February 2, 2017 by Luann Waldo
The spotlight was on Audubon County Thursday night, January 26, as more than 75 business representatives and local governmental officials gathered at the Lake Panorama Conference Center to review the past year of Midwest Partnership Economic Development. Both awards went to Audubon County businesses and the guest speaker was Dr. Daryl Olsen, one of the founders of AMVC.
MWP Executive Director Sarah Gomez reviewed the past year. The organization provided assistance to 24 existing businesses on issues related to product development, business planning, expansion, workforce, technology, legislation, and human resources.
Thirty small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs were helped, ranging from finding a building, site or store front, to writing a business plan; providing information on financing options, and even business succession options.
MWP helps its 27 communities with community development through collaboration and partnership by assisting with projects such as child care study, housing and tourism, as well as represent the region at meetings, conferences and trade shows.
Numerous business leads were addressed. MWP, through Western Iowa Advantage, commissioned Iowa Workforce Development to conduct a Laborshed Study for each of MWP’s four counties and the region as a whole.
The EntreBASH was a success with plans underway for a similar event this year. The Employer Educator Summit was held at Wild Rose Casino with 225 people in attendance.
Gomez noted that workforce issues and the lack of skilled workers continues to be the biggest challenge in the four-county area: Guthrie, Greene, Audubon and Adair counties.
Brett Irlmeier conducted the meeting, concluding his year as president. Incoming president John Rutledge presented Irlmeier with a commemorative plaque.
The Guy Powell award was presented to Ben and Kathy Puck of Puck Enterprises.
Meg and Chad Gleason of Moglea received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Additional members of the Board of Directors are: Norm Fandel, Treasurer; Cheryl Marks, Secretary; Warren Varley, Matt Wedemeyer, Troy Wessel, Rick Morain, Doug Burns, Scott Tonderum, Stacie Hull, Jason Hocker, Lyle Hansen Jr, Peggy Toft, Todd Nelsen, Kyle Orris, Sid Jones, Travis Warnke, Everett Grasty, Gary Haverman, Jerry Sullivan, Marty Doud and Mike Underwood.
Courtesy of Luann Waldo, The Bayard News Gazette, 2/2/17 and also printed in the Audubon Advocate Journal, 2/3/17.