Category: Siren Wednesday

Make Your Mark 2014

Make Your Mark
In case you missed last year’s star-studded Make Your Mark event, you might not know what we have up our sleeve next Wednesday night for our Make Your Mark Siren Wednesday.  Each year we have a “suns out, guns out” party celebrating YOU, our members.  This year is no exception!

“Well…” you say, “all Siren Wednesdays are pretty awesome.  How is this different from any other Siren?”

This is the time of the year that we acknowledge the individuals that have been HUGE contributors to ImpactCR and our Service and Leadership committees and have made their mark throughout the last year.  At 6:00 p.m. we will have a short program to look back at all of our accomplishments over the last 10 months and share what is to come in 2015!

Join us on Wednesday, November 5th at White Star Ale House from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for some delicious food, great company and your first drink on us!  Boom.  You didn’t even see that coming!!  So we can plan accordingly, please RSVP to let us know you will be celebrating the awesomeness that was 2014 and welcome in the new year.  So, it’s kind of like a New Years Eve party in November!  Love it! 

This would not have been possible without some AMAZING sponsors!  Join us  in thanking Principal Financial Group, Farmers State Bank and University of Iowa – PM Program.  See you there!

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


Next Gen Summit | Countdown Begins

Next Gen Summit

The Next Gen Summit is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. On Wednesday, October 1st hundreds of young professionals will be flocking the hallways of the newly renovated US Cellular Center, repping their Iowa Pride. This year’s lineup for keynote and breakout speakers is jam- packed with upbeat fresh faces, and some local favorites. With brand new breakout sessions, the addition of an interactive round table discussion between young professionals and executives, and an after party at Theatre Cedar Rapids, this is bound to be the best year yet.

Many current initiatives are focusing on the engagement of college students and young professionals new to the workforce, in hopes that they will find the Corridor is a place to stay and grow their careers. The theme of “Iowa Pride” encompasses the same goal for the Next Gen. Summit. This year, I really look forward to the executive round table portion of the day, where attendees be sitting down in small groups and participating in a conversation with a local executive. The discussions will be focused on workforce retention and strengths and weaknesses of the Corridor area.

I grew up in the Des Moines area, and came to Cedar Rapids three years ago for my husband’s job. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this place. It was hard to see myself staying here long term. I heard about the Next Gen. Summit, and on a whim I decided to go. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to know opportunities for volunteering. They had a non-profit fair with tons of organizations to choose from. I was looking to join a board. They had a great breakout session on ways to broaden leadership skills, including joining a local board. I wanted some advice on starting my own business. They provided a great panel of entrepreneurs offering tons of advice on small businesses. The Next Gen. Summit was designed for someone like me, new to the area and looking to know why I should stay.

Companies can also take advantage of this event by sending their employees and encouraging professional development. Executives in the past have found the Next Gen. Summit provided a lot of insight to the minds of their younger workforce. This event really goes beyond networking, and basic leadership training. It is a community wide opportunity for businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporations to take part in a unique professional experience.

As a current co-chair for the Next Gen Summit, I get to know all the ins and outs of the day, which factors in a little bias. But who am I kidding? If I had nothing to do with the planning of this thing, I’d still make sure to have a front row seat. I joined the planning committee because I think it’s a terrific event, and I want to see it grow. If the Next Gen. Summit inspires more young professionals to make the Corridor their home for business and personal life, then we can definitely call this a success. I know I have my ticket reserved. See you there!

Editor’s Note: This post is written by Next Gen Summit Co-chair and ImpactCR Board Member, Tallis Strub.

The Next Gen. Summit 2014 is presented by Kaplan University, with supporting sponsors: UICCU, Van Meter, ACT, and Upper Iowa University. A full schedule of the event and registration information can be found here.

small NG logo

Siren Wednesday | Lion Bridge Brewing Co.


I don’t know if you know, but tomorrow is Wednesday. It’s not just any Wednesday, but one of 12 Wednesdays that happen every year. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, aka Siren Wednesday.

Have you been to Lion Bridge Brewing Company yet?! Hopefully you have, but if not, I seriously hope you can make it tomorrow night! Located in the heart of Czech Village, Lion Bridge offers local brews, as well as guest taps and artisan sodas. Not to mention their delicious “beer-centric” appetizers. We know you will not be disappointed!

Join ImpactCR Wednesday night (June 4th) at Lion Bridge Brewing Company located at 59 16th Ave SW from 5:30 – 7:30 for some networking at this very cool local establishment! See you there!

Photo courtesy of Chris Gierut via This Is Cedar Rapids

Siren Wednesday | Planet X

“What the?!  But we’re adults and that place is for kids!”

If this (or something similar) was your initial thought, please know you are not alone.  However, please also rest assured we chose Planet X for many good reasons – one of which just so happens to be how much fun this place is for adults!

Like many of you, I don’t have children of my own and as such, I wouldn’t ever  typically throw Planet X into my bag of venue options for adults, at least not prior to attending a birthday party there last year.  I can tell you firsthand that as difficult as it may be to admit, we are all very wrong in our assumption that there’s no fun to be had by adults at Planet X. In fact, quite the contrary actually – it’s an absolute blast, even for corporate events.

I mean, laser tag? Miniature golf? How about rock climbing or jump shot? SPACE BALL, PEOPLE! Everybody knows you haven’t really lived until you’ve space balled! But if you still aren’t in after reading about all those activities that I personally find enjoyable – yes, even at 24+ years of age – might I interest you in a slice or three or seven of Planet X’s made-from-scratch, New York-style Pangea Pizza, paired with a gourmet beer of your choosing? Okay, the gourmet part might be a stretch, but you know what’s not? The mouth-watering deliciousness of their homemade Full Moon ice cream! To live for, truly.

And if even after reading all of those compelling reasons to join us at Planet X you still “seriously can’t even,” we hope you’ll look at it as an opportunity to welcome and network with our fellow young professionals who do have children. These amazing folks have requested and waited patiently for a family-friendly Siren Wednesday and we have the survey results to prove it. As always, ask and we shall (try our very best to) deliver!

I myself CANNOT WAIT to dominate each and every one of their kiddos in all of the aforementioned high-stakes games – especially rock-climbing! Oh, in case you weren’t aware, I have quite the reputation for being the first one up a wall without the need for help from anyone…

Eric - ImpactCR

Join us, won’t you?

Who: You, and if you so wish, your kids (I suppose you could bring someone else’s kids but ask the parents first maybe?)

What: Siren Wednesday, hosted by impactCR

Where: Planet X | 4444 1st Ave NE #3001, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

When: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014.

Siren Wednesday | Bata’s

Whew!  I am so sorry for the extended vacation and lack of posts lately.  The ImpactCR board has been super busy planning some awesome new programing (I’m looking at you Big Decision Series) and putting final touches on some of your current favorites!

Speaking of favorites… have you been to Bata’s yet?  This place is definitely in my top 3.  Crazy delicious food, fabulously intimate setting and great service… what more could you ask for?!  Hosting Siren Wednesday there TODAY?  Sure, why not?!


You heard the sirens, you remembered that ImpactCR is hosting Siren Wednesday and now you want some details…

Who:  You (Maybe bring a friend, or 2)

Where: Bata’s | 1006 3rd Ave in the NewBo District

When: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Today, April 2nd

I, for one, am looking forward to tonight’s Siren event.  See you there!

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