Leadership Iowa comes to FD

To the editor:

Our growing economic climate here in Fort Dodge was one of the major reasons we were selected to host the ABI, Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation-Leadership Iowa Class of 2013-14.

Leadership Iowa is a premier issues-awareness program promoting leadership within the state. This diverse class of 40 represents every geographical region of the state and virtually all walks of life. Many were ICCC alumni, former Fort Dodge residents and several others that had not been to our community for many years.

Their visit allowed them to learn about our Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation and how this global impact is not only local but across the state and Midwest. Speakers like Debi Durham, director Iowa Economic Development Authority, Drew Conrad with the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa, David Hensley with John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center University of Iowa and Rand Fisher, president of Iowa Area Development Group, all discussed the direction our region is moving and issues on how much marketing has changed into a global social media format.

Our area business leaders had the opportunity to also tell their story of how their businesses are growing in this region as well as some insight as to what they foresee within their workforce and potential future companies locating here.

Fort Dodge could not have been more cordial to these future leaders and they returned to their communities with a new outlook for our town and region. Those that had not been here for some time commented frequently on the positive direction we are moving with new businesses, great trail system and other quality of life amenities and the overall look of a prospering community.

A planning committee of Leadership Iowa alumni consisting of Cheryl O’Hern, Spin Markket, Kirk Yung, Great Western Bank, Jim Vermeer, Corn Belt Power, and Cindy Litwiller, Iowa Falls Economic Development, all worked with our area businesses to organize the two-day session. Thank you to all the businesses that sponsored breaks and meals for the class and provided meeting rooms for presentations, our motels that greeted them and all the presenters that gave their time and assistance in telling our story. The class left Fort Dodge with a positive image to spread throughout the state.

Leadership Iowa

Planning Committee

Cheryl O’Hern

Spin Markket

Kirk Yung

Great Western Bank

Jim Vermeer

Corn Belt Power

Cindy Litwiller

Iowa Falls Economic