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The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber announces nominations will be accepted now through the end of Oct. 31, 2014 for Diversity & Inclusion Business Awards to be presented during the 2015 Annual Celebration on Thursday, March 26th at the Park Place Event Centre.

This recognition is given for outstanding contribution by a business or organization for leadership in creating and strengthening an environment of diversity and inclusion in the workplace culture, business practices and in the community.

Nominations can be made through the nomination form on the Alliance & Chamber website, www.cedarvalleyalliance.com/diversity through the end of October. Nominees will be invited to complete an application and interview process to determine winners.

Past award winners from the 2014 event include Allen College Unity Point and Veridian Credit Union. Past award winners from the 2013 event include Em’s Coffee of Independence, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Iowa, Inc., and Wartburg College.

The Cedar Valley Diversity and Inclusion initiative is designed to strengthen the Cedar Valley through promoting diversity, full inclusion, and cultural competencies in business, and to focus on the importance, impact and benefits to business of effective diversity and inclusion practices. The partnership also hosts an annual educational summit in the fall and two multicultural receptions throughout the year.  The next reception will be Oct. 28th at Hawkeye Community College from 4:30-6:30pm.

Descriptions of the awards, nomination forms, and application form are available at the Alliance & Chamber offices or online at www. cedarvalleyalliance.com/diversity .  For additional information, please contact Alliance & Chamber Vice President of Community Development, Cary Darrah  at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com or 232-1156.



Cedar Valley Investor Report

The Cedar Valley Investor Report gives a snap shot of the activities of the Alliance & Chamber, news from our investors, and informative articles selected for their relevance to economic growth in the Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley Investor Report

Alliance & Chamber Announce 2014 Annual Award Recipients

WATERLOO, April 2, 2014— The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber (GCVAC)  is announcing their 2014 Annual Award recipients. These awards recognize Cedar Valley individuals, organizations and businesses and were presented to a record setting crowd of 580 investors and supporters at the Alliance & Chamber Annual Celebration on March 27 at the Park Place Event Centre, Cedar Falls.   Master of Ceremonies was Kathy Flynn of Hawkeye Community College with KWWL Television’s Ron Steele presenting the awards.

The Annual Celebration’s premier sponsor was University of Iowa Community Credit Union. Gold sponsors were HGS, Kirk Gross Company, and KWWL Television.

As 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, special commemorations and recognitions were made throughout the evening, including the presentation of the Legacy Award.

The Legacy Award recognizes an individual or business for their continued leadership and noteworthy contributions to the Cedar Valley through philanthropy and volunteerism, working to create a positive environment for business expansion and community, and enhancing the quality of life for talent recruitment and retention. This year’s recipients are three men considered the founders of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber retired UNI president Bob Koob, former John Deere Waterloo Works General Manager Barry Schaffter, and local business man Ken Lockard. This award is sponsored by Bertch Cabinet Mfg.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance was formed when Mr. Lockard, Mr. Koob, and Mr. Schaffter  began meeting with area leaders to find ways to move to a more regional and collaborative approach to economic development in the Cedar Valley.

This is the second year the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented Diversity & Inclusion Awards. This recognition is given to two businesses or organizations, of varying size, for leadership in creating and strengthening an environment of diversity and inclusion in their workplace culture, business practices and in the community. This year’s recipients are Allen College – Unity Point Health and Veridian Credit Union. This award is sponsored by Courier Communications.

The Fulfilling the Vision of One Award recognizes an outstanding contribution by an individual in the private sector for leadership in creating and strengthening regional collaboration and cooperation for economic and community development. This year’s recipient is Tim Hurley. This award is sponsored by PDCM Insurance.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes the efforts of a Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber investor in promoting the quality of life and offering leadership within the Cedar Valley, achieving a major business accomplishment, or making an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley community, economy, and citizens. CUNA Mutual Group is this year’s recipient. This award is sponsored by Community Bank & Trust.

