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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.


Tuesday, July 17th, The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber hosted a Campaign Kick-off event to launch their Fulfilling the Vision2 campaign and to unveil their five-year Plan for Regional Growth .  The event, held at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, was hosted by Campaign Chairman Thad Nevitt of Deere & Company.  A broad-based program celebrated recent accomplishments and Alliance economic development activities presented by Alliance & Chamber CEO, Steve Dust.  A presentation of The Plan for Regional Economic Growth was given by Alliance & Chamber Board Chair -elect Kris Hansen.  Outgoing Alliance & Chamber Board Chair Hugh Field also made comments.

Among those in attendance were regional businesses and institutions who have already made commitments to the current campaign, those who have participated in the past as well as potential investors in the campaign. The Fulfilling the Vision 2 campaign funds the ongoing efforts of the Alliance & Chamber to support existing local business, attract new business, and aid in the retention, development and attraction of talent to the greater Cedar Valley Region of Iowa.


FtV2 is the follow-up campaign to the successful Fulfilling the Vision initiative of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. With this new campaign, the Alliance & Chamber will be raising the Cedar Valley to a greater power.

Goals of the campaign are as follows; to develop and strengthen a technology and innovation based regional economy, to act as a catalyst and focal point of effective regional action on economic issues of importance to businesses and institutions throughout the Cedar Valley economic area, and to increase the effectiveness of Alliance organizations.

These goals will be reached through focused efforts in six areas: Workforce and Talent, Business Growth, Advocacy for the Cedar Valley, Increasing Cedar Valley Regional Collaboration, Cedar Valley Business Intelligence and Economic Performance Data, and Reporting Our Success.

The FtV2 Campaign Goal

The goal to raise $4.25 million through the FtV2 campaign will be invested over the next five years in our work to attain the business development goals.

FtV2 ROI Estimates

Most importantly, The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber estimates that their efforts will generate 100 opportunities for business expansion, retention and recruitment, at an average of $5 million in value.  They are also projecting new jobs with a target floor rate of $19 an hour. These jobs should  influence produce $66,975,00 in annual total earnings adding $37,021,302 in annual area consumer expenditures and up to $5,787,220 in annual deposits for area banks.

A website and video have been produced for the campaign and can be viewed at www.FtV2.org.


The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber (GCVA&C) is a private, not-for-profit corporation whose investors and members include businesses, institutions, governments and professionals dedicated to continuously improving the economic environment and quality of life in the Cedar Valley.

The Cedar Valley-generally encompassing a 30-mile radius around the Waterloo/Cedar Falls metro-is one economy comprised of thriving corporations, enterprise-level institutions and locally owned businesses, as well as talented, skilled people pursuing careers and enjoying life.

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