FRIDAY, SEPT. 29, 2017  |  IN THIS ISSUE  
Thomas L. Cardella & Associates to add call centers, hire 800 
Thomas Cardella, shown in a 2016 CBJ profile. 
Thomas L. Cardella & Associates (TLC) plans to add four new call centers and expand an Iowa call center in the next six months, the largest expansion in history for one of the Corridor's fastest-growing companies.
The expansions will add 800 employees, most of them in the southwest, as the company boosts capacity to serve about six new clients.
"All these locations are already sold out,TLC founder and President Tom Cardella said, adding that the company has its eye on one other expansion location in El Paso, Texas.
The expansions currently planned include:
● 75 additional employees and a 4,000-square-foot building expansion at an existing call center in Keokuk. It will open in November.
● A new contact center in El Paso, with 150 employees. The center will be in western El Paso, complementing an existing center in central El Paso. It will open in December.
● A new contact center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with 350 additional employees. It will open in January 2018.
● A new call center in Marshalltown with 75 employees. It will open in February 2018.
● A new call call center at a soon-to-be-announced location in the southwestern United States with 150 employees. It will open in March.  
The company also plans to move its Cedar Rapids headquarters next April to 3735 Queen Court SW, not far from its existing headquarters at 4515 20th Ave. SW, due to considerations related to a lease expiration.
TLC & Associates provides a full range of customer contact services, including inbound calls, outbound calls, chat, email, business process outsourcing and fulfillment. It employs more than 1,500 at seven existing call centers in Iowa, Texas, Florida and the Dominican Republic.
For more on this story, see Monday's print and digital editions of the CBJ. 
bizSecretary of State announces new "Fast Track Filing" system
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate today announced a new initiative through the state's Business Services Division that will reduce or eliminate the processes needed to scan documents, process payments and correspond with filers.
The new system, which will allow Iowa companies to file documents online, will launch in the spring of 2018, according to the secretary's office.
"Iowa's business community wants the ability to file online. That is what we are going to give them," Mr. Pate said in a press release, noting that the initiative comes after meetings with business leaders and owners around the state.
Along with providing instantaneous service, the Fast Track Filing system will free up staff to handle a higher phone call volume to assist Iowa's business community quicker and more efficiently, Mr. Pate said.
The technology upgrades required for the new system will be paid for through a Technology Modernization Fund, which was created by the Iowa Legislature during the 2017 session. Some filing fees collected by the Secretary of State's office will see an adjustment - a move that drew scrutiny and concern from some business organizations this week, including the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, according to the Des Moines Business Record.
Other groups, including the Iowa State Bar Assocation and Iowa Bankers Association, have expressed support for "reasonable fee increases, if the monies are dedicated to upgrading business services technology," ISBA Excutive Director Dwight Dinkla said in a statement.
In this week's CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX 28, Editor Adam Moore discusses the McGrath family's plans for a plot of land along Council Street in Cedar Rapids, TLC & Associates' plans to open new call centers, and Infinity Inc.'s plans to hire at least 25 in the Corridor. To watch the full report, click here
Story5 EPIC Corporate Challenge survey results released in DM
Tiffany O'Donnell, CEO of IWLC.
EPIC Corporate Challenge partners including Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Women Lead Change CEO Tiffany O'Donnell, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham, and co-sponsors Delta Dental and Hy-Vee unveiled the results of the EPIC Challenge 2017 survey this morning in Des Moines.
The results were released to the more than 60 companies that participated in the EPIC Challenge, a public-private partnership intended to bring together Iowa companies to formally commit to growing and retaining women at all levels of their leadership.
Participating companies represented in the Corridor include Alliant Energy, Bankers Trust, the city of Cedar Rapids, Hy-Vee, IWLC, Pearson, Rockwell Collins and Van Meter Inc.

