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Tag Archives: Kate Washut

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Elects Leadership

The CEO of one of the largest locally owned firms was elected to lead the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber during its annual meeting held July 16 at the Park Place Event Center.

Tom Penaluna, CEO of The CBE Companies will chair the regional economic and community development organization through its 2014 fiscal year. Penaluna has been a board member of the Alliance & Chamber since 2008, and also was a board member of its predecessor organizations. He completed a term as chair of the affiliated Waterloo Industrial Development Association, and most recently served as vice chair of the Alliance & Chamber. Tom has asserted his leadership in the critical business – education transformation discussion by championing the Leader Valley and Leader in Me initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber. Penaluna also serves on the board of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress.

Other officers elected to leading the organization with Penaluna are: Vice Chair -Steve Tscherter, CEO, Lincoln Savings Bank; Treasurer-David Braton, Publisher, The Courier; and Past Chair, Kris Hansen, CEO, Western Home Communities. Steve Dust is president & CEO of the Alliance & Chamber.

The officers are joined by Rich Czarnecki, John Deere Global Director – Large Tractors; TechWorks Campus chair and former mayor Tim Hurley; and Chamber Council Chair Stacy Bentley, President – Community National Bank to form the Alliance & Chamber’s Executive Committee.

Kate Washut, partner, Far Reach, and Steen Hansen, CEO, Bossard North America were elected to the group which represents a broad spectrum of region-wide business, institutional, and local government interests. Sue Armbrecht, President – MidWestOne Bank Cedar Valley, and Chris Fereday, President – PDCM Insurance were re-elected to the board.

Washut and Hansen take the seats formerly occupied by retiring board members Dee Vandeventer, ME&V, and local attorney Hugh Field, partner in the Beecher Law Firm. “Dee and Hugh have been a part of the Alliance &Chamber leadership since its creation. The progress we’ve made in creating and delivering on the vision of a more vital, Cedar Valley economy is due in large part to the persistence and vision of business and civic leaders like Dee and Hugh,” said Dust.

Dust continues, ”Steen and Kate join others on our board who represent yet the next generation of leadership in our economy – businesses that located or started – but intending to grow – in the Cedar Valley of Iowa. They are the voices who need to chart the path for our economy moving forward,” concludes Dust.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Launches New Data Tool Resource

As part of its portfolio of business services, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, in partnership with Far Reach of Cedar Falls, introduces the Cedar Valley Data Portal.

Through the Cedar Valley Data Portal website, statistics and data about the Cedar Valley, from a multitude of sources, is collected and routinely updated in one convenient location. Data available on the site includes general demographic, economic, social, and housing statistics along with a variety of additional information regarding Cedar Valley cities, seven county economic area and the state of Iowa. The site offers data comparisons through easy to create, customizable reports.

As an economic development organization, the Alliance & Chamber is the primary agent for the demographic information on the entire Cedar Valley region. It is a priority of the Alliance & Chamber to distribute this information and business intelligence in the most efficient and effective way possible. The information provided in the data portal presents the Cedar Valley as one economic region, positioning the region competitively for new jobs and investment. Site selectors from outside the region will especially appreciate the comprehensive economic and talent information available through the data portal.

“ Most companies and site selection influencers are conducting community data and property searches 24/7 and look to organizations like the Alliance & Chamber as a source.   If this information isn’t readily available on our web site, we risk a lost opportunity,”notes Alliance & Chamber Economic Development Marketing Director, Lisa Rivera Skubal. “Companies and site selection influencers don’t call economic developers until they have already made a short list of potential sites.  This interactive data portal complements our available property data base, further setting us apart.”

The data portal is also an avenue to support retail and service business with access to current information for planning.

Project History

A survey to Alliance & Chamber partner organizations such as utility partners, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and the Cedar Valley Regional Partners showed need for such a system. From there, Far Reach developed the system for the Alliance & Chamber.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is responsible for updating the information provided on the data portal. Alliance & Chamber staff  use national reporting sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census Bureau, Council for Community and Economic Research and Iowa Workforce Development to aggregate data. Far Reach Technologies will continue to providing reporting and analytics to guide the growth and enhancement of the site.

