Category: Civic and Community Action

Make Your Mark Awards 2013


As you know, last Wednesday we held our annual Make Your Mark event at CSPS to celebrate you, our members and to recognize a few who are pretty outstanding in our eyes. Congratulations to the following members for all you do for our organization and for your local community:

Leadership Award | Rebecca Sullens

The Leadership Award is presented to a member who encourages others to connect to the community through ImpactCR programs and events. Rebecca consistently reaches out to all of our members and makes everyone feel welcome. She understands the importance of diversity in our community and makes a point to help every person find their place here. Rebecca’s upbeat attitude and constant dedication to Cedar Rapids makes her the perfect cheerleader for ImpactCR.

Service Award | Casey Ealy

As a Member of the Leadership and Service Committee, Casey has done some amazing things for our community: from leading an effort to obtain funding for a potential playground project at NewBo, to coordinating and participating in multiple Habitat for Humanity events, to always raising his hand to say, “whatever you need.” Casey works quietly and humbly to do what he thinks is needed to make the corridor a better place to work and live. He exemplifies the spirit of service in our community. (Read Casey’s YP Profile here.)

Make Your Mark Award | Jennifer Germaine

Our first ever Make Your Mark award winner is Jennifer Germaine. Jennifer has helped lead ImpactCR to a new level of engaging and educating the area’s now and next gen. population. As a two year co-chair of the Next Gen Summit steering committee, she has gone above and beyond in her commitment to making the event an empowering experience for all attendees. Jennifer is also a member of the ImpactCR board of advisors and serves as a constant advocate for the organization and for the corridor.

WOW! These three individuals are pretty amazing, don’t you think!? Well you can be too! Join a committee or nominate yourself or someone you think is pretty awesome to be on the ImpactCR board of advisors. (Nomination forms are due November 15th.) How will you Make Your Mark in 2014?


Make Your Mark


This has been quite a year for ImpactCR! From the Casino Vote Forum in March, to the many Siren Wednesdays and BLTs to last month’s Next Gen Summit. While the year isn’t quite over, what better way to round out a successful year of networking, service and professional development than with an extra special Siren Wednesday to celebrate you, our members and those who have helped us develop programming and supported our events over the last year?!

How is this event different from our regular Siren Wednesdays? At 6 p.m., we will have a short program that will look back at our accomplishments over the last 10 months and share insights into exciting new programing and changes coming in 2014. We will also acknowledge our outstanding members with a two awards to be presented at the ceremony. Help us congratulate the members who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate volunteerism by participating in our events, committees, etc. and exemplary leadership skills to support and help develop ImpactCR events, by awarding them with our Service and Leadership Awards.

Please join us Wednesday, November 6th at CSPS from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for free appetizers, cash bar and cake! (No party is ever complete without cake!) Please RSVP and register here, to let us know you will be joining our celebration.

A HUGE thank you goes out to our three sponsors: Mediacom, as our presenting sponsor and our two supporting sponsors, Hatch Development Group and RuffaloCody!

Big on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Please use the hashtag #makeyourmark while posting about ImpactCR!

Image Via

Casino Vote Forum

As you have probably seen in the paper, on TV and Facebook, there is a HUGE vote coming up on March 5th.  Do you know where you stand on the idea of bringing a casino to Linn County?


Part of ImpactCR’s mission is to provide opportunities to become educated and informed on standing issues in our community.  ImpactCR’s Civic and Community Action Committee is bringing you the Casino Vote Forum tomorrow, February 12th at the National Czech and Slovak Museum from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We have asked some pretty major players to sit on the panel, so join us tomorrow night and they can answer your questions before you vote.

Register for this free event here!   Don’t forget to locate your Linn County polling place, prior to March 5th.  See you tomorrow!

BigWig Lunch Talk – Kraig Paulsen

Have you ever heard of ImpactCR’s BLTs?  Not of the Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato persuasion. YUM!  The BigWig Lunch Talk kind of BLTs.  Although, it kinda makes you hungry just thinking about it, right?  Good thing our BigWig Lunch Talks happen over … um… lunch. 😉

I digress…

This Thursday, October 25th our Leadership and Service Committee will be hosing Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen over lunch.  Have you ever wanted to rub elbows with a top dog, a head honcho, the Boss Man, el Cap-i-tan, the Godfather?… Ok, that might be going a little too far.  How ’bout a swell Iowa elected leader?  Works for me!

[Kraig Paulsen]

Speaker Kraig Paulsen, who resides in Cedar Rapids, has served District 35 since 2002.  He currently works as an attorney for CRST International, Inc and has previously served as the House Judiciary Chair, the House Minority Whip (2 Years) and the House Republican Leader.  He received his BBA from Iowa State University, MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and JD from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Join us at our BLT (with your BLT!) at the Metro Economic Alliance from 12 – 1 p.m. for a conversation with Kraig Paulsen.  It’s totally free!  Just like many of our other events.  I hope to see you there!

Another HUGE thanks goes out to our sponsor University of Iowa School of Management MBA – PM program.  I’m starting to think they really like us!  They have continued to support many of our events and I foresee a very exciting future between ImpactCR and the University of Iowa MBA- PM program.

