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CEDAR VALLEY LIVING LARGE PROGRESS 2020

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2020 wcfcourier.com | SECTION H

KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Lynn Moran, a Waterloo Foundry core setter, sets cores onto a fixture so the gantry can set them into the mold at the John Deere Foundry on Jan. 15.

Deere fires up Foundry work Company continues to invest millions into its Cedar Valley operations PAT KINNEY

For the Courier

WATERLOO — It’s been a long journey from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the floor of John Deere’s Waterloo Foundry for Shihani Wallace. But it’s a good place to be. And Waterloo continues to be a good place for John Deere, as it continues to invest millions into its Waterloo operations and employs 5,000 people, drawing workers from the Cedar Valley and beyond, like Wallace. He had already relocated to the area before being hired at Deere. “I went to college at Upper Iowa (University) and then I came here,” said Wallace, who’s worked at the foundry eight years. He played football at Upper Iowa University. “I started off at Rockwell in Sumner, and they ended up closing down, and I was in need of a job” — just as he and his wife were expecting their first child. “We just job searched. My wife’s grandfather actually used to work here back in the ’70s, ’80s, so he recommended I apply here.” It was the right decision for him and his family.

Core Room operator Shihani Wallace dips a core in a ceramic heat resistant solution to prevent iron penetration at the John Deere Foundry. “It’s great. It’s fun,” he said. “The people here are nice to be around. It’s a family atmosphere.” He and his wife have two boys, ages 9 and 4, and live in La Porte City. His goal, he said, is “hopefully, moving up the ranks to a salaried position.”

The camaraderie Wallace has experienced is essential. Deere is the only large agricultural manufacturer with its own foundry in the U.S., manufacturing castings for the Waterloo operations and companywide. It’s a a big operation and requires a lot of teamwork.

“I’m the quality guy, the liaison between different departments,” said Robert Bradley of Allison, who’s worked for Deere 15 years. While foundry work was looked on as grueling and undesirable decades ago, “I don’t plan on leaving the foundry. I don’t have any intention to leave here. I like it. And

proud. My main goal is to make sure we do well.” He previously worked at Schumacher Elevator in Denver. “Some of our best ideas for efficiency improvements come from the wage folks on the floor,” said Travis Weepie, a manufacturing engineering supervisor and a product of Wapsie Valley High School in Fairbank. “That’s our best resource.” The coordination within the foundry is typical of the coordination between and improvements to Deere’s various plants throughout the metro area, Waterloo factory manager Becky Guinn said. At Deere’s Tractor Cab Assembly Operations plant on East Donald Street, “We just completed limited production build for our new 8R and 7R tractors, and it went really well,” she said. “Start of production is in April. We’ve very confident of the manufacturing processes. We’ll ramp down production on the current model and start production on the 8R and 7R.” Over the course of a little more than five months, 124,000 square feet — about two football fields — of TCAO factory floor space faced a complete transformation from the ground up. Plant manufacturing engineers Please see FOUNDRY, Page H2

Deere’s Waterloo manager excited to be back PAT KINNEY

For the Courier

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WATERLOO — John Deere has a new factory manager for its Waterloo Works. She’s no stranger to Deere or the Cedar Valley. But she is the first woman to hold the post, the latest of several posts of increasing responsibility. Becky Guinn, a 28-year career Deere executive who previously worked at the Waterloo operation in the mid-2000s, took the reins last fall at Waterloo Deere’s largest North American manufacturing complex. She succeeded Dave DeVault following his retirement. Guinn, a native of Kansas and a mechanical engineering graduate of Kansas State University,

said Deere has supported her and many other women in their career climbs. She was hired as an intern at the Des Moines Works in Ankeny and spent 14 years there in manufacturing engineering and supply management. The return to Waterloo brings her full circle in many ways. “I came here in 2006 as a business unit manager out at TCAO (Tractor Cab Assembly Operations, on East Donald Street),” Guinn said. “The first time I came to Waterloo, I put my son in kindergarten.” And now, she said, “I just dropped him off at college at Iowa State. It’s amazing how quick that goes.”

She spent three years in her first stint in Waterloo. Then she moved into a manufacturing engineering director’s position based out of the Quad Cities, “trying to connect over 70 factories around the world around our manufacturing engineering competency and processes and development there.” Then she took a position in Germany, responsible for the design and sub-assembly of farm equipment operator cabs. “I took my third- and fifthgrader to Europe. We lived over there for more than two years. It was a good experience, getting

KELLY WENZEL, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Becky Guinn, Waterloo Works factory manager, stands in the John Deere Please see GUINN, Page H2 Foundry on Jan. 15.


PROGRESS 2020

H2 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

An overview of the John Deere Foundry.

Foundry From H1

split the combined 7R/8R line into two separate lines during the first half of 2019 to increase the flexibility of each line’s capacity. To make room for those lines, production of the company’s 6000 tractors was moved to Germany but parts for those tractors are still made here. The split has made room for both the new MY20 7R tractor and the new edition to the 8R family of tractors, the 8RX. Both were released to the public last fall. “A significant amount of investments have been made as part of that,” Guinn said. They are some of the highest technology tractors ever built, “so we want to make sure we have that same level of technology into our manufacturing processes.” Deere has invested $2 billion in its Waterloo operations since a massive redevelopment of its facilities was announced in 2000. In addition to the recent Donald Street facility improvements, more recent work has been done at the foundry over the past decade. Among the most recent foundry improvements, “we spent millions of dollars on the air quality,” said Dave Davis, manager of foundry operations. “You won’t see it, but that’s where a big investment was.” Other foundry investments included new switch gear equipment; two new charge cranes at $1 million each, a 3-D sand printer was installed to make foundry molds to prototype parts faster and, currently, a metal scrap recycling center. “I doubt that you’ll see this stuff, but there’s huge investments that have been made to keep us competitive and give us the infrastructure to be successful,” Davis said. It’s in addition to a new mold line and furnaces installed over the past couple of years. “We’ve also put robots on the furnaces in the last two years. Big investments here” — about $200 million in the foundry alone. “The quality coming out of here is significantly better than it was two years ago also,” Davis said. “Very engaged workforce, mak-

Guinn From H1

exposed to a different culture, language,” she said. Most recently, she was back at Moline, Ill., as seeding and tillage platform director, responsible for 10 manufacturing locations around the world, also serving in that capacity during some acquisitions of additional facilities. She returned to Waterloo in September. “My first experience in Waterloo was amazing, from both a work

804 operator Zach Schmidt, blows out the pattern to prevent sand holes and defects at the John Deere Foundry. ing sure we’re leveraging quality for customers. We’re supporting the whole Deere enterprise,” with increased production capacity. “We’re making 50% more castings in the same number of work hours. So we have more capacity to bring more work in, which, again, helps with our competitive position.” “Even with the economic outlook being fairly uncertain and really flat, the research and development investment continues to be at the same historic levels it’s been in the past,” Guinn said. “Tractors continue to be a key strategy for the company to make those investments.” The company has received recent industry awards for its technical innovations. While employment has remained steady, Guinn and Davis said there have been about 100 new hires. “We’ve been successful recruiting from this area. We’ve not had to go outside the area, other than for skilled trades,” Davis said. “The number of people we have to screen and interview to make a hire is getting higher. It’s getting tougher.”

To maintain and improve those workforce capabilities, Guinn also said the Waterloo operations, following a model in the Quad Cities, has been partnering with the Waterloo Schools Career Center in offering computerized numerical control machining apprenticeships. “That is just starting,” she said. It’s “allowing us to be able to connect with the community and get some messages about manufacturing and the environment and opportunities that we can provide for people to come work here.” It’s being done in the skilled trades as well. Hawkeye Community College also is working with Deere on apprenticeship programs, and Deere is offering employment opportunities to University of Northern Iowa industrial technology students. “A lot of part-time students come out of UNI, and a lot of those transition into full-time roles within the company,” Guinn said. “As they’re trying to make a multi-million-dollar investment into their industrial tech program,

we’re very much in support of that, to continue to grow the talent. Because then you get the local talent in. They like to stay here. And it’s part of what’s made Deere successful here over the last 100 years.” Deere also works with UNI Metal Casting Center at the Cedar Valley TechWorks complex. Ninety percent of the Deere’s Waterloo production work force has been hired since 1997, when a milestone labor agreement was struck with the United Auto Workers, and half of those within the last five to seven years, Davis said. Guinn noted Waterloo and the Cedar Valley have responded with innovations to make the community an attractive place to live and work. “To see the vision they laid out in Waterloo 10 years ago from the development perspective and see what it’s transformed into,” with the Cedar Valley SportsPlex and downtown housing, restaurants and amenities, is impressive, she said. “And it’s even more awesome to see where they want to go. The urban feel they’re trying to bring

(downtown) is a great recruiting tool for us as well.” “The overall quality of the tractors we’re producing are at the best levels we’ve ever had,” Guinn said. “There’s been a lot of work and a strong commitment to our customers with all the investments that we’ve made.” And Deere and its employees are, in turn, personally reinvesting in the community. The John Deere Foundation has invested $1.5 million each in the Cedar Valley United Way and the Northeast Iowa Food Bank over three years. Additionally wage and salaried employees contributed over $900,000 in personal contributions to United Way. “We’re also kicking off ‘Waterloo 100,’” Guinn said, an initiative to get 100% of local Deere workers volunteering in the community in some capacity. “It’s an important part of what we do for both employee engagement, and to continue to make the Valley one of the best places to live and work.” Workers logged more than 26,000 volunteer hours last year.

and community perspective,” she said. “It’s always been one of my favorite places to work. It’s awesome to be part of Waterloo and part of the tractor business. The caliber of people who work here are amazing. The products that we make here are the best in the world. It’s an exciting time to be here, as you think about the new next generation of tractors we’re starting to launch this spring. I’m looking forward to being part of that.” Her son is now a freshman at ISU and her daughter is a high school junior who will complete

her secondary education at Bettendorf. Her husband, Dustin, is employed by Plumb Supply in sales, working in the Quad Cities until their daughter graduates from high school. “We’ve moved around six times already,” she said. “Little bit of the ‘John Deere gypsy tour.’ It’s been awesome for us as a family. Every time we move it brings us closer together.” She noted that while she is the first woman to hold her current position, there are several women in management positions within Deere in Waterloo.

“I’ve had amazing opportunities to experience the different functions and roles. In Des Moines it was a very diverse workforce and I had a great peer group,” she said. “When I came to Waterloo (in 2006) it was amazing, and probably one of the best peer groups, environments to work in in the company. When I was a business unit manager here, there were actually two other women who were business unit managers in TCAO. It was more about making sure we were running the factory and focused on delivering those results. “And then I had amazing op-

portunities to build global relationships around the world,” she said. “So I don’t think that it’s any different than anyone else that’s lived in different locations and different countries — and gotten to know the caliber of people who work for this company.” And as she reacquaints herself with Waterloo Works employees, she noted she has another common thread that can serve as an icebreaker for discussion — the new football coach at her alma mater, Kansas State’s Chris Klieman, who is a product of Waterloo 00 1 Columbus High School.


PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | H3

BCI’s new CF digs the complete package New facility on 16 acres in Cedar Falls Industrial Park fuels workforce growth MELODY PARKER

melody.parker@wcfcourier. com ‌

CEDAR FALLS – BCI ‌ Cedar Falls Division relocated its operations last summer into a new 177,000-square-foot facility at 2900 Capital Way, located in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park. The move expands the company’s footprint as the Midwest’s premier packaging provider, adding new state-of-the-art machinery to increase and refine production capabilities, as well as boosting morale and pride for a highly skilled staff in sales, design and production, said Matt Highland, division president. “We have exciting potential, and we are well-positioned for future expansion. BCI has invested in new technology and machinery that we couldn’t accommodate in our old building. Now we have the space to invest in equipment and more people,” Highland explained. Two years ago, the company had 40 employees; now there are 67. “We have 42 people on the main production floor; over half of them are new hires. It’s an employee-owned business, so we have a culture of ownership, profit sharing and pride. Employees can truly improve their standard of living with what they do every day,” Highland explained. Buckeye Corrugated Inc. Cedar Falls Division, formerly BCI Hawkeye Division, was founded in Cedar Falls in 1967 as Hawkeye Corrugated Box. The company was purchased in 2009 by Buckeye Corrugated Inc., of Akron, Ohio. The new facility replaces a 62,000-square-foot site on Ida Street that was about 50 years old. “We were landlocked, and there was no space for expansion,” said Highland, who has been with the company for about 30 years. BCI decided to build its new modern building on a 16-acre tract of land in the Industrial Park. The project took 15 months. BCI designs, prints and manufactures boxes from sheets of corrugated cardboard. But that doesn’t begin to describe the company’s expertise in tailoring unique, attractive and safe shipping solutions for its customers. Those customers range from one-person operations to Fortune 500 companies in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and

Wisconsin. “There has been so much consolidation in the corrugated box business but we still serve the small and medium customers, as well as large clients. If you start a product in your basement and need 10 boxes, we can do that, as well as work with clients who need hundreds and hundreds of boxes,” said Highland. Additionally, the new building offers space to store volume orders for customers. Business has more than doubled in the last 10 years in what BCI sells and the volume manufactured, he noted. Five years ago, BCI made a “strategic move to secure opportunities in point-of-purchase displays,” particularly in the food and beverage industry. “We went out and landed Hormel Foods and Omaha Steaks. Putting pizzazz on boxes with graphics represents 20% of our growth, and it continues to increase.” BCI works with clients to design, produce, pack and manage point-of-purchase displays for grocery and convenience stores and other retailers where the displays are used as merchandising tools for products. Online shopping represents the biggest area for potential growth, Highland said. “E-commerce means many brands don’t have traditional brick-andmortar stores. The shipping box that arrives at someone’s front door is the company’s storefront. The box is the first impression of the company’s brand, and BCI can design unique boxes with cool graphics to show that brand.” Graphics designers at BCI think outside the box — and inside the box — to create unique designs within specifications that command attention in shipping and displaying products using CAD, or computer-aided design, and Photoshop. Prototypes also are made to test and perfect designs. Beyond aesthetics, the boxes must have structural integrity to maintain shape and function. BCI can print graphics directly on corrugated sheets or apply label graphics. The company’s older machines were installed on the production floor, along with five new stateof-the-art machines. The new equipment includes two new computerized, precision die-cutting machines — one is a highspeed rotary die-cutter,

KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Dylan Hare collects boxes to be bundled off a new die-cutting machine at BCI Cedar Falls Division. and the second is a flatbed die-cutter for smaller, unique box designs. Both machines automatically feed cardboard sheets, ending the need for a person to physically heft stacks of cardboard onto a conveyor. “We moved those people to more valuable positions in the company,” Highland said. “It’s technology and computers vs. physical labor. When we’re hiring, it’s easier to attract people if they know they’re going to be using a computer.” The die-cutters automatically collect and bale scrap cardboard for recycling. “One trailer-load of scraps leaves here every day for a Cedar Rapids mill where it is recycled, re-pulped and milled into sheets. We also use water-based inks for printing graphics,” Highland explained. BCI can print up to seven colors and coating in one pass directly onto corrugated sheets, as well as provide litho-laminated packaging and expertise at folding and gluing complex boxes and point-of-purchase displays. Sustainability has been part of the corrugated box manufacturing business for more than 100 years, including reforestation. “We haven’t just jumped on the sustainability bandwagon. Our business makes sustainable boxes that contain 50% recycled content. Virgin fiber is added for strength.” Five in-bound trucks arrive daily with raw materials. An automated rail system loads and transports finished box stacks to appropriate areas for storage or shipping in the

Division President Matt Highland stands above the production floor in the new 177,000-square-foot BCI-Cedar Falls Division facility in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park.

Although the signage at the new facility reads BCI-Hawkeye Division, the company’s new designation within the Buckeye Corrugated Inc. family is BCI-Cedar Falls Division. production facility. High- tive customers what we do. place, and we have the huge land said 10 to 11 trucks This facility makes us more advantage of a new facility are outbound with finished competitive in the market- with wow factor.” products each day. “When we’re courting new business, we can bring people into this new facility to show prospec-

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PROGRESS 2020

| SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2020

THE COURIER

BRANDON POLLOCK PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Tyler Moulds, left, and John Damme wipe down finished parts at Advanced Heat Treat in Waterloo.

