Meet the 2016 finalists for the Business 380 Excellence Awards

Winners will be honored Sept. 8

The Gazette

Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, discussed spending on research by Iowa
The Gazette Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, discussed spending on research by Iowa industry and universities during her keynote speech at the 2015 Business 380 Excellence Awards dinner at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.

Twenty-seven companies and organizations throughout the Corridor selected for the Business 380 Excellence Awards will be honored on Thursday, Sept. 8, at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. They will be noted for their achievement over the past year in a variety of categories including public-private partnerships, health care and manufacturing.

Mike Brown, the vice president for marketing and communications for Greater MSP — the Greater Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership — will be the keynote speaker. Gazette business editor Michael Chevy Castranova and Iowa Women Lead Change’s chief operating officer, Tiffany O’Donnell, will serve as co-emcees throughout the evening.

Here are this year’s finalists:

Apache Inc.

l 4805 Bowling St. SW, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Tom Pientok

l Number of employees: 281

l Number of years in business: 53

Apache Inc. is an Iowa-based company that creates a variety of hose, belting, custom fabrications and other industrial products and services. The company was founded by Bob South and later sold to its employees in 1985. Today, the company still is employee-owned.

As an employ stock ownership plan company, Apache has opted to give back to its employees with a new program called Apache University.

Apache University is an employee training and development program that kicked off at the end of 2015. Since then, the company has seen a culture of continuous improvement, an increase in speed and profitability, increased employee effectiveness and leadership, and mutual growth among business partners and customers.

The company has also expanded its footprint outside the Midwest in recent years.

In January, Apache announced its acquisition of Pacific Belting Inc., a Portland, Or.-based company to expand its reach to customers around the country.

Executives also moved forward with plans announced in July of 2015 and opened the company’s newest production and distribution facility in Dallas, Texas. The facility was operational the following December, producing heavy duty and lightweight belting, as well as other hose products.

City of Cedar Rapids

l 101 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officers: Ron Corbett, Jeff Pomeranz

l Number of employees: 1,751

l Incorporated as a city: 1849


Since the 2008 flood, city officials have made a conscious effort to rebuild and revitalize the area — with a population of more than 120,000 people.

The City of Cedar Rapids has been a partner and catalyst for many economic development projects across the metro area, serving as the connecting thread for projects that have reshaped Cedar Rapids from the DoubleTree by Hilton and the U.S. Cellular Center to the Mott Building.

Another such project is the construction of the $37 million, 11-story CRST International corporate headquarters downtown. The construction, which is expected to be complete in January, was called “a statement building” that will dramatically change the city’s skyline by City Manager Jeff Pomeranz.

The City of Cedar Rapids also helped preserve a downtown feature by acquiring the Smulekoff’s building two years ago before selling it to a private developer, who plans to renovate it into a retail space. The $15 million project’s first tenant — Eastbank Venue and Lounge — hosted its first event on July 16.

The city also has been involved in Greene Square renovation, a $1.9 million project completed in May located in between the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department

l 500 15th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Sven Leff

l Number of employees: 62 full-time, 427 seasonal

l Number of years in business: 167

The Parks and Recreation Department within the city of Cedar Rapids manages more than 3,300 acres of city-owned properties as well as operates and maintains facilities for public use by residents and other individuals from throughout the Corridor.

The department offers more than 1,500 outdoor recreation programs annually in these spaces, including a morning yoga class during the summer in a recently revitalized park in the metro area.


The Parks and Recreation department was involved in the public-private partnership that went on to complete a renovation of one of the major green spaces located downtown: Greene Square.

Greene Square, which serves as a connector for the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, dates back as early as the 1840s.

The project cost $1.95 million to revamp the park and install several features that include outdoor seating, artwork, a family-friendly splash pad and landscaping. The park is designed into four quadrants, two of which feature open areas that residents requested from public officials.

Greene Square was completed in May 2016, with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony taking place on May 20.

Gail Loskill, Parks and Rec communications coordinator, said department officials were involved in the project from the beginning through its completion.

“Following the library construction, the park neighbors and downtown businesses came to us and were interested in doing a renovation to the park,” Loskill said.

The department has since taken over maintenance duties of the park.

City of Coralville

l 1512 Seventh St, Coralville


l Chief officer: John Lundell

l Number of employees: 145 (full-time)

l Incorporated as a city: 1857

Among other endeavors, the city has been involved in the construction of Iowa River Landing — a major redevelopment of the former industrial park just south of Interstate 80 along the Iowa River in Coralville. The plans to revitalize the 180-acre site began close to 30 years ago, and was intended to include three major developments to encourage private development. The site includes about 330,000 square feet of retail, entertainment, office and residential space, according to the development’s site.

