The Bright Lights in our Communities

Craig Light
Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce


The above picture of our lighted Jasper County Courthouse in Newton, Iowa exemplifies how much fun and entertaining it is to be a member of our community.  We have approximately 15,000 people living in Newton and our citizens take great pride in the fact that Newton has a long and historic past.  For example, our Salvation Army location will be celebrating their 125 Anniversary this year.  And, our Greater Newton Area Chamber was actually founded in 1897. Iowa has many great communities and chambers. One of the greatest benefits of an ICCE membership is to learn about what other chambers are doing, and use it back home. It is my hope you can find something useful in Newton's story to use with your own chamber.


Today, the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce has 216 members and continues to grow by benefiting from the collaborative efforts and initiatives of so many of our different community partners.


For example, the City of Newton has initiated housing programs to attract young professionals and new home builders.


City of Newton Home Buyer Initiative:  Buy a new home for $160,000.00 or more and at closing the City of Newton will send you a tax-free check for $10,000.00 with no strings attached.  Plus, you will receive a "Welcome Package" of goods and services which is valued at $4,000.00.


City of Newton Home Builder Initiative:  Build a new home for $160,000.00 or more and your permit fees and inspection fees will be waived.  Plus, once the building permit is issued, the City of Newton will cover your construction loan interest for up to a year.


And, here are some things you may not know about Newton:


  • Our Newton High School recently received a "bronze" rating as ranked by U.S. News Best High School ratings.  
  • Earlier in the year Newton and our entire Jasper County earned Skilled Iowa designations.
  • Now, our community has its sights on becoming a Home Base Iowa community in order to attract veterans to Newton and to Jasper who currently live outside of Iowa.
  • Newton is the home of the NASCAR-owned Iowa Speedway which is the fastest short track in the world.
  • Newton has many beautiful parks and has over 100 sculptures scattered throughout our community.
  • Newton is the home of the Maytag Dairy Farms which produces over one million pounds of Maytag Blue Cheese per year.
  • We have one of the last drive-in movie theaters in Iowa.
  • Our Maytag Bowl in historic Maytag Park hosts a wide array of musical concerts.
  • Our Newton Chamber office and Jasper County Courthouse are located on 1st Avenue which is also Highway 6. Highway 6 is the longest highway in the United States.


Besides being involved in Red Pride Community Service Day, Newton Fest, Rotary, City Council, Main Street, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Newton Development Corporation, Newton Housing Development Corporation, SSMID and Chamber Committee meetings, we also sponsor and support several annual events.


Our Chamber events include: A Golf Outing, Ridiculous Day and "Cool Cars" Car Show as part of Newton Fest, 4th of July Parade and downtown activities, New Teacher and Administrators Welcome Lunch, Holiday Open House, Courthouse Lighting and Lighted Parade, and a Member Thank You and Christmas Social. 



ICCE Fall Conference Registration Open!

Mark your calendar now and plan on attending another great ICCE conference with several great speakers, panels on governmental issues, a panel on women in small business, and great networking  opportunities with lots of fun.  Clear Lake is one of the centers for entertainment in Iowa, and we'll spend some time on the lake and at the Surf Ballroom. You don't want to miss this one. The Early Bird rate for the three day conference is $199.00 per person, until September 1` when cost is $210. A hotel room costs $84 per night plus tax and can be secured only by calling 1-800-606-3552 (the Best Western toll free number).  

Orientation for New Executives/Staff: 

ICCE will hold an orientation for all new Executives and Staff on Wednesday, October 7 at 4:00 PM.


Jay Handler:  Sustainable Growth Models for Membership
The world is changing, and we need to catch up! Jay will talk about ways to Recruit, Engage and Retain members and challenge some of  the "old methods" we've been using for the last 50 years as an industry.  Be ready to bash a few  sacred cows over the head!  




Andy Sokolovich: Unleash Strengths Andy will reveal how strengths-based development can be applied to common problem areas within the Chamber of Commerce. He will provide you with the tools necessary to facilitate critical conversations between your staff, board, volunteers, current members, as well as prospective members. 







Wednesday, October 7- Friday, October 9, 2015
Clear Lake, Iowa


Dan Culhane receives honor
Congratulations to Dan Culhane, President and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and  Economic Development Commission.  Dan was awarded recertification by the International Economic Development Council.  This recognition is a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and commitment to professional growth.  

Welcome New Members

The following have recently joined ICCE. Please take a minute to welcome them to our organization. We look forward to their involvement.


New ICCE Members:

  • Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
  • Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
  • Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce


Missed an issue? Find it on our website


Did you  miss an issue of the monthly ICCE Newsletter? You can find them on the ICCE website, under the Programs and Services tab. Click here to view other issues of the Newsletter. 

ICCE Dues Update
Thank you to all who have paid  your 2015/2016 ICCE dues.  We have a record in renewals in our dues. If you have not paid your dues, please pay by the end of June. If you have any questions regarding your dues or need another invoice please call Shar at 515-240-8785.

Regional Meetings

Have you been to a regional meeting lately? Check out the ICCE events calendar for upcoming regional meetings. If you have a regional meeting coming up, submit information to ICCE.

Click here to see the ICCE Events Calendar, which also includes all ICCE board meetings.
Hosting ICCE Conferences
Would your chamber be interested in hosting either the One Day Conference or Fall Conference in 2016? Find out more about what conference hosting entails by reviewing the following two documents:

Change in ICCE Staff

Chad Kulas will be leaving Dowell Management to become the new executive director of the Midway Chamber of Commerce in Saint Paul, MN. Chad has been a valuable asset for ICCE  and will be missed for all of his hard work. While we are sad to see Chad leave we want to congratulate him on his new position with the Midway Chamber and wish him the best of luck.    

Thank you to our sponsor: 

Thank you to our Gold sponsor: