FRIDAY, JAN. 25, 2019  |  IN THIS ISSUE  

The 6,000-seat arena and fieldhouse project under construction in Coralville's Iowa River Landing has a new name under a 10-year marketing partnership between facility manager ArenaCo and Mediacom Communications: Xtream Arena powered by Mediacom.
Project leaders declined to put a price tag on the naming rights at a press conference on Thursday, instead underlining the financial and media assets Mediacom brings to the party. They said the combined package of sponsorship dollars, state-of-the-art WiFi technology and advertising and promotional assets would allow ArenaCo to meet its budget targets.
ArenaCo Board Member Josh Schamberger called Mediacom "a terrific partner," adding "their longstanding marketing partnership with Iowa Hawkeye athletics speaks to how much they value creating outstanding in-venue experiences."
Negotiations between project leaders and Mediacom started about 18 months ago, said Mediacom Senior Vice President Ed Pardini, who joked during the press conference that Mr. Schamberger and Coralville City Manager Kelly Hayworth had "gone to the Nancy Reagan School of Negotiations because they were always just saying 'no.'"
"What captured our interest is that this is not just a university venue - it will attract people of all ages, parents, kids, everybody," he said. "It will also have a wide mix of events. It's concerts, it's hockey, it's University of Iowa women's athletics and potentially minor league hockey."
Mr. Pardini said the financial terms of the naming rights were being kept "confidential and proprietary because it's a very competitive market and not something we care to share with our competitors."
The arena's $50 million price tag includes $12 million from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and $200,000 from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Mr. Pardini said Mediacom's "significant commitment will help the arena meet all of its budgeted financial goals."
The project is the final piece of the Iowa River Landing project, launched decades ago in a once- blighted corner of the city. Scheduled for completion in 2020, the arena will serve as the new home for the University of Iowa Women's Volleyball program.
The ICR Future Coalition on Wednesday announced the launch of a new campaign to create 650 new high school job shadow and internship opportunities in Iowa City-Cedar Rapids region (ICR) by the end of 2020. 
The campaign is one of the coalition's core goals towards building the future workforce in our seven-county region.
"ICR employers are struggling to find their needed workforce," ICR Iowa President and CEO Jennifer Daly said in a release. "We must work together to expose students in our region at an earlier age to high-demand careers and the educational pathway required to pursue those careers if we want to reduce our workforce challenges in the future."
Currently, one out of four high school students in the region has the opportunity to complete a job shadow or internship. The coalition wants to increase that number, especially in the region's high-demand career occupations including STEM, health care, and education.
"Students often pursue careers they can see and experience," said Kate Moreland, director of career development for ICR Iowa. "Exposing high schoolers to high-demand career paths and regional employers can help increase the number of students who choose those paths for their future and also choose to stay and work in ICR Iowa as adults."
The Workplace Learning Connection, part of Kirkwood Community College and a member of the ICR Future Coalition, facilitates the placement of the majority of high school students who currently complete a job shadow or internship opportunity in the Corridor. They believe the campaign will increase the number of employers offering opportunities and also student requests for placement.
Employers interested in offering new or expanded high school internship or job shadow opportunities are encouraged to visit Employers who register will be recognized in ICR Iowa publications for their support in helping our region develop a future workforce. They will also receive a window cling to let others know of their engagement in the workforce initiative.
High school students who are interested in securing a job shadow or internship opportunity should contact their school counselor. Most high schools in the Corridor provide information on job shadow and internship opportunities directly to students during their sophomore, junior and senior years.

In this week's CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX28, Editor Adam Moore discusses Collins Aerospace's role on Lockheed Martin's new supersonic aircraft, the first retail occupants announced for Ahmann Companies' new Edgewood Town Center development, and the reason bankruptcies rose in Iowa last year while declining nationwide.  To see the report, click here.                 
Nearly 1,000 members of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance turned out for the organization's signature annual meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Thursday, taking a look at the city's past, present and future in honor of the 100th anniversary of its legacy organization, the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

"A hundred years ago, businesses came together to work in a unified way to help businesses succeed, to grow the economy and make the community a great place," Economic Alliance Executive Director Doug Neumann said in his opening comments. "A century later, nearly 1,200-member businesses continue to see the value in joining together to do much of the same thing."

To honor the past, leaders from UnityPoint Health, Quaker Oats,  CRST International and Tallgrass Business Resources shared their origin stories in the region, outlining their journeys from past to present, while Economic Alliance policy board members Anne Parmley of Pearson and Tatum Buse of Collins Aerospace presented highlights from the past year's annual report, including:
  • The Building to a Billion and Beyond strategy for celebrating existing business expansion. Ms. Buse said "the aggregate list of expansion projects shines a light on the more than $1 billion of development in some phase of planning, design or construction in the metro area ... seeing them all added up is impressive and shows the health of our economy."
  • 2018's Market After Dark event in August, which drew 40,000 people, and is slated again in 2019.
  • Advocating for workforce development advancements, including Future Ready Iowa, the state initiative aimed at having 70 percent of Iowans attain post-secondary training and education by 2025.
  • Highlighting the importance of buying local with the Buy Here, Give Here, Grow Here initiative to keep spending dollars and potential employees in the region. Ms. Buse noted that data indicates just 36 percent of participants felt likely or extremely likely to consider living in the region after graduation from high school or college versus 86 percent after program completion.
Turning to the future, Mr. Neumann shared several key objectives in the alliance's 2019 strategic plan, including an initiative to get "as much local labor as possible involved in the flood protection system project," strengthening its partnership with ICR Iowa and advocating for growth policies "at all levels."

