January 2019
Midwest Partnership EDC is the non-profit, collaborative economic development organization formed to strengthen the economic vitality of the communities of Adair, Audubon, Greene and Guthrie Counties of West Central Iowa.
February 2019 News and Updates
Annual Dinner Recap
Midwest Partnership EDC recognized Dennis Flanery, of Guthrie Center, with the Guy Powell Award for his contributions to the community and organizations he supports at their annual dinner meeting on January 24 th in Panora.
The Guy Powell Award was established in honor of the late Guy Powell of Greenfield, who served as president of the Midwest Partnership EDC board of directors and was an active volunteer in several other community organizations. It is intended to recognize excellence in leadership and passion for economic development in the Midwest Partnership EDC region, taking into account vision, leadership, courage, and impact.
Dennis was nominated for his leadership as President of the Guthrie Center Area Economic Development Corporation, as well as for his vision for the Guthrie Activity Center. Dennis is very active in pursuing potential leads, as well as discussing business retention opportunities with Guthrie Center’s existing businesses. His work has provided a nearly-full downtown business area. He has also aided in the retention of a couple of businesses who had opportunities to leave the area. A couple of years ago, Dennis had the vision of restoring the exterior Guthrie Activity Center to look similar to that of 50+ years ago, providing a consistent downtown façade, as well as remodeling the interior of the building to maximize space for social utilization in an effort to draw consumers and businesses to Guthrie Center. He stepped forward to lead the project and established a team with a similar shared vision and passion for this goal. The capital campaign Dennis and his team spear-headed is proving to be very successful and nearing its full goal. 

Other highlights from the annual dinner included recognizing outgoing board members Brett Irlmeier of Audubon, John Rutledge of Panora, and Warren Varley of Stuart for their dedication and service to the organization over the years. Irlmeier served on the Midwest Partnership Board for 8 years, Rutledge 10 years, and Varley served for 12 years. Scott Tonderum of Greenfield was elected President of the organization for 2019. Sarah Gomez, Executive Director, provided a recap of the year, and those in attendance had the opportunity to hear from the evening’s guest speaker, Hernan Etcheto, CEO and Owner of Nutriom, in Panora.

Hernan Etcheto of Nutriom in Panora was the Guest Speaker
Scott Tonderum, 2019 MWP President, presented Norm Fandel with the Outgoing President Gavel and Plaque.
Outgoing Board Members John Rutledge and Warren Varley were recognized by 2019 MWP President Scott Tonderum.
Career Fair to Be Held: March 7th in Panora
Along with Midwest Partnership, Panorama High School is hosting a community career fair on March 7th from 4pm to 6:30pm in Panora, and you're invited to participate! Employers are welcome to set up a booth, free of charge, and spend a few hours visiting with community members and students about current job offerings available, including any part-time, full-time, student, or seasonal work that could become available. Visit the Career Fair website for more information or to register today!
EntreBASH Returns to the Region: April 25th in Jefferson
Planning has begun for the 2019 EntreBASH! Make plans to join us in Jefferson on April 25th for an evening of networking, learning, community support, and fun! Stay tuned for more information, as details are still being finalized.
Destination Development Summit
(via Western Iowa Tourism Region)

Here’s an educational opportunity you WILL NOT want to miss! Roger Brooks is coming back to Western Iowa for another Destination Development Summit ! You’ll want to bring a working team of local stakeholders with you on April 30 and May 1 at the Carrollton Event Center in Carroll for this exciting hands-on opportunity to develop your community's own Action Plan.  

At last year's Summit, we discovered that resting on the laurels of a brand we've since the 1950’s or so, isn’t exactly what our community should be known for today. We also learned that, for the first time in U.S. History, quality of life is leading economic development. 

This Summit will help you chart the future of your community for generations to come.  So gather your team and sign up early. Fill out the registration form and send it back to the Western Iowa Tourism Region office today!

Also, don't forget to that Roger Brooks' Destination Development Association's On-line platform is FREE through 2019. With unlimited access, you'll be able to join the monthly webinars or watch the recordings, be able to view dozens of how-to videos on most destination development subjects you could think of, and access to downloadable PDF how-to guides all centered around making your community a great place to live, work, and play! This is an excellent way to get your local businesses, attractions, and organizations on the same page, using common resources that will increase everyone's success.   Join for FREE today !
Iowa Rural Development Summit
(via Iowa Rural Development Council)

Leaders from small towns across Iowa are invited to attend the third Iowa Rural Development Summit, to be held April 10-12 in Grinnell. The 2019 Iowa Rural Development Summit is a chance to build on the momentum that exists statewide in regard to the viability of small towns and the strategies for success that already exist. The Summit brings leaders from small towns together to share successes best practices and consider solutions to common problems they face.
A main topic for this year’s summit will be Governor Reynolds’ Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. Housing, broadband connectivity and leadership development will be featured in panel discussions and break-out sessions. Other agenda topics include rural day care, livability, retail recruitment and communications. In addition, high-performing rural communities will be recognized and recipients of the 2019 Community Catalyst Awards are announced.
Rural communities seeking to attend the 2019 Iowa Rural Development Summit must have a three-person team in place to register. The cost for an entire community is $180, which includes breakfast on Thursday and Friday, lunch on Thursday, and a Rural Recognition reception on Thursday evening.
An optional half-day workshop on April 10th, free to Summit registrants, will focus on housing development, including local strategies and financing options.

Register today as tickets are limited to the first 300 registrants!
2018 BEST of Iowa Annual Report is Released
Business Expansion and Strategic Trends (BEST of Iowa) is a statewide business retention and expansion program. The program is an existing business collaborative effort between the local developer, MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, Iowa Area Development Group and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. BEST is a national model for using existing business data collected through Synchronist PRIME® interviews with local employers.

The 2018 annual report focused on 726 interviews completed with organizations in our targeted industries to identify important trends for economic developers, business and local leaders to understand. Based on the interviews completed with companies from across Iowa, the following issues were identified as critical for economic growth and development for Iowa moving forward:
  • Iowa must elevate efforts to enhance and grow our workforce.
  • Site, building and infrastructure development must be supported at the local and state level.
  • Innovation by Iowa companies must continue to be encouraged and supported.
  • A variety of public policy decisions are adversely affecting Iowa companies.

Be sure to check out the Executive Summary for other key findings.

Panora Community Career Fair : March 7th in Panora

Western Iowa Advantage Annual Banquet : March 26th in Carroll

Iowa Rural Summit : April 11th-12th in

Destination Development Summit: April 30th-May 1st in Carroll
EntreBASH: April 25th in Jefferson

EntreFEST : May 16th-17th in Cedar Rapids

MWP Golf Outing : June 27th at Lake Panorama National Resort
Connect with US!
Midwest Partnership Staff:
Sarah Gomez, Executive Director
Stacie Euken, Economic Development Coordinator