116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Every day Julie Parisi draws on personal experiences to serve at the executive director of NewBo City Market.
Before taking over that role in June 2021, Parisi owned her own small business for a decade. Then she joined the NewBo City Market staff in 2018 as the director of business development.
“My experience starting and growing a brand and business really helped provide definition for some of the resources we were providing to our shopkeepers,” she said.
She knows the experience of being a NewBo City Market shopkeeper firsthand, having run a space in the Market several years ago before joining the administrative staff.
Getting to work directly with the current business builders is most rewarding, she said.
“The thing I love most about my role at the Market is that I get to work one on one with our shopkeepers,” she said.
“We cover so many topics from addressing challenges, solving problems, celebrating victories and planning for growth. No day is like the other and I'm so grateful to be able to watch our entrepreneurs learn and grow.”
Her latest role keeps her on her toes with a variety of tasks.
“As executive director, I wear a lot of hats,” she said, with duties that cover a wide range including oversight of day-to-day operations, assisting the development director with grant writing, mentoring current and prospective shopkeepers, and financial oversight.
“Plus I am keeping the organization’s mission at the center of all things we do and provide for the community.”
That is vital, Parisi said, as the role NewBo City Market plays in the community is key.
“I believe the Market is really one of the greatest community assets in Cedar Rapids,” she said. “From fun, cultural events and programming to small business and economic development, we are an excellent gathering place for tourists and residents.
“Our organization offers a space for fledgling entrepreneurs to get started with resources and mentorship that are so critical in the first years of business. NewBo City Market is the catalyst to their growth and it's amazing to see many small businesses that started here out in the community.”
Business 380 spotlights HER magazine's Women of Achievement, published by The Gazette. The awards were sponsored by Farmers State Bank.