Advanced Heat Treat a leader in its field Focus, adaptability are keys to success after 40 years AMIE RIVERS

amie.rivers@wcfcourier.com

WATERLOO — Deciding to leave his full-time job at John Deere, where he’d worked for 15 years, wasn’t easy. But Gary Sharp and a few others had been pouring all of their nights, weekends, vacation time and holidays into building Advanced Heat Treat Corp. “The writing was on the wall. I felt we had some opportunity,” Sharp said. “My dad thought I was nuts to leave a good position there.” Nearly 40 years later, Advanced Heat Treat has grown into one of the top heat treatment companies in the world, employing 165 people in three locations across the country (and, Sharp said, potentially a future fourth), as well as staying up-to-date with the technology over the years. Maybe the leap wasn’t so nuts after all. “I wish I could say I had this plotted out,” Sharp said of Advanced Heat Treat’s

ascent. “But things change, and you need to be able to change and react to opportunity. That’s kind of how we are.” Sharp, who continues to helm Waterloo-based Advanced Heat Treat as its chief executive officer since founding the company in 1981, credits a lot of the company’s success to its ability to change, or pivot, depending on what the customer needs as well as where the technology is going. When he first started, he remembers finding out a piece of equipment was missing crucial elements of its technology — basically, it didn’t work. “Instead of heat-treating the parts, we were melting them. Our customers didn’t like that,” Sharp deadpanned. Instead of throwing in the towel, he stayed firm, knowing the technology “offered some real advantages” over his competitors, and eventually got it to work. “Again, we continued to pursue that path and stay focused, and a lot of good people over the years helped us get to where we are today,” he said. But when the path grew

L-R: Dan Sager, Assistant Operations Manager, Mikel Woods, President, and John Ludeman, Director of Metallurgy and Quality Excellence of Advanced Heat Treat in Waterloo. narrow or came to a dead end, Advanced Heat Treat has pivoted. When older heat treatments fell out of favor or became streamlined by the company’s competitors, Sharp guided his team to learn newer technologies to stay ahead of the curve,

and backed it up with new machines and expanding production facilities — all with an eye on the customer. “It’s kind of our mantra: If you’re not going forward, then you’re going to fall backwards,” Sharp said. “I don’t think we can tread water.” Sharp credits a lot of his company’s success over the years to his employees, and credits his “great” human resources department with helping screen, train and manage employees. “Early on, the technology was not known to too many Feed screws undergo ion nitriding at Advanced Heat Treat in people, so all our training Waterloo. was internal — we would find people that really had me how quick some of (the ers. “And we still continue a good attitude and train employees) can pick up some to have people following in them,” Sharp said. “We can’t of this.” that same path.” bring somebody in that has a Talking about a former Sharp’s attitude toward super understanding of ion maintenance worker who his employees hasn’t gone nitriding, but we can make had since died, Sharp got unnoticed: Advanced Heat sure they have the right at- emotional. Treat has won awards from titude and willingness to “They’re just tremen- The Courier and others learn. It’s just amazing to with dous, ” he said of his work- in recent years for their Stay connected everything that’s uniquely local. friendly business atmosphere, including Employer of Choice, Business of the PRINT • MOBILE • ONLINE • TABLET Year and Family Business of the Year. If there’s one overall key to his success, he said, that would be it. “The biggest thing is we’ve got great people that care — not only about our customers, but about what they do and how they do it,” 00 YOUR DIGITAL SUBSCRIBTION TODAY 1 he said. WCFCOURIER.COM/ACTIVATE

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PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | H5

Aveka expands its Fredericksburg plant Drying experts honored with Iowa Venture Award ANDREW WIND

andrew.wind@wcfcourier.com‌

‌FREDERICKSBURG — Shain Kroenecke is used to getting calls from people looking for immediate help with drying truckloads of all sorts of materials. The Aveka Manufacturing general manager and his 80 employees can usually handle those requests in a timely manner, either through existing processes at the plant or with the design help of its three-member engineering staff. Often the turnaround for such out-of-the-blue calls may be two weeks. “We kind of pride ourselves in that,” said Kroenecke, a 21-year employee of the company. “It’s one of our taglines, that we’re fast and flexible.” But when he recently got a call asking the company to dry 400,000 pounds of used coffee grounds within the week, it was a bit much. The prospective client got the grounds from a coffee manufacturer in Indiana to use in an animal bedding product. Kroenecke took the job with the company doing as much of the work as it could in the first week and finishing the rest in the next two weeks. “We’re a particle processor,” he explained. That usually means working with materials made up of small components which arrive at the plant as semi-solids or wet cake. Two of the company’s processing techniques involve spray driers and fluid bed driers. “Spray-drying is the bulk of our business,” said Kroenecke. The materials are dried in big stainless steel tanks to the desired moisture content and sometimes milled and packaged. About 90% of what the company produces is “mixed with something else further down the line,” he noted.

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KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Employees get tested and fitted for respirators at Aveka Manufacturing on Shain Kroenecke, Aveka general manager, stands over a vat of walnut grit, Feb. 5. a product that the company washes and desalinates. “It’s still an ingredient.” Aveka’s ingredients are used in a range of products for the agricultural, pharmaceutical and food industries – among others. The company provides contract manufacturing to more than 100 customers over the course of a year including DuPont, 3M and Cargil. Making yeast for bread production and other purposes, such as ethanol, is a major part of its business. The tiny particles in Degree deodorant are produced in the Fredericksburg plant and is used to produce the little green specks in Tidy Cat litter. Other materials it produces are used in sandpaper, sandblasters, water and alcohol filters, and filters for swimming pools. Business has been booming so much that the company recently completed a $2.6 million 45,000-square-foot warehouse addition. Plans are in the works to further expand on nearby land for a new production space. That got the attention of the Iowa Area Development Group, which honored Aveka with its 2019 Iowa Venture Award in December. The eight awardees were honored on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent tele-

communication companies that the development group works with. Aveka was nominated by the Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative. Rand Fisher, IADG president, praised the Minnesota-based company which has a total of 280 employees at five sites, also including Cresco and Waukon in Iowa. “The award celebrates investment, job creation, innovation and civic leadership,” he noted. “Aveka was honored on the occasion of its 25th anniversary and, in particular, for the $2.6 million investment in the warehousing and distribution building that was added to their facilities in Fredericksburg.” “Currently, we’re about 166,000 square feet,” said Kroenecke. Before the addition, the plant’s facilities were “completely full,” he noted. The available space “just wasn’t allowing us to develop any other processing areas.” The addition has freed up space for 10 new processing suites. “It’s going to let us grow our processes inside the plant or expand on them,” said Kroenecke. Fisher cited the research and development done at the facility.

This spray drier is one of the main tools Aveka Manufacturing uses in processing its products. “Their innovation and tenacity has continued to build opportunity for the company” and the surrounding community, he said. In addition, the company’s recent transition to employee ownership, generous support of community events and activities, and encouragement of worker involvement in civic organizations were important factors in winning the award. Fisher noted that such civic involvement is exemplified in Kroenecke’s four-year stint as mayor of Fredericksburg, which he finished at the end of December.

“That’s pretty much the spirit and flavor of our award and why Aveka rose to the top,” he said. Kroenecke believes the Fredericksburg plant is pretty attractive for those who want to get involved in advanced manufacturing. “A kid can graduate high school and start here at $16 an hour,” he noted, receiving benefits and getting vested in a pension fund. Further training and education is also encouraged, with assistance available from the company. “Not a bad thing for a little town,” said Kroenecke.


PROGRESS 2020

H6 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

CPM a global presence with local roots KARRIS GOLDEN

For the Courier‌

‌WATERLOO — Industry insiders view CPM Holdings Inc. as a global force in agriculture and fuel. “The company has virtually cornered the market on all types of processing equipment to grind, crush, crumble, break, flake, hully, hammer, shred, condition, pellet and cool practically anything,” noted a 2019 Biomass Magazine feature. “(CPM) sells and services machinery and equipment to the animal feed, oilseed processing, corn wet milling, pet food, ethanol and … wood pellet industries.” The list of CPM’s offerings goes on, encompassing bioenergy, food and more. With its vast portfolio and international acclaim, some wonder how the Cedar Valley became the company’s corporate and global headquarters. Several factors positioned the metro area for the designation, said Kyle Roed, CPM Holdings human resources director. “Waterloo-Cedar Falls is kind of the heart and soul,” said Roed. “We’ve had dramatic growth the past several years, and we’ve still retained our heritage and where we come from. It’s in our DNA.” Leadership was a contributing factor. Ted Waitman of Waverly, now retired CEO and president, positioned the Cedar Valley in the CPM driver’s seat, said Roed. “Ted set the tone. … He provided the vision to make the company what it is today by aligning the various product offerings in a way that ensures success in multiple markets,” Roed explained. “Culturally, we don’t brag, but we have a lot of pride in our employees. Our people do a lot of interesting, important work, and they balance that with an understanding of how they fit into the bigger picture.” In addition, the metro area has an international reputation for offering an exceptionally skilled and experienced workforce, Roed added. “The benefits of being in Waterloo is that there is really strong manufacturing talent here,” he said. “We’re centrally located —ideally located —- regardless of where our customers are. The work

ethic of the people in the area make this a logical choice, too.” However, CPM first planted roots in northern California, not Iowa. In 1883, a predecessor company manufactured grape presses, crushers and stemmers in San Francisco. These machines helped spur large scale production for Napa Valley wineries. In 1931, the company opted to diversify its product offerings by building a pellet mill. The machine instigated a new business name: California Pellet Mill. The company went on to develop additional pellet mill models and improvements. Pellet milling proved so important that “CPM” is a nod to that legacy, said Roed. These successes undergirded continuing efforts to adapt to consumers’ growing and evolving needs. The 1970s and ‘80s brought several acquisitions, expanding product lines and adding new locations in the United States, Amsterdam and Singapore. In 1987, CPM acquired Roskamp Mfg. and established the company’s local presence, Roed explained. CPM continued its geographic expansion, too, adding sites in the United States, South America, China and Europe. This focused growth laid the groundwork for CPM’s current business verticals, said Roed. Stated succinctly, the company’s efforts drive food and fuel production, he explained. In broader terms, CPM’s 1,300 employees at 26 locations in 11 countries manufacture and create everything from machinery, goods, tools and technology for myriad industries and a broad array of applications, uses and functions. “I think the exciting thing for our company is that we are tied to industries that are only going to grow,” said Roed. “As long as the population grows, we’re going to continue to grow.” CPM manages its vast product lines and large, distributed network of locations and employees differently from comparably sized companies. “We’re fairly decentralized in terms of corporate oversight,” he

KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Craig Boleyn welds at CPM Roskamp Champion in Waterloo on Feb. 20. said. “We collaborate on a high level and handle a lot through technology, … but we don’t have a ton of meetings.” These practices were established by Waitman, who retired in 2019. Ted always fostered a very independent philosophy, empowered his managers to make decisions,” said Roed. “That culture still exists, and it created a really self-reliant team.” Overall, the company’s array of machinery, products and services are used by more than 3,000 current customers. The result is the opportunity to have a large, positive impact, said Roed. One such area is CPM’s recycling products and services. This includes plastic and rubber recycling and production of renewable diesel, biodiesel and biomass. “There’s solid fuel-pelleting, too, which is taking biowaste, compressing it into pellets and burning it as fuel,” Roed explained. “The (European Union) is heavily into solid fuel-pelleting. It’s popular in Sweden; that’s how they dispose of their trash, because they don’t have space for landfills.” CPM’s varied approach to multiple markets can be seen within operations at a single location. At Roskamp Champion in Waterloo, staff produce material grinding and preparation equip-

Lyle Pakala reassembles a barring for a flaker at CPM Roskamp Champion in Waterloo. ment for oilseed; animal feed; ethanol; conditioners and coolants; biomass; chemicals; waste recovery; and more. This includes building Roskamp and Champion particle size-reduction machinery, or grain “flakers.” The metro area also boasts CPM’s product lab, said Roed. “Our test lab in Waterloo is a destination for a lot of customers, because of the opportunity to bring them in and show them a lot of our processes and products,” said Roed. CPM’s reputation aids in recruiting top talent, he added. Re-

gional recruiters serve designated locations, with methods varying depending on the needs of a particular site. Many rely on referrals and word of mouth references from existing employees. Iowa State University in Ames is one of the company’s biggest networks for new employees, Roed said. “We feel like we’re a family company,” he explained. “Despite our size, we’re still very agile. People are empowered to lead and make decisions … and avoid creating bottlenecks. We still very much have the feel of a small business.”

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PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | H7

VGM Group ‘triples down’ on local jobs Company plans to hire 600 workers over next 4 years PAT KINNEY

For the Courier‌

‌WATERLOO — One of the Cedar Valley’s largest employers plans to “triple down” on hiring over the next few years. The VGM Group has added a net 200 employees over the past four years. It figures to hire three times that many — more than 600 — over the next four years, company chief executive officer Mike Mallaro said. If that pace holds, VGM will have doubled its employment in nine years, from 2015 to 2024. Currently about 1,050 people work for the Waterloo-headquartered medical equipment brokerage and professional services business, founded in 1986 by the late Van G Miller. “Our plan is to be over 1,600 employees by the end of 2024,” Mallaro said, as business volume is expected to double over that time. Of the existing workforce, “90% of those employees are Iowans,” Mallaro said, and he doesn’t see that demographic changing. Most of them work in the Cedar Valley — either at the company’s home office complex, jokingly referred to for years as its “galactic headquarters” at Ansborough Avenue and San Marnan Drive, or at two annex locations near Crossroads Center. A smaller number work from home around the area. The company has grown from Miller’s original 1,500-square-foot building on West Fifth Street to 350,000 square feet under roof in town. More than 200,000 of it is at Ansborough Avenue and San Marnan Drive, where an 83,000-squarefoot, $23 million expansion was completed in 2017. A younger work force flowed into those new digs as VGM tries to do its part to stem the tide of young people migrating out of the area. “Sixty percent of our people are under 40,” Mallaro said. “Definitely, the company’s gotten younger. There’s retirees, and a

lot of folks you’re going to hire are younger. “That leads to other things,” he said. “We had a baby boom, like 60 babies born last year. We’ll probably have another 60 born this year. It’s a good thing. I think it’s worth noting. There’s a huge decline in birth rate since 2008 in the U.S., in Iowa,” since the 2008 financial crash and loss of optimism. However, “I think this baby boom we’re having is the opposite,” he said. “It’s indicative of young people in our community that are optimistic. They’re excited about the future. They’re building families. And they’re doing all those things young, vibrant families and people do. It’s great for our community. But it’s also a sign of optimism about our company and this community. That’s a big deal for us. “We have a crisis in our community and our state of young people leaving,” Mallaro said, where a young person moves to another Midwestern city to be with a boyfriend and girlfriend, for example. “Why don’t we do something about it? It’s a lot harder to get someone to move back than it is to keep them here. “And there’s a lot of things we can do with quality of life in our community and our state,” Mallaro said, including more public amenities and recreational opportunities, like skate parks and swimming pools – that may not be used by everyone, but would be attractive to many. Mallaro projects that additional hiring over the next four years based on projected business growth, providing a variety of services to businesses in the medical equipment field. For example the company works in worker compensation rehabilitation, procuring medical equipment to individuals recovering from work-related injuries. VGM enterprises also provide group purchasing, commercial insurance, management of health care services and networks in post-acute cases, health care distribution direct to patient homes, specialty consulting, online education, digital, print and traditional marketing and more.

Cedar Rapids native Jacklyn Gudenkauf, right, a health and wellness trainer at the VGM Group, PAT KINNEY PHOTOS, FOR THE COURIER‌ coaches fellow employee Brittany Mike Mallaro, chief executive officer of the VGM Group, stands in a hallway Nelson of Dunkerton during a workout. outlining company principles emphasizing individual performance. Unlike a manufacturer, VGM doesn’t have a product to sell, Mallaro said – just service to customers. And the employers take that seriously, he said, because they’re also owners, under an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. The company is opening a secondary warehouse in Phoenix to serve the West Coast, adding to existing warehouses in Waterloo and Nashville. Those out-of-state locations, employing about 35 to 40 people each, provide easier shipping to distant locations around the country. But having them there “does help jobs locally,” Mallaro said. “Our customer service, our systems and support, our purchasing, all those back-office functions, are done out of Waterloo. Even if we add jobs in Arizona, it does help add jobs in Waterloo.” VGM has other offices around the United States, one in Canada and one in North Liberty and one in Decorah. Since the 2017 building expansion, more recently, VGM remodeled some of its annex space near Crossroads for about $1 million. “We tried to be a place that would be attractive to young tech people and the ways they think and work,” with collaboration space as well as some recreation space,” Mallaro said.

There’s room to grow within the office complex at Ansborough and San Marnan. “We’ve grown a lot, but we have room to grow another 20% before we have to add more office space,” he said. “The biggest development over the last several years has been the growth in customers,” Mallaro said. “We’ve grown by adding thousands of new customers and, significantly, by retaining customers. We get a tremendous amount of growth from existing customers. We serve some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in our industries in the United States, a whole bunch of big Fortune 500 companies.” While it’s challenging, “We’ve done a very good job serving them so we’re content to get a little more of their business each year. “What that means to Waterloo is the people we have here do a fantastic job, Mallaro said. “They are serving these big sophisticated complex companies. And they’re doing such a damn good job of it that we continue to get more and more business from our customers. Our customers like to do business with us. They like to do business with the people that work for us. And our folks do a tremendous job. That’s a credit to the quality of person we have in our company,

but also, by extension, the quality of people we have in our communities. “We really focus on the culture of the organization — the impact one person can make,” valuing the individual, Mallaro said. “We’re employee owned. Everything you do helps the company, and that helps you, because you’re one of the owners. We’re in the service business. All we’re doing is selling people’s time and ability to meet a customer need. We focus on the culture and engagement of our employees. We cheer each other on. We celebrate great performances by our employees. We only exist to serve our customer. We have to be easy to work with, a place where the customer feels they belong with us and feel like a part of our family.” VGM, 100% employee owned for 12 years, was recently recognized by The Des Moines Register as one of the top workplaces in Iowa. The company still plans to have its annual Heartland Conference downtown in June. About 1,000 people from 47 states came last year. “Our people love to come to Waterloo,” Mallaro said, noting conferees may have a more positive impression of Waterloo than some everyday residents. “They just think it’s the greatest little community.”

