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Tag Archives: UNI

Live it Up! Nick Kostner of Kryton Manufactured Metals, Inc.

How does Nick Kostner #livethevalley?

photo of Nick and Megan Kostner wedding

Nick Kostner, Megan Vogt-Kostner

What Nick Kostner does as Supply Chain Manager for state-of-the-art manufacturer KRYTON Engineered Metals in Cedar Falls can change from one hour to the next. You might find Nick working at his desk, on the shop floor, or in a customer location. He loves being empowered to try new things. “I’ve been given a lot of freedom in my day-to-day job to research and create new strategies, procedures, and processes to improve operations throughout the entire company.” Nick helped create the role that he began during an internship that almost didn’t happen: about a year earlier he was unenrolled from the University of Northern Iowa due to poor academic achievement. Ouch. He presented a detailed plan, was granted readmission, and got his act together. In 2016, he graduated from UNI with a Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management. Newlyweds Nick and wife Megan live in Waverly: small enough to see people they know everywhere but with the conveniences of a larger metro. #liveitup

Public invited to attend UNI presidential candidate forums

Public forums to be held November 29, 30 and December 1 at 2:30pm in the Old Central Ballroom of Maucker Union, on the University of Northern Iowa Campus.

Three candidates for the position of UNI president will visit campus during the week of November 28th. We encourage you to attend the public forums held on November 29, 30 and December 1 at 2:30pm in the Old Central Ballroom of Maucker Union. You may also have occasion to visit with the candidates in other meetings during the campus visits. The candidate’s vita and video from the forum will be available online. We ask that you provide to the search committee your input on the qualifications of each candidate by completing an online form. A fourth candidate was invited to be a finalist but withdrew.

The aim of the form is to collect meaningful quantitative and qualitative information from the campus community. It was developed by members of the search committee in consultation with Professor Mary Losch, Director of the UNI Center for Social and Behavioral Research.

On the day of each candidate’s public forum, faculty, staff and students will receive an email containing a link to a confidential electronic input form for that person. Please complete the forms as soon as possible and no later than 12 noon on Saturday, December 3. At that time, collection of electronic forms will be closed and the responses for each candidate will be summarized and provided to the search committee.

Community members and any UNI employees without university email access will be able to obtain a link by providing an email address either at the public forum or by requesting a link from CSBR@uni.edu. No names or identifying information will be collected on the forms.

Katie Mulholland
UNI Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair

Daniel Power
UNI Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair

 

High-Capacity Broadband from Mediacom Business Powering University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

 The following information was released by Mediacom Business

 New additive manufacturing and design facility utilizes bandwidth intensive applications to train and prepare manufacturers and students

Waterloo, IA – June 28, 2016Furthering its commitment to drive economic growth in the Cedar Valley corridor, Mediacom Business, a division of Mediacom Communications Corporation, today announced the installation of a high-capacity broadband connection at the new University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Metal Casting Center on the TechWorks Campus in downtown Waterloo.

Randy Pilkington, Director of Business and Community Services for UNI, said manufacturers and students alike will learn necessary design software skills at the UNI Metal Casting Center to develop products and prepare CAD documents in conjunction with Hawkeye Community College for 3D printing. The facility houses the largest sand mold 3D design printer in the country, and is installing three new 3D printers over the next several months using a variety of media.

“Our goal is make the facility at the UNI Metal Casting Center the go to place in Iowa, if not the Midwest, to expand additive manufacturing training of this kind. This is a huge initiative for Iowa. We feel confident that by partnering with Mediacom Business, we’ll receive the high-capacity broadband necessary to make this happen,” Mr. Pilkington said.

Dan Templin, Senior Vice President for Mediacom Business, said his company’s partnership with UNI exemplifies how critical it is to have a high-capacity broadband connection to power advanced technology platforms. “The design software needed to fuel expertise in sand mold printing used by companies like John Deere or Rockwell Collins requires high speed data. Without it, you simply can’t conduct the training needed. We’re especially glad to play such an important role in bringing business and education together via our proprietary fiber-optic network.”

Cary Darrah, TechWorks Vice President and General Manager, said Mediacom Business powered a TechWorks Campus StartUp event last November with 5 Gigabits of fiber connectivity. “Fast broadband was a necessity for the event – the first time StartUp Weekend was held on the Campus. Mediacom Business delivered the fastest connection to data that we’d used. Mediacom Business came through for TechWorks Campus and StartUp Weekend Cedar Valley participants. I believe that gave the Metal Casting Center a clear indication that Mediacom Business was a good solution at this location.”