“The Alliance & Chamber works with these stats every day. The ability to collect, update, and distribute this kind of comprehensive business intelligence is bedrock to what our organization does. This is not only a value added benefit to our investors, the Cedar Valley Data Portal is a critical resource for attracting new business and talent to the Cedar Valley,” comments Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

The Cedar Valley Data Portal can be found by going to www.cedarvalleyalliance.com,  http://data.cedarvalleyalliance.com/DataPortal.aspx. For more information on the Cedar Valley Data Portal and other information services provided by the Alliance & Chamber, contact Taylor King at tking@cedarvalleyalliance.com or 319-232-1156. Far Reach can be found on the web at www.farreachinc.com.

 

Far Reach was awarded a 2013 Gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation – Cedar Valley on February 21 in the category of Digital Advertising, Websites, Business to Business. The award was given for a website completed in partnership with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber. CedarValleyLife.com is a site developed to market the Cedar Valley region to businesses considering a move to the area. Over 250 entries competed for the awards this year. The Cedar Valley Life website is one of fifteen entries to move on to the district ADDY competition.

Visit cedarvalleylife.com here.

Kate Washut Appointed to Technology Association of Iowa Board

Kate Washut, Partner at Cedar Falls technology and marketing firm Far Reach – a Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber investor, was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Technology Association of Iowa.

The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) is a professional service organization that strives to strengthen Iowa’s technology ecosystem and enhance the state’s reputation as a technically advanced place where world-class technology firms and organizations thrive.   TAI’s Board of Directors provides leadership and vision for the organization and is responsible for establishing policy initiatives concerning TAI’s financial health and activities.

More info:
http://farreachinc.com
http://www.technologyiowa.org

GCVAC Investor Company Far Reach Partner Kate Washut Wins Women of Innovation Award

Cedar Falls–Kate Washut, Partner at Cedar Falls-based Far Reach received a Dupont Pioneer Iowa Women of Innovation Award.  Washut won the award in the category of “Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership.”   The Iowa Women of Innovation Awards are presented annually by the Technology Association of Iowa and recognize women who are leaders in science, technology, engineering, or math.

 

Winners and finalists were honored at a dinner and ceremony in Des Moines on November 15.   Washut was recognized for her accomplishments in technology, including starting her company Far Reach with four other partners in 2007.  Far Reach is based in downtown Cedar Falls and offers web design and development services, custom software development, mobile technology solutions, and technology and marketing consulting.  Washut was also instrumental in the development of two additional companies, Hired Hand Software and Nu Squared Software.   Washut worked with other technology leaders in the Cedar Valley to establish the Cedar Valley TechBrew.  This event attracts around 100 attendees each month for idea sharing, networking, and start-up promotion.

 

The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) is a professional service organization that strives to strengthen Iowa’s technology ecosystem and enhance the state’s reputation as a technically advanced place where world-class technology firms and organizations thrive. TAI’s Women of Innovation Awards is in its fifth year of honoring Iowa women.

 

For more information contact Sue Munnik at 319.273.8060, ext. 112, or sue@farreachinc.com.

 

More info:

http://farreachinc.com

http://www.technologyiowa.org/en/events_services/iowa_women_of_innovation/2012_women_of_innovation/

GREATER CEDAR VALLEY ALLIANCE & CHAMBER and the CEDAR VALLEY REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP ANNOUNCE DREAM BIG GROW HERE CEDAR VALLEY $5,000 WINNER

Cedar Valley of Iowa -The 2nd Annual Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley contest concluded on the evening of October 18th, 2012 with a “pitch-off” by five finalist of the online popular vote portion of the $5,000 grant contest.