Also, don’t forget about the Judicial Retention Forum at the National Czech and Slovak Museum from 6 – 7:30 p.m.  If you haven’t already, check it out here.

The More You Know…

Elections and politics are pretty hard to miss right now, which is why we’re adding a little more to the mix.  So you’ve heard the famous lines, “Knowing is half the battle,” or as NBC promotes, “The More You Know”… well ImpactCR’s Civic and Community Action Committee feels the same way.  Next Wednesday, October 24 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., ImpactCR and the Linn Law Club are hosting the Judicial Retention Forum at the National Czech and Slovak Museum.

Some of you are probably asking the same question I was, “What is a Judicial Retention Forum?”  Right?  Ok… so here is what I gathered from the Iowa Judicial Branch:

First things first… What is a judicial retention election?  Basically judges do not have an opponent, but at the end of their term of office, voters determine if they would like to keep a judge in office for another term.

Easy enough.  Why does the state of Iowa use judicial retention? Being impartial is really important when it comes to the judicial system and it helps promote “judicial accountability and public oversight.” (source)

So… what makes a good judge?  According to the Iowa Judicial Branch, who probably has a pretty good idea about this, integrity, professional competence, judicial temperament, experience and service.

So now that I know what I’m attending… who’s going to be there? Justice David Baker, Steve Pace, Matt Dummermuth and Pat Baird are going to be on the panel and your moderator will be Adam Carros from KCRG.

{David Baker}

{David Baker}

{Steve Pace}

{Steve Pace}

{Matt Dummermuth}

{Matt Dummermuth}

{Pat Baird}

{Pat Baird}

At the forum, each panelist will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and then it’s up to you, the attendees, to ask questions.      Make sure that you bring some ideas with you, or have them written down.  This won’t be an open mic, so no worries about that fear of public speaking. 😉  I look forward to seeing you all there!

Committee Mingle Recap

We had a great turn out at Wednesday’s Committee Mingle at Fieldhouse Downtown.  If you didn’t have a chance to attend, we had a number of new faces and so many excited members with innovate and creative ideas to share.  The brain wheels were turning and we can’t wait to see what comes to fruition over the next few months.

Here are a few pictures from the evening:





In case you did not know… we have a little thing I’d like to call NEXT. GEN. SUMMIT. coming up on MONDAY!  Already?!  I know, right!?  If you’re not signed up, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  Get that request into your boss this morning with a copy of our 10 Reasons to Make Ask Your Boss to Send You to the Summit and get your rear to The Hotel at Kirkwood Monday morning at 8 a.m.!   Can’t make it all day, but still want to see Rebecca Ryan?  No problemo dude!  $35 gets you lunch and a ticket for our keynote address – Is Iowa’s Creative Corridor future-ready?.  See you there!

We have a ton of events going on in the next couple weeks!  Stay tuned for more info!  Until next time…

{Are you on a committee?  What kind of events do you think we should have in the upcoming months?}


Come Mingle with Us @ Fieldhouse Downtown

Chances are one, or a combination, of these next three thoughts have been yours…

  • Dude!  My boss keeps bugging me about getting involved in a young professionals group.  I don’t even know what’s out there.  Besides, I don’t want to go by myself, I’m not going to know anyone.
  • I just moved to Cedar Rapids and I don’t really know anyone other than the people I work with.  I’d really like to get involved, but I’m new, I’m not sure where to go.
  • I want to get more involved with my community, but I really want to get to know more people around my age.  I always see people at work, but I really want to expand outside of my work friends.

How many of you have had one or more of these thoughts?   I know I have!  I moved back after college and had no idea why I was here when I had always wanted to live in Chicago or Minneapolis.  It wasn’t until I became friends with one of our current board members that I was encouraged to get involved with ImpactCR.  I have to say, after over a year of being on the board, I’m so glad I did!

I’m sure you’re asking where I am going with this?  You love ImpactCR, we get it.  My point is, I may not have known how to get involved with ImpactCR, if I wasn’t encouraged to apply for the board by a friend.  I had my friends, I was meeting new people, but it wasn’t until someone told me I should, that I did.  So if your boss is encouraging you to get involved outside of work, or if you just moved to Cedar Rapids, or just want to get more involved in our community… join us at our Committee Mingle on Wednesday, October 10th at Fieldhouse Downtown from 5:30 – 6:30!  As always, ALL are welcome!

{Siren Wednesday - Members & Mixers}

{Siren Wednesday – Members & Mixers}

We’re always looking for new people to help bring creative ideas to the table.  So if you’re looking for a chance to get involved and want learn which committee suits your style, come mingle with us!  It’s super informal, open to everyone, and totally free!  (Need a refresher of our three committees?  Click here.)

There’s no obligation to sign up for a committee, but don’t be surprised if you do! 😉  There’s so much fun to be had!  If you have specific questions for our committee leaders before Wednesday, please feel free to send them an email directly at one of the emails below!   See you Wednesday!

Civic & Community Action | Mike Butterfield |

Members & Mixers | Katie Johnson |

Leadership & Service | Amber Mussman |