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Coming Soon to downtown Waterloo! MercyOne Grand Crossing Family Medicine 21 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 103 Waterloo, IA 50701 319-272-6100

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CEDAR VALLEY LIVING LARGE PROGRESS 2020 Existing businesses drive Waterloo’s growth with huge investments TIM JAMISON

tim.jamison@wcfcourier.com

WATERLOO — Mayor Quentin Hart can point to the numbers when talking about growth in his city’s economy. Waterloo tallied its second-highest construction value ever last year, while housing starts hit at least a 30-year high. Some 45 new businesses opened downtown over the past two years. And 2019 brought announcements of the planned $100 million Lost Island Theme Park, a $30 million expansion at Tyson Fresh Meats, an $18.3 million Lincoln Savings Bank project at Cedar Valley TechWorks and a $10 million renovation of a downtown hotel. “We are at a point where our reputation, our statewide and national exposure, is growing positively,” Hart said. “People are starting to hear about the real Waterloo and the tremendous opportunities and potential we have as a community. “Businesses have a potential to be successful in the city of Waterloo and they know that. The investments that we’ve made to quality of life, the realignment of our economic development department, our national reputation improving for the better. “People used to always say, ‘Why Waterloo?’” Hart added. “Now the conversation is shifting to, ‘Why not Waterloo?’” Lisa Skubal, vice president of economic development at Grow Cedar Valley, said 90% of new investment typically comes from companies already operating in a community. “Over the last several years locally we have seen a steady pace of expansion and reinvestment by existing businesses and developers,” she said. “As businesses continue to gain confidence in the U.S. economy we hope to see that continue and grow.” Many of the major projects taking shape in Waterloo today are driven by local investors. The Lost Island Theme Park is a project by Gary and Becky Bertch, who own Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing; Lincoln Savings Bank, headquartered in Reinbeck, has been in the area for a century; Warren Transport is constructing new headquarters in the Greenbelt Centre business park; the Friendship Village retirement home has embarked on a $70 million rebuilding project; Professional Lawn Care is building a new location near the airport. Skubal notes the theme park and LSB projects are transformative for the entire Cedar Valley.

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KELLY WENZEL, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart is excited about the state of Waterloo’s economy, which includes a major $18 million expansion by Lincoln Savings Bank into the Tech 1 building on the Cedar Valley TechWorks campus downtown. “One will both transform the community’s ability of being a destination place in Iowa and elevate the quality of life to attract workforce and the other (will bring) fintech to Waterloo and the Cedar Valley in a big way.” Fintech is short for financial technology, which includes banks like LSB serving as the financial back-end for mobile apps and other web services that need an actual banking service to handle accounts. LSB’s current renovation of the third through sixth floors of the Tech 1 building

at the TechWorks is primarily designed to handle up to 150 new employees for its fintech division, LSBX. LSB president Erik Skovgard said the bank chose the Waterloo, site after looking at Des Moines and other communities. “We are a community bank and community banks are tied with Main Streets,” Skovgard said. “We currently don’t have a location in downtown Waterloo and we wanted to be part of the revitalization that’s going on in downtown Waterloo and the TechWorks.” Skovgard said the bank, which is also

keeping its presence in Reinbeck, is hoping to open its new location in the first quarter of 2021. Gary Bertch said his family’s investment in the theme park, near the Lost Island Water Park on Shaulis Road, is an effort to help attract more families and workers. “We see continued need for additional family entertainment in the area,” he said. “More is better. It makes the community overall more appealing to tourists and those folks who may consider moving here. “We need young people to stay here and we need families — young and old — to stay here,” he added. “There’s a fight out there for people these days, with unemployment being so low.” Grading for the new park started last fall and Bertch expects some vertical construction to begin near the middle of this summer. Opening is projected for the summer of 2022. “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” Bertch said. “There aren’t a lot of new parks that are being developed in this country anymore, so it also catches the industry’s interest in a big way.” Another highly visible project is a $10 million renovation of the aging downtown Ramada into a new Best Western Plus and Executive Residency hotel. Rod Lindquist, of Makenda LLC, said the South Dakota-based firm saw huge potential in the hotel and was attracted by the city’s efforts to revitalize the convention center and downtown in general. “We like what Waterloo’s doing,” Lindquist said. “There’s a lot of pride in that community and just so many great things going on downtown. There’s energy there and the people and the businesses support it.” While Hart said the size of the major expansion projects are something to crow about, he’s equally pleased to see development in all parts of the community. “We have a lot more minority businesses in downtown — Latino, African American establishments, Bosnian,” he said. “It gives us one of the most diverse downtown business sectors in the state.” Six industrial parks are spread across the city from the airport to the northeast industrial area to the former Rath Packing Co. area, along San Marnan Drive and at both the north and south ends of U.S. Highway 63. New opportunity zones have been created to entice development in economically depressed areas. “We are trying to make sure that we can have some semblance of life and reinvestment and redevelopment in every part of the community,” Hart said. “That’s important. We want everybody to participate in this economy.”

CF grows from downtown to industrial park New projects pop up in several parts of city ANDREW WIND

andrew.wind@wcfcourier.com

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CEDAR FALLS — There’s a corridor of economic growth and renewal underway in the city, stretching from downtown to the Cedar Falls Industrial Park. Redevelopment is the focus downtown as continued growth occurs around South Main Street and Iowa Highway 58. And in the industrial park, businesses are expanding their footprint or constructing new buildings. All the activity is good for the community, said Lisa Skubal, vice president of economic development at Grow Cedar Valley. “The developments in Cedar Falls over the last 12 months from completed projects and those just announced will have a ripple effect,” she noted, creating jobs and bringing new money into the economy. Grow Cedar Valley is an advocate for the region’s businesses that champions new development opportunities as well as workforce recruitment and retention initiatives. Development activity in Waterloo and across Cedar Falls “has been stellar” during the past year, said Skubal. Expansion of manufacturing and office space in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park is an important contributor to that growth. The 178,000-square-foot $10 million manufacturing facility completed last summer by Buckeye Corrugated Inc.-Hawkeye Division at 2900 Capital Way was the largest of these developments. The company moved from

KELLY WENZEL, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Shawn Smeins oversees the Cedar Falls office of Rabo AgriFinance, which is moving to a new location in the industrial park this spring. a location north of downtown. Five other manufacturing or office building projects completed or underway in the industrial park during the past year had values ranging from $1.4 million to $2.6 million. They include new facilities for Rabo AgriFinance, Zuidberg North America, Test America and Threads Culture/Baird Industries. In addition, Martin Brothers expanded its existing offices. Shawn Seims, who oversees Rabo AgriFinance’s Cedar Falls office, said the company will be moving into its new 17,000-square-foot $2.6 million facility by May. The company provides financial services to farmers and was known as Ag Services of America until 2004, when it was acquired by the Dutch multinational corporation. Cedar Falls’ office is their second-largest in the U.S. behind St. Louis. The company has been in the area for 30 years, with a location in the industrial park for nearly

two decades. It has been leasing a two-story building on Chancellor Drive for about 10 years. “Now we’re outgrowing this space,” said Seims. “We have about 60 employees. Over the next two to four years (the company is) probably increasing our employment level about 30%,” he said. The new facility will be slightly larger and all on one level, which “promotes a lot more teamwork.” Seims added that there was no hesitation to expand here. “We get a very good quality of employee,” he noted, thanks to the K-12 and college educational systems. The staff has strong agricultural roots, as well, since farming is such a prominent part of Iowa’s economy. “That makes for a stronger employment base.” Commercial growth is happening in and around the industrial park along Highway 58, as well. The largest of these is the $14.3

million Fleet Farm development, which opened in November at 400 W. Ridgeway Ave. with a 205,000-square-foot retail store and adjacent convenience store. Other new developments included a $1.8 million Raising Cane’s restaurant as well as neighboring office/retail buildings on Viking Road valued at $1.9 million and $1.1 million. In addition, there was a $4.5 million 17,400-squarefoot expansion of the Hilton Garden Inn conference center. “The mixed use developments surrounding Cedar Falls Industrial Park have created a new business corridor within the city that supports over 6,000 people” working in the area, said Skubal. With expansion of the industrial park over the years “the city has continued to thoughtfully plan its future growth.” New projects were also completed in several other parts of Cedar Falls. The $1.1 million Cedar Valley Gymnastics Academy is at 3201 Venture Way and the $8.7 million 126-room Holiday Inn & Suites with its 31,000-square-foot conference center is at 7400 Hudson Road. Near South Main Street and Greenhill Road are the $2.8 million Fareway grocery store and the $1.5 million Kwik Star convenience store. Cedar Falls’ new $7.5 million Public Safety Building is in the area, as well, at 4600 S. Main St. Downtown has a new 127-room hotel, the $6.2 million Hampton Inn at West First and Main streets. Two new mixed retail and residential buildings have been completed near Main Street. Those include the $8 million four-story River Place building at 122 E. Second St. and the $4 million three-story

Arabella building at 200 W. First St. “The downtown area has seen some great examples of redevelopment projects that have added housing, unique retails shops, expansion of Jam City and a new hotel all within a short walking distance,” said Skubal. Jam City is a Los Angeles-based “casual gaming” company that opened a studio in Cedar Falls in 2016. “This live-and-work environment in downtown Cedar Falls is adding to quality of life in the Cedar Valley to attract and retain workforce.” Carol Lilly, executive director of Cedar Falls Community Main Street, said there is a “clustering effect” as downtown merchants and building owners work together to ensure a good atmosphere for retail businesses, restaurants and bars. “We’ve got a really strong group of small, independent businesses,” she said. A downtown vision plan approved by the City Council in October will have an impact on zoning for future development because officials are “really tailoring it to the character of the area,” said Stephanie Houk Sheetz, Cedar Falls’ director of community development. “That’s a pretty significant effort that still has a lot of parts to come in the next phase.” In the meantime, an ongoing streetscaping project is ramping up this spring, making improvements to the Parkade and some roads. “I think what we try to do is have a balance of public investment to what private investment is doing,” said Sheetz, of improvements planned by the city. “If nothing’s happening investment’s stagnant, too. It feeds off of each other a little bit.”


PROGRESS 2020

I2 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

Buchanan County bucking rural brain drain AMIE RIVERS

amie.rivers@wcfcourier.com‌

INDEPENDENCE — Most ‌ counties in Iowa — more than two-thirds of them, mostly rural — have been shedding people for years. Because they’re losing residents, they’re having a harder time attracting employers. That, in turn, makes it difficult to attract and retain workers, which makes it less likely they’ll live in those areas. That makes home builders wary of spending money, and so on and so on. But a few rural counties have escaped that downward spiral. Buchanan County is one of them. “We’ve got a young workforce, schools are growing, we’ve got a growing tax base, housing starts — we’re doing well,” said George Lake, director of the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission. Lake’s not wrong. While the neighboring counties of Benton, Delaware and Fayette lost population from 2010 to 2018, Buchanan County gained an estimated 1.2%. The county also boasts a higher high school graduation rate than its neighbors (94.1%), as well as a lower median age of 38. The other three counties have a median age above 40. “For Iowa, 69 of Iowa’s 99 counties have lost population since 2010,” Lake said, citing U.S. Census data and adding it was true for rural areas across the U.S. “If you look at 25 counties that make up Northeast Iowa, we’re only one of two rural counties that have gained population.” Business growth among its largest manufacturers — Geater Machining and Manufacturing in Independence is the largest with 456 employees — is the biggest driver of Buchanan County’s growth, Lake said. He said the manufacturing sector in the county has grown “by 50% since 2011” and manufacturing accounts for 25% of all of the county’s employment. “It’s huge,” Lake said. Geater, as well as Pries Enterprises and Wapsie Valley Creamery, each have “invested millions” over the last six years, Lake said. In November, Pries added 50,000 square feet and a new, multi-million dollar anodizing line, adding

BRANDON POLLOCK COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

From left are Geater Machining and Manufacturing Machining Engineering Manager Erik Bohlken; George Lake, Buchanan County Economic Development Commission director; and John Miller, Geater vice president of engineering technology. 40 new jobs. Those expansions encourage new workers and families to move to the area, Lake said. “It’s not luck,” Lake said. “These companies are all very innovative. They’re willing to invest in new technologies, they’re outliving their competitors and they’re run by very smart people.” It certainly makes Lake’s job easier. On GrowBuchanan.com, he’s able to use that good news as a jumping-off point to sell his county to families, home builders and companies around the world who may be looking to relocate. But Lake isn’t just looking out for Buchanan County. That used to be the mantra, he said: “Why should I help the town next to me do well? If things don’t happen in my town, then nothing’s happening.” The thinking has changed. Now, besides the commission, Lake also is part of the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership, a sixcounty economic development organization established several years ago to support existing businesses and attract new ones.

“If I was trying to recruit, let’s say, a business from Germany to come into Buchanan County, I’d say, ‘Come to Buchanan County, we’ve got 20,000 people here to help your business grow. But from the standpoint of the Cedar Valley, we’ve got 230,000 people for you to draw upon.’ “I fully recognize that if there is a business in a surrounding community that is growing and expanding, that means there are going to be jobs for Buchanan County residents,” Lake said. Lake pointed to the number of people who commuted into Buchanan County — 3,389 as of 2017 — and the nearly 7,000 people who commuted from their homes in Buchanan County someplace else to work. “That tells me there are people that love to live in small, rural communities and they’re willing to drive up to 50 miles to work somewhere else,” he said. The average commute, he noted, was 11 miles. Lake’s job, then, is to keep that economic growth from stagnating, and he does that in a few dif-

ferent ways. His first priority is a focus on his county’s existing businesses, be that touting the good news of their expansions, hosting career fairs and workshops on succession planning, or doing studies on what needs to be done to keep the growth going. “Two years ago, Buchanan County Economic Development did a housing needs assessment that showed there’s a need for 700 to 800 new housing units,” Lake said. “After we published that, literally within a week or two we had large home builders in surrounding counties approach me and wanted a tour of communities in Buchanan County.” He said that led to new single-family homes built in Independence and Jesup, as well as plans for a 68-unit apartment complex in Independence. “They’re willing to take a risk, sometimes for millions of dollars, because they’re confident they’ll be able to sell,” Lake said. He recognizes not every community, county or region has that good news to share, or the tax

base to draw upon to run utilities and infrastructure, and that things could just as easily spiral downward if investments aren’t made. “In terms of the challenges that we’re facing in rural America, it clearly is workforce. We have businesses in Buchanan County turning away business because they don’t have the workforce they need to deliver the product,” Lake said. “It’s difficult to attract workers to live in the communities if they don’t have available housing. “It takes a lot of money to do this, and if you don’t have a large tax base, you don’t have the money to invest,” he added. “There is no easy solution.” But thinking of his county as a region, being local businesses’ biggest cheerleader and shouting the good news from the rooftops has been the trifecta for Lake. “I see myself as an educator, regardless of the job I’m doing,” said Lake, a former teacher and professor. “Knowledge is power, and if you don’t share your knowledge, you’re powerless.”

Groundbreaking growth projected for Waverly Railcar business putting Shell Rock on the global map KRISTIN GUESS

kristin.guess@wcfcourier.com‌

‌WAVERLY – This town of nearly 10,000 people just minutes north of the Cedar Falls-Waterloo metro area is bustling this year with a $27 million hospital expansion project, new business offices and several housing projects in the works. “There are a lot of truly positive things happening in Waverly,” said Waverly Economic Development Specialist Connie Tolan. Crews will break ground this year on the expansion to Waverly Health Center, an award-winning hospital and medical center, at 312 Ninth St. S.W. The project will upgrade and expand the emergency department and clinic spaces for the operation that serves patients across five counties. Across town the city has revamped the former Lutheran Mutual Insurance Society office building into downtown apartment housing units at 200 First St. N.E. Waverly Historic Lofts are nearing completion with 34 apartment units featuring river views, brass and marble finishes and the building’s historic character. The new digs are just part of more than 100 apartment units that have been constructed in Waverly in the past three years, filling a market demand from young professionals looking for rental housing with all the amenities. Adding to the momentum is The Accel Group, an Iowa-based insurance agency with five locations across the state. The firm moved into its new 15,100-square-foot facility in October 2019 at 301 Oak Ridge Circle. The new space, designed by Emergent Architecture in Cedar

Falls and built by Steege Construction in Waverly, allows for more space to accommodate technology-driven conference rooms and phone booths, a social café and an outdoor terrace with views to the city. “With continued growth and a vision that includes further expansion regionally, we were excited for the opportunity to design and lease a space to better serve our staff and clients,” said Ty Burke, a partner with The Accel Group. “What started as a piece of land has turned into a statement for the culture and ambitions of our company.” The tech firm Network Control also expanded operations and moved into a renovated space in Willow Lawn Mall at 195 20th St. N.W. The company’s owner, of California, chose Waverly as its headquarters because of the city’s high-quality workforce and gigabit internet services, said Tolan. The city also attracted recognition last month with the 2020 Healthy Hometown Community Award at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative awards ceremony. Waverly’s healthy initiatives include traffic calming measures by the recent reconfiguration of Bremer Avenue/Highway 3, expanded community sharing gardens, and a tobacco- and nicotine-free policy covering the 21 parks in Waverly and seven miles of trail system. “We are incredibly proud of what our community has accomplished to create more environments and opportunities for our citizens to move more, eat well and feel better and are appreciative to have proactive community organizations that support and encourage this work,” said Mayor Adam Hoffman. Waverly will unveil a community marketing campaign at the end of the month that will showcase opportunities and quality of life to further bolster the workforce,

COURTESY PHOTO‌

The first international inbound train travels to Shell Rock Jan. 23 on the newly-developed Butler Intermodal Terminal. The newly-developed Butler Intermodal Terminal in Shell Rock has put Northeast Iowa on the map for global shipping services with a recent collaboration. residents, business investments and tourism. Nearby Butler County, home to the city of Shell Rock, with about 1,200 people, has seen tremendous growth in the railcar industry. The newly-developed Butler Intermodal Terminal in Shell Rock has put Northeast Iowa on the map for global shipping services with a recent collaboration. Several companies partnered together to create an internationally focused intermodal service through the terminal, providing an alternative to larger Midwest rail hubs in the Twin Cities and Chicago. It’s expected to provide a cost-competitive solution to reduce long-haul trucking miles and save time and fuel costs. The businesses include Valor Victoria, a Midwest company that

has opened new international markets with local access, Iowa Northern Railway Company, a shortline railroad serving industries throughout north central Iowa, Watco Cos., a transportation and supply chain logistics company, and Union Pacific, the railroad that connects 23 states by rail. “I think the impact that project can have on our entire region is pretty significant, because it’s a service that’s not been available in our region,” said Jeff Kolb, executive director of the Butler County Development Alliance. Adjacent to the intermodal site is Trinity Rail Maintenance Services that broke ground last summer and is expected to roll in more than 250 jobs with a planned capital investment of $60 million into the community. The rail car renovation and

manufacturing business, TrinityRail is being built on 230 acres at Butler Logistics Park, located between Shell Rock and Clarksville near 220th Street and Vail Avenue. The business plans to be fully operational by the end of this year. To prepare for growth in residents, the Butler County Development Alliance embarked on a housing needs assessment project to forecast the number of housing units that will be needed. The project included reports from area real estate agents who provided guidance on what people are looking for and what barriers exist in attracting residents. The county has been encouraging investments in housing and preserving existing housing. “Housing is a top priority for a 00 lot of our communities,” Kolb said. 1


PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | I3

JEFF REINITZ PHOTOS, JEFF.REINITZ@WCFCOURIER.COM‌

Development along Riders Road near Highway 20 in Hudson.

