This Week in the Corridor
A goal for Iowa - embrace change!
I’ve been dabbling with a book called Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics, by Jonathan Wilson. Ignoring for a moment my esoteric reading selections, I was struck by a passage early in the book describing legendary coaches who achieved prolonged success. What they shared, Wilson writes, was a willingness to evolve, “A clarity of vision to successfully recognize when the time was right to abandon a winning formula and the courage to implement a new one.”

There’s nothing particularly novel about this observation. Eisenhower told us decades ago, “Plans are useless, planning is everything.” Heck, Darwin’s mantra could have been adapt or die.

Iowa’s market economy is showing impressive flexibility amid COVID-19. Machinists crank out face shields, ethanol plants shift to hand sanitizer, banks scale up massive lending programs, and somehow it all happens as we’re told to stay safe and STAY HOME.

The Rural Midwest must collectively exhibit the same agility and “clarity of vision” moving forward if we expect to grow. Our community and economic development tactics need to mature, which means we have to conquer our cultural aversion—let’s go ahead and call it hatred—of change.

First, a few potential positives amid the onslaught of dreariness:
  1. Our economy has some built-in resilience. We grow things, we make things used to grow things, and we process things that we’ve grown into food, fuel and materials. This means many of our industries are essential.
  2. Our population is dispersed, suggesting that infection rates could be lower IF we follow expert medical guidance with the blind loyalty of a Labrador retriever.
  3. Iowa’s strong leaders and well-managed institutions have our state positioned to react effectively without risking bankruptcy.

How will we build on these and other Iowa advantages when we finally have our foot on this virus’s neck? In the coming weeks, we’ll use this space to assess that very question.

Hopefully we can get the thoughts of others around the region. Hopefully, as well, there will be some disagreement, because disagreement drives creativity which powers change. And change, far from something to fear, is the source of amazing discovery. After all, it wasn’t that long ago I hated soccer.

A Deserved Thank You

So many amazing businesses have stepped forward in the last few weeks, it’s really only possible to thank whole industries.

So this week, a big shout-out to Iowa Lakes Corridor newspapers, television and radio stations. Enduring stuttering ad sales, self-isolation and the uncertainty that besets all of us, staffers at these great media outlets somehow continue to present and help us understand the news day after day. They are a source of comfort, whether it’s a familiar voice on the car radio or the welcome sound of the day’s paper sliding through the mail slot.

To everyone in local media, you are appreciated and you are valued.

Featured Real Estate
Site: 4th Avenue West

Location: 4th Avenue West
Spencer, IA 51301
11 acres

Sale Price: $390,000
(in three parcels)

For more information visit the Corridor website!
This Week in the Corridor
Immediate request to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the State of Iowa

The State of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management urgently needs to procure PPE to satisfy needs for hospitals and emergency responders, needing approximately 500,000 medical gowns, 500,000 sewn cotton face masks, and 500,000 plastic face shields.

If your company has the capability, capacity, and materials to support this effort, please contact Mike O'Donnell.

Rebel band teacher crafts shields with 3D printer

Corridor residents are teaming up throughout the region to deliver necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to healthcare professionals. Sioux Central band director Adam Perry partnered with Rick Ayres, owner of Lakes Marketing and Print in Spirit Lake, to create face shields for medical staff. Now more locals are jumping in to help as well, including Dr. Shawn Stone, professor at BVU, and Jacob Meyers from Linn Grove.

Okoboji & Spirit Lake Robotics team receives recognition

At the beginning of March, the Spirit Lake and Okoboji Robotics team competed at the Lake Superior Regional event and placed 14th out of 63 teams. The team also won the Industrial Design Award from General Motors.

Virtual Career Fair

The Sioux City Journal is hosting a virtual career fair April 19 - May 2. To learn more or sign up for the event, contact Rachel Porter at 712.293.4331 or
Okoboji Tourism Committee PSA

You can help the Okoboji Tourism Committee and our region by utilizing social media and other communication methods to remind your friends and customers why we love Okoboji and that we are all ready to welcome them back soon! #SeeYouSoonOkoboji
Board of Directors
Thank you to these individuals committed to economic development in our region by being a part of the Iowa Lakes Corridor
John Tatman
Board Chair
Demco Products, Clay County
"The value of the Corridor is that we have one dedicated organization devoted to workforce development, housing development, job retention and job growth for the four-county area. Our ability to achieve this as four counties is great than as one. Our region has an aging population. We need to be diligent in job growth, job retention and diversity. We have a lot to offer in this region, and the Iowa Lakes Corridor is a great voice for all."
Doug Benjamin
Board Treasurer
Northwest Bank, Clay County
"The Corridor brings a competitive advantage over many other regions and allows us to compete with some of the more populated regions. What surprised me when I joined the board is the entrepreneurial program Brian has developed and how beneficial it is to the region. The expertise he has for our region is unmatched. As for opportunities, the capital campaign response so far has been amazing and shows the confidence the communities have in the Corridor. This campaign will allow us to expand some vital services to the area."
Investor Spotlight
Each week we want to feature and thank the businesses and individuals that have committed to economic development and growth in our communities. To learn more about these investors and others, visit our  Business Directory!
City of Milford
Sector: Cities & Counties
Description: Welcome to the City of Milford, home to the mythical University of Okoboji. Milford lies on the southern end of the Iowa Great Lakes and is referred to as The Gateway to the Iowa Great Lakes. Milford is the place to be with its numerous city parks, great community facilities, a high-standard school system, and home of the Okoboji Pioneers.
City of Sioux Rapids
Sector: Cities & Counties
Description: Sioux Rapids is hidden in the Iowa hills and is situated in the northernmost part of Buena Vista County. This community enjoys a wealth of outdoor opportunities. The Gabrielson County Park located just south of Sioux Rapids offers Gustafson Lake for fishing, a sandy swimming beach, and picnic areas.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
Production Techs
Temporary Production
Production Workers
Land Mark Products, Inc.
Estherville Foods, Inc.
Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.