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About four years after its inception, regional economic development organization ICR Iowa has retrenched.
ICR Iowa no longer will have any paid full-time employees after the position of its president and CEO Jennifer Daly is eliminated, as it pivots to 'external regional marketing,” the ICR board said.
The organization, which began in 2016 as a joint operation between the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Iowa City Area Development Group, 'will focus on external marketing to elevate awareness and the profile of the ICR region to targeted audiences” in 2021.
ICR Board Chairwoman Lydia Brown said the Economic Alliance and ICAD still are eager to work together on external marketing.
'The relationships have never been better,” Brown said. 'There's a strong desire to continue working together. ...
We really are better together and stronger together.”
Brown said she is 'eternally grateful” for Daly's work leading ICR Iowa since 2017. Daly's last day with ICR Iowa will be Nov. 6.
ICR Iowa had employees leased from the Economic Alliance and ICAD, but Brown said the organizations 'pulled back” the employees to focus on 'the businesses that need help” in their respective cities.
Since June, Daly technically was the only ICR Iowa employee, Brown noted.
'It became very apparent that we needed to conserve resources and put the resources into the local businesses,” Brown said.
'We really have to be good stewards of our investors' dollars and focusing on the businesses that need our help now.”
The Economic Alliance, ICAD and the ICR Iowa board will share the responsibilities Daly had going forward.
Brown said the ICR board will discuss what the organization's new focus on 'external regional organization” will look like.
Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said the new focus 'only adds to the ability to attract businesses and workforce” to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
Iowa City City Manager Geoff Fruin also expressed support in a statement for the restructuring.
'It is not news that this year was difficult in a variety of ways,” Fruin said.
'But there is agreement that the most important element for the future of our regional growth is to make external audiences aware of our unique assets.”
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