About the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

The University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center was established in 1990 with a grant from the Iowa Lottery to serve foundries and foundry suppliers in Iowa. The UNI MCC has been a leader in foundry innovations and added 3D sand mold printing capabilities in 2014. Since then, the UNI MCC has worked with more than 100 small and medium enterprises across Iowa and the Midwest as well as with all branches of the US military.

About the TechWorks Campus

TechWorks Campus is a 30-acre advanced manufacturing, research & development, innovation, education, commercial, and manufacturing center located in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. The campus is comprised of 20 acres of development sites, and 300,000 square feet of flex space for innovation and development.

About Mediacom Communications

Mediacom Communications Corporation is the fifth largest cable operator in the U.S. serving about 1.3 million customers in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Mediacom Broadband LLC and Mediacom LLC. Mediacom offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data, phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, the company provides innovative broadband solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcc.com.

Contact
Tom Larsen
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Relations
Phone: 845-443-2754 | Email: info@mediacomcc.com

Alliance & Chamber Supports Upcoming Waterloo and Cedar Falls Schools Proposals

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Alliance & Chamber Supports Upcoming Waterloo and Cedar Falls Schools Proposals

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) The Board of Directors of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber voted unanimously to endorse two proposals by Waterloo and Cedar Falls school districts. Waterloo Community Schools has a $47 million proposal to build a career center, expand career and technical education and renovate its high schools. Cedar Falls Community Schools proposes to fund upgrades at North Cedar and Orchard Hill elementary buildings and build a new elementary school in southwest Cedar Falls at a total cost of $32 million. The Board took the action following detailed presentations by the districts’ superintendents and questioning during its January 5 meeting.

Specifically, the Alliance & Chamber approved each proposal separately, though in characteristic manner, the actions were combined into one motion, displaying unity of the regional business community.

The board also reinforced the districts’ and superintendents’ design of the programs to provide the benefits of the Career-Technical curriculum to students throughout the Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley Wide Impact

A compelling factor in the support for the two proposals is the ability for students from outside the host District to enroll in the Career-Technical Education programs, utilizing channels already in place to ensure the District is adequately compensated for the high-value curriculum delivered. Also, both Waterloo’s Academies and Cedar Falls’ CAPS programs will easily transfer credit to Hawkeye and UNI degree programs. This is important to ensure the student can seamlessly continue work toward a degree, obtaining the most current knowledge in the field, and entering the career field at the most opportune time for the student. It also defines clear career pathways for the student, and a quantifiable pipeline of candidates for jobs in the Cedar Valley.

The Alliance & Chamber board believes the taxpayers should approve these proposals. Business and education must work together to ensure continuing growth in our economy, while preparing smart, knowledgeable, engaged citizens. These proposals, well executed, will do both. Plus, a smooth transition to Hawkeye and UNI is precisely what students need to minimize their cost and time spent preparing for a great career in the Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Chairman David Braton recapped the discussion of the board, stating, “Workforce development is critical to the growth of the Cedar Valley. The Alliance & Chamber applauds Waterloo and Cedar Falls Schools staff and school boards for taking these bold steps to give our students the best education in a changing world. Workforce development is the key to our economic success.”

Vote “Yes” on February 2 and April 5

The Alliance & Chamber encourages all voters of the Waterloo and Cedar Falls schools to view these initiatives favorably, and as investments in the future generations of Cedar Valley citizens.

Please vote Yes on Tuesday, February 2 for Waterloo’s Career Center and High School Renovation Plan.

Please also vote Yes on Tuesday, April 5 for Cedar Falls’ Elementary Construction & Upgrades Plan.

Waterloo Schools Career Center

The Alliance & Chamber Board recognizes the outstanding research and planning by Waterloo Schools that included broad representation of the business community. The District included the entire community in the development of a plan that matches the needs of students and our businesses. The Waterloo District is focusing the use of this specialized building on implementation of a menu of academies that will begin a student’s preparation for a career in a well-paying and significant job, or even starting their own business. Waterloo plans to implement 15 Academies in school year 18-19, and fully implement the 30-Academy structure by school year 20-21. The first 15 Academies address areas of immediate impact such as Computer Science, Engineering & Robotics, and Bio-medical and Nursing; while others start students toward careers in needed trades and services such as Construction Technology, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Automotive Technologies, and Manufacturing Technology. These address current and anticipated high-demand skills in the Cedar Valley.

