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ICAD Group Supporting Needle Analytics' Cartography Contest

Working with Raygun and JPEC to Create New Iowa Maps

The Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group is supporting a grassroots effort lead by Iowa City startup Needle Analytics to create new state maps that capture and graphically represent the local perception of the state. Submissions will be accepted through June 1 and the top three designs will be printed on posters and sold at Raygun in Iowa City.

“We wanted to get behind this effort to further explore and capture how our community and state views its strengths and assets,” said Mark Nolte, ICAD Group President. “Building local pride can only help strengthen the fiber of our area, which is reflected in our workforce, entrepreneurs and existing industry.”

Local business owners, Riley Gardam and Jacob Langenfeld, started Needle Analytics last May, shortly after their creation of The Bloom Index. The Bloom Index was a map that quantified Stephen Bloom’s blunt representation of Iowa in an article in The Atlantic. Since that creation, these two University of Iowa graduates have built a company that relays relevant and complex data in ways that are easy to process and understand, including maps.

According to Gardam, the idea for the event stems from their belief that cartography is an artistic undertaking. “We began playing with the idea of what kinds of meaning these Iowa places have for locals and how that might look in a map,” said Gardam. “This contest celebrates our first anniversary as well as our belief in mapping as an art form.”

Gardam says her team and Raygun representatives will select six semi-finalists who will each receive a $50 honorarium. From there, the top three entries will be printed on posters and sold in the Iowa City Raygun store Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6.

“The top three designers will receive half of the profits from the poster sales,” added Gardam. “We look forward to recognizing their work as part of our one year celebration.”

A reception to celebrate the winning designs, as well as Needle Analytics' first anniversary, will be held at the Iowa City Raygun store, 103 East College Street, on Friday, July 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with refreshments provided.

Details regarding the rules and submission requirements can be found at the website, needleanalytics.net/contentcontest.htm. Event sponsors include Raygun, the UI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), and the Iowa City Area Development Group.

For More Information:

Needle Analytics, (515) 249-2545 or info@needleanalytics.net


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National Expert in Tourism & Business Development to Present June 7

Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Destination Development International, will conduct an opportunity assessment of Pella, Knoxville, Pleasantville and the Red Rock Area in early June. Findings and suggestions from his visit will be presented at a workshop on Friday, June 7, 2013. The workshop will also include information on branding. Roger is one of North America’s most respected experts in the creation of a great destination for tourism and business. He has guided communities in branding, product development, marketing and revitalization.

Hundreds of thousands of people come into our county each year to visit, consider business investment, weigh career opportunities and find a place to retire. Roger will share his insights on opportunities that are being missed and gaps that hinder growth. To learn more about Destination Development International go to www.destinationdevelopment.com.

“Many of our tourism professionals who have seen the results Roger Brooks has brought to other communities have came together to make this opportunity assessment possible because they understand how critical this can be for our future,” explained Carla Eysink, MCDC Executive Director. “Understanding how to approach key opportunities is a critical factor in keeping this area’s economy growing. Roger’s approach is not a plan that sits on a shelf, but instead he provides small incremental achievable action steps from his analysis and expertise that different partners can take to dynamically focus on key opportunities.”

The workshop will begin with registration at 7 a.m. and the workshop from 7:30-11 a.m. on Friday, June 7 in Pella. Individuals with interests in community development, real estate, human resources, business, tourism, recreation, marketing and economic development are encouraged to attend. This workshop is presented by the Pella Convention & Visitors Bureau, Knoxville Raceway and Marion County Development Commission in partnership with local sponsors: Central College, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Marion County Community Foundation, Marion County Conservation Board, MidAmerican Energy, Pella Chamber of Commerce, City of Pleasantville, Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce, Pleasantville State Bank, Central Iowa Tourism Region, Molengracht-Royal Amsterdam Hotel, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and the Red Rock Lake Association.

Registration information for the workshop will be available March 1. If you are interested in receiving registration information please contact the Marion County Development Commission at carla@redrockarea.com.

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PDI Participates in Iowa Tourism Industry Showcase - What Iowa Has To Offer

Iowa tourism supporters hosted the 24th annual Tourism Showcase for Legislators at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.Mark Reinig with Senator Ken Rozenboom

More than 70 communities/organizations showcased their attractions, events and businesses to remind Iowa Legislators that attended about the abundance of “Things to Do” in our great state, and how important tourism is to the Iowa economy and employment.

Professional Developers of Iowa was among other community leaders who visited with Legislators to thank them for their past support of tourism development and promotion and to discuss the challenge of finding funds to promote Iowa.

Wayne Pantini with Representative Pat Drake"The Travel Federation of Iowa was pleased again to have the opportunity to showcase the importance and the impact the tourism industry has in the State of Iowa. Our theme "Tourism Works" truly reflects the fact that tourism is a legitimate industry even though there aren't bricks and mortar. TFI represents all segments of tourism within the state and we're here to continue working for what matters most to all of our partners," said Linda Bacon, President of Travel Federation of Iowa.

