Business Notes for March 19, 2023

The Gazette’s Business Notes is a compendium of the week’s promotions, new hires, certifications, added business lines and business events, among other items, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the rest of the Corridor.

Information and photos can be submitted to Business Notes by email to, or on our site at

New hires

The North Liberty-based Iowa Donor Network has hired Betsy Robertson as director of its Maximize the Gift program and Matthew Murphy as chief financial officer.

The Lynch Dallas law firm in Cedar Rapids has hired Matthew G. McQuillen as attorney/shareholder and Georgi R. Donovan as director of talent and strategy.

The Skywalk Group recruiting agency of Cedar Rapids has hired Dylan Draeger as a sourcing specialist II.


Kylee Stock has been promoted to director of events at Think Iowa City and also will manage event for the Iowa City Area Sports Commission.

Dan Kalan has been appointed area director for the Eastern Iowa Fellowship of Christian Athletes, effective May 1. He currently supports FCA huddles at Center Point-Urbana, Linn-Mar and Prairie high schools.


The Lynch Dallas law firm of Cedar Rapids has named Wilford H. Stone as president and Steve C. Leidinger as vice president of its executive board for 2023. \

Insights and sessions

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Kirkwood Community College is offering a new series of professional development classes called Growing Your Mind beginning Tuesday at Kirkwood’s Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha. The two-hour classes, held every few weeks, are for area professionals who want to hone their “soft” professional skills. For more information and the schedule, go to


RAISING CANE’S OPENING: Raising Cane’s is opening a Cedar Rapids restaurant at 230 Collins Rd. NE, next to Lindale Mall, on Tuesday.

People can enter a “Lucky 20” drawing from 8 to 9 a.m., with 20 winners receiving free chicken fingers for a year; winners must be present to win. A ribbon-cutting is set for 9:30 a.m., with T-shirts going to the first 100 customers.

Cane’s, which operates 700 restaurants in the U.S. and Guam and plans to open another 100 this year. The restaurant will be open 10 a.m. to midnight daily.

WATTS GROUP OPENING: The Watts Group is hosting a grand opening of its Cedar Rapids office, 1202 Third St. SE, Suite 100, at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The business provides real estate and professional property management services.

AG CELEBRATION: The 35th annual Celebration of Agriculture will be March 27 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. To buy tickets and to register, go to

SCORE WORKSHOPS: SCORE in-person workshops for networking and business skills will be Thursday in Cedar Rapids. The workshop will be presented from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Scott’s Family Restaurant, 1906 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chrome Horse, 1201 Third St. SE. For more information, email

May 9 Business Breakfast

Registration is now open for the next Gazette Business Breakfast on May 9, with a panel discussion planned on “Regional Collaboration Strategies.”

Johnson County entities collaborated to address quality-of-life issues and work on economic development during the pandemic. The north end of the Corridor also has evolving collaboration. How are we poised to work as a region toward economic growth, while still addressing individual needs?

Panelists will be Cady Gerlach, executive director of Better Together 2030; Tiffany O'Donnell, mayor of Cedar Rapids; Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; and Ryan Waller, city manager of Marion. Gazette Executive Editor Zack Kucharski will serve as panel moderator.

The breakfast and networking opportunity will run 7:30 to 9 a.m. May 9 at Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. To register and buy a $5 ticket, go to

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is the presenting sponsor of The Gazette breakfast series, with community partner NewBoCo.