Small-town living spurs growth in Hudson Good schools, trails just minutes from shopping centers JEFF REINITZ

jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com‌

‌HUDSON – Even in the middle of winter, one can see new businesses and neighborhoods starting to take shape around Hudson. On the city’s north edge, commercial buildings and homes are going up near the Highway 20/ Highway 58 interchange. And momentum for residential development continues on the west. “We have a whole mix of stuff,” said Chrissi Wiersma, the city’s zoning administrator. She said people are drawn to Hudson because it offers smalltown living that isn’t far from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area. “What’s drawing them in is that we are in small town but close enough to everything that you could possible need,” Wiersma said. “It just really depends what people are looking for.”

Houses of Upper Ridge Estates along West Schrock Road and Pirate Street in Hudson.

Development along Riders Road near Highway 20 in Hudson.

In a 17-acre industrial park south of U.S. Highway 20 with street names like Fast Lane and Riders Road — a nod to the Dr. Powersports motorcycle and off-road vehicle dealership that anchored the spot — new businesses are going in. The area will be the home to business condos with about 20 units for lease, Wiersma said. Just south of that, north of Ranchero Road just off of Butterfield

Tom Petersen with Upper Ridges — its school system, the experience of small-town living and the close proximity to recreational trails. “It’s a good place to raise a family,” Petersen said. Upper Ridge bought the land in 2006, and construction for the first phase started the following year with 38 lots, Petersen said. The second phase was underway in 2014 with an additional 26 lots,

Road, is the Twin Oaks housing development. Its website boasts the quality Hudson School District with just five minutes to the Target shopping area in neighboring Cedar Falls. Closer to town, Upper Ridge Estates is getting ready for its next phase of residential lots in the area of West Schrock Road and Pirate Street near the school ball fields. Hudson is a popular place to live for three primary reasons, said

which were recently completed. The current phase started in the fall and will bring 33 more lots, Petersen said. Petersen said Upper Ridges residents are a mixture of Hudson natives and transplants from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area and other cities. “We have a lot of people coming from out of town, moving to Hudson,” Petersen said.

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PROGRESS 2020

I4 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

CAPS gives students real-world skills KRISTIN GUESS

kristin.guess@wcfcourier.com‌

WATERLOO – Cedar Valley ‌ students are racking up the skills and experience to enter the workforce after high school. The Cedar Falls Center for Advanced Professional Studies program implemented at Cedar Falls High School three years ago immerses students in a real-world work environment for half of their school day for a semester. The program began with students working in the engineering field at Viking Pump, the first host site for the program. “After that spring semester we had a tremendous amount of growth,” said CAPS Director Ethan Wiechmann on an online episode Feb. 6 of Parent University with the high school. The career-exploration program is expected to increase to 75 possible jobs by this fall. The jobs provide a collaboration opportunity between the Cedar Valley community, businesses and education. CAPS strands include Education & Training, housed at the University of Northern Iowa Schindler Education Center; Business Solutions (previously at Mill Race) and Coworking & Collaboration are now at UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation; Robotics & Engineering is at Viking Pump; and Medical & Health Services is scheduled to be added next year at Allen College and MercyOne Cedar Falls. “We’re very proud of the CAPS program and the work they do,” said Cedar Falls Schools Superintendent Andy Pattee. The unique program focuses on working on projects for businesses rather than an internship model. Students are then able to update their resume with skills learned on the job. “Without those real-world experiences … it’s hard to have those experiences that are needed to develop our students here in the Cedar Valley,” Wiechmann said. Officials with Eagle View Partners, which own the Black Hawk Hotel in downtown Cedar Falls,

KELLY WENZEL, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Center for Advanced Professional Studies students from Cedar Falls High School check out Covenant Medical Center’s rooftop helicopter Wednesday afternoon. hired a group of CAPS students interested in marketing and planning to come up with the first community event to be hosted by the hotel. They chose a Murder Mystery Party that attracted 100 people. “They took full control of it running from start to finish,” said Audrey Kittrell, vice president of business development with Eagle View Partners. “It was great exposure for us and really accomplished the goal of getting people reintroduced with the hotel.” Cedar Falls student Joey Nielsen and his team chose the murder mystery project. “It being one of the biggest projects CAPS has done, it was a little nerve-wrecking, but it was a really fun project for everyone on

board,” Nielsen said. Jesup recently launched the CAPS program. More than 30 students applied to be considered for the first semester, and 15 were selected to begin in January 2020. “CAPS is a wonderful opportunity that we are excited to bring to Jesup High School,” says Allyson Kitch, Jesup CAPS instructor. “Students will have the opportunity to be a CAPS associate during their junior or senior years, replacing three elective credits and giving them hands-on opportunities to complete projects for local businesses. Jesup CAPS is an affiliate of CF CAPS so our associates will also be able to complete projects and network with students and community members out of district.” Farmers State Bank purchased

the property at 591 Young St. on July 16, 2019, at a sheriff’s Sale, and after careful consideration of developing a co-working space and CAPS program facility, Heartland Technology purchased the property Sept. 27. A partnership between FSB and Heartland Technology was created to support the Jesup community through this multi-purpose facility, with co-working offices and off-site space for Jesup Community School District CAPS students and business professionals. “FSB is very excited to work with local business professionals, along with the youth in our community through the CAPS program,” said Angie Sabers, Farmers State Bank branch manager. “This new venture gives

everyone the opportunity to learn, grow and engage with each other on a professional level.” Next year, the Denver and Don Bosco high schools are planning to take the program on, allowing five area CAPS programs to work together by 2021. The CAPS program extends across the country with 57 different programs serving 115 districts in 18 states, and one program in Mumbai, India. The far reach allows districts to communicate with others on what is working and what is not. “There’s a wealth of experiences, and people are trying different things and beta testing things all over the nation that we get to tap into and use as resources,” Wiechmann said.

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I6 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

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CEDAR VALLEY LIVING LARGE PROGRESS 2020

Staying Power

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2020 wcfcourier.com | SECTION J

BRANDON POLLOCK PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Alexis Berry, a certified nursing assistant in Hawkeye Community College’s registered apprentice program, in partnership with Friendship Village, assists resident Marion Briden.

HCC health care apprenticeships

PAY OFF

MELODY PARKER

melody.parker@wcfcourier.com

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WATERLOO – Typically, apprenticeships are reserved for the skilled trades such as carpentry, plumbing or electrical. These “learn and earn” programs combine classroom or online instruction with onthe-job training that earns participants a regular paycheck. Hawkeye Community College has 108 business partners and 191 participants in its registered apprenticeship program, more than any other community college in Iowa. It is also the only Iowa community college to offer health care apprenticeships for certified nursing assistants and home health aides. HCC is participating in Iowa Gov. Kim Reynold’s “Future Ready Iowa” initiative to build the state’s skilled workforce. The goal is to have 70% of Iowa’s workforce with an education or training beyond high school. Alexis Berry, 26, recently completed level one in the CNA apprenticeship at Friendship Village. “I worked as a dietary aide for three or four years, and now I’ve started a career,” said Berry of Waterloo, a single mom with a 4-year-old daughter. “I was offered an opportunity to participate in the apprenticeship program and said, ‘Yes, l’d love to join.’ I can work and earn a living while I’m taking classes, and my daughter can go to Friendship Village’s day care program while I’m at work.” Berry is now a CNA, and in February began the second of three levels of training. She is one of three CNAs in Hawkeye’s partnership with Friendship Village. The program was developed to meet the needs of employers interested in a training program to fulfill the need for health care professionals. Typically, the employer or registered apprenticeship sponsor pays for the cost of tuition or instruction, eliminating student loan debt for apprentices. In addition to learning and improving skills, as each level is successfully completed, apprentices see their wages rise. “The program helps us by getting the health care staff we need. There is a nursing shortage and a CNA shortage — one feeds the other. A really good CNA is looking to be a nurse later on. In order for us to find talented, dedicated nurses, starting out as a CNA finds us people who want to help people,” said Sherry Turner, vice president of health services at Friendship Village. “We’re on our maiden voyage with the program, which I think is a great idea that will catch on as other facilities like Friendship Village join in and see how it works,” she explained. “Nursing is such a

Emma Schaffer, a certified nursing assistant, works on a puzzle with Friendship Village resident Everett Minard. Schaeffer participates in Hawkeye Community College’s registered apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job-training and a paycheck at Friendship Village with classroom instruction. rewarding career. In addition to Berry, Emma Schaeffer and Rosalinda Rodriguez, both of Waterloo, are participating in the HCC-Friendship Village CNA apprenticeship at level two with an emphasis on hands-on skills. “I took the CNA course right after high school and went to work at Friendship Village. Now I’m in this program, and I’m very excited. After my first class, I called my parents to tell them I’m loving every minute of it — more than getting my CNA,” said Schaeffer, who plans to become a nurse. Rodriguez, who has been a CNA since 2017, said the program is valuable career development. She, too, is planning a future career in nursing. She praised the apprenticeship as “a good way to learn work skills and the skills you need for everyday life.” The third level covers training and experience as a restorative aide, such as assisting FV residents with mobility and balance issues, for example, or as a medication aide. Medication aides are particularly valuable to a facility like Friendship Village, Turner said. “CMAs can help nurses pass basic medications

– they can’t do narcotics or injections, but it frees up our nurses. Certification is gained at the end of level three.” Knowledge and training are tested throughout each level of the apprenticeship. There also is a competency checklist, said Brenda Helmuth, health continuing education coordinator for business and community education at HCC. Each apprentice also has a mentor and support system at both HCC and Friendship Village. “It’s hard going back to school, and we are 100% behind these apprentices. We want them to succeed.” “The apprentices also learn life skills that can be used in the workplace, but are useful outside their workplace, like CPR and first aid. It’s a different method of learning to help fill a nursing shortage. We help the apprentices live their lives upward,” Helmuth said. So far, Berry gives the program an A+ and appreciates that training goes far beyond the classroom. “The hands-on training will be important, and it’s been very helpful to have a mentor, someone you can go to one-on-one and ask questions or get a little extra training on something,” she said.

Scholarships reward students studying for high-demand jobs MELODY PARKER

melody.parker@wcfcourier.com

WATERLOO — Jay Johnson will graduate in May from Hawkeye Community College’s CNC machining and tool-making technology program. The hard work and commute from his home in Clarksville has been worth it. “Absolutely. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of years, but I’m ready to graduate and get a job in the field. I’m ready to work,” said Johnson, a nontraditional student at HCC. Financially, his senior year has been a little less stressful, too, thanks to a Last-Dollar Scholarship. He became eligible for the scholarship simply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enrolling in a high-demand field. “I wasn’t aware of the scholarship until it showed up. It saved me a lot on what I’ve had to take out in student loans, and it has helped with extra cash flow,” said Johnson, who also works part-time as a student manufacturing engineer at John Deere. He is one of 450 Hawkeye Community College students who received a Last-Dollar Scholarship, part of HCC’s participation in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ “Future Ready Iowa” initiative to build the state’s skilled workforce. The goal is to have 70% of Iowa’s workforce to receive and education or training beyond high school. The Last-Dollar Scholarship covers up to 100% of tuition and mandatory fees in programs that lead to high-demand jobs, said HCC Financial Aid Analyst Nadine Torsrud. Torsrud, who is HCC’s Last Dollar Scholarship liaison, projects $1.2 million will have been awarded in the 2019-20 fall and spring semesters. “Unlike the Federal Pell Grant, the Last-Dollar Scholarship is not a needsbased program. With Last-Dollar, students receive assistance that has never before been available. They are eligible by filling out their FAFSAs. It’s especially helpful because they don’t have to take out that student loan or work as many hours. It’s a valuable financial opportunity for people wanting a career change that may not have been possible in the past,” said Torsrud. Johnson earned his CNC certificate at HCC in 2015 and enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa, earning his bachelor’s degree in manufacturing technology. In 2019, he returned to HCC to earn an associate’s degree in CNC machining and tool-making. He wanted to learn to make equipment as a complement to his engineering degree. The Last-Dollar Scholarship meant he hasn’t had to run up his student loan debt. “It was definitely helpful and encouraging to get this kind of help. It’s been worth it,” Johnson said.


PROGRESS 2020

J2 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

Investors breathe life into historic buildings TIM JAMISON

tim.jamison@wcfcourier.com‌

WATERLOO — Devel‌ opers are making sure the Cedar Valley’s future keeps relics of its past. Several century-old downtown buildings in Waterloo and Cedar Falls are undergoing major transformations from their historic uses — a bakery, car dealership, factory and even a Masonic temple — to become residential apartments, space for new businesses or both. “There’s nothing wrong with new construction, but they tend to be more programmatic,” said David Deeds, of JSA Development. “These spaces have more character. They’re all different. They’re all unique.” JSA Development, which has restored 20 buildings in downtown Waterloo, has completed a $2.5 million historic renovation of the Webberking Building at 612-616 Mulberry St. The resulting Mulberry Street Apartments includes two street-level storefronts, three one-bedroom apartments on the first floor, and four open loft spaces on the second and third floors. The 2,000-square-foot lofts are “open concept” with only the bathroom area confined behind walls and doors. “Most of the spaces that are available downtown are more traditional apartment layouts where you’ve got a bedroom and a living space defined by permanent walls,” Deeds said. “It’s up to the user how to define this space.” The three-story brick building was constructed by Ernest Webberking in 1917 to house an automotive sales company, college and apartments. It was remodeled in 1923 by the Lichty Real Estate Co. using noted architect Mortimer Cleveland. A barber shop has occupied one of the commercial storefronts since 1941. Chuck Wubbena’s Arms Hairstyling Centre remains a tenant in the renovated building. Another landmark downtown building a block away was undergoing a historic renovation expected to be ready for occupancy this month. The former Waterloo Masonic Temple at East Park Avenue and Mulberry Street is being restored and repurposed into 27 residential units. The $5 million project by Echo Development Group, spearheaded by Brent Dahlstrom, is designed to show off this historic character of the building. It includes unique living spaces on the upper two levels which were never finished when the 50,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1925. Echo Development’s Justin Bolger said the building “will definitely be one of a kind in the area.” “It has posed daily challenges from the perspective of trying to fit 27 apart-

ments into an existing shell while also maintaining the historical character of the original building,” Bolger said. “Almost every apartment is unique to itself and that will provide future tenants many options to choose from.” Bolger said the project required some ingenuity to work around the materials used in the original construction but noted “some of the hardest challenges that come with the project will also provide some of the best features.” All of the apartments will feature a mix of exposed steel, concrete and clay-tile block while mixing in modern elements. “By leaving many of the original ceilings and walls exposed, we think people will really be amazed when they see how the existing structure was constructed,” Bolger said. “It’s pretty incredible to think back to the materials, tools and equipment that were available when they constructed this building, and that will be on full display.” Kade Hoppenworth and Dan Cooley are also hoping to show off the historic character of the former Friedl Bakery building at 300 Commercial St., across the street from the downtown Waterloo SingleSpeed Brewing Co. project, which is also a repurposed bakery. The duo is working on a $3.5 million project to create street-level storefronts or offices with a dozen apartments on the top two floors. Built in 1911 by Bohemian immigrant Wenzel Friedl as a bakery, the building lost its historic integrity over the years as it was carved up into a variety of business spaces and efficiency apartments before going vacant a few years ago. Just down the road, Lincoln Savings Bank is investing in an $18.3 million renovation to take over the top three floors of the Tech 1 Building on the Cedar Valley TechWorks campus at 360 Westfield Ave. The six-story building was constructed in 1947 as part of Deere and Co.’s tractor manufacturing operations but went dark when the company rebuilt its local factories in the 1990s. The LSB project essentially fills up the two buildings Deere donated for the TechWorks project. One needs to travel west to find perhaps the oldest Cedar Valley building currently being restored and repurposed. Brad and Jenny Leeper are renovating the 145-year-old building at 203-205 Main St., which they acquired from the Cedar Falls Municipal Band last year. The upper floor band rehearsal and museum space will become two apartments while the former St. Vincent de Paul thrift store at ground level will house a new tenant. Brad Leeper is a partner at Invision Architecture, which has redeveloped other historic buildings lo-

KELLY WENZEL PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

David Deeds stands in one of the kitchens of the renovated apartments in the Webberking Building in Waterloo on Jan. 22.

One of the new renovated apartments in the Webberking Building in Waterloo.

One of the new renovated kitchen areas in an apartments in the Webberking Building.

