CORONAVIRUS

Johnson County post-pandemic initiative launched

Mark Nolte

Better Together Network
Mark Nolte Better Together Network

A host of civic organizations and businesses has debuted an initiative its members hope will help their community post-pandemic.

The Better Together Network was announced by the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Iowa City Area Development Group, Think Iowa City and the Iowa City Downtown District.

The initiative includes Johnson County, the cities of Coralville, Iowa City and North Liberty, the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College, the Iowa City Community School District, area hospitals, elected officials, and various for-profit and not-for-profit entities, along with the four economic-development agencies.

Mark Nolte, former president and CEO of ICAD, was named its director.

“The Project Better Together Network was developed out of a standing monthly roundtable that has been in place for the last 10 years to share information and support each other on community and economic development activities,” Josh Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City, said in a news release Friday.

Kate Moreland, who succeeded Nolte as president and CEO of ICAD, cited the need for cooperation in a news release Friday.

“This is a critical time to come together, be proactive and look to the future,” Moreland said. “As we have seen over the past eight weeks of working more collaboratively among just our four organizations, we have been able to accelerate the manner in which we get information and resources to our community.”

Project Better Together in the release said it hopes to build “a transformed future for our community with greater economic diversity, growth, inclusivity, resilience and well-being for all.”

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“While Project Better Together will need to address some very immediate and dire needs, it is also meant to go a step beyond recovery,” said Kim Casko, president and CEO of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership.

“It is about coming out better and stronger on the other side of this.”

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