This Week in the Corridor
A shoe, a sheepadoodle, and getting our message across
There’s a new pooch at the Miller pad.
He’s a mini-sheepadoodle—an English Sheepdog and poodle cross. We call him El Mago (the Magician) after Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and, curiously enough, a sickly magnolia tree that grew in front of our family’s first home. He’s cute in a ridiculous way, with a white and black face, forlorn eyes and fluffy polar bear paws. He looks like a stuffed animal sewn together by an overly emotional Japanese anime seamstress.

He's also a pain in the … thumbs, nostrils, earlobes. Wherever his tiny teeth happen to nip.

Any parent of a toddler understands the problem when orneriness and cuteness cross. You catch your kiddo in the act and you’re about to let him have it. Then he looks up at you with a wrinkled brow and quivering lip and you start to giggle, because, let’s face it, being bad is funny. Just like that, discipline is destroyed.

That happened with Mago the other day. My son and I were chatting on the porch when we happened to look into the house and see the Magster with a sneaker in his mouth. He caught us spying on him and got a genuinely guilty look on his face. His head drooped, his eyes dropped, and the sneaker slipped slowly, slowly out of his teeth until it was hanging by the end of a single lace.

And then, suddenly, Mago realized that he did not feel guilty at all. He gobbled the shoe back up and, with a crazy, flopping shake of his head, broke its pathetic rubber-and-canvas back. Then he was off, sprinting and sprawling through the house with his lifeless, stinky prize.

Our family is learning that training takes time; puppies repeat their mistakes. The same holds true for economic development organizations. The Iowa Lakes Corridor may be nearly three decades older than El Mago, but we have to be reminded on occasion to do the simple things. Like communicating with our investors. Despite daily social media updates and this very newsletter prepared each week by the indispensable Alyssa Petersen, our communicator-in-chief, we hear far too often from important partners, “What have you been up to lately?”

That’s why our new five-year plan, Partnership, Progress, Prosperity: FY 2021-2025, mandates that we, “Report the execution of the strategic plan to investors through quarterly events….”

We had our first such meeting of the fiscal year yesterday. More than 30 investors logged on for an update on the local COVID-19 situation from Colette Rossiter of Spencer Hospital and hear from Kelly Bay of IowaWORKS about online training opportunities for local workers. In between, the Corridor ran through some of our performance metrics. The whole shindig was hosted expertly by Board chairperson Deb Satern of SATERN® Barrels, who is already crushing it in only her second month on the job.

Next up is the Corridor’s FY 2020 annual report, which because we just completed a four-year plan of work, actually summarizes our efforts all the way back to 2017. Look for that beautiful document prepared by Blink Marketing of Milford in your mailboxes in the next few days.

Also, please tune into local radio stations and watch area newspapers for quality reporting about the Corridor and economic development generally. And, of course, follow the Corridor on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

As for El Mago, well, he’s a young pup. The Corridor is an old dog. Hopefully, he’ll learn to bark less as we bark just a bit more.

Featured Real Estate
Commercial Opportunities
Location: 422 First Avenue East
Spencer, IA 51301
8,200 sq. ft.

Sale Price: $325,000

For more information visit the Corridor website!
Location: 331 11th Street
Spencer, IA 51301
3,306 sq.ft.

Sale Price: $250,000

For more information visit the Corridor website!
Around the Corridor
Rotary powers SCT green room renovation

A matching grant was awarded to the Spencer Community Theatre from the Spencer Rotarians and District 5970, giving $10,000 total to remodel the green room. The space will now be known as The Rotary Classroom for Deegan Children's Theatre at SCT, and it will be used as a dedicated classroom space, yet can be converted back to a green room, or could be rented out as space to do a dance rehearsal or painting parties.

Learn more about the remodel.
Spirit Lake Library receives state accreditation

The Spirit Lake Public Library has met the conditions for state accreditation from the State Library of Iowa. Accreditation requires ongoing commitment to high-quality services in all areas including governance, funding, staffing, collection, services, public relations, access and facilities.

Read about the accreditation.
Just like mom used to make

Kristine Davis is currently renting and running The Lunchbox on Grand Avenue in Spencer. Her goal is to provide a menu similar to the foods "mom used to make."

Read more about The Lunchbox.
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!
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Sector: Communications & Utilities
Location: Estherville
Description: Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative provides reliable, competitively-priced energy and other valuable services to benefit members, customers and the communities they serve.
ITC Midwest
Sector: Communications & Utilities
Location: Albert Lea, MN
Description: ITC Holdings Corp. invests in the electricity transmission grid to improve electric reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems. The largest independent electricity transmission company in the country, ITC operates high-voltage transmission systems in Michigan's Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
2nd Shift Production
Pure Fishing
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or call us at 712.264.3474.