One of the new renovated apartments in the Webberking Building. cally and around the country, and he saw the building’s potential. “We consider this project an opportunity to contribute to the mending, restoration and success of Main Street by redeveloping a building that had become one of the few remaining,

long-neglected eyesores in the downtown area,” he said. The Leepers were working in February to find a tenant for the main floor that would contribute to the existing mix of Main Street businesses. “Ideally, this is a business

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that would take the whole space and not produce an abundance of noise,” he said. “We want to get the right fit for us and for Main Street.” Leeper also said the building renovation will acknowledge its past owner. “Since its inception in

1857, the Cedar Falls Band has been a fixture in our community,” he said. “With the rehabilitation and revitalization of the former Cedar Falls Band building, we are excited to honor that history in our approach and design for this redevelopment project.”

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One of the new renovated bathrooms in an apartments in the Webberking Building.

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00 1


PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | J3

Early Founders helps students launch businesses KARRIS GOLDEN

For the Courier‌

‌CEDAR FALLS — Business success needs more than a great idea. Success comes from hard work, patience and perseverance, said Laurie Watje, associate director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Northern Iowa. For more than a decade, she has helped budding entrepreneurs use JPEC’s services to turn ideas into viable enterprises. One of the center’s newer initiatives is the Early Founders Program. The eight-week summer immersion helps participants focus on their business startup or

idea. The program grew out of a desire to replicate experiences provided by business accelerator experiences at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa State University in Ames and Drake University in Des Moines, said Watje. “(We) wanted to make something like that happen here — provide a program that would allow students to spend the summer months really focused on developing their business and growing it,” she explained. One of the biggest challenges is financing, Watje added. It’s tough for students to devote time and energy to developing busi-

nesses, because many return home for the summer so they can work and earn money for school expenses. However, launching a new business requires intense focus, she said. As a result, participants must commit fully for the entire eight weeks. “They are not allowed to have a day job; they have to be up here. No classes either,” said Watje. “To make this happen here, we pay each student as they hit benchmarks, up to $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per team.” These stipends are funded by the R.J. McElroy Trust, Veridian Credit Union and donors Ben and Kayla Frein.

In return, students must make steady and measurable progress on their business plans, customer research, product analysis, market forecasting and more. Each day starts at 8 a.m., with classroom sessions devoted to honing various business skills. Attention is paid to things like mapping out “sprints,” or short-term goals; scrum sessions, where issues and possible solutions are discussed; roundtables with CEOs from established area businesses; and oneon-one business coaching. Using these lessons, students regularly revise and refine their business pitches and deliver them to a variety of audiences. Teams also received offices in the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator. Area businesses, orga-

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nizations and individuals provided program content and advice. This included a variety of Cedar Valley entrepreneurs, such as Andy Fuchtman of Sidecar Coffee, Kris Boettger of Barn Happy and Mark Kittrell of Eagle View Partners. “So many people were willing to come and spend significant time talking to students about how they developed and worked on their businesses, from the good to the bad to the ugly,” said Watje. The program also received ongoing support from Keevin O’Rourke, a 2016 UNI graduate. O’Rourke, a former JPEC incubator tenant, advised Watje on curriculum. He suggested materials from Fluent Studio, a company that evaluates a startup’s

“innovation risk.” Beth McKeon, Fluent Studio founder and CEO, developed the company at the Iowa Startup Accelerator in Iowa City. The company’s “Fluency Score” uses a complex algorithm to assess 300 data points and determine a startup’s viability. With the score, founders can use other Fluent tools to address risks and maximize strengths. O’Rourke joined the Fluent staff as chief strategy officer and was on site during summer 2019 to serve as an Early Founders Program mentor. “It was a cool full circle that he came and helped us launch the first program,” said Watje. “He’ll be here again to help us this year.” Please see FOUNDERS, Page J4


PROGRESS 2020

J4 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

Cedar Valley housing market heats up HOLLY HUDSON

For the Courier‌

‌The housing market in the Cedar Valley has remained strong and steady over the last year, though a look at the statistics show some interesting anomalies. Dick Robert, owner/broker with Cedar Falls Real Estate Co., has been analyzing and predicting housing market trends for decades. Last year, he predicted a 4% decrease in the number of detached single-family home sales in Cedar Falls. Instead, sales were up slightly. As for Waterloo, Robert expected a 3% decline. Instead sales were down 4.2%. Robert’s market survey, which does not include town homes or condos, showed 898 homes were sold in 2018 in Waterloo. The number in 2019 was 861. In Cedar Falls sales increased from 509 in 2018 to 514 in 2019. The average sale price in Waterloo went from $122,817 in 2018 to $126,126 in 2019, a 2.69% increase. Cedar Falls recorded a 3.85% increase from $226,891 in 2018 to $235,621 in 2019. In January 2019, there were 304 homes listed for sale in Waterloo, compared to 246 this January. Cedar Falls had 150 homes on the market this January, up from 139 a year ago.

Founders From J3

The pilot group included five business teams with emphases that run the gamut, from apparel to women’s health. Jessica Wise’s White & Yellow T-Shirt Co. is among those that continue to utilize JPEC incubator space. Wise is a senior majoring in marketing and used the Early Founders Program to establish a solid brand image and draft a product development and promotion plan. Ross Vande Voort developed his mobile app company, Voortechs,

Robert pointed out 10% of homes listed in Cedar Falls were former rental properties, suggesting a soft rental market. According to Noel Anderson, community planning and development director for the city of Waterloo, 55 new residences, including multi-family, were built in fiscal year 2018 with a valuation of $104.7 million. That number jumped to 314 in FY 2019, with a valuation of $142.26 million. “That increase is mainly due to construction of multi-use buildings in and around downtown Waterloo, such as Grand Crossing (at Jefferson Street and Westfield Avenue),” Anderson said. “That is a trend nationwide. The younger generation tends to want to rent first before buying a home. “Grand Crossing plans to expand, and the Art Bloc and the Masonic Temple project are under construction,” he said. So far, in FY 2020, there are 26 new residences with a valuation of $31.73 million. Anderson sees more development in the future. “New subdivisions are in development. You see a lot on the south side of town, and we are hoping for more on the north side. Friendship Village is continuing to expand, as well as Audubon Park

subdivision.” Cedar Falls Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz said in Cedar Falls in fiscal year 2018, there were 115 new single-family homes built with a valuation of $28,949,644. In fiscal year 2019 there were 100 new homes with a value of $26,621,361. By the first half of fiscal year 2020, 56 new homes were slated at a valuation of $15,273,153. “We are seeing most of the residential growth occurring to the west and southwest,” Sheetz said, “including Arbors, Prairie Winds, Prairie West and Wild Horse. We also have continued to have permits for Autumn Ridge, Heritage Hills and Pinnacle Prairie.” Sheetz said the city so far this year has not received permit requests for mixed-use buildings like Waterloo has, but already has a fair share of its own in downtown and on College Hill, including River Place on State Street and Arabella on First and Washington streets. “I think what this type of devel-

opment offers is opportunity for interactions of uses,” Sheetz said. “Lots of communities have talked about ‘live, work, play,’ and when you have mixed-use you can have all of those in the same building or vicinity.” “The year-end totals for Cedar Falls are very revealing,” said Mary Shileny, chief executive officer for the Northeast Iowa Regional Board of Realtors.“The same number of homes sold each year since 2016, an average of 525. The change in the median sale price was up $44,500 from 2016. The average sale price was up $31,936 from 2016.” Shileny said the days homes were on the market dropped from 58 to 49 for all sales and 53 to 43 in residential sales. “These listings sold at 98% of their list price consistently, Shileny said. Buyers preferred three-bedroom homes, with 1,053 sold in 2019. Shileny advised sellers to have a quick moving plan in mind.

“Houses are selling (for higher prices) in less time,” she said. “If priced right, (a home) will be gone in less than 50 days.” “The simple rule of supply and demand creates an excellent market for new construction,” Shileny said. “Fifty-five new homes were built in 2019 with 16 for sale today. The Cedar Falls market is in a great position to leap into 2020.” In Waterloo, the average sale price in 2019 was $130,667, with median sales at $118,450. “This is an increase of $21,128 over the past five years,” Shileny said. “The price increase is reflective of a lower number of homes sold, and fewer homes on the market. The average days on the market for all classes of properties is just 40 days. The favorite style of homes sold are three-bedroom, with 631 out of 1,264 residential homes sold in 2019 in Waterloo.” Three-bedroom homes are selling in an average of 36 days with an average of 97% of listing price. Shileny said the market is hot in Waterloo. “Nothing on the market priced right stays on the market more than two months. Homes are selling for more at an average of $21,128 higher, and there are just 165 residential properties active today.”

through the program. The mathematics major graduated in December. Vande Voort’s original idea was to develop a product that would help golfers track their scores and statistics. To complete customer discovery, he went to metro area courses and talked to golfers, asking how they tracked their information. What Vande Voort learned was that most golfers weren’t particularly interested in switching from paper to an app. However, Vande Voort’s openness to shifting markets meant he didn’t have to abandon his idea altogether, said Watje.

“One of the first questions we ask founders is, ‘How married are you to the idea?’ … Ross couldn’t find anybody who would say they’d use this — nobody,” said Watje. Through the customer discovery process, Vande Voort did learn there was another market for his idea: coaches from universities with ranking golf teams. “By getting out and talking to people, Ross discovered it’s a big headache for (golf) coaches to track and monitor the stats for everyone on their teams; those players and coaches are his market,” said Watje. Customer discovery also pushed

founder Akanksha Sahni to make a significant change to her business idea. Her original plan was for her company, FlourishPak, to provide subscription boxes to women during menstruation. The boxes would include items focused on improving everything from physical to emotional well being. However, the overwhelming majority of Sahni’s prospective customers said their primary need related to issues of online bullying. As a result, her focus shifted to a product offering in that vein. Now in its second year, the Early Founders Program is recruiting students for summer 2020. As

with the first session, selection will be highly competitive, said Watje. JPEC will post entrepreneurial workshops March 27 and April 3. Upon completion of the workshops, prospective Early Founders Program participants will gain access to the summer 2020 application. “It’s open to any UNI student, any major,” said Watje. “We want them to still be a student in (fall 2020), because we want them to stay involved. We want them to retain an office in the incubator, so we can continue working with them and help them develop their idea.”

“Nothing on the market priced right stays on the market more than two months.” Mary Shileny, chief executive officer for the Northeast Iowa Regional Board of Realtors

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PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | J5

Health care CEOs talk successes, challenges META HEMENWAY-FORBES

meta.hemenway-forbes@ wcfcourier.com‌

WATERLOO — Health ‌ care is at the heart of any community, and the Cedar Valley is no different. The choices locally are many, and continue to grow as health care providers further hone their focus on improving access and quality of care. The Courier asked three CEOs of local health care organizations to talk about the successes and challenges of their respective companies. Here are their responses:

PAM DELAGARDELLE CEO, UNITYPOINT HEALTHALLEN HOSPITAL What UnityPoint 2019 accomplishments are you proud of? What were the biggest successes? O u r biggest trend was the rapid growth of outpatient services in Delagardelle f a c i l i t i e s designed for patient convenience. We had 77,000 outpatient visits to our four Urgent Cares, which offer fast, inexpensive care for medical issues that don’t require emergency services. We also had 204,000 outpatient visits to our clinics at Prairie Parkway in 2019. That’s a 16% increase in patient visits from 2018 and a great example of how vital it is to offer the right services by the right people in the right places at the right times. What additional projects are planned for 2020? „„ We opened our second pediatrics clinic in Waterloo in January. Our first pediatrics-specific clinic opened in 2017 in Cedar Falls.

„„ We opened a UnityPoint Clinic Express in Waverly on Feb. 3. UnityPoint Clinic Express is a new name for urgent care. „„ The Ambulatory Surgery Center at United Medical Park will be a true ASC, and we expect procedures to start occurring there in April. It will provide patients the same excellent outcomes at lower costs. „„ We will hold the second annual community breakfast to support Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center at Bien Venu Events Center in Cedar Falls on Oct. 2. „„ We will begin planning for the centennial anniversary of Allen Hospital, coming in February 2025. What are the biggest challenges facing health care institutions in 2020? Like so many other enterprises, hospitals and health care systems across America are consolidating. The challenge is to make wise choices and execute them in ways that keep the quality of care high and the costs of care affordable. Our first job is to be here when people need us, and neither communities nor providers should ever take ready access to excellent care for granted. What does the wealth and breadth of health care options in the Cedar Valley say about the community? It says this is a great place to be and grow. Ready access to health care is fundamental to the success of any community, and we have the providers and services to care for 280,000 people across the Cedar Valley. Health care is also a top Cedar Valley economic driver, with some 10,000 people employed in clinical care and allied professions and jobs that support it.

GIL IREY CEO CEDAR VALLEY MEDICAL SPECIALISTS What CVMS 2019 accomplishments are you proud of? What were the biggest successes? Cedar Valley Medical Specialists has recently opened five new or repurposed fa c i l i t i e s , representing a total investment Irey of over $14 million in 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. These facilities include the new Cedar Valley Orthopedic Surgery & Physical Therapy Center, where Drs. Thomas Gorsche, Robert Bartelt and Mark Gorsche care for orthopedic injuries and conditions. The new building was completed in December and also houses Cedar Valley Physical Therapy’s third location. Also, in December, Drs. Ravi Mallavarapu, Srinivas Kalala, Arun Muthusamy, and Suhag Patel of the Cedar Valley Digestive Health Center renovated and relocated to the old John Deere Health Care building on Hackett Road. And in November, Dr. David Congdon remodeled and moved his ENT, sinus and allergy, facial plastic/reconstructive surgery, med spa, skin cancer and hearing clinics to (2515 Cyclone Drive, Waterloo) the space next to Mauer Eye Center. Our biggest success, however, is our improved patient experience while maintaining the affordable quality our patients deserve. By investing in the renovation of our existing facilities and by constructing new facilities when necessary, we have been able to provide conve-

PHOTO COURTESY OF MERCYONE‌

New MercyOne signage was installed at the MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center Outpatient and Women’s Entrance. nient access to our clinics in addition to improved patient flow, resulting in a better experience for our patients. What additional projects are planned for 2020? By the end of the first quarter of 2020, Cedar Valley Medical Specialists will complete two more facility upgrade projects. The brand-new Cedar Valley OrthoAgility Center will be opening soon on Prairie Parkway in Cedar Falls, where Drs. Todd Johnston, Roswell Johnston and Benjamin Torrez will treat a variety of orthopedic injuries and conditions. Cedar Valley Physical Therapy will provide services in this location as well. The old Allen Digestive Health location is also being remodeled and primary care physician Dr. Gregory Harter will begin seeing patients there soon. The location will also house Cedar Valley Physical Therapy’s fourth location in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. What are the biggest challenges facing health care institutions in 2020? The biggest challenge facing health care providers and institutions in 2020 is meeting the needs of patients while understanding that deductibles have risen and will continue to rise. Health care providers need to think creatively in order to

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meet the needs of their patients rather than the needs of providers or hospital systems. That’s what it means to provide patient-centered care: the needs of our patients come first. If we’re not providing care that our patients want or need at an affordable price, then we are failing in our role as health care professionals. What does the wealth and breadth of health care options in the Cedar Valley say about the community? The wealth and breadth of health care options available in our community are critical for sustainability in the Cedar Valley, both for the people who live here and the businesses that serve them. That said, duplication of hospital services has and will continue to plague the fragility of health care finances in smaller communities until collaboration can replace unnecessary repetition. Until that happens, health care costs will continue to rise.

JACK DUSENBERY PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MERCYONE NORTHEAST IOWA What local MercyOne 2019 accomplishments are you proud of? What were the biggest successes? Feb. 1 marked one year

since the official launch of MercyOne. We have great colleagues, physicians, providers and leaders in Northeast Iowa and we’re working to build a system of care across the state. We’re focused on our workplace culture, the consumer experience, team engagement, quality and overall performance so we can continue to impact the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve. What additional projects are coming in 2020? We have several statewide initiates and s t ra te g i e s u n d e r wa y to allow us to be more convenient to northeast Iowans, including online Dusenbery scheduling and telehealth access to behavioral health care. We’re also expanding access to specialty care in the rural communities we already serve, with regular visits from more of our specialty physicians and surgeons. What are the biggest challenges facing health care institutions in 2020? Our challenges are the declining reimbursement rates, especially compared to inflationary pressures and workforce shortages. What does the wealth and breadth of health care options in the Cedar Valley say about the community? We’re blessed and fortunate to serve such an outstanding community! As the premier health care system serving Northeast Iowa we never take this privilege lightly. We’re proud of the exceptional health care we provide.

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PROGRESS 2020

J6 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

Main Street Waterloo helps revitalize city HOLLY HUDSON

For the Courier‌

WATERLOO — Jessica ‌ Rucker grew up in the Cedar Valley, but it wasn’t until she returned to the state after a stint in Kansas City that she felt the pull of downtown Waterloo. “I always knew I would come back,” she said. “I just didn’t know what the scenario would be.” On her return, Rucker worked at Jameson’s Public House on Fourth Street, where she got an up-close look at the downtown district. “I got to see how things had changed while I was gone and all the things that were happening,” she said. When the position came open, Rucker applied to be director of Main Street Waterloo, a nonprofit organization focused on historic preservation, economic development and community engagement in the district. “I thought it would be a great way to get involved and a way I could be beneficial to the district,” she said. “I could see how much potential there was in downtown Waterloo.” She has been in the position since April 2018. “There was a lot of momentum built up in the district when I started,” Rucker said. “Momentum through the city and previous (Main Street Waterloo) directors.” And that momentum continues today, Rucker said. “The amount of interest from developers … and businesses is phenomenal,” she said. “The interest in the rejuvenation of the downtown district continues to be strong. I’ve had several businesses tell me Waterloo is the only place they would consider locat-

KELLY WENZEL, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Hannah Hewitt, 3, competes in the My Waterloo Days’ Kid’s Bike Race in 2019. ing their businesses. “People are coming back to the city center and bringing life back to the area.” Main Street Waterloo’s engagement campaign has been key to that revitalization. From Friday Loo to My Waterloo Days to Funky Junk-a-Loo, Main Street Waterloo oversees and facilitates more than a dozen events each year. “Friday Loo is probably the most popular,” Rucker said. “And My Waterloo Days is the most well attended.” The organization will launch a new event this year. Food Truck Festival, set for June 20, will feature area food trucks, activities and live music at the RiverLoop Expo Plaza. “Events are put on 100% by volunteers with staff support,” Rucker said.