Cedar Falls CAPS and Elementary School Construction Program

Usually, the Alliance & Chamber would not publicly endorse proposals for specific elementary school construction and expansion programs. This time, however, it is important to underscore that modern education requires attention to facility upgrades at all levels of education. Cedar Falls’ student population is projected to increase significantly over the next decade, in contrast to many other locations that are projecting shrinking elementary populations. Cedar Falls’ growth has generated the need for additions onto some schools to eliminate trailer-like, temporary classrooms. The need to add flexibility in the use of the space and install advanced technologies infrastructure in all schools combines with District growth to be sound reasons to support this proposal. During the presentation, the Alliance & Chamber Board focused first on the implementation of the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) initiative, and immediately connected success in CAPS at the high school level with the need for modern elementary and middle school facilities.

The mission of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is to increase economic vitality and wealth by leading collaborative economic and community development. Details about the many programs and initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber can be found at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling Steve Dust, CEO at (319) 232-1156.

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For further information, contact Steve Dust, CEO, at SDust@CedarVAlleyAlliance.com or Wendy Bowman, Director of Communications at WBowman@CedarValleyAlliance.com or 319-232-1156; or Dave Braton, Chair of the Board, at 319-291-1400 or David.Braton@Lee.net

TechWorks Campus Announces the Launch of the Green@TechWorks


$40M hotel and training center construction set to begin with Tech2 building sale to developer.

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) – The TechWorks Campus, announces the sale of the Tech2 building to Financial District Properties (FDP) and the start of construction of the highly anticipated Green@TechWorks mixed-use project.

Tech2, an 88 year old former John Deere tractor manufacturing building, is the starting point of the Green@TechWorks re-development project. The 180,000 square foot, six-story building will house a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel; third-party restaurant; John Deere Regional Training Center and conference center. The Green is a principal feature of the overall $74M TechWorks Campus river-front re-development.

“It is gratifying to see The Green @ TechWorks become reality. The project will provide our Campus tenants with tremendous amenities just steps from their operations,” said Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and President of the TechWorks Campus. “Combined with the industrial 3D printing and design center, labs and shop in Tech 1, and the fantastic new John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, the opportunities for the TechWorks building sites and the marina become clear. These new operations compliment the downtown Waterloo revitalization and anchors new Cedar Valley developments along the river from Waverly through Cedar Falls to Waterloo. This is a very exciting time in the Cedar Valley.”

Since The Green@TechWorks project was announced in 2012, FDP along with TechWorks has moved forward with steady determination, pursuing federal, state, and local re-development financing, and brokering agreements between the developer, the City of Waterloo, and others.

FDP Managing Principal Rodney Blackwell has significant experience with downtown real estate redevelopment and is recognized for successfully assembling complex financing structures for downtown projects. Earlier FDP projects include the Mississippi Plaza Center in downtown Davenport, IA, and the North American headquarters for KONE Corp. in Moline, IL. FDP is currently developing Machinery Row, a mixed use re-development area in downtown Racine, Wisconsin. FDP also owns the river-front building occupied primarily by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier at 100 East Fourth.

“Despite the inevitable bumps in the road and some unexpected big challenges; creativity, commitment, and a lot of patience tied all the pieces of the financing puzzle together,” says Blackwell. “We are eager to start construction and look forward to delivering a venue that will compliment the Campus and delight the community.”

Helping to finance the project is $12 million from the Waterloo Reinvestment District.

A portion of the TechWorks Campus has also become the first designated Iowa Reinvestment District (IRD). The District, established by The City of Waterloo will provide up to $12M in new state hotel/motel and sales tax revenues generated within the district for capital projects. $8M will be used to pay off bonds financing The Green@TechWorks. $3M will go to the development of the Tech1 building, with $1M boosting a proposed marina development.

The projected economic impact of the District is significant. Up to 562 new permanent jobs will be created to accommodate the anticipated 275,000 annual visitors to the Campus. Visitors are expected to generate $2.9M in annual food, retail and other sales generated on Campus or in the vicinity.

Construction set to begin on The Green@TechWorks.