Tourism is Iowa’s eighth largest employer. In 2011, travelers in Iowa generated over $7.2 billion in revenue, 63,400 jobs, and a payroll of $1.12 billion at local businesses in communities throughout the state. These dollars in turn, generated $430.2 million in state and local tax receipts for Iowa. Put another way, if not for the tourism industry, each household would have to pay $324 in additional taxes to maintain the current level of state services.

Photo top right: Mark Reinig visits with Senator Ken Rozenboom

Photo bottom left: Wayne Pantini talks with Representative Jack Drake

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Mark Nolte to Lead ICAD Group

Nolte Served as Interim President Since May 2012

(Iowa City) – Today Chuck Peters, Chair of the Iowa City Area Development Group Board of Directors, announces the hiring of Mark Nolte as ICAD Group President. Nolte has served as interim president since Joe Raso’s departure in May of last year.

“We are very excited to make this announcement and congratulate Mark on this new role,” said Peters. “As interim president, Mark consistently provided deft leadership including overseeing the opening of the IC CoLab, implementing our Vision 2030 plan, and providing outstanding service to our investors and clients. In filling this position, the board first worked on clarifying our purpose in supporting regional economic development, and Mark was hired to most effectively pursue our declared objectives."

The ICAD Group Executive Committee conducted a national search for this position and hosted three finalists, including Nolte, in January for a series of investor meetings and interviews. The ICAD Group Board of Directors approved hiring Nolte last night.

Since joining ICAD Group in 2007, Nolte has served as Business Development Director, working with existing industry clients, entrepreneurs and start-ups, and helping with business recruitment projects. Most recently, Nolte led the design, creation and opening of the new IC CoLab, the first coworking space in the nation operated by an economic development group.

Nolte says he’s eager to officially start in his new role. “I want to thank the Board of Directors for their guidance and the ICAD Group staff for their outstanding efforts during this transition period,” said Nolte. “We have a unique opportunity to create a center of unmatched commerce and innovation in this area and I’m thrilled to lead our team.”

Peters said with Nolte’s leadership, ICAD Group is ahead of pace for the goals set forth in the Vision 2030 campaign. “ICAD Group hasn’t missed a beat and is on track to have a very successful year with regard to job creation, client growth, and regional partnerships,” said Peters. “We were impressed with Mark’s plan and vision for ICAD Group moving forward and we’re enthusiastic that he can get started right away.”

Nolte added that his priorities include increased engagement with ICAD Group investors and regional economic development partners, growing membership and interest for the IC CoLab, and developing the most effective strategy to strengthen existing companies.

Before joining ICAD Group, Nolte served as a senior manager and training consultant for The Abilities Fund, and was assistant director for the Institute for Social and Economic Development where he managed city, state and federal programs. He co-owns Nolte Academy of Dance in Coralville with his wife, Leslie.

For More Information:
Mark Nolte, ICAD Group President, (319) 354-3939 or mnolte@icadgroup.com
Scott Fisher, ICAD Group Past Board Chair, (319) 621-4235 or sfisher@mccrossenconsult.com



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New Regional Website “IowasCreativeCorridor.com” Launched in 2013

Website Targets Companies Looking to Expand or Locate in Region

(Iowa’s Creative Corridor) - In conjunction with new efforts to brand a seven county region in Eastern Iowa as “Iowa’s Creative Corridor,” the economic development agencies representing Linn, Johnson, Cedar, Iowa, Washington, Jones and Benton Counties, have launched a redesigned website to provide information to interstate commerce companies looking to expand or locate in the region.

The website IowasCreativeCorridor.com was launched in January 2013 and will serve as the primary source of information on available buildings and sites, infrastructure, workforce, and other business resources for start-ups and emerging companies.

Mark Nolte, ICAD Group President, says the update was necessary to provide a unified message for the region on economic development. “To compete on a global scale, we must do a better job of promoting the strengths of a larger region, such as workforce size and education attainment, along with our individual community assets,” said Nolte. “This website provides a single point of entry for anyone researching our area for economic development.”

Dennis Jordan, Economic Alliance economic development strategist, says the site helps streamline the process for site location consultants or potential employers and helps connect the region to its unique identity. “It’s important for the region to have a way to set itself apart from other areas of the country,” he says. “All that Iowa’s Creative Corridor encompasses shows we are an innovative region with a diverse economy and strong base.”

New features of the website include new maps and individual county profiles, easier navigation and more robust information for local business resources, and enhanced functionality for those browsing on mobile phones or tablets.

IowasCreativeCorridor.com joins other regional marketing efforts including a special regional section and advertisement in Delta Airline’s SKY Magazine; ShovelReadyIowa.com, promoting the state’s only independently certified economic development properties; the PickYourPace.com website which highlights quality of life for families and workforce in the region; and participation in PDI Grow Iowa Day on February 27, 2013, where regional marketing groups from across Iowa converge on the state capitol to attend legislative briefings and meet legislators from other regions.

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