“Planning and preparing for our events is a yearlong process. As soon as one is done, we discuss what went well, how we can improve things, and we’re already working on next year’s event. “Each event has a committee, and there are anywhere from five to 30 people on each committee, depending on the event. A lot of our volunteers — and we have hundreds of them — are long term, but we also get people who come to our events and enjoy it so much, they want to be a part of it.” Jane Messingham is one of those long-term volunteers. She’s been involved with the organization since 2008 and has done everything from selling beer tokens at Friday Loo to serving multiple terms as president of the group’s board of

directors. “Our goal is to support the revitalization efforts in the downtown area by bringing people in to realize the vibrancy of our district and recognize the effort that has been put into it. “They will find far more retail spaces in the buildings, new businesses and new residential space. Couple that with the amphitheater, the public market, the beautification of Lincoln Park.” One of Messingham’s favorite events is Friday Loo. “The atmosphere of being in the park on a warm summer night,” she said. “It’s just wonderful. And each Friday Loo tends to turn into a reunion. You see so many people. “Main Street Waterloo offers a variety of events to appeal to different groups of people,” Messingham

said. “Taste of Loo focuses on the restaurants, Tour de Loo gives you a peek inside those buildings, and My Waterloo Days is all about the community.” Shaylinn Girsch is the general manager of Jameson’s and has also volunteered with Main Street Waterloo. She has seen the evolution of the group and its impact on the district. “Friday Loo is the biggest event for us,” she said. “Friday is a pretty good night for us, but when there’s a Friday Loo, we get inundated with people. “And My Waterloo Days (which used to be held in the Byrnes Park area) morphed into something else completely when they moved it downtown. The change made sense. “Main Street Waterloo is doing a great job of getting people downtown every

season of the year, every time of day,” Girsch said. “They’ve made it a destination.” Tavis Hall, who is now the executive director of Experience Waterloo, served as the Main Street Waterloo’s director from 2015 to late 2017. “I was a volunteer before I was Main Street’s director,” he said. “There’s a lot of sweat equity that goes into planning these events. Most of these events are held outdoors and are impacted by the weather, which can make planning difficult. But that is the beauty of the Main Street approach. It helps empower volunteers to guide and then execute their vision. You really see the community come together. “On holidays, people want to celebrate with their community. Whether it’s the tree lighting and Winter Wonder Loo, or the Mayor’s Fireworks or trickor-treating, Main Street Waterloo gives them the chance to do that.” Though Hall has a hard time picking a favorite event – “It’s like picking your favorite child” – he said it would have to be My Waterloo Days. “It is the one that is really impactful in terms of community pride.” During Hall’s tenure with Main Street Waterloo, the My Waterloo Days Parade route was changed, and not all the feedback was positive. “There was some pushback, but I’ll tell you, the park was packed with the diversity that makes up Waterloo. It looked like Waterloo. It felt like Waterloo.” For a complete list of Main Street Waterloo events, go to mainstreetwaterloo.org.

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00 1


PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | J7

Main Street events draw crowds in CF HOLLY HUDSON

For the Courier‌

‌CEDAR FALLS – Whether you’ve watched a movie in Overman Park, gone trickor-treating on Main Street or awaited Santa’s annual arrival in downtown Cedar Falls, you have the staff and volunteers of Cedar Falls Community Main Street to thank for the experience. Carol Lilly has been with the nonprofit organization since 2008 and became its director in 2011. She can rattle off the accomplishments of each of the events like a proud mother. The most popular and well-attended of Community Main Street’s events is Holiday Hoopla, a weekslong celebration that kicks off the Friday after Thanksgiving and marks Santa’s arrival for the holiday season. “A low estimate would be 6,000,” she said of attendance. “If the weather is good, it’s wall-to-wall people.” The longest running event is trick-or-treating in the downtown district. It predates Community Main Street itself, which was formed more than 30 years ago. “We always have a good turnout for Jingle and Mingle, as well,” Lilly said. “It kicks off the first Thursday in December. It is a longstanding event. It was going on before Holiday Hoopla existed. “We work on the bigger events year ‘round,” Lilly said. “It takes eight to nine months of active planning.” “We try to have a specific goal, specific objectives. Our events are purposeful and well thought out.” For example, Show and Shine, which lines the Parkade with classic cars, was born after some Main Street retail stores began having Sunday hours. “It is the first event we’ve

held on a Sunday,” Lilly said. “We just try to get people downtown. “We want to expose people to the businesses day in and day out. And we invite other organizations to hold events downtown. We want the downtown to be the place to go.” The organization is working on launching a new downtown event. “We are actually pulling together a group now with the intent of creating a new event,” Lilly said. “Something new, something exciting to keep the community engaged. We are in the brainstorming stage. We’ll see what happens.” Though Lilly is often consumed with committees and event planning, she makes time to attend as well. One of her most memorable was last year’s Holiday Hoopla. “It was rainy, and we were debating on what to do. We ended up going ahead with the whole stage show. I remember looking out at the crowd and all the people who showed up. It was an amazing site to see how beloved that event has become.” Lilly is the first to admit Community Main Street does not pull off these events on its own. “It takes a lot of support from the city for things to run smoothly, whether it’s public works or the police department. We work very

BRANDON POLLOCK PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Santa Claus rides through the Parkade in a snow globe during Holiday Hoopla in Cedar Falls in 2018. closely with the city.” Another resource for Community Main Street is the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau. The two organizations used to share office space. “We’ve been very intentional about keeping connected,” said Kim Manning, who heads the bureau. “Carol (Lilly) is on my board and I am on her board. We help each other.” “They put a lot of time and energy into planning events,” Manning said. “It takes a lot of resources, and we can come in to help. “Their events require local participation to be successful, but also visitors from out of the area. We tackle the out-of-town promotion. “We also make $60,000 in marketing grants available to nonprofit organizations that

bring people into the community. Artapalooza and Fondo Fest are regular applicants.” Kim Bear is Community Main Street’s events and promotions coordinator. She handles online promotion and social media and supports the organization’s volunteers. “We learn something from every single event,” Bear said. “I send myself an email of what worked, what didn’t work and how we can improve for next year. The community changes over time, and we need to adapt. We are constantly changing and evolving.” Bear doesn’t hesitate when asked about her favorite event. “My absolute favorite was Dinner Down Main,” she said. “Picture a wedding reception

going down the middle of the street.” The 200 and 300 blocks of Main Street were closed down for the event, which marked Community Main Street’s 30th anniversary. “It was so collaborative. Every downtown restaurant provided a portion of the meal,” Bear said. “The volunteers decorated. It was so cool to see all the entities come together.” Lilly and Bear agree that Community Main Street’s most crucial asset is its volunteers. “Community Main Street’s volunteers number in the thousands over the course of the year,” Lilly said. “Volunteer subcommittees help plan and execute our events and they always try to add something new to keep it fresh or add a different twist.” “For every single event, there is a committee of volunteers,” Bear said. “I am their support. I fulfill their ideas. We couldn’t do any of this without our volunteers.” Cinde Haskins has been volunteering with Community Main Street for five years. In fact, the organization named her Volunteer of the Year last year. She works mostly on the Holiday Hoopla stage show and everything it entails, from the sound system to contacting the acts. But she will work wherever she is needed, whether it’s

judging Christmas windows, reading letters to Santa or helping troubleshoot how to make realistic artificial snow. “It takes a lot of work, so we try to spread it out,” Haskins said. “Everyone pitches in. And the downtown businesses do so much to help.” Haskins said coming up with how Santa is going to make his entrance each year is a big challenge. “But we have some very creative people who can envision all kinds of things.” A vision is one thing, but building it is another, Haskins said. “Building and decorating start in January,” Haskins said. “We put a lot of thought into it. In 2018, Santa arrived encased in a snow globe. “We didn’t know how we were going to pull that off,” Haskins said. “Most of the event got rained out that year, but people still came out and the snow globe was a big hit.” After five years, there is one experience that stands out to her. “I was reading a letter to Santa Claus that a little boy had dropped off. He asked for a couple of things and included a nickel in the envelope. He said it was for reindeer food because he knew how hard Santa worked each year. That just warmed my heart.”

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J8 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

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Sunday, March 1, 2020 | K1

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 wcfcourier.com | SEcTIOn K

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YWCA Black Hawk County

Superior Welding Supply Co.

425 Lafayette St. Waterloo, IA 50703 319-234-7589 www.ywcabhc.org

Serving the community and industry for 93 years

General Machine Work 206 Edwards, Waterloo 233-3918

Cedar Falls 319-277-2141 WesternHomeCommunities.org

125 YEARS 106 YEARS Michael Painting and Decorating Co.

Hilpipre Auction Co.

999 Home Plaza, Suite 300 Waterloo, Iowa www.rsmus.com

7th and Commercial, W’loo 232-6861

90 YEARS Varsity Cleaners

Full shirt laundry service Dry Cleaning Shirt Laundry Alterations Drapes and More

Standard Distribution Co.

124 YEARS 105 YEARS

88 YEARS

Mcgregors Furniture 2410 Crossroads Blvd. Waterloo, Iowa 50702 319-234-7575 mcgregorsfurniture.com

Black Hawk Electrical Co.

agvantagefs.com 1-800-346-0058

121 YEARS 104 YEARS 88 YEARS Palace Clothiers “Clothing You For Life’s Important Moments” Waterloo 234-7537 www.palaceclothiers.com

PDCM Insurance Locally Owned Since 1916

Carney, Alexander, Marold

3022 Airport Blvd. Waterloo, IA 50703 234-8888 www.pdcm.com

511 E. 5th St., Ste. 300 233-3318 www.carneycpa.com

120 YEARS 102 YEARS Woolverton “Helping you move forward”

6714 Chancellor Drive Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 800-670-7713 John Lynch – President/Owner www.woolverton.com

Blue Line Moving & Storage, Inc. AGENT: United Van Lines 5614 Nordic Dr., Cedar Falls 266-3591 www.bluelinemoving.com

& Co., L.L.P., CPAs

88 YEARS

In business for 88 years doing Flat Work and Concrete Raising. 3220 Panther Lane, Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-6202 www.chriscrete.com

Here for good. 319-287-9106 www.CFNEIA.org

64 YEARS

Grout Museum District The Grout Museum District offers four distinct museums to discover the past, present and future, and your place in it. 503 South Street Waterloo, IA 50701 319-234-6357 www.gmdistrict.org

Big River Equipment

Don Gardner Construction Company

58 YEARS Cedar Falls Construction Co.

3533 W. Airline Hwy. Waterloo, IA 50703 Family Owned Highway Construction Business 319-235-6746

58 YEARS Town & Country Home Improvement

4920 Dubuque Rd Waterloo, IA 50703 319-235-9565 www.TCHomeImprovement.com

58 YEARS

Stickfort Electric Co

63 YEARS

71 YEARS

Trust, Dependability, Experience

Community Builders Supply Co.

71 YEARS 210 Beck Ave. Waterloo 319-233-6113 www.warrentransport.com

Financial Decisions Group

63 YEARS 201 E 22nd St, Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-5438 www.stickfortelectric.com

Warren Transport, Inc.

60 YEARS

Iowa Wall Systems, Inc.

Over 58 years’ experience! 1127 Jefferson St, Waterloo 1-800-728-6665 www.communitybuildersia.com

57 YEARS Cedar Falls Mobile Home Village

Rely on us for all Drywall, Painting and Insulation needs. Quiet Park-New/Used Sales 4601 Crestwood Dr, Waterloo. 1 mile W. of the UNI-DOME 296-1663. 266-6093 www.iowawallsystems.com www.cedarvillagecommunity.com

63 YEARS

56 YEARS

Overhead Door Company of Waterloo

Kramer Sausage Co.

829 Sycamore Street,

1134 220th St.

800 W. Parker, Waterloo 319-234-1753

75 YEARS

Locke Funeral Home Where your wishes have governed for four generations. www.lockefuneralhome.com 1519 West 4th Waterloo 233-6138

75 YEARS

84 W. 11th St. Waterloo 319-232-7993

69 YEARS Pawsitive Pet Care Dr. Bradley Kneeland

Family Owned Since 1952 “Best Darned Ribs in Town” 315 Park Rd., Waterloo 233-9111

For All Your Insurance Needs Larry Gregory 219 Cordoba Ave. Cedar Falls, IA 319-277-4162 lgsol@cfu.net

Transmission Rebuilders, Inc. 2125 FALLS AVENUE WATERLOO 233-7649

50 YEARS

44 YEARS

Toby’s Tax

Hoffman & Hoffman Trenching, Inc.

110 Clay St Cedar Falls 319-277-2528

50 YEARS

912 West Viking Road Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-260-2250 kjandkompany.com

50 YEARS TnK Health Food Store

Underground Utility and Directional Boring contractors 3822 W. Airline 232-4807

44 YEARS

Pat’s Auto Salvage I Care Certified Environmentally Friendly We sell Quality used parts and buy wrecked or unwanted cars. 945 Lowell Ave., 232-0704

43 YEARS Thompson Real Estate Thompson Farm Real Estate

“Try TnK for a Healthier Way” 1023 Peoples Square, Lic. Iowa & Minnesota Waterloo 319-239-4130 319-235-0246 Thompsonfarmrealestate.com www.tnkhealth.net

48 YEARS Action Garage Builders

43 YEARS

Automotive Service Solutions

“If You Need a Garage You Want ACTION!!” Free Estimate

“If You Need a Garage You Want ACTION!!” Free Estimate

1205 Peters Dr. Waterloo 319-235-5700

319-232-1477 actiongaragebuilders.com

www.masterbrand.com

48 YEARS

43 YEARS

John Deery Motors Ryan Exterminating, Inc.

Jesup 319-827-1463

61 YEARS

53 YEARS

48 YEARS

42 YEARS

Cedar Falls Brown Bottle

Clapsaddle-Garber Associates, Inc. (CGA)

From Concept Through Completion, We Are Your Engineering Firm! 5106 Nordic Drive Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-0258 www.cgaconsultants.com

402 Viking Plaza Dr. Cedar Falls 319-277-3033 www.scheels.com

61 YEARS

53 YEARS

Elliott-Hartman Agency

61 YEARS

68 YEARS

44 YEARS

Waterloo

68 YEARS

D&K Hickory House

50 YEARS Larry Gregory Insurance

232-4444

Property and Liability Insurance for Businesses and Individuals 611 Ansborough Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-233-8459

68 Years of Delivering Innovation to Design Professionals 6201 Chancellor Dr., C.F. 319-277-5538 www.rapidsrepro.com

A radio communications company. - Video Surveillance - Access Controls We Service All Major Brands 1657 Falls Ave. 234-3511

Nissan Lincoln Mitsubishi www.deery.com 6823 University, Cedar Falls 277-6200

Taking care of your furry friends. 1799 Ansborough, W’loo 234-7511

Rapids Reproductions, Inc.

45 YEARS Ridihalgh Fueling Snitker Weber & Co. 319-334-4211 Independence, IA 319-827-6600 Jesup, IA www.rfsw.com

RC Systems

Omega Cabinetry

LaPorte City Specialty Care

Store, Inc.

79 YEARS

51 YEARS

43 YEARS

Wrecker Service

Waterloo, Iowa 69 Years in Business Concrete, paving brick, block. 233-0168

3754 West Airline Hwy. Waterloo, IA 50703 www.pemltd.com 319-234-5575 2635 W.C.F. & N. Dr. We have served the Waterloo, IA 50703 Cedar Valley over 51 years! e-mail sales@pemltd.com www.mcgowansfurniture.com 319-232-2311

Action Garage Builders

B&B Farm

“Foodservice with a Difference” 406 Viking Rd., Cedar Falls www.martinbros.com

45 YEARS Power Engineering Manufacturing LTD

48 YEARS

Hawkeye Alarm and Signal Co.

53 YEARS

Bowers Masonry, Inc.

Supported Living & Day Programs for adults with disabilities. 319-236-0901 www.northstarcs.org

54 YEARS

Ray Mount

69 YEARS

51 YEARS

McGowan’s Furniture

NORTH STAR COMMUNITY SERVICES

62 YEARS

62 YEARS

Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc.

527 Park Lane, Waterloo 319-233-8911 www.clarkpo.com

45 YEARS

319-232-1477 actiongaragebuilders.com

82 YEARS 70 YEARS Joyce HarrensteinBroker/Owner REAL ESTATE OUR ONLY BUSINESS www.schuckrealtyco.com PARKERSBURG 346-1364 319-404-1502

52 Years

525 E. 18th St. Cedar Falls 266-7721

800 Commercial Street 319-233-0471 www.ohdcwaterloo.com

For All of Life’s Health Transitions 319-342-2125

Schuck Realty Co.

