At the top of the bell tower are (from left) Pat Richards and Debi Durham, Shawn Lode and Omega Sang, and Angie Pedersen and Ann Vogelbacher.
October 7, 2015
Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, was an enthusiastic guest when she visited Jefferson last Wednesday. “It was a wonderful day,” said Angie Pederson, Greene County Chamber tourism and events coordinator and Durham’s tour guide and hostess “She was so impressed with what’s established here and with what’s growing.”
With Durham were Ann Vogelbacher, executive director of Central Iowa Tourism Region based in Webster City, and IEDA staff Shawna Lode.
The itinerary included Greene Bean Coffee, the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower, Thomas Jefferson Gardens, RVP~1875, Wild Rose Casino and Deal’s Orchard. The group was joined by Pat Richards at the Bell Tower, John Turpin at Thomas Jefferson Gardens, Grow Greene members Lori Mannel, Bob Allen and Norm Fandel and Wild Rose president Tom Timmons at the casino, and Jerald and Cindy Deal at the orchard.
It was not Durham’s first trip to the top of the Bell Tower, but it was her first since the installation of rooftop art last June. “I love the rooftop art. That’s a really great idea,” Durham said.
Joining the visitors for lunch at Angie’s Tea Garden were Amy Milligan of Jefferson Matters: Main Street, Chamber president Omega Sang, Greene County Development Corp executive director Ken Paxton and Jefferson mayor Craig Berry.
“Debi enjoyed everything she saw. She even went on a hayride at Deal’s She’s not afraid to have fun,” Pedersen said. After seeing the downtown business district, Durham planned to extend her visit at the end of the day to include time to shop. Shopping was scuttled when Durham was called back to Des Moines for an unexpected meeting.
“It can’t help but be an advantage to us having people in the IEDA that are aware of all that’s going on here. Now they have visuals to attach with what they hear,” Pedersen said.
She added that she was very happy Vogelbacher came also. “She’s very good at spreading the word about tourism offerings around the region. She’s a good person to have on our side,” Pedersen said.