The John Deere Treating Capital Well Award recognizes the efforts of a private sector firm for a significant investment in the Cedar Valley that most emphasizes the attributes of the Cedar Valley. This year’s recipient is Hydrite Chemical. This award is sponsored by John Deere Waterloo Operations.

The Harold Brock Innovation Award recognizes the efforts of a private sector firm for innovation in technology, advanced manufacturing, or talent development. This year’s recipients are Kryton Engineered Metals and Schumacher Elevator. This award is sponsored by ACES.

The Cedar Valley Partner Award recognizes the efforts of an educational institution, non-profit organization, service club, or human service agency in promoting economic growth and employment, quality of life, offering leadership, or making an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley and its citizens on a continuing basis or with a specific project. This year’s recipient is Blue Zones of Waterloo & Cedar Falls (BZP). This award is sponsored by Wartburg College.

“We were very pleased with the reaction of our investors and friends who attended, and gratified with how many of our Cedar Valley businesses came out to celebrate the strength of our Cedar Valley economy, the free enterprise system, and our award winners,” commented Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber.

Videos featuring each of the award recipients and more information about the Alliance & Chamber can be found at http://cedarvalleyalliance.com/video-gallery.php?id=9.

Photos from the evening are available at https://www.facebook.com/cedarvalleyalliance or by contacting Communications Director Wendy Knapp at wknapp@cedarvalleyalliance.com.


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Alliance & Chamber Investor, Doerfer Companies Awarded NASA Contract

Alliance & Chamber Investor, Doerfer Companies  Awarded National Aeronautics & Space Commission (NASA) contract  in conjunction with an on-site visit from several NASA officials to Doerfer’s Waverly and Waterloo, Iowa factories during the week of December 9, 2013. Alliance & Chamber CEO, Steve Dust was present for the event where NASA officials showed great enthusiasm for the project and partnership with Doerfer.

Doerfer’s Wheelift Division, which operates primarily from Doerfer’s facility at 1575 Big Rock Road, Waterloo, Iowa, received a multi-year NASA contract in 2012 to provide the main assembly & material handling transporters for NASA’s new SLS (Space Launch System) core stage rocket production plants in New Orleans, LA. Wheelift’s transporters will carry the core stage rocket segments through full assembly, engine test, and launch preparation at NASA’s plants located in Michoud, LA, Stennis Center, MS, and ultimately Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL.  Doerfer’s Wheelift transporters will travel with the 240 foot assembled rocket core stage on a ship as they make their way to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch.

The NASA SLS program will produce the largest and most powerful rockets ever built and represents the cornerstone of NASA’s future space endeavors. SLS will deploy the Orion Space Capsule to provide enhanced long range capability for extended human space travel beyond earth orbit and supports travel to the International Space Station as well as commercial and international support cargo missions. A NASA Fact Sheet on the SLS program is provided with this release. Extensive additional information is available on

SLS at  http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/index.html.

NASA’s SLS team is led by Mr. Garry Lyles, SLS Program Chief Engineer, who will travel from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL to address the Doerfer team along with visiting dignitaries and to conduct the award presentation commencing at 9 am on Thursday, December 12. Mr. Lyles is responsible for overall design and development of the SLS, is the recipient of the Presidential Rank, Distinguished Executive Award, and was named the 2012 Astronautics Engineer by the National Space Club.  During NASA’s visit both Wheelift and NASA engineers will demonstrate and test the first 4 transporters produced for SLS, in preparation for delivery to NASA in early 2014. A schedule of events together with contact information will be provided to the media and attending dignitaries for the award presentation and transporter demonstrations. Although Doerfer is unable to open this event to the public, an additional public open house will be scheduled and conducted in 2014 in conjunction with production of the next round of transporters currently in process.

Doerfer Companies is an engineering driven designer, manufacturer, and integrator of automation systems and related equipment used to manufacture, handle, assemble, test, and package industrial and consumer products with plants in Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Singapore. Additional information can be found on Doerfer and Wheelift at  http://www.doerfer.com/ and  http://www.wheelift.com.