Ford, Kia, VW, & Chevy 20833 La Porte Rd. 234-4200 2728 Main St. C.F. 277-8123 www.withamauto.com

dba Automotive Electric Serving N.E. I.A. automotiveelectric.com Gary Gilbert, owner Dennis Rogers, svc advisor 500 W. 5th, W’loo 233-4466

Iowa’s Oldest UL Listed Burglar Alarm Company 16 W. Commercial, W’loo 232-0490

Wilber Auto Body & Salvage Family Owned

Blackhawk Automatic Sprinklers, Inc.

Wholesale-Retail Custom Processing 322 Main St., La Porte City 342-2693 www.KramerSausage.com

Com’l, Ind’l, Res’l Casey Gardner-Pres. Jacob Gardner-VP/Owner 315 LaPorte Rd., Waterloo 234-0272

Beecher, Field, Walker, Dennis C Christensen Midwest Pattern Co. Wood, Metal and & Sons Concrete Morris, Hoffman & Plastic Patterns Construction Johnson, P.C. Full CAD/CAM Services 319-234-1766 www.Beecherlaw.com 620 Lafayette St, Waterloo

Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

Family Owned and Operated Tom Petersen, Owner 520 Main St. 988-3231

70 YEARS

International Paper Waterloo Container Plant

since 1905 1615 Jefferson St., Waterloo 319-233-3387 www.blackhawkelectrical.com

Petersen Hudson Hdwe. Plumbing & Heating

82 YEARS

80 YEARS

Diamonds • Pandora 229 E. 5th Street, Downtown Waterloo RothJewelers.com

Ready Mixed Concrete, Inc. Serving the Metro Area for 72 Years 725 Center, Cedar Falls 266-2641

Forklift Sales, Service, Parts, & Rental 2950 West Airline Hwy., Waterloo 319-235-6741 or 800-455-8409 bigriverequipment.com

89 YEARS SinCe 1931

Benton’s

“1937-2020” Your one source for successful business facilities. www.kirkgross.com 4015 Alexandra Dr., W’loo 234-6641

216 W. 11th, Waterloo 233-3571 www.varsitycleaners.com

106 years of family auctioneering. “Since 1914” www.hilpipre.com Waterloo 235-6007

Painting and Decorating Quality Since 1895 1008 JEFFERSON 232-3755

Kirk Gross Co.

Since 1939 Shop: 232-5927, Yard: 232-1747

Bridal Fashion Custom Service

72 YEARS

84 YEARS 71 YEARS

The people that know how to grow! 1685 Independence Ave. Waterloo, IA 319-232-3954 www.meyersnursery.com

94 YEARS

Family Owned Bob Frickson, owner Specializing in sewers, waters, basements, and demolition. 319-235-0080

2705 University Ave. Waterloo 319-235-6294

60 YEARS

64 YEARS

Witham Auto Centers

AND SURVEYING, INC.

65 YEARS

Frickson Bros. Excavating

46 YEARS

Wayne Claassen Engineering

3013 Greyhound Dr. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-233-8476 www.FDG.net

72 YEARS

Waverly, IA 50677

60 YEARS

www.maximumsightandsound.com 4017 UNIVERSITY 234-0344 Terry Root - owner

BDI 1826 Black Hawk St. Waterloo 319-234-6845 www.bdiexpress.com

Your Complete Newsstand Featuring quality pipes, cigars, tobaccos, and liquor. 617 SYCAMORE, W’LOO 234-5958

Building new villas in 2020-2021

Don’s TV & Maximum Sight and Sound

84 YEARS

National Cigar Store

Western Home Communities

105 BMC Drive Elk Run Heights, IA 50707 (Several locations across Iowa) 319-833-7648 www.manatts.com

66 YEARS

98 YEARS

2000 Heritage Way

83 YEARS

Iowa Custom Machine

Manatts

www.cunamutual.com

RSM US LLP

125+ YEARS 108 YEARS

73 YEARS

725 Adams St., W’loo 319-232-9808

Your Premier Staffing Agency Located In The Cedar Valley! 221 E. 4th Street Waterloo 319-232-6641

Farmers Savings Bank

319-233-8441

451 LaPorte Rd., W’loo 232-0140

Residential and Commercial Wiring

Solving Water Problems Since 1948 319-234-1223 www.tomlinson-cannon.com

144 YEARS 109 YEARS

133 YEARS

Amana, Maytag, Kitchenaide Speed Queen, Frigidaire Adam Morris

Art Carter and Son Electric

Tomlinson Cannon

317 Savannah Park Road Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-9299 www.standarddist.com

101 Cherry St., Allison, IA 319-267-2035 234 Main St., Readlyn, IA 319-279-3983 www.securitymutualins.com

Peoples Appliance

85 YEARS 72 YEARS

Fred Rewoldt and Martha Bockholt Rewoldt started the bank in Feb., 1926 Providing Farm and Home FDIC. No Service Charge Insurance for Black Hawk and Bloom Manufacturing, Inc. www.frederikabank.com surrounding counties. Independence, IA 50644 Frederika, IA 319-275-4301 353 E. Eldora Road Hudson 988-4101 www.bloommfg.com

Security Mutual Insurance Association

00 1

Petersen & Tietz

114 YEARS 100 YEARS 85 YEARS

160 YEARS 114 YEARS First Maxfield Mutual Insurance

100 YEARS 86 YEARS

52 YEARS

Ford Has Been Here Serving You

Narey’s 19th Hole 2073 Logan Ave. Waterloo 319-234-9739 Family owned since 1959

60 YEARS Harris Cleaning Service

Family Owned and Operated Since 1960 Fred J. Harris Brian - Tim - Ronda Waterloo, IA 235-6647

More Years In Business on next page.

Modern Builders, Inc. Specializing in Pre-Engineered Buildings and Standing Seam Metal Roofs 201 Main Street Janesville, IA 50647

Pest Control & Radon Testing 6607 Hammond Ave. Waterloo, IA 50702 319-296-3227

Italian dining

Dennis Eslick Eslick Financial Group

1111 Center Street, C.F. 319-266-2616 www.thebrownbottle.com

999 Home Plaza, Suite 201 319-833-5555 www.eslickfinancial.com

47 YEARS

42 YEARS

Aspro, Inc.

Dierks Tree Transplant, INC.

Asphalt Paving Contractors 3613 TEXAS ST. WATERLOO, IOWA 319-232-6537

Specializing in large tree transplanting. Nursery stock available. Cedar Falls 277-7173

52 YEARS

47 YEARS

41 YEARS

K&S Wheel Alignment Service

Stephen D. Knapp

Cedar Valley Hospice

Imports, Front Wheel Drives, Domestics 500 Ansborough, Waterloo 232-9991

52 YEARS

Paulson Electric Co. Of Waterloo Electrical Contractors 1915 Jefferson St. Waterloo 233-3543

REALTOR

319-493-4000

Waterloo • Grundy Center Independence • Waverly 319-272-2002 800-626-2360 www.cvhospice.org

47 YEARS

41 YEARS

Black Hawk Gymnastics

Compressed Air and Equipment

sknapp@lockardrealty.com

707 Hwy. 218 N. 180 Provision Parkway La Porte City 342-2440 Waterloo, IA 50701 1-800-727-7908 319-233-2533 24 hr. Answering Service www.BlackHawkGymnastics.com www.compress-air.com


K2 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 wcfcourier.com | SEcTIOn K

41 YEARS Automatic Amusements, Inc.

39 YEARS Office Concepts, Ltd.

34 YEARS

25 YEARS

Cedar Valley D&W Floor Covering Medical Specialists We carry carpet, vinyl,

Providing the Cedar Valley with Internet Juke Boxes, Pool Tables and Dart Leagues 232-1371 autoamuse.com

Waterloo’s Leader in Office Supplies, Furniture and Printing 319 Broadway, W’loo, IA 234-1221 Fax 234-6506

wood, ceramic, laminate Sales & Installation Established 1986 3400 S. Hudson Rd. Cedar Falls 988-3587

4150 Kimball Avenue Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-235-5390 www.cedarvalleymedical.com We Specialize in You.

41 YEARS

39 YEARS

33 YEARS

25 YEARS

Ray Dietz Auctioneering & Real Estate Specializing in farm and land auctions 1878 310th Street Ionia, IA 50645 319-269-5161

Aable Pest Control

40 YEARS PIPAC Health and Life Brokerage

Ready and “Aable” to serve you!

Craig’s Vac Shop

Reedy’s Auto Sales

SALES AND SERVICE

Mike and Derrick Reedy We Tote the Note Used cars of all types 232-4667 2009 Commercial St. Waterloo

111 West 4th, C.F. 266-0105

319-233-2038 3130 Marnie Ave. Waterloo www.rainsoftneiowa.com

40 YEARS

38 YEARS

40 YEARS

Servicemaster by Harris

Providing Fire and Water Damage Restoration, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Mold Remediation and Custodial Services 432 Locust St, Waterloo 319-291-3991 www.smbyharris.com

38 YEARS Youngblut Motors Dave, Tadley and Howard 120 Vinton Waterloo, IA 319-232-6849

38 YEARS

Diamond Body Shop Quail’s Auto Salvage SPECIALIZING IN COLLISION REPAIR “Quality Is Never An Accident” 3419 Lafayette, Evansdale 235-0479

40 YEARS B&R Quality Meats, Inc.

Retail & Wholesale Same products & service Owners: Tanner & Mallory Heikens 405 Sherman Ave. Ackley, IA 641-847-8130

40 YEARS Cover-All Embroidery, INC.

“Why Buy New When Used Will Do” 202 Glendale St., W’loo 234-7715

32 YEARS

Coachlight Homes

31 YEARS Riley’s Floors

“Over 30 years of Quality Flooring & Great Service” 3230 Marnie Ave. Waterloo, Iowa 319-233-9911 rileysfloors.com

31 YEARS

Douglas Trunnell Insurance Agency

30 YEARS Furniture Showcase

9 20th St SE Oelwein, IA 50662 319-283-2393 www.FurnitureShowcaseInc.com

VJ Engineering

Brothers Construction, Inc.

1501 Technology Parkway Cedar Falls 266-5829

38 YEARS

Northeast Iowa Food Bank Fighting Hunger in Northeast Iowa

39 YEARS

38 YEARS

Leaders in Heat Treat & Metallurgical Solutions 2825 MidPort Blvd. & 2839 Burton Ave. Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-5221 www.ahtcorp.com

AND STUMP REMOVAL Land clearing for new construction. We also remove hedges and shrubs. Any stump, any size, any place. Our smaller stump grinder fits thru a 3’ gate, call anytime. 236-1956 269-1544

39 YEARS

37 YEARS

Schaefer Tree

25 YEARS

21 YEARS

Emerson Crane

Montage

25 YEARS A-1 “Jim’s” Appliance Service

Remodeling New Construction 319-215-6337

29 YEARS Kvale Insurance

15 YEARS

24 YEARS LJ’s Welding & 141 Center St.

319-833-9428

Waterloo, IA 50703 319-236-2844

28 YEARS 24 YEARS Jason Strelow

1118 Ansborough Ave. Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-961-3000 (Cell) www.berkshirehathawayhs.com/ One-Realty-Centre-IA302

27 YEARS

24 YEARS

Peppercorn Pantry

Curran Plumbing, Inc.

peppercornpantry.com

37 YEARS

27 YEARS

23 YEARS

Karen’s Print Rite

Sweerin Brothers

Business and Personal Printing Embroidery

Masonry

36 YEARS

26 YEARS

23 YEARS

Heartland Financial Services Ltd

Gulbranson’s Appliance Service

39 YEARS

36 YEARS

Andersoncollision.com

Magee Construction

Beal’s Sheet Metal

Kate & Co. Salon & Spa

20 YEARS

Advanced Automotive 202 W. Gilbert Dr. Evansdale IA. 50707 319-232-7658 www.aas202.com

14 YEARS

McLaughlin B&B Lock Key INVESTMENT SERVICES “A Better Locksmith” Casey McLaughlin, 2200 Falls Ave. Registered PrinicipalWaterloo, IA 50701 Since 1984- full service brokerage. 319-234-5397 621 Grant Ave, Waterloo, IA 50702 After Hours: 319-232-1973 287-5080

19 YEARS Impact Marketing

Air – Web - Ink 1501 Technology Pkwy., Ste. 200 Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-232-4332 www.impactmt.com

12 YEARS Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo

Casino Hotel Resort 777 Isle of Capri Blvd. Waterloo, IA 877-ISLE-WIN www.islewaterloo.com

19 YEARS

11 YEARS

Revitalizing Downtown Waterloo

P.O. Box 561

One Great Building at a Time 215 E. 4th Street, Waterloo 319.233.3147 jsadevelopment.com

19 YEARS Chapman

Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-7000

11 YEARS

Protective Matting Systems Dura Deck Sales – Rentals Temporary Floor Portable Access Roads 319-987-2070

Electric, Inc. (319) 291-2000 422 Commercial St., 319-232-5228 Waterloo www.chapmanelectricinc.com www.communitybt.bank bwcontractorsinc@aol.com

David Beaty Specializing in Retirement Income Fast professional service and Estate Planning on all major brands. Thunder Ridge Court 2509 Valley Park Dr., C.F. 2302 W. 1st St., Ste. 120, C.F. 266-1437 or 231-0765 319-277-1059

26 YEARS

In Waterloo 100 Years as a Company

Conagra Brands “Let us show you Highly Automated - Quality Food the difference” Processing & Packaging 319-988-4051 2701 Midport Blvd. Family Owned and Operated Waterloo, IA Joe and Dawn 319-291-3000 www.breakenridgememorials.com www.Conagrabrands.com

(319) 239-5181

info@andersoncollision.com

Fleming’s Landscaping and More

21 YEARS

7314 Chancellor Dr., C.F. 266-1771

319-277-5661

140 Brookeridge Waterloo, IA 50702 319-234-8644

24 YEARS

319-347-2797

Let Us - Help You Save Transportation Dollars! Waterloo, Iowa 1-800-234-3930

Follow us on Facebook

425 LaPorte Rd., Waterloo 319-234-8822

Waterloo, IA 50701

Cedar Falls, IA 50613

New Creation Salon

3533 W. Airline Hwy. 235-9356

Rod Curran, Owner Since 1996 “The Plumber Your Friends Call” 233-0353

516 Washington St.

15 YEARS

“Outdoor Living at it’s Best!” Over 27 years experience. 319-240-9565

Breakenridge Memorials

23 YEARS Jazzercise Waterloo/ Denver

19 YEARS

Cetek, Inc. Industrial Controls

• Integration • Microprocessor Based Control Systems • Circuit Board Design • Mechanical Engineering & Design • Controller Manufacturing Cedar Falls 290-3910

18 YEARS

Acupuncture & Chinese Medical Clinic

11 YEARS

Nelson Electric of Black Hawk County Electrical Contractor 809 Ansborough Waterloo 235-2445

www.nelsonelectric.biz

9 YEARS Bottles two Backpacks 204 G. Ave Grundy Center, Iowa 319-825-8888

Design/Build Industrial, Commercial, Residential 1705 Waterloo Rd., C.F. mageeconstruction.com 319-277-0100

7744 Ansborough Ave, Waterloo, IA 50701 (319) 233-8224 www.bealssheetmetal.com

“Big City” atmosphere with “Downtown” Service! 200 State St., Suite 204 Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-7517 www.kateandcompanycf.com

www.jazzercise.com

3120 Kimball Ave Suite 3118 Waterloo, Iowa 50702 319-236-3363 “Bring Your Body Back Into Balance.” www.taraacupuncture.com

39 YEARS

35 YEARS

26 YEARS

22 YEARS

18 YEARS

9 YEARS

K Properties

East Iowa Plastics, Inc.

Pump Haus Pub & Grill

Dolly’s Transport Call now to get a ride!

Mudd Advertising We love it when you succeed! 915 Technology Parkway Cedar Falls, IA 50613 877-321-4992

Craig Holdiman REAL ESTATE APPRAISER

Specializing in Residential Real Estate Appraisals 526 Midlothian, 236-2942 www.holdimanappraisals.com

920 Brookside Ave. Evansdale, IA 319-231-6795 Real Estate Leasing Self Storage

319-984-5115

601 17th Street S.E. Independence, IA 50644 319-334-2552 www.eastiowaplastics.com

311 Main Street Downtown Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-8111 www.thepumphaus.com

319 Main Street Janesville, IA 319-987-4052 www.SunlessByBombshell.com

Valley Lutheran School 4520 Rownd Street Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 319.266.4565 www.vlscrusaders.org

Service Signing LC

“Complete Auto and Truck Repair”

Print or digital service delivered to your fingertips.

17 YEARS

15 YEARS

Mary Mayer

Gray Transportation, Inc.

Over 8 years of experience!

King Automotive AND

911 Parriott St., Aplington

Anderson Collision

300 S. State St, Denver, IA 50622 319-939-1611 bartelsk@hotmail.com Licensed in the State of Iowa

RE/MAX Alliance Sunless By Bombshell

21 YEARS

7735 Ansborough Ave.

39 YEARS

3 YEARS

24 YEARS

Metal Spinning for the Industry

1714 River St. 232-4741

17 YEARS

319-287-5915

Complete line of traffic control devices for sale or rental.

Cooks

706 Ansborough Avenue Outdoors Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-987-3091 1910 Center Street www.fishsticks.biz Cedar Falls, IA 50613 We carry all types of floor covering, 319-260-2040 cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, trim & much more! Design, Sales & Installation. www.cooksoutdoors.com

4006 Johnathan Street Waterloo, IA 50701 319.236.2700 www.adiofiowa.com

Waterloo

Concrete and Masonry 319-235-9698 2515 Falls Ave., Waterloo sweerinbrothersmasonry.com 235-6085

4 YEARS

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

European Car Specialist

Owners: Jeff and Bryant Cizek Western SnowEx & Boss snow plows B & W Gooseneck Hitches

17 YEARS

Fishsticks Millwork, LLC

American Pattern &

Jeff Fitzpatrick

Open Locally Since 2013 116 East 4th Street Waterloo, IA 50703 319-233-3297 www.benjaminfedwards.com 2020-0448 Exp.02/28/2022

15 YEARS

John Fitzpatrick and

7 YEARS

Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.