The initiative tracks metrics including the recruitment and retention of women, number of women in senior leadership, number of women on the board of directors and pay equity.
"We are thrilled to release our second-annual EPIC Corporate Challenge survey to more than 60 companies who have committed to growing the number of women in leadership at all levels," Ms. O'Donnell said in a press release. "Last year's survey provided a benchmark. I'm optimistic the numbers will show improvement this year."
Iowa is the third state to bring together government, private businesses and nonprofits to promote women's leadership state-wide and the only state to measure the results.
To learn more about the EPIC Corporate Challenge, visit
hamHammers and Hardhats to raise money for Habitat Women Build 
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity will host Hammers and Hardhats, its annual silent and live auction event, Oct. 5 to raise money for the nonprofit's ninth Women Build initiative honoring Jan Down and Kazi Alward, local and global Habitat volunteers who have served the organization for more than two decades.  
The evening, to be held at the Coralville Marriott, will feature a silent and live auction, appetizers, a cash bar and the HabiChamp competition, where individuals face off to win the HabiChampcrown. This year's competitors include well-known Iowa City community members:
  • Lee Alward, ophthalmologist at the University of Iowa
  • Jim Down, retired orthodontist
  • Kari Kibby, financial representative at Thrivent Financial
  • Katie Lammers, co-owner of Lammers Construction Services
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity's annual Women Build gathers women in the community to raise funds and build a home for a low-income family in the area. The goal of the Women Build is not meant to exclude men, but to include women who may not feel comfortable volunteering at a male-dominated construction site. This project also serves to highlight and honor the women that work in construction trades.
Tickets are $50, and available online at, or over the phone at (319) 337-8949. 
Keep everyone in the loop

Forward the FREE CBJ Business Daily newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and share the feeling of being informed! Use our fast, one-minute subscription to the CBJ's newsletters here, or check out our other subscription options here.

See something we missed? Send tips, leads, corrections, etc. to

EventHeadlinesShort-Term Event Planner

Oct. 4
Marion Chamber Annual Meeting, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m.-1p.m., Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Road. NE, Cedar Rapids. The Marion Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its successes from 2017 and provide a look into new programs for 2018. Zachary Mannheimer of McClure engineering will be the keynote speaker for this event.  Cost: $37.38 or $373.83 for a table of 10. For more information, visit .
Oct. 5
Open Coffee , by Washington Chamber of Commerce, 8-9 a.m., Dodici's Shop, 120 S. Iowa Ave., Washington. This event is open to the public and anyone interested in an open discussion about fostering creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Corridor is encouraged to attend. Free. Call (319) 653-4712 for more information.
Next Gen Summit 2017 , by ImpactCR and EPIC, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., U.S. Cellular Convention Center, 350 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids. The Next Gen. Summit was created to inspire, empower and develop young professionals in Iowa's Creative Corridor. Attendees can choose from a variety of workshops and breakout sessions with local and national experts on topics such as building a professional image, harnessing strengths, leadership and more. This year's keynote is Bill Marklein, who will speak about emotional intelligence in the workplace. Cost: $150. For more information or to register, visit
Oct. 5-6 
CBJ Manufacturing Conference , by the Corridor Business Journal, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. The Corridor Manufacturing Conference is a half-day event with three tracks - Leadership, Operations and Workforce/HR -designed to connect and inspire manufacturing leaders. Topics will include next-level leadership, employee recruitment and retention, safety best practices, disruptive technologies and more. A pre-conference cocktail reception and networking event will be held Oct. 5. Cost: $95 until Sept. 28, $110 after; $950 for table of 10 until Sept. 28. For more information or to register, visit
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 

A Williamsburg woman was killed in a house fire Thursday afternoon. Emergency crews were called to a house fire at 2631 265th Street at 4:43 p.m. Upon arrival, the home was fully engulfed in flames. Once the fire was extinguished, the home's owner, 52-year-old Barbara McCune was found dead inside. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Iowa County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal. The Williamsburg Fire Department was helped by the North English Fire Department.  
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 

CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails'  Weather First Forecast

The end of the week brings another fine day to Eastern Iowa. It'll be slightly cooler today as high pressure settles in from the north, leading to sunny skies and overall pleasant temperatures in the 60s to low 70s.  Tonight could very well be the coldest night we've seen in several months. Clear skies, light winds and dry air will allow temperatures to cool off rapidly after sunset. Most areas likely will be in the upper 30s by morning.  The nice weather will continue through the weekend. Temperatures will be near seasonal norms in the upper 60s to low 70s with a few more clouds on Sunday.