The Gazette recognizes Corridor business excellence
Businesses, cities, non-profits receive annual awards
George C. Ford
CEDAR RAPIDS — The city of Cedar Rapids received the top award Thursday at the Business 380 Excellence Awards banquet for its role as a partner and a catalyst in a variety of business and community projects in recent years.
More than 220 Corridor business professionals attended The Gazette’s second annual business awards event at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Companies, non-profit organizations and municipalities were recognized for their accomplishments.
Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett and City Manager Jeff Pomeranz accepted the overall excellence award for the city.
Corbett said sending the message that Cedar Rapids was “open for business” in the aftermath of the June 2008 flood has been essential to the community’s recovery and resurgence.
“I think by all the business awards that have been received this evening, that message has been successful,” Corbett said.
Earlier in the evening, Mike Brown, vice president off marketing and communications for Greater MSP (the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership), shared the steps his organization has taken to attract business capital, reinvestment and jobs to the region.
“We developed a brand that we call ‘Prosper’ that talks about how businesses and people can be successful — not one or the other — by working together,” Brown said in his keynote speech. “Businesses are able to prosper because they have a strong workforce. Our people can prosper because there are great businesses that reinvest in the community and our workers.”
Brown said Greater MSP, which is closing in on attracting 100,000 new jobs, has tried to minimize competition and maximize cooperation of communities within the 13-county region. He said the organization is working on initiatives to improve workforce diversity and provide assistance to economically depressed neighborhoods.
Brown said Cargill and General Mills, which have a significant presence in the Twin Cities, have helped develop a business incubator for food processing start-ups. “Each of the companies working to develop the food incubator has someone who visits regularly to provide coaching and mentoring,” he added.
More than two dozen companies, organizations or municipalities were honored at Thursday’s event. The award categories and recipients were:
Technology — Innovative Software Engineering, Coralville (Excellence); ImOn Communications, Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Manufacturing — Eco Lips, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); Apache Inc., Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Not-for-Profits — Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Innovation — Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); Frond Design Studios, Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Commercial real estate — CRST International, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); C.J. Moyna and Sons Inc., Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Inclusion — Iowa Women Lead Change for EPIC Corporate Challenge (Excellence);
Health care — Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Corporate Culture — Frontier Co-op, Norway (Excellence); TEAM Centered Workplaces, Iowa City (Recognition of Achievement);
Residential real estate — Neumann Monson Architects and Maxwell Development Co., Iowa City, and Hobart Historic Restoration, Cedar Rapids (Excellence);
Public-private partnerships — Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, Kleiman Construction and OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids (Excellence); Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Coralville, and GO Cedar Rapids (Recognition of Achievement);
Education — University of Iowa (Excellence).