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As Johnson County’s needs change after the brunt of the pandemic, so, too, has Project Better Together.
Four groups — Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City Downtown District, Think Iowa City and Iowa City Area Business Partnership — along with leaders from local hospitals, the Iowa City Community School District, not-for-profits and businesses as well as elected officials started Project Better Together in spring 2020 to accelerate communitywide collaboration among Johnson County stakeholders during the coronavirus outbreak.
The joint venture will transition, though, into vision planning through 2030, local officials announced this past week.
“As we move out of crisis mode, imagine if we continue to operate collectively with a growth mindset,” ICAD President Kate Moreland said to the more than 100 attendees at a Wednesday event.
Mark Nolte, project director for the joint venture, stepped down to take a position at GreenState Credit Union as vice president for partnership development.
Moreland said Project Better Together will not replace Nolte in the position, who still is contributing as a volunteer. It instead will split leadership responsibilities among the four groups.
“It was planned to be a year-long endeavor and then we would reassess,” Moreland said.
By the time Project Better Together hit its first anniversary, “the urgency, weekly meetings and short-term crisis was kind of coming to an end,” Moreland said.
Project Better Together’s steering committee, which includes dozens of regional stakeholders, is continuing to meet monthly.
The group brought in Rebecca Ryan, a futurist, to help with the planning process. She has done work for TD Ameritrade, National Association of Counties and Zillow, among other groups, according to her website.
The vision planning is expected to take five months.
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