglasses, white shirt and, yes, a tie. Sassoon, 30, is a “user-experience designer.” He works with YouTube’s engineering team, helping design new features like Cosmic Panda, where users gather and “curate” favorite videos, channels and play lists. After graduating from Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, Sassoon majored in art history at the University of California-Los Angeles. He interned at a local architecture firm, where he developed a passion for visual design, and at Intel, where he taught himself technical coding. By the end of college, he was

creating websites for small companies, which eventually led to jobs in New York at MySpace and at Sony Music, where he designed more than 200 websites for performers from J. Lo to American Idol’s Adam Lambert. Last year, Sassoon was wooed back to California by Apple, which hired him as a visual designer. It wasn’t a good fit. Despite being a huge fan of Apple’s userfriendly technology and sleek product lines, he found its corporate culture too stuffy. “It’s a very top-down company with a singular vision. That’s just the way it’s structured.”

See GOOGLE, page 54




GOOGLE From page 53 He stayed less than a year before “finding my fit” at YouTube. Hired just six months ago, Sassoon is a “NuTuber,” the YouTube vernacular for new employees. (At Google, they’re called “Nooglers.”) While job growth in California remains anemic, here in the tech-dotted valley, Google, YouTube and others like LinkedIn, Facebook, Salesforce and Zynga are “hiring furiously,” their websites littered with job openings, say recruiters. All that competition has taken a bit of the luster off Google’s workplace dominance, say longtime Silicon Valley recruiters. Block said he has had clients pass up Google offers to work instead for smaller startups. That’s partly because Google’s global size has erased some of the startup fervor that characterized its early years. Plus, with fewer stock options and more contract hiring, there’s less assurance of job stability or the potential to become an “instant millionaire.” Google’s work environment is not for wimps, either, said Patti


Wilson, a longtime Silicon Valley executive coach. For instance, she said, employee performance reviews are quarterly and available for your peers to review. “On one level, that’s really egalitarian and shows no favoritism,” she said. “On another level, you’re held accountable on a very high level for getting your job done. It’s not for the faint of heart who don’t want to work hard.” Some 3,000 applications a day come into Google. Job candidates typically go through four interviews, with both managers and their would-be peers. The company prides itself on asking tough questions. Google does not disclose employee salaries or stock options. And there are the offbeat perks, like free bicycles or Razr scooters to glide down the sunlit office corridors. Guest speakers are common: A Buddhist monk spoke last week. Earlier in the year, it was songstresses Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. There’s a thatched “You Tiki” bar where staffers whip up occasional afterwork cocktails. The company’s gourmet — and free — cafes are famous. Not surprisingly, said Dale, most employees rarely drift off campus for lunch.





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Business Monthly - Nov. 2011  

PAVING THE WAY: Young leaders honored for their contributions for the Cedar Valley.

Business Monthly - Nov. 2011  

PAVING THE WAY: Young leaders honored for their contributions for the Cedar Valley.