"I love the word 'transformational' in this goal," Mr. Neumann said. "As we've reflected on 100 years of history, the big stuff really stands the test of time - where the railroads were routed, how immigration policy helped create a workforce, how Cedar Rapids became the hub for air service in Eastern Iowa instead of some other Iowa community, construction of Interstate 380, the Committee of 100's work that led to economic diversification and the Royer Commission's work that led to local government reform."
In other business at the meeting, Larry Helling, founder and CEO of Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, was honored with the 2018 Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award, given to "a premier business leader who exemplifies the outstanding, enduring business values of Howard Hall and his passion for a vibrant Cedar Rapids," while Chris Skogman, president of Skogman Realty, took the reins as policy board chair for the coming year. 

Des Moines-based West Bancorporation reported 2018 record net income of $28.5 million, or $1.74 per diluted common share, thanks to tax law changes and loan growth.
The bank's 2018 income compared to 2017's net income of $23.1 million, or $1.41 per diluted common share.
In the fourth quarter, net income rose to $7.2 million, or 44 cents per share, from $4.2 million, or 26 cents per share in the prior year . An additional tax provision of $2.3 million was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to the revaluation of deferred tax assets as a result of changes to the federal tax code. Those changes reduced the company's federal income tax rate from 35 percent in 2017 to 21 percent in 2018. 
"We believe the company's ability to successfully execute our community banking initiatives has helped us reach another financial milestone as we report record earnings for 2018," President and CEO Dave Nelson said in a release. "Earnings benefited from loan growth and the lower corporate income tax rate but continued to be tempered by rising interest rates and the resulting increased cost of funds."
Mr. Nelson also congratulated Jim Conard, Eastern Iowa market president, on being honored in the Corridor Business Journal as one of the 25 Most Influential business leaders in the Corridor. 
Mr. Conard said in a release that the bank's Eastern Iowa commercial banking team had a record year in terms of loan production. 
"Our relationships with many of the area's leading local developers, real estate investors and business leaders resulted in a number of new business transactions that grew our market's total loan portfolio by 31.3 percent in 2018. Our pipeline of pending business transactions remains strong, and we believe that we will continue to see healthy growth in loans and deposits in 2019."

Jan. 25
Leadership Begins Within: Developing Self-Awareness, by Jennifer Zach, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Cedar Rapids Public Library - Conference Room, 450 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Build your skills as a leader by gaining a deep understanding of yourself, your habits and your assumptions. Cost: $45-$95. To register, visit

Jan. 28
Coralville Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Vesta, 849 Quarry Road, Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network, keep up to date with chamber and community events and frequent a member restaurant or business. Free. Contact Emily at (319) 337-9637 or with questions.

Jan. 28-30
Strategic Doing Workshop, by ICAD Group, MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. The Purdue Agile Strategy Lab returns to Iowa City for a Strategic Doing training session. Learn the deep skills, tools, and frameworks of agile strategy and collaboration needed to design and guide complex collaborations. Breakfast will be provided each day, as well as lunch on Monday and Tuesday. For more information, contact Tom Banta at

Jan. 29
Federal Business Review, by Iowa State University CIRAS, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join CIRAS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for tips on navigating the world of federal government contracting. Part I of the agenda, from 9-11 a.m., will provide an overview of best practices for working with the government. Part II, from noon-2 p.m. will address what it takes to be a subcontractor to a federal prime contractor. Free. To register, visit
Start spreading the news

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
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
A man already convicted of murdering an Iowa City cab driver has been convicted in the murder of an Iowa City bondsman. Court records show that 42-year-old Curtis Jones was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Jonathan Wieseler. Prosecutors  say that Mr. Jones shot Mr. Wieseler in the head while committing a robbery on April 22, 2017. A criminal complaint said that Mr. Jones was caught on security video near the crime scene, and Mr. Wieseler's DNA was found in Mr. Jones' vehicle. A first-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. His sentencing is set for March 8. Mr. Jones is already serving a life sentence  after being found guilty of murdering Ricky Lillie.
One man has been arrested and charged for a stabbing in Iowa City blocks away from two schools. Officers with the Iowa City Police Department arrested Wayne Saterfiel, 38, in connection to the stabbing. He's now facing a charge of willful injury causing serious injury. Police say they first got the report of a stabbing at 7:22 Thursday night at a home at 2913 Muscatine Ave. That's just a few blocks away from Willowwind School and Lucas Elementary School in the eastern part of Iowa City. The victim had a significant stab wound but is expected to survive. The case is still under investigation.

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast
Wind chills through the day will remain between 0 and -20. The actual temperatures will be in the single digits. Light snow will develop this afternoon as a clipper moves in. There may be up to an inch of fluffy accumulation, especially south of Highway 20. Clouds clear tonight and temperatures drop down below zero once again tonight. Wind chills will be around -10 to -20 Saturday morning. Temperatures will once again be in the single digits tomorrow afternoon with the chance for some flurries. Clouds will build Sunday and it will be cold once again with temperatures near 10 degrees. A stronger clipper will move into the area late Sunday into Monday. There is uncertainty on the exact track of the storm, but parts of Eastern Iowa may pick up several inches of snow through Monday.