The first anchor was the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, a nearly 280 room hotel, which was completed in 2006. Von Maur moved into the area in 2013.


A $34.4 million Drury Hotel is set to start work sometime next spring and will add about 180 rooms to the area.

Now, Coralville officials are working to continue the Iowa River Landing’s development and build a $69 million, 6,216-seat arena and Iowa Fitness and Sports Performance Institute. The arena is hoped to be the location for concerts, as well as sports events and tournaments. Coralville is currently under negotiations with the city of Coralville to create a United States Hockey League team.

This construction is in its beginning stages and funded in part by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board’s $12 million investment in June. The board is allocating the investment to the project through its state-funded program that allows state sales taxes and excise taxes to be reinvested in other districts.

Coralville officials hope to sign with a contractor for the arena and sports complex for the project by October.

CRST International Inc.

l 200 block of First St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Dave Rusch

l Number of employees in Cedar Rapids: 560

l Number of years in business: 61

CRST International is privately held transportation company with more than 4,500 semi-trucks traveling across the United States. The company, founded in 1955, has distribution centers, offices and driver terminals scattered all over the country.

CRST is gearing up to move into corporate headquarters downtown, spending $37 million building that will dramatically change the city’s skyline.

The 11-story, 120,000-square-foot tower designed by OPN Architects completed its construction along the Cedar River downtown in July 2016. The last beam was placed on top of the building just before last Christmas.

Of the eight floors of office space, CRST will occupy two floors of the building. The construction also includes three floors of parking, which will have capacity for approximately 240 cars.


Bankers Trust will occupy the top two floors of the building as the anchor tenant as well as a retail space at street level. The retail space will serve as a branch office for Bankers Trust and help the bank expand its services. RSM US LLP — formerly McGladrey LLP — announced its intention to occupy the eighth and ninth floors of the tower in November 2015.

To build their new headquarters, CRST officials made an agreement with the city of Cedar Rapids. The agreement requires the company must add 80 full-time employees and invest at least $31 in the building’s construction, among other requirements.

Eco Lips Inc.

l 329 10th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Steve Shriver

l Number of employees: 48

l Number of years in business: 14

The lip balm handcrafted in Cedar Rapids by Eco Lips manufacturers offers a product that is not only certified organic, but also gluten free, petroleum free, GMO free and animal cruelty free.

Located within the New Bohemia District, Eco Lips is a private company that is actively giving back to its community through numerous fundraisers and district activities, including the Battle of the Bands, Fields of Yogi’s and other events throughout the year.

The manufacturer also donated $1,000 to the local charities Trees Forever and Eastern Iowa Arts Academy.

Nationwide, Eco Lips has donated thousands of its products to causes, including children’s hospitals, Green Community Foundation and various cancer foundations.

On May 17, Eco Lips launched a new product that company executives say makes a positive impact on the environment.

Called POGO, the product is a refillable lip balm container that provides customers with its product while benefiting the environment.


“The impact of these accomplishments have directly impacted our Eco Lips brand by creating new jobs and placing our brand at the top of the innovative market within the organic and natural brand industry,” the company’s application stated.

Frond Design Studios

l 6425 Seventh St. Court SW, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Stephani Brandenburg

l Number of employees: 14

l Number of years in business: 4

Founded by Stephanie Brandenburg in 2012, the fabric house Frond Design Studios is in the trade of offering fabric cuts, kits, quilts and home dcor for its customers that translates into a “make-it-yourself” project. Frond designs paints artwork, which in turn is converted into fabric.

Since the owner and all of its employees are from the area, Frond also remains active in the Cedar Rapids community — particularly, in the NewBo District through participation in the event 1 Million Cups and art galleries at the coffee shop Brewhemia.

Frond has recently hired two individuals to further their business. One, who is skilled in engineering and programming and had previously worked at NASA, was hired for operation efforts. The second moved from the aviation industry and was hired as CEO to create a new business strategy to move Frond forward.

In May of this year, the retailer expanded its business and opened a second location in St. Louis, Missouri. Frond also obtained a Canadian distribution partner and secured a connection with the sewing machine company Bernina that same month.

Frontier Co-op

l 3021 78th St., Norway

l Chief officer: Tony Bedard

l Number of employees: 496

l Number of years in business: 40

What began as a river cabin run by two people in 1976 has grown into a large-scale supplier of natural products that include herbs, teas, seasonings and organic food options.

Along with organic options, Frontier also makes an effort to improve lives around the world.

