This Week in the Corridor
Letter from the CEO
I’m a generalist by nature. When people ask me how I made the transition from journalist to economic developer, I tell them they’re the same job with different customers.

As a reporter, I frequently started the day knowing next to nothing about my topic. My task was to gain a solid background understanding, conduct interviews and distill the information for a story that readers could enjoy and use.

Now that I’m in economic development, I start the day knowing next to nothing about a topic, gather background information, talk to people, and distill the information into a format that a business or community leader can use. (And the deadlines are even worse.)

This is a self-flattering way of saying that my knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.

The breadth of economic development is my favorite aspect of the career, even though it is rarely recognized by the public. Most folks focus on the next new warehouse or expanded factory. In truth, those are champagne-soaked victory celebrations. The game is played in a thousand preparatory steps involving infrastructure, education, taxation, beautification and more.

I was reminded of the scope of economic development this week at the annual meeting of the advisory council for the University of Northern Iowa’s Institute for Decision Making.

IDM, an outreach arm of the university’s Business and Community Services, is among the Corridor’s most valued advisors. For 30 years, they’ve been helping towns and organizations across the state develop and execute plans for growth.

Oh my goodness, is that an open-ended responsibility. In the past year, IDM staffers started building a program to foster innovation in Iowa companies, wrote a public relations plan for a regional economic development group, assisted a tourism program in a university town, coached a hospital board, connected talented physics students with manufacturing companies in need, and aided the leaders of a small-town in creating a sustainable community engagement model.

And that’s just one area of their work. It doesn’t touch on the support they provide for the BEST of Iowa business retention and expansion program, regional Laborshed reports, workforce development, etc.

At this point, it’s appropriate to thank my friends at IDM for their expertise and for the honor of serving on their advisory board. Thanks to the state legislature for providing funding for a such a valuable program, as well.

But that’s not my goal with these few paragraphs. Instead, I want to encourage readers to become curious about the whys and hows of growing our local economy. When you recognize the diversity of economic development, you’ll also begin to recognize the roll you can and do play. Do you plant flowers on Main Street? You’re an economic developer. Do you mentor a young business person? You’re an economic developer. If you’re engaged in improving the local community, you’re engaged in economic development.

What’s more, because you know your subject so well, you make the overall effort in our region stronger. We can’t all be generalists.

So, fellow economic developer, come join the Corridor and a couple hundred of your peers November 13 at the annual Business Recognition Luncheon. We will celebrate the best in area business. We’ll hear from the co-hosts of “Develop This,” the nation’s #1 economic development podcast, on trends around the nation. Most importantly, we’ll enjoy the collective recognition that we’re all in this together. 

to RSVP for this year's Business Recognition Luncheon on November 13th.
Please contact Alyssa Petersen by email or at
712-264-3474 by 5 pm TOMORROW if you would like to attend!
Featured Real Estate
Site: Boji Business Park
Commercial, Office
Location: 1003 23rd St.
Milford, IA 51351
Up to 12,000 sq ft available
Lease Rate: $10/sq ft

For more information visit the Corridor website!
News to Know
Free mental health first aid training for military members, veterans and their families
The Corridor is partnering with Seasons Center for Behavioral Helath and Clay County Veteran's Affairs for a free Mental Health First Aid Training for Military Members, Veterans and their Families. The training will provide resources for how to identify and help a loved one who is developing or has a mental health problem.

Read more and register for the training.
ILCC students find success at National SkillsUSA competitions
SkillsUSA serves students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. Iowa Lakes Community College students from a variety of programs including welding, electrical, broadcast, and automotive repair earned state and national recognition at recent SkillsUSA competitions.

Kazarelli's expansion finds a home at Gary's
Lakes area restaurant Kazarelli's is planning a second location in the form Gary's on the River in Spencer. Owner Daniel Menough hopes to open a restaurant similar to the Lakes location with fusion of Italian barbecue and traditional steaks.

Learn more about the new eatery.
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!
The Acre Company
Sector: Agricultural Services
Location: Spencer
Description: The Acre Co. was started in 1988 and has continued to grow since that time. They sell farms: private land sales, auctions and tax-deferred exchanges are what they do every day.
The Hillshire Brands Company
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Storm Lake
Description: Hillshire Brands Company is a leader in meat-centric food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets. The company generates nearly $4 billion in annual sales and has approximately 9,000 employees.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See more current job openings here.
Job Title
Chief Clinical Officer

Insurance Specialist

FT Temp Clinic Nurse (RN/LPN)

PT Physical Therapist
Avera Holy Family Hospital
Avera Holy Family Hospital
Avera Holy Family Hospital
Avera Holy Family Hospital



Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.