Interior pre-construction will begin in March with mobilization expected in mid-April. The target opening date for the project is May 2017. The Davenport office of contractor Ryan Companies US, Inc. has been named to complete the project. Ryan Companies’ Greg Lundgren, Midwest President is senior Project Executive Officer.

An estimated 130 people will be employed during the one year construction period. FDP is committed to use local trades and subcontractors to the greatest extent possible. Only when faced with a skill, schedule, or major price constraint outside trades would be sought, according to developer Blackwell.

Amenities for the business class traveler.

Business travelers to the Campus will enjoy the amenities of the 191-room Courtyard hotel, the newest Marriott property in the market. The hotel will be operated by Hospitality Specialists Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hospitality Specialists Inc. has been operating hotels for over 30 years with properties in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida.

The John Deere Regional Training Center will be constructed on the 2nd floor to address a range of skills upgrades for John Deere employees across its operations.

Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) of Dallas will expand its footprint to Iowa for the first time with a property in the Tech 2 building. CRO operates more than 91 full-service and 24 franchise restaurants in 17 states and globally. CRO manages brands ranging from the traditional steak house to Tex-Mex. The Green’s restaurant will be a new concept for CRO, consistent with Campus clienteles’ requirements.

$74.1 million TechWorks Campus mixed-use development offers unique opportunities.

The TechWorks Campus site and buildings, donated by John Deere to TechWorks in 2006 is located at the gateway to Downtown Waterloo at Highway 218 and West Commercial Street. The 30 acre TechWorks Campus is currently home to University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Additive Manufacturing Center and Design Lab, Hawkeye Community College Design Lab, the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub, John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, and Cedar Valley Makerspace. TechWorks Campus is just steps to the Cedar Valley Recreation Trails, entertainment & museum districts, and a variety of Riverloop District amenities.

Four sites are available on the campus for light industrial, research and development, and retail. 100,000 sf remains in the six-floor Tech 1 building for build-to-suit space ideal for light manufacturing and R&D tenants. Six laboratories are also available. Plans for a marina and a riverfront restaurant along the Cedar River are part of the overall $74.1 million Campus development plan.

“Identifying and attracting the right tenant and development is the next priority for TechWorks,” says Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager of TechWorks Campus. “My job now is to work with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber development team to help companies understand the tremendous value of locating on the TechWorks Campus. With access to University research and training, a wealth of resources, opportunities to make the right connections and create synergies, the amenities of The Green right outside their door, the Campus location shouldn’t be hard to sell.”

TechWorks Campus is a private non-profit corporation and subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. More information can be found at www.techworkscampus.com or by contacting Steve Dust, President of TechWorks Campus by email sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com, Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James Facilities Manager at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or by calling (319)232-1156.

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TechWorks Bird’s Eye – Looking West (12.2.14) 24×36

Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub at TechWorks of First Projects to Receive Iowa’s New Strategic Infrastructure Funding – $2.7 Million for additional 3D Printers UNI Metal Casting Center

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub (IAMNH), at the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo, is one of the first projects in the state to be awarded funds through Iowa’s new Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF). The funding was approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board at their June meeting. The project, Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub – Phase I, Additive Manufacturing Center, will receive $2.7 million to fund additional 3D printers for the UNI Metal Casting Center, building improvements, and a design center to be operated by Hawkeye Community College.

“With this financial support from the IEDA and Iowa Innovation Council, UNI is excited and anxious to move forward with creating a full-service additive manufacturing center to meet the innovation and technology needs of Iowa companies,” says Randy Pilkington, Executive Director of UNI’s Business and Community Services. “Thanks to support from IEDA, UNI is building on the momentum of the past 18 months of 3D printing success to create a full-service additive manufacturing center for Iowa manufacturers. Expansion into plastics, metals and ceramics will create one of the best equipped 3D printing facilities in North America.”

The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub application for Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF) was completed by TechWorks staff and a team including UNI’s Randy Pilkington and Metal Casting Center Director Jerry Thiel; Hawkeye Community College President Linda Allen, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jane Bradley; and TechWorks board chair Tim Hurley. The team worked with the State of Iowa and the Iowa Innovation Council’s Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup to finalize the application.

The IEDA funding will help to move Iowa to the forefront of technology in additive manufacturing and establish a premier center for support of its manufacturing base.  This funding is a critical step in advancing the state’s technology base and providing a central location for technology advancement.