Frontier is heavily involved in giving back to other individuals, a tradition that has existed in the early years of the co-op. The Frontier Foundation is the co-op’s philanthropic organization funded by the company that has given millions of dollars to charities and organizations since 2000. These causes benefit social, environmental and educational movements.

Ann Rierson, public relations manager, said the co-op lately has been focusing its philanthropy in local social giving, or giving in the Corridor. Rierson said more than $200,000 has gone back to organizations and other activities in the area in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.


These causes include breaking down barriers to employment, such as a lack of transportation, and help providing quality food options for residents.

The co-op encourages involvement in the local community from its employees by offering paid time off for volunteering. Frontier Co-op also matches donations for local causes and events through its Community Giving Team, which is made up of Frontier employees.

About $30,000 has been given to non-profit agencies and efforts by Frontier employees this fiscal year, Rierson said.

Frontier Co-op gives about 4 percent of its annual net savings back to help improve communities around the world in poor rural villages in developing counties where its products are produced. Three major projects from this effort include a dental clinic in Guatemala, dormitories for Vietnamese children attending rural schools and support for a program in India that feeds children during school.

GO Cedar Rapids

l 87 16th Ave. SW, Suite 200, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Aaron McCreight

l Number of employees: 9

l Number of years in business: 37

GO Cedar Rapids is an organization that works to promote tourism and travel to the Cedar Rapids area through promotion and collaboration in order to boost the local economy.

Initially named Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1979, the organization rebranded itself on May 3, 2016 to better align with its values and goals to make Cedar Rapids a premiere destination.

Jennifer Pickar, director of marketing for the organization, stated in the organization’s application that tourism makes a $400,000 economic impact in hotels and meals in the area each day. GO Cedar Rapids hopes to grow that number by implementing strategies to make Cedar Rapids competitive in travel and tourism.

A destination-fee program implemented last year is attributing to the strategy’s progress. Eleven hotels have partnered with GO Cedar Rapids in the Hotel Destination Program to collect a $1-fee per room from guests every night they stay. These funds are then used by the organization for marketing purposes.


In return, partner hotels receive exposure in the organization’s marketing. Cedar Rapids is the first city in Iowa to implement a destination-fee program.

The tourism organization also received an increased investment from the City of Cedar Rapids in the hotel/motel tax funds, which has helped nearly double GO Cedar Rapids’ budget, according to the application.

GO Cedar Rapids has since hosted several events in the last year after hiring a director of community events to create new events to boost travel to the area. These events include the Midwest League All-Star Game in June and a celebration of Grant Wood’s 125th birthday that garnered attention from national media.

Hobart Historic Restoration

l 3330 Southgate Court SW, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: B.J. Hobart

l Number of employees: 12

l Number of years in business: 4

The family-owned restoration company Hobart Historic Restoration is an organization that partners with public and private stakeholders within Iowa and Illinois to create new housing opportunities and commercial space.

The company’s ideal project is a mixed-use building, with a ground floor commercial space below several residential units, according to the company’s website. These projects include the Brazelton Lofts in Mount Pleasant — opening September of this year — and the Metropolitan, made up of condominiums on First Street SW opening in February 2017.

One of its most recent projects is the Mott Lofts, a renovation and restoration of the former Iowa Windmill and Pump Company.

Mott Lofts, located at 42 Seventh Ave. SW, now houses 16 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The first floor includes 7,000 square feet of space for commercial and office use.


The more than 115-year-old, three-story riverfront building was purchased by Hobart Restoration for $500,000. The county had purchased the riverfront commercial building — one of the oldest in Cedar Rapids — with the intent to demolish it.

Hobart Historic Restoration has been involved in other restorations of historic buildings in Iowa the past few years, including the 1887 Knutson Building along the west bank of the Cedar River.

ImOn Communications

l 625 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Patrice Carroll

l Number of employees: 83

l Number of years in business: 9

ImOn Communications is a fiber-optic telecommunications company formed in March of 2007 and based in Cedar Rapids. As a provider for internet, phone and television, ImOn Communications services customers in Cedar Rapids, Marion and Hiawatha.

Now, those options are available for consumers in Iowa City, thanks to the fiber optics company’s expansion further south in the Corridor.

ImOn Communications moved to a location in Iowa City after the Iowa City Council approved lease agreements with the company in November and now offers its services to companies and other businesses in the metro area.

For now the company is starting with businesses, but if executives see a need and a demand, ImOn Communications could consider servicing Iowa City residents as well, said Jeff Janssen, vice president of sales and marketing.

