More than 120 community and regional leaders from the six-county NWID region attended the 7th annual Northwest Iowa Development 2017 Parnter Meeting on September 20th at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center at NCC. Attendees represented economic development, business, city councils and boards of supervisors and others with an interest in growing the region.
“The Northwest Iowa Development identity is that of a regional community of partners sharing a strategy that will benefit all within the region,” NWID Chairman Glenn Anderson said during the presentation. “We work together because we realize it will enable us to accomplish far more than we could if we were to act individually.”
Anderson focused on the four strategic areas of the 2017 Northwest Iowa Development plan. The for areas are supporting existing business and entrepreneurial growth through workforce development, advocating policies supporting economic growth, developing research and data to support local economic development efforts and marketing our region through targeted promotions.
Iowa Congressman Steve King and Scott Siepker, the Iowa Nice Guy, were featured speakers at the event.
Rock Rapids Development Corporation (RRDC) was recognized by Northwest Iowa Development with the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support award for outstanding efforts to increase housing and maintaining population following the devastating flood of 2014. RRDC was a key player in a community effort. RRDC and the city are in the final stages of work with FEMA following the flood. Also being recognized for economic development support was Kelly McCarty, Iowa Small Business Development Center in Spencer, who has served four of the six counties for the past 15 years.
Receiving the Kirk Grau Business or Organization Innovation Award were businesses from Cherokee and Paullina. Diane Young, owner of Foundation Analytical Laboratories of Cherokee was recognized for her entrepreneurship starting the company in 2008 and growing her successful company with 18 employees and more than 800 clients. Similarly, owner Justin Stamer of Mill Creek Machining in Paullina has grown his company from operating in a car wash building in 2001 to an innovative business with 30 employees.
Finally, two past NWID Board Members were recognized for their years of service to the organization with Awards of Appreciation. Mark Buschkamp, long time Cherokee NWID Board member and Frank DeMilia, long-time Northwest Iowa Community College representative on the Board were recognized.
“The annual Partners Meeting is our way to show appreciation for the economic development efforts and contributions our partners and stakeholders make to grow northwest Iowa and our counties and cities,” Board Member Steve Simons explained following the Partner Meeting.
(Right) Congressman Steve King was the featured speaker at the Northwest Iowa Development Partner Meeting.
Receiving the NWID Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award for the Rock Rapids Development Corporation were (L-R) Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase, RRDC Board Member Brad Rypkema, NWID Board member Steve Simons, Rock Rapids City Councilman Cody Hoefert, RRDC Development Director Micah Freese and RRDC Board Member Jordan Kordahl.
Rock Valley Economic Development Corporation Development Director and NWID Board Member David Miller O’Brien presented Diane Young of Foundation Analytical Laboratory of Cherokee with the NWID Kirk Grau Business or Organization Innovation Award.
NWID Board member Steve Simons from Lyon County presented Frank DeMilia with an Award of Appreciation for his years of service representing Northwest Iowa Community College on the NWID Board.
O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director and NWID Board Member Kiana Johnson presented Justin Stamer of Mill Creek Manufacturing with the NWID Kirk Grau Business or Organization Innovation Award.
Mike Earll, NWID Board member presents Kelly McCarty of the Spencer Small Business Development Center the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award for his work with clients in Northwest Iowa Development counties for the past 15 years.
NWID Chairman Glenn Anderson of Sibley presented Mark Buschkamp, former Director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation, with an Award of Appreciation for his years of service on the NWID Board of Directors.