September 26, 2022
For Immediate Release
Northwest Iowa Development Leaders Hear about Economic Challenges Ahead from Midwest Economics Expert at its 12th Annual Partner Meeting
100 economic development, community, and business leaders from throughout Northwest Iowa were presented an economic briefing by top Midwest economist, Dr. Ernie Goss, at the 12th Annual Northwest Iowa Development (NWID) Partner Meeting in Sanborn on September 22nd.
The briefing focused on the outlook on several current challenges and, also highlighted a few positive signs to watch. Dr. Ernie Goss is an economist from Creighton University who specializes in the economic analysis of the Midwest economy. He told the crowd gathered at the Yesterday Memories & Vander Haags’ Antique Truck Museum, that problems in the housing, labor and energy markets are serious and are contributing to negative economic growth. However, he balanced his outlook by stating that inflation overall is slowing and manufacturing has remained strong in Iowa.
Prior to the Goss economic briefing, NWID presented their annual awards that recognizes business and organizational innovation and outstanding economic and local leadership. John C. and John M. Vander Haag from Sanborn, Rock Valleys’ Project Youth Day Care, International Ingredients Corporation in Sibley and Rand Fisher, recently retired leader of Iowa Area Development Group, were recognized at the luncheon event held annually to recognize and celebrate regional partnerships.
Economic Development Awards of Appreciation were presented to retirees Rebecca Gisel of Alliant Energy and Mike DeBruin of City of Hawarden.
Economic development, community, and regional leaders from the four-county NWID region and the city of LeMars representing businesses, city councils and counties, and other allies with an interest in growing the region, attended the 2022 Partner Meeting.
“NWID prides itself on being a regional forum to discuss regional challenges and also act on solutions in a collaborative manner,” said NWID Chairman Steve Simons, Director of Lyon County Economic Development. “We strive to advance and recognize successful efforts to focus on the building blocks of economic development in our communities and counties. These building blocks include such key items as workforce, daycare, healthcare, education, recreation and housing.”
In an annual report highlight video, NWID featured the current BIG Challenge (Build, Innovate, Grow) program, as an example of a regional collaborative effort carried out in partnership with partners in the Siouxland area.
Carol Hoogestraat, NWID Vice–Chair and Hawarden Community and Economic Development Director presented the awards and highlighted how awardees focused on the key building blocks that Northwest Iowa Development is working to strengthen locally and regionally.
Receiving the 1st Kirk Grau Business Innovation Award was International Ingredients Corporation (IIC) in Sibley. IIC renovated and upgraded a vacant existing building in downtown Sibley and are now operating a state-of-the-art animal feed manufacturing facility.
The second Kirk Grau Organization Innovation Award was presented to Project Youth Day Care in Rock Valley, a major project focused on expanding day care capacity and supporting the workforce. This community-wide effort included financial support from throughout the entire community, businesses and, also the State of Iowa.
Rand Fisher and the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), a statewide organization focused on Iowa rural development was recognized by Northwest Iowa Development with the first Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award. Mr. Fisher, retired in 2022 after 25 years of leading IADG, worked with rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in Northwest Iowa and was actively involved in several major business expansions in the region.
The 2nd Support Award went to John C. and John M. Vander Haag from Sanborn. The Vander Haags’ have been active in building housing units in Sanborn (53 new units) and developing and supporting the Yesterday Memories & Vander Haags’ Antique Truck Museum in Sanborn.
The 12th Annual Partners Meeting was sponsored by MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy, Premier Communications, Northwest REC, Osceola Electric Cooperative and Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative.
Northwest Iowa Development is a regional economic development marketing organization focused on growing businesses and communities in northwest Iowa. It includes the counties of Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Osceola and the city of LeMars. For more information, visit www.northwestiowa.com or contact your local economic development organization.
Photo Credit: Lori Richards, Northwest Iowa Community College
Receiving the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support award were the Vander Haags for their housing efforts in Sanborn. Pictured L-R are Amy Vander Haag, John M. Vander Haag, Kiana Johnson, O’Brien County Economic Development, John C. Vander Haag, Ruth Vander Haag and Curt Strouth, Sheldon Economic Development Corporation.
Receiving the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support award was Rand Fisher of the Iowa Area Development Group. Pictured are Mark Gaul, City of LeMars Community Development and Rand Fisher, recently retired IDAG president.
Receiving the Kirk Grau Business/Organization Innovation Award was International Ingredient Corporation of Sibley. Pictured are Susan Sembach, Sibley City Administrator and Tracy Kanne, Sibley Plant Manager.
Receiving the Kirk Grau Business/Organization Innovation Award was City of Rock Valley Project Youth Day Care project. Pictured are David Miller, Rock Valley Economic Development and Project Youth Day Care’s Director Julie Vande Kamp, Board President Brittany Kooima and Board member Ashley Simoni.
Receiving an NWID award of appreciation was Mike DeBruin, retired Hawarden City Administrator. Pictured L-R are Carol Hoogestraat, Hawarden Economic Development and Mike DeBruin of Hawarden.
Receiving an NWID award of appreciation was Rebecca Gisel, retired Key Account Manger for Alliant Energy. Pictured are Steve Simons, Lyon County Economic Development and Rebecca Gisel of Alliant Energy.
View the 2022 Annual Report Video