Clayberg Joins Alliance & Chamber as Director of Business Retention & Expansion

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is pleased to announce Nate Clayberg has accepted the position of Director of Business Retention & Expansion.

As Director of Business of Retention & Expansion, Clayberg will plan, develop, and implement regional economic development initiatives to encourage and facilitate growth in targeted industry sectors. An important initiative to be lead by Clayberg  is Advance Cedar Valley, local implementation of Advance Iowa, a statewide Economic Gardening program operated by UNI.

“Nate’s familiarity with the business community of the Cedar Valley economic region and the work of the Alliance & Chamber is a great asset. He will be able to provide services to growing Cedar Valley businesses immediately,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steven Dust, “It will be a fast transition for a talented professional like Nate.  This is an important addition to our organization.”

Clayberg was previously the Executive Director of Economic Development in Buchanan County and the current Chair of the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership , an economic development marketing collaboration. In addition to his work in the field of economic development, Clayberg is known in the Cedar Valley through his work in development at the University of Northern Iowa Athletics and Sartori Hospital. He is a 2013 Cedar Valley Courier Communications 20 Under 40 honoree.

Clayberg received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and is in the process of attaining the Certified Economic Developer designation.

“We were looking for a candidate with strong economic development knowledge and experience who would work hard for the Cedar Valley,” says Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development. “We believe Nate will be highly effective in this role, delivering results in a very short time.”

Clayberg will assume his role with the Alliance & Chamber on May 1, 2014.

“I value the type of work I do every day as an economic developer as it contributes to the overall good of the entire community,” comments Clayberg.  “I look forward to utilizing my skills to help the Cedar Valley region grow and prosper,”

Originally from Webster City, Clayberg  lives in Jesup with his wife Kelly, a perfusionist with Cedar Valley Medical Associates at Unity Point – Allen Hospital and his two children Rachel, 11 and Daniel, 7.

The mission of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is to increase economic vitality and wealth by leading collaborative economic and community development.  Details about the many programs and initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber can be found at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling Steve Dust, CEO at (319) 232-1156.

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Two UNI programs awarded national awards for economic development

The University Economic Development Association (UEDA) has given awards to the University of Northern Iowa’s Dream Big Grow Here and Iowa Business Concierge programs. The programs were the recipients of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Research and Analysis awards at the annual UEDA conference in Pittsburgh.

Dream Big Grow Here received the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award for its innovative statewide contest that rewards a good business approach and pitch with money. The program uses an online platform where entrepreneurs can upload their plans of starting or expanding a business, and then encourages friends, family and customers to vote for them.

The Iowa Business Concierge program received the Research and Analysis Award for providing market research information, which is typically too expensive for small firms, at no charge to Iowa firms. In its first six months, the Iowa Business Concierge assisted 256 business owners, helped create 11 new businesses and helped launch eight new products or services.

For more information, contact Joe Bolick, communications and public relations, UNI Business and Community Services, at (319) 273-6577 or mjbolick@uni.edu.

 

TechWorks proponents forge ahead

September 30, 2013 12:00 pm Editorial – Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

 

That’s why proponents of the Cedar Valley TechWorks should not lose heart.

TechWorks, the agri-industrial research complex being developed on portions of John Deere’s former Westfield Avenue facilities, is now 10 years in the making. It was jointly proposed in 2003 by then-University of Northern Iowa president Robert Koob and Barry Shaffter, then general manager of Deere’s Waterloo operations.

Part of the project appears to have hit what proponents call a financial “speed bump.” An application for historic designation through the U.S. National Parks Service has been turned down. At stake is some $10 million in historic preservation tax credits toward the $50 million project.

Proponents are forging ahead.

Bryce Henderson, chief financial officer and chief operating officer with Davenport-based Financial District Properties, the project’s developer, said, “This decision was largely subjective, and we’re going back next week to present our case again,” he said last week.

Darn right. With all due respect to the Park Service, we don’t understand how preserving and enhancing a complex that was the industrial heart of Waterloo for most of the 20th century cannot have historic significance. We areapproaching the 100th anniversary of John Deere’s entry into Waterloo with the purchase of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. in 1918,  which was located on that very spot.

Henderson said the project will continue, and that there are backup financing plans. “You never go into a redevelopment project like this without a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D,” he said.