(319) 232-4242

New York Life

Lichty Auto Repair

C & C Welding and Sandblasting

Waterloo, IA 50701

21 YEARS

Fabrication

Family owned Industrial machinery moving & rigging shrink wrap services. 7741 Waverly Road Cedar Falls, IA 319-987-2070 www.bwcontractorsinc.com

3015 Greyhound Dr.

25 YEARS

1425 West 5th Street

BW Contractors, Inc.

21 YEARS

Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.

Over 45 years experience The Solution to Your in the Waterloo, Cleaning Needs Cedar Falls area 319-266-6947 www.procleaninginc.com 233-4157

Kryton Engineered Metals

39 YEARS

Glass Tech

Serving La Porte City, Auto Glass Waterloo and Cedar Falls Repair & Replacement areas for all your electrical 1925 Waterloo Rd., C.F. contracting needs 319-268-9850 3008 S. Hudson Rd. We appreciate all of the Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 business from our customers 319-232-6373 over the past 21 years!

Safeco - Travelers CNC Works, Inc. Progressive - State Auto5540 Westminster Dr. Nationwide 3826 Cedar Heights Dr. Cedar Falls, IA Cedar Falls, IA 50613 268-2233 319-277-2320 www.dtrunnellinsurance.com www.americanpattern.com

30 YEARS

Civil/Structural Engineering and Surveying

Henninger Electric

Modular Homes Rental New/Used Manufactured Homes Make Your Mouth Dance! Family owned and operated Dennis Payne 222 Main Street, C.F. 3488 Wagner Rd. 3766 W Airline Hwy, Waterloo, IA 50703 319-268-7222 Waterloo, 50703 234-9114 319-234-8610 www.montage-cf.com www.coachlighthomes.com www.emersoncranerental.com

38 YEARS

Corporate Wearables And Work Wear 1605 Lafayette St. www.coverallembroidery.com 1808 East. St., Cedar Falls Waterloo, IA 50703 277-2385 www.northeastiowafoodbank.org

Advanced Heat Treat Corp.

Farms, Residential and Acreages

21 YEARS

215 W. 9th St. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 277-8121 Serving Families For 39 Years

Satisfaction... Today & Tomorrow Since 1980 319-266-0807

Wrage Realty

25 YEARS

Casa Montessori School

INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL

22 YEARS

33 YEARS

39 YEARS

40 YEARS

5743 Westminster Drive Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-1134 www.cedarvalleyelctric.com

39 YEARS

40 YEARS

Cedar Falls, IA 319-232-1268 www.midwestboatrepair.com

Turnkey Associates

www.larrabeecenter.org

Rainsoft of NE Iowa

6818 Street Rd,

Cedar Valley Electric

319-234-6871 www.fifthstreettire.com

All Makes of Vacuums

Midwest Boats Sales & Repair

“Enriching Lives, Kelly, Dunlop and other top tire brands as well Enriching the Community” as automotive repair and 114 10th St SW services to the Waterloo area Waverly 515 W 5th St, Waterloo (319) 352-8029

17 YEARS

David J. Wrage, Broker 315 Main St., Dysart 319-476-7070 Cell: 319-640-8388

319-291-7200 1800 Commercial St. Waterloo

1304 Technology Pkwy Ste 200 Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 319-277-8541 www.pipac.com

Water Treatment & Plumbing We’re proud to be part of the community.

Fifth Street Tire Co TRINKETS & TOGS THRIFT STORE Quality tires from Goodyear,

22 YEARS

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Farm & Ranch Free Ads Garage & Estate Sales Jobs Merchandise Pets Real Estate & Rentals Services Vehicles wcfcourier.com/ads/

821 Lincoln St. Cedar Falls 319-242-2011 dollystransport.com

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PROGRESS 2020

The Courier

Sunday, March 1, 2020 | K3

Great things in store Waterloo Career Center has convenience store operated by students KRISTIN GUESS

kristin.guess@wcfcourier.com‌

‌WATERLOO — High school students with a taste for the real world are in for a treat at the Cedar Valley’s newest convenience store. In the front entrance of the Waterloo Career Center sits the student-operated Career Center Convenience store that opened Jan. 6. Designed, built and operated by career center students, the pop-up kiosk offers coffee, snacks, class materials as well as T-shirts and water bottles. “It’s just a really nice display of what can be done when you put a problem in front of kids and you just kind of run with it,” said Mark Aalderks, a coordinator and teacher in the business and marketing programs at the WCC. Last semester, Aalderks assigned students to develop a business plan for the student-run convenience store. More than a dozen programs at the center collaborated to complete the project in just one semester. The project received a grant from the Waterloo Schools Foundation to get started. Early childhood education and culinary students were tasked with researching what items are allowed for sale within the national Food and Nutrition Act guidelines. Digital marketing students designed T-shirts, and sustainable construction students built and painted the mobile shop that can be transported to other events if needed. Students in the electrical program wired in lights, a mini refrigerator and a popcorn machine. “It’s so hands on,” said Endrina

BRANDON POLLOCK PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER‌

Taneesa Martin, left, and Endrina Huseinovic record sales at the Career Center Convenience shop in the lobby of the Waterloo Career Center in Waterloo on Feb. 11.

Branded water bottles hang for sale at the Career Center Convenience Taneesa Martin rings up student purchases at the Career Center shop. Convenience shop. Huseinovic, a West High School senior who was involved in the planning process last semester and now works as a cashier. “This is stuff you actually do in the real

world. That’s why I really like working here.” Huseinovic said she plans to study business marketing in college and has enjoyed applying

what she’s learned from her marketing classes to the store. “It makes me feel so independent. … At West I feel so outgrown, and here I feel I have more

freedom,” she said. The store is open for five shifts between classes Monday through Friday. It sells local Fat Cup coffee and other beverages, ice scrapers, pens, pencils, hair ties and more. Aalderks, with more than 15 years of teaching experience, joined the career center last fall. Originally from the Aplington-Parkersburg area, Aalderks was a teacher in the Des Moines area before moving back to the Cedar Valley and teaching business and Center for Advanced Professional Studies classes at Cedar Falls High School. He said he thoroughly enjoys working with students at what he describes as the “blank canvas that can give the kids whatever they want and need to succeed in the real world. “Doing these little things can help build those customer service skills, keeping track of money, counting money, how to settle up after a day,” he said. Taneesa Martin, a sophomore at West High who also works at the store, said she’s excited to put this job on her resume one day. She’s learned about teamwork and how to work “with people you don’t really know.” The career center opened in 2016 on the north end of Central Middle School. The two-story facility currently offers high schoolers more than 15 career and technical education programs. East, West and Expo students enroll in the 90-minute block classes and earn Hawkeye credits at no cost. Students from the Cedar Falls, Hudson and DikeNew Hartford school districts can also enroll through sharing agreements with Waterloo Schools. Programs at the career center and another site are in areas such as construction, digital media, plumbing, education and computer networking.

restaurant GUIDE Southtown The Cedar Valley’s Only BrOasTed ChiCken!

Where Friends Gather Tea Room • Gift Shop Catering

Experience the real broasted chicken, hand breaded tenderloins, the different wraps we have or our many daily specials!

Come CheCk out our NeW Coffee Shop the pepperSprout! (Cookbooks Still Available)

Locally owned and operated since 1982 2026 Bopp St., Waterloo 236-9112 • www.southtownbargrill.com Kitchen: 7am-10:30pm • Located next to Witham Auto & Crossroads Mall

WaterlOO

Join us for a new dining experience featuring juicy burgers, steaks, appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, desserts, drinks and more. Open daily.

777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo, IA 50701• 319-833-4753

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 911 Parriott St. Aplington • 319-347-2797 peppercornpantry.com

1111 Center St., Cedar Falls, IA (319) 266-2616 Monday-Saturday – 4:30-10 PM Sunday – 4-9 PM

222 Main St., Cedar Falls, IA (319) 268-7222 Monday-Saturday – 4:30-10 PM

311 Main Street Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 11am - 2am 319-277-8111

www.thepumphaus.com thepumphaus@cfu.net

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Serving You for over 60 Years Daily Specials Open Monday-Friday 6am - 2pm; Saturday and Sunday 6am-1pm 520 Mulberry St., Waterloo (319) 234-2416


K4 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

& beauty

barber

guide

“Big City” Atmosphere with “Downtown” Service!

WEEK LONG CELEBRATION

YEARS

Hair Services, Waxing, Makeup, Nails, Facials Bridal Packages & Massage

Styling the Cedar Valley

HOURS: Mon. – Thurs. 9 am–9 pm,

Fri., 9 am–7:30 pm & Sat. 8 am–4 pm.

200 State St. Suite 204, Cedar Falls, Ia. 319-266-7517 www.kateandcompanycf.com

STOp IN & SEE US! SWAG BAG & DAILY DRAWINGS

ApRIL 6Th – 10Th

PhoNe: 319-260-2250

New ServiceS!!! MaNicureS & PedicureS, Body SugariNg, FacialS & laShliFt & tiNt, eyelaSh exteNSioNS

childrens activities

• Morning Preschool 8:30-11:30 • Wrap-Around Child Care 7:00-5:30 • Certified Teachers - State Licensed

directory

277-8121

215 W. 9th St., Cedar Falls casamontessoricf@gmail.com

Non profit and non-sectarian

ACTIVE MINDS EARLY LEARNING ACADEMY 1744 Falls Ave Waterloo, lA 50701

319-234-1060 High Quality Preschool & Child Care

Ages 2-12

Open 5:30a.m. - 6:00p.m. • Engaging Child-Centered Activities All Day • Respectful, Caring Staff • STEM Education • Development of the Whole Child • DHS Assistance Accepted

The Bottom Line CCR&R is here for YOU! • Starting a new child care business • Developing contracts and policies • Outdoor play spaces and room arrangements • Professional development opportunities • And MUCH more!

319-233-0804 | www.iowaccrr.org Funding provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services through the Child Care Development Fund

Immanuel Lutheran Preschool 4820 Oster Pkwy Cedar Falls, IA 319-260-2005

immanuelpreschool.org Now Open! Orchard Drive School Age Program for Southdale Students Nordic 319-266-4477 • Valley Park 319-277-7303 • Westridge 319-234-5920

www.cuccc.org Come by and hear the learning

Openings in 3 & 4 year classes

“Preparing Children For Life”

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Sunday, March 1, 2020 | K5

The Courier

Worship with these Cedar Valley Churches Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

American Baptist Churches USA

Baptist

Prairie lakes Church 1907 Viking Viking Rd. 1907 Rd. Cedar Falls,IAIA Cedar Falls, 319.266.2655 266.2655 319.266.2655 prairielakeschurch.org Sat, Sat.,5:30 5:30 p.m. p.m.

Sun.,9:00 9:00 & & 11:00 11:00 a.m. Sun, Senior Pastor, John Fuller No matter who you are, where you’ve Cedar Falls Campus been, what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, God loves you & you can Pastorlook Chip Uhrmacher for God here!

First Baptist Church

Central Christian Church

434 Baltimore St., Waterloo, IA 319-234-1537 firstbaptistwaterloo.org Email: waterloofbc@yahoo.com Rev. Joe Greemore - Lead Worship Pastor Rev. Carol Teare - Adult Choral Director Susan Price - Christian Education

We worship on Sunday mornings

Sundays-9:00 a.m. Sunday School for Adults and Children 10:15 a.m. - Worship Nursery Provided

at 9:30am SundayWorship School for preschool and Wiggly early elementary ages hospitality hour following.

Wednesdays 5:30-6:45 - Friends Club ages K-5th, Youth Group, Mom’s Club 6:45 - Adult Choir Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. M - Th Handicapped accessible building

Faith Formation activities and Group Wednesday evening 6-7:30 5:45-7.pm birth through high School Group F.r.o.G, pad

Lutheran (ELCA)

9:00am - 12:00pm Men’s Bible Study bibleWednesday Study Wednesday 5:00pm 4:00 p.m.

retiree’s breakfast 2nd Special services for Lent and thursday each month at Advent. Third Sunday each month 9:00am& Dessert. 6:00 p.m.-Dialogue

Lutheran

Saint Ansgar’s Lutheran Luther Church 1122 W. 11th St

4000 Hudson Road Cedar Falls, IA 50613 (319) 266-3541 www.bethlehemcf.org Service Times: 8:30 am- Traditional Worship 9:45 am- Education Hour 11:00 am Contemporary

Church: 319-260-2000 Preschool: 319-260-2005 www.ilcv.org Sunday Worship:

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday School Prayer Meeting every Saturday: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Pastor Nathan Kalala Mbiye

Worship and and Spiritual Worship Spiitual Leader leader Lawrence J.D. lawrence A. a. Stumme Stumme Jr., Jr., B.D., b.d, J.d. Services: youth Sunday School 9:00am Sunday School 10:10 a.m. Sunday Worship 10:45 a.m. adult Sunday School 9:45am Quilting each Tuesday Sunday Worship 10:30am 9:00 am-12:00 pm Quilting each tuesday

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

4820 Oster Parkway Cedar Falls, IA

We invite you to join us to spend time together in God’s presence. God Bless You All!

2812 Willow Lane Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-4183 stpaulcf@q.com stpaulcf2017@gmail.com

319-234-6231 www.centralchristianwaterloo.org

ImmAnueL LutheRAn

www.facebook.com/ Upper-Chamber-ChurchUCC-214406772736664/

St., Paul ev., lutheran Church

3475 Kimball Avenue, Waterloo

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

920 W. 5th Street Waterloo, Iowa 217-204-8185

Evangelical Lutheran

8:30 am and 11:00 am Wednesday: 5:30 pm

Women’s & Men’s Bible Study, Children’s & Adult Choir, Youth Groups, Joyful Times (Older Adult Group) Pastor Amy Eisenmann

Senior Pastor: Rev. Dr. Gerald Kapanka Sunday School: 9:45 am, Adult Bible Study: 10:00 am

Waterloo IA 319-232-2733 stansgar1122@hotmail.com www.stansgarwaterloo.com

Sunday Worship 9-10 a.m. Monday Worship 6:30-7:15 p.m. (Great for those who work or travel on weekends!) Bible Conversations on: Mondays 10 a.m. Tuesdays 7:30 a.m. Pastor Kristen Wipperman

Presbyterian

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Westminster Presbyterian Church

4031 Lafayette Road, Evansdale, IA

1301 Kimball Ave., Waterloo 319-234-5501 www.wpcw.org Sunday Services: 9:00 a.m. Traditional 11:15 a.m. Contemporary Sunday School for all ages: 10:10 a.m. Wednesday Night Discovery Night Ages 3 through Adult Dr. Tricia Jacobs, Senior Pastor, Rev. Dan Voigt, Assoc. Pastor With Christ our Cornerstone We Believe. Become. Belong. Build.

319-233-4152 popevansdale.org

Service Times: Traditional 8:45 a.m. Contemporary 11:15 a.m. Wednesday Evening 6:30-7:30 p.m.POP’s Disciples for youth 4 years old through 5th grade Quilting Group: First Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Men & Women’s Bible Studies - various times Pastor Steven Klawonn

Join us Saturdays at 5 PM Sundays at 8:30, 10 & 11:30 AM

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Presbyterian (USA)

First Presbyterian Church

505 Franklin St., Waterloo 319-233-6145 1stpresby.org Rev. Amy Wiles, pastor Sunday Worship: 10:00 a.m. Adult Education-Sun. 8:45 a.m. Youth Group: Sun. 3:30 p.m. Sunday supper (free community meal), every Sunday 5:00 p.m. Bell Choir: Wed. 6:00 p.m. Sanctuary Choir: Wed. 7:30 p.m. Children Ed: Wed. 5:30 p.m.

Pre-Denominational

First Presbyterian Church

Cedar Valley Unitarian Universalists

902 Main Street, Cedar Falls 319-277-3930 firstprescf.org

3912 Cedar Heights Drive

Sunday Worship: 10:30 a.m.

www.cedarvalleyuu.org

Wednesday: Children’s & Youth Program 6:00 p.m.

Thursday: 7:00 p.m.

United Methodist

Cedar Falls, IA

Cedar Terrace Church of Christ 2543 Cedar Terrace Dr. Waterloo, IA 50702 319-493-2900 www.CedarTerraceCOC.com Service Times: Sunday at 10:30 a.m & Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

319-266-5640 Pastor Emma Peterson Sunday: 10:00 a.m. Buddhist Path

Simple worship the way the Bible teaches

Every Wednesday Night Community Meal 5:15 pm

United Methodist

Kimball Avenue United Methodist Church

St. Timothys United Methodist

1207 Kimball Avenue, Waterloo, IA 319-232-4103 www.kimballaveumc.com

www.sttims-umc.org

Sunday Worship: 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all Ages: Sundays 10:45 a.m. Rev. Karen M Larson 00 1

Unitarian Universalist

3220 Terrace Drive, Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-0464

9:00 a.m. Sunday School 10:15 a.m. Worship Service Valuing Inclusiveness & Diversity Pastor Scott Lothe

Roman Catholic

Waterloo Catholic Parishes Blessed Sacrament Queen of Peace Sacred Heart St. Edward Information • Worship Schedules • Parish Links www.waterloocatholics.org


K6 | Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Courier

To

JANE KLEIN, GILBERTVILLE The winner of our Logo Contest and the recipient of a year’s subscription to the Waterloo Courier. The following businesses participated in our contest in December. How many were you able to identify? 1

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Profile for Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Progress Edition - 2020  

Progress Edition - 2020  

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