Inc. Magazine Unveils 32st Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 500 Next Generation Wireless Ranks No. 4659 on the 2013 Inc. 500


NEW YORK, DECEMBER 6Inc. magazine today ranked Next Generation Wireless NO. 4659 on its 32st annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, Jamba Juice, Zipcar, Clif Bar, Vizio, Oracle, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500|5000.

“It’s an honor to be on this list once again this year. This is the 6th year we have been on this list and it’s quite an achievement. Very few companies have ever done this” says Bill Bradford.

The 2013 Inc. 500, unveiled in the September issue of Inc. is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. To make the cut, companies had to have achieved a staggering minimum of 770% in sales growth. The Inc. 500’ s aggregate revenue is $15.7 billion, with a median three-year growth of 1,431 percent. The companies on this year’s Inc. 500 employ more than 48,000 people and generated over 40,000 jobs in the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 500|5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/500.

“Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” says Inc. magazine Editor Eric Schurenberg.

CONTACT:   Next Generation Wireless, 319-266-5070, Sadie Foertsch (sadiefoertsch@ngwtoday.com)


The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber announces nominations will be accepted now through the end of January 2014 for a variety of business awards to be presented during the 2014 Annual Celebration on Thursday, March 27th  at the Park Place Event Centre.

Do you know of an individual who should be recognized for their contributions in creating a strong business climate and enhancing the quality of life in the Cedar Valley by continued service and leadership?  Has a business or organization, made an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley and its citizens on a continued basis or with a specific project?  You are encouraged to nominate them for recognition of their contributions.

“The strength of the Cedar Valley is a result of visionary, innovative leadership – individuals, businesses and organizations who are investing capital, creating jobs and making things happen in the workplace and the community.  It’s important to tell their stories and recognize them for their contributions,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steve Dust.

Nominations are being accepted through January 31st  for the following awards:

Business of the Year Award
Harold Brock Innovation Award
John Deere Treating Capital Well Award
Fulfilling the Vision of One Award
Cedar Valley Partner Award

Past award winners from the 2013 event include  H.D. “Ike” Leighty, Reid Koenig, Steve Tscherter, Mudd Advertising, GMT Corporation, John Deere Waterloo Works and Build Our Ballpark.

Descriptions of the awards and nomination forms are available at the Alliance & Chamber offices or online at www. cedarvalleyalliance.com/programsandevents .  For additional information, please contact Bette Wubbena  at bwubbena@cedarvalleyalliance.com or 232-1156.


Hawkeye’s Agriculture Programs Win Coveted Awards

WATERLOO–At the recent Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators (IAAE) Conference, Hawkeye Community College’s Agriculture Business Management program was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Post-Secondary Ag Education Program.  This award recognizes post-secondary agricultural education programs for their overall success, growth, and motivation.  The college was also awarded an Ideas Unlimited Award in the Continuing Education division for the new Brazil Study Abroad course for Ag Instructors.

Most careers in modern agriculture and related sciences are “hi-tech”, requiring postsecondary education.  Hawkeye’s Ag Business program will now move on to the regional level for further consideration, and then potentially to the national level.

Hawkeye’s programs have educators who are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural careers.  Hawkeye’s Agriculture instructors have been described as enthusiastic, motivating, and inspiring.  The IAAE’s vision is to be the premier professional organization for advancing agricultural education.

Hawkeye has long been a leader in agriculture education in Iowa for many years on the postsecondary level.  The college’s Agriculture Business Management program embodies the ideals of the agricultural teaching profession through instructional methods and has become a national leader.  This specialized program is experiencing record enrollment, with students going straight to the workforce or transferring onto four-year programs after completing Hawkeye’s program.  For more information, visit the college website at www.hawkeyecollege.edu.

Veridian’s Angela Weekley Among Recipients of Governor’s 2013 Volunteer Awards



Waterloo, Iowa: Angela Weekley, Community Inclusion Manager for Veridian Credit Union, was among the recipients to receive a 2013 Governor’s Volunteer Award from Governor Branstad during a special recognition ceremony June 25th in Cedar Falls.