Developers have not given up on securing the historic designation for the Tech 2 building, which is scheduled to open in the winter of 2014 with a Radisson business-class hotel with a ground-floor restaurant, John Deere training facility, showroom and office space and a location for education programs of Hawkeye Community College.

“Part of our discussion was how to get started on the west end of the campus around the museum (Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, now under construction) and Tech 1 while we’re still putting all the pieces together for the Green project,” said Steve Dust, president and CEO of TechWorks. “It was important to understand that we continue to move ahead, even though this is a very important part of the project.”

We appreciate and applaud that undaunted approach. We would ask Park Service officials to consider the alternative. Longtime Cedar Valley residents have seen many industrial buildings fall victim to the wrecking ball, which subsequently resulted in aesthetic eyesores and environmental cleanup headaches.

The TechWorks project is a responsible, systematic re-use of a major industrial site in this city, preserving the site’s heritage with a look to future technologies. That’s a plan worth pursuing, and fighting for.

 

 

Mark Kittrell Joins the Iowa Innovation Corporation

 

Des Moines, Iowa (Oct. 7, 2013) – The Iowa Innovation Corporation Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Cedar Falls entrepreneur Mark Kittrell as the new president of the Corporation. Kittrell replaces Jack Harris. Harris left the president’s position to work fulltime on the creation of an advanced manufacturing and materials center.

“We could not be happier to have Mark on board,” said Board Vice Chair Cara Heiden. “His experience in technology start-up companies and his service to the state as an officer or director of numerous industry, state and regional economic development organizations makes him the perfect candidate to move the organization to the next level”

Kittrell is a serial entrepreneur, real estate developer and IT consultant based in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Through his over 30 year professional career he has been involved with multiple tech start-ups, real estate development and community/economic development initiatives including:

  • Founder of TEAM Technologies, a regional IT consulting/services firm specializing in IT and Internet services. Mark led the firm from modest beginnings to well over 100 staff members principally through engagements with many of the Midwest’s leading companies including John Deere, Meredith Publishing and Principal. The firm was sold to a publicly-traded company in 1998;
  • Co-founder and vice president of development for TEAM Companies, a specialist in mission critical IT facilities. The company developed and operated three data centers in Iowa and Wisconsin specializing in healthcare, financial services and other regulated industries. The firm was honored three times with the INC. 500 award for rapidly growing private companies and was acquired by TDS Telecom in December 2010; and
  • Co-founder and CEO of Eagle View Partners developing River Place, a $70 million mixed-use real estate project situated along the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Falls. In partnership with the Western Home Communities, the project consists of multi-family residential, national branded hotel and 55+ active lifestyle housing. The project is completing its first 21 units and is ready to break ground on an additional 30 units and over 20,000 feet of commercial space which is currently 50% pre-leased.

Holding a B.S in Physics from the University of Northern Iowa and an Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate (AMDP) from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design,  Kittrell has served in numerous industry, state and regional economic development organizations including the Iowa Innovation Council, Technology Commercialization Committee, Technology Association of Iowa, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance, TechWorks (a regional biotech redevelopment project), the University of Iowa Research Foundation and the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC)).

Mark joins COO Karen Merrick and two other recent hires by the Iowa Innovation Corporation:

Tonja Richards, Director, Marketing & Communications – Richards brings over 20 years of public relations and communications experience to the Corporation. Recently she was the communications and marketing person for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Administrative Office, where she was responsible for social media, web management, event management, media relations, branding and graphic design. Prior to that position, Richards spent eight years with the Iowa Department of Economic Development (now Iowa Economic Development Authority) as a marketing manager for existing industry. Tonja earned an MPA from Drake University, is a past recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer of the Year Award and currently serves on the ABI’s Leadership Iowa Board of Governors.

Alex Carter, Program Manager – Carter earned his undergraduate degree in education from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill. and a J.D. from Drake University Law School.  Joining the team to specialize in research, business commercialization and strategy, Alex is a native of Wilton, IA.

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The Iowa Innovation Corporation: Created in 2011 to build public/private partnerships to “grow Iowa’s own”, the Iowa Innovation Corporation is a business-led, not-for-profit working as facilitators with businesses, government, start-ups, existing companies, nonprofits, universities, community colleges and anyone in the business of job creation and business growth to ensure Iowa has the tools necessary to succeed in the Innovation Economy.. For more information, go to www.IowaInnovationCorporation.com .

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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