While other fiber optics companies offer high gigabit download speeds, ImOn is the first in the area to offer this fiber-to-home service to residents, rather than industrial or other business customers.

Most recently, ImOn Communications also launched a product in June called HomeSecure, a home security product that can combine with other automated home devices, such as heating and cooling systems.

The product had a soft launch this year, Janssen said.

The Gazette Company has an investment in ImOn Communications.

Indian Creek Nature Center

l 6665 Otis Rd., Cedar Rapids


l Chief officer: Tom Hughes

l Number of employees: 10

l Number of years in business: 43

The goal of the 290-acre nature center is to promote a sustainable future through environmental education, encouraging responsibility and providing leadership in land restoration and protection.

To embrace that purpose of sustainability, the center has committed to a certification called the Living Building Challenge under the International Living Future Institute, an organization focused on encouraging ecological restoration.

The facility’s new $6.9 million center called Amazing Space — named for its dozens of unique features — is the only building in Iowa and the only nature center in the world certified under this challenge. Ground broke on the construction in May 2015.

One hundred percent of the facility’s energy needs will be fueled by a solar power system provided by Alliant Energy. The permeable patio pavers are designed to catch rainwater. The center’s insulation is made from recycled glass and sand.

The new learning center, a 12,000-square-foot facility, is a replacement to the Indian Creek’s previous nature center, which was originally built as a dairy farm in 1932.

The new space also will provide an easily accessible indoor area for the more than 40,000 annual estimated visitors.

Only 11 buildings meet the Living Building Challenge certification worldwide. A grand opening celebration of the newest Indian Creek Nature Center is set to take place Sept. 15-18, with a soft opening on Sept. 6.

Innovative Software Engineering

l 2850 Coral Ct., Suite 100, Coralville

l Chief officer: Hass Machlab

l Number of employees: 55

l Number of years in business: 14


The privately owned company started out in 2002 when Hass Machlab founded Innovative Software Engineering in the basement of his home in Coralville.

Since then, the company has opened its 11,000-square-foot facility in Coralville in 2011 and doubled in size by 2012.

In the summer of 2015, the company created “ISE Coding Garage,” a new program designed to teach high school students how to design and develop their own app with the help of ISE employees and interns.

The program continued this summer from June 29 to August 10 with 21 high school students in the Coralville area in collaboration with the DEV/Iowa Bootcamp at the University of Iowa.

ISE Coding Garage is also a learning opportunity for the ISE interns who mentor the high school students, said Daniela Williams, project manager with ISE and an employee involved in the program.

ISE also has been active in community events. Three ISE employees have volunteered to participate in the FIRST Robotics Challenge — an international competition — with Iowa City High School and West Branch High School.

These employees provided mentorship in the area of software engineering for the high school students participating in the robotics challenge, something all employees involved greatly enjoy and find worthwhile, Williams said.

The challenge also gives children an opportunity to be exposed to the field of engineering.

In December, ISE also donated $125 per employee to an endowment fund of the employee’s choice through Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation for the holiday season. Overall, the company donated more than $6,000 to area funds.

Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

l 900 First Ave., Coralville

l Chief officer: Joshua Schamberger

l Number of employees: 10

l Number of years in business: 33

The Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is the destination management organizer for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty and across Johnson County.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2013, $368 million was spent in by visitors to Johnson County. This does not include the additional $22.4 million spent in local and state taxes.

To help bring visitors to the area, the organization has been involved in the development of the Iowa River Landing.

The Iowa River Landing is a multimillion dollar redevelopment of a 180-acre site south of Interstate 80 that was the location of an industrial park. The redevelopment of the site, which began roughly 30 years ago, is driven by three major anchors.

The first development was the 2006 construction of the 286-room Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. In 2013, the second phase of the development was the construction of the retail department store Von Maur.

The third anchor for the Iowa River Landing is currently in the works. A $70-million arena and sports complex is in the early stages of development and officials plan to construct the 6,216-seat complex along with a sports medicine clinic and an athletics field house. Officials hope to sign a contractor by October.

“If the arena continues to move forward and be developed, that will be kind of the third and final phase for Coralville’s longtime master development plan of this 185-acre district,” said Josh Schamberger, president of the CVB in a previous Gazette interview.

Iowa Women Lead Change

l 200 First St. SE, Suite 2100, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Diane Ramsey

l Number of employees: 9

l Number of years in business: 10

According to the 2014 Iowa Women Lead Change report, 22 percent of women hold executive positions in publicly traded companies and 25 percent are executive officials in private for-profit companies in Iowa. Only 28 percent of Iowa women hold elected positions in local, county, state and federal government.