The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program was created in 1982 as a small program only available to state government agencies. The awards now provide all Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations with a way to honor volunteers with state-level recognition.

“Volunteerism is an important part of the state’s future and well-being,” said Governor Branstad. “I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize the people of our great state who continue the tradition of neighbor-helping-neighbor and work tirelessly to improve their communities.”

Weekley’s award was derived from the Individual Award category for her work mentoring in Waterloo schools for TeamMates. The goal of TeamMate’s mentoring program is to see youth graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education

Veridian Credit Union, founded in 1934 in Waterloo, Iowa, is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members. The credit union offers a full range of consumer financial services and employs more than 560 Iowans throughout 26 branches, including 13 in the Cedar Valley. For more information, visit www.veridiancu.org or call (800) 235-3228.


Cedar Falls Community Main Street Receives Award from Main Street Iowa

Cedar Falls Community Main Street received the award for best Image Promotion for their 25th Anniversary Celebration at the 27th annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration, which was held on Friday, May 17th at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veteran’s Auditorium in downtown Des Moines. Melissa Barber and Cary Darrah, co-chairs of the 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the 25th Anniversary Planning Committee at the event, which was attended by approximately 400 individuals representing communities across the state. Competitive nominations were submitted for 105 projects; 26 were selected for awards and six received honorable mention.

Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) presented the honors. Main Street Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to 47 individuals or couples who were selected by their community for outstanding dedication and volunteer service benefiting the local Main Street program.

“I am proud to have been part of the effort to bring the Main Street program to Iowa in 1985 as an economic development tool,” stated Governor Branstad.  “It is gratifying to see the successes Iowa communities have had because of our Main Street program.  As a result of the hard work of countless local leaders, Iowa’s Main Street districts in communities large and small are flourishing.”

As one of the oldest Main Street programs in the state, Community Main Street is extremely proud of our history and the success with which Cedar Falls has been blessed. For 25 years, this organization has faced challenges, built partnerships and championed economic revitalization downtown.

To celebrate their 25th Anniversary, Community Main Street, along with a dedicated committee of volunteers, turned 2012 into an epic celebration that added three special anniversary events to an already-packed downtown schedule. The year kicked off in January with an 80’s Party on Main: Don’t Stop Believing, as a nod to the 1987 beginnings of Community Main Street. In June, a free, family-friendly outside music celebration called Getaway to Gateway was held as a thank-you to the community for ongoing support. In October, a 25th Anniversary Gala, featuring unique auction items and live music, was held as the grand finale to the year.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work and commitment of the 25th Anniversary Planning Committee. Community Main Street would like to thank Melissa Barber, Cary Darrah, Kim Abbas, Janelle Darst, Jodi Landau, Karen Oltman, Mike Reyhons, Julie Shimek & Jamie Wilson for their dedication and support in planning this wonderful year-long celebration that has now received state-wide recognition as the Best Image Promotion of the Main Street Iowa Program during 2012.



The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Assists Black Hawk Engineering, Inc. in Acquiring Expansion Funding

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is proud of their role in the State of Iowa’s $137,000 incentive package award to Black Hawk Engineering, Inc. The incentive package, awarded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, helps fund a 40,000 square foot expansion at the firm’s facility in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park. This project will create 16 new jobs and add capacity to support their work as a supplier of custom drive train components.

Alliance & Chamber staff assisted Black Hawk Engineering through the entire application process which resulted in the state approving 100% of the application request.

The Alliance & Chamber helps Cedar Valley businesses and the local economy grow through: workforce & talent initiatives, business growth services, advocacy, Cedar Valley regional marketing collaboration, and collecting and distributing business intelligence & economic performance data.

For more information on the Alliance & Chamber business services can be found at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or by contacting, contact Britt Jungck, Director of Business Services at (319)232-1156 or email bjungck@cedarvalleyalliance.com.


Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees