PDI Blog

Enhance Iowa Board Applicants

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is seeking your organization’s help in recruiting applicants for the new Enhance Iowa Board. The Iowa Legislature passed the Enhance Iowa bill this session, which replaces the Vision Iowa Board with the new Enhance Iowa (EI) Board. The EI Board will oversee three grant programs: CAT (Community Attraction and Tourism), RECAT (River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism), and a new Sports Tourism program. CAT received an appropriation of $5 million for FY2017, but funds were not appropriated for the other two programs. The Vision Iowa Board previously administered both the CAT and RECAT programs. 

The board will consist of 11 voting member and four ex-officio members. The voting members must be balanced by gender and political affiliation. Members will be appointed statewide, with two members from each of the four Congressional districts and three members from the state at large. The legislation requires the appointment of board members with certain expertise in the areas of finance/investment banking, the tourism Industry, architecture/landscape architecture/historic preservation, cultural attractions and programming, and economic development. 

Appointed Board members will serve two-year terms and will be assigned to one of three review committees: CAT, RECAT, or Sports Tourism. We anticipate the EI Board will meet once a month in-person to make awards under the grant programs, consider contract amendment requests, and hear fundraising updates from applicants. In addition to reviewing new awards and contracts, the EI Board will also administer all currently open Vision Iowa, CAT and RECAT contracts. One of the first tasks for the EI Board will be the adoption of new administrative rules for the grant programs that fall under the EI umbrella, as well as the creation of new applications for each program. 

I would appreciate it if you would share this information with your members and encourage anyone interested in serving to apply to the Governor’s office to become a member of the Enhance Iowa board. The application can be accessed here:https://openup.iowa.gov/

IEDA is working with the Governor’s office to have the new Board in place by September 1, so Enhance Iowa can continue the good work started through the Vision Iowa board. 

If you have specific questions about the process or Enhance Iowa, please reach out to Nicole Shalla in our office atnicole.shalla@iowa.gov or via phone at 515-725-3043. Thank you in advance for your help in kicking off the Enhance Iowa program.

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