The winner of the pitch-off, Lizzy Mae’s Cupcakes & Sweets – pitched by Dawn Pursell of Waverly, was chosen by a panel of business entrepreneurs and experts from the fields of law, technology, finance and entertainment. Twenty-one start-ups and small businesses participated in the popular online voting generating over 9,300 votes, from 44 states and 16 countries.

The Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley competition provides early stage and emerging small business an additional financial boost to accelerate the growth of their business.  The contest was open to start-up and small businesses in the Cedar Valley Economic Area comprised of Butler, Bremer, Buchanan, Black Hawk, Chickasaw, Grundy, and Tama counties.

“This year we saw more businesses competing in the contest take advantage of the free business services available through the University of Northern Iowa, MyEntrenet and the Small Business Development Center” commented Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber.

“This is the whole point of the contest…helping these individuals take their business idea to the next level.” added Nate Clayberg, Chair, Cedar Valley Marketing Partnership.

Both the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber and the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership were regional sponsors of the statewide contest.  Lizzy Mae’s Cupcakes & Sweets will compete March 7, 2013 for a chance to win $10,000 at the statewide pitch off sponsored by MyEntre.net during their annual conference. Pursell plans to use the prize money to expand her baking operation and open a store front in Waverly.

Other event sponsors for the Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley Pitch-Off event included, MyEntre.net, UNI’s Business Incubator, Point Builders and PDCM Insurance.

Other finalist included:

Computer Troubleshooters Computer Service and Sales(Cory Vieth) – Waterloo, Eat Cakes Cakery (Elizabeth Wilson)– Hudson , Watapri (Jane Zehr)– Waverly, and Recycle Rite Inc. (Brian Hoyer)- Cedar Falls.

Kate Washut of Far Reach Technologies moderated the Pitch-off. The judges panel included; Wade Arnold CEO of Banno; Darin Beck CEO of Barmuda MMC; Eric Johnson of Beecher, Field, Walker, Morris, Hoffman & Johnson, P.C.; Mark Stewart of Prime Logic Partners and Nick Evens of  The Veridian Group.

 

Returning to the Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley Pitch-Off event and delivering the keynote was author Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grand niece of Thomas Edison. Caldicott’s presentation How Collaboration Drives Innovation: A Midnight Lunch with Thomas Edison, was based on a soon to be released book. Co – author of the book Innovate Like Edison, Caldicott has recently released an e-book titled Inventing the Future: What Would Thomas Edison be Doing Today.

 

Dust added, “Cedar Valley Innovation Day is one way to celebrate the strength and vitality of the individual entrepreneurial drive in the Cedar Valley economic area, and the improvements it brings our businesses and lives.

 

The contestants of Dream Big Grow Here-Cedar Valley have taken the first steps to growing the next dominant business with whatever product or service improvement they have put into the marketplace. These aren’t hobbies, or businesses that plan to remain garage-based operations. DBGH-Cedar Valley contestants are in the mold of many, many other Cedar Valley dreamers who started with a vision to help businesses and consumers to do something better – innovating. Their success at innovation has earned them a place among the best in the nation in their industries. Remember, the innovation of John Froelich and his partners in the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co. – introducing gasoline powered traction – changed agriculture around the globe. It’s that commitment to find new, better ways to produce and provide in America’s Free Enterprise system – innovation – from the Cedar Valley – that is celebrated in this event.

 

Cedar Valley Innovation Day is a way to inform and demonstrate why it’s critical to create a welcoming place for people to innovate. We need that brainpower – continually striving to find the next better way to do something – create – make – or deliver something – to expand our economy. Encouraging, welcoming and celebrating innovation is still another way to Be Part of Something Greater – the Cedar Valley of Iowa.”

 

More information about Lizzy Mae’s Cupcakes & Sweets can be found at www.facebook.com/LizzyMaes Cupcakes Sweets.

 

Plans are already underway for the 2013 Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley & Cedar Valley Innovation Day.  Businesses and individuals interested in participating or sponsorships should contact the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber at 319-232-1156.

 

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