116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Two Iowa City organizations focused on supporting local businesses and economic development throughout Johnson County will merge by July 1.
The boards of Iowa City Area Development Group and Iowa City Area Business Partnership each formally approved the merger, the organizations said Thursday.
The leaders of the two groups announced the recommendation last month.
Over the coming months, the two groups will work on transition and design plans for the new entity, including what the merged organization will look like, be called and who will lead it.
Kim Casko, president and CEO of Iowa City Area Business Partnership, said in an email to members the two organizations have increased their partnership over the years by working out of the same location and collaborating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our staff and board of directors believe this merger puts us in the best position to serve you and create a thriving business community in the Iowa City area,” Casko said in the email.
A merger has been considered before, but now is the right time, Casko said in an announcement video with ICAD President Kate Moreland.
Casko said the merger will give businesses access to resources of both groups, a unified voice for the Iowa City business community and greater impact of addressing various challenges.
The merged organization will continue to partners with Think Iowa City and the Iowa City Downtown District on the Better Together 2030 initiative.
“The main goal is to have greater impact together,” Moreland said. “Our collaborative efforts over the past two years have illustrated what is possible, and this is the next logical step in that partnership.”
Last month, Moreland announced she will be resigning as president of ICAD. Moreland will start as a part-time consultant for the Better Together 2030 visioning work in January.
Tom Banta, ICAD’s vice president and director of strategic growth, will serve as the interim president beginning in January.
"In my new consultant role I look forward to working alongside Kim Casko and Tom Banta to provide support to ensure the merger allows us to build off the strengths of both organizations,“ Moreland said.
”We believe we can build greater capacity to support our business community and expand our economic development efforts."
Both boards will vote on the design, plan and structure for the organization, which is anticipated to happen in May, Moreland said.
A position description for a CEO role of the new organization will be created. The boards will determine how to fill that role, and it is not assumed the role would go to Casko or Banta, according to the organizations.
The regularly occurring events and programs of both groups will remain the same throughout the majority of 2023, according to the organizations.
The announcement video and answers to frequently asked questions can be found online at iowacityarea.com/merger. There also is a form on the website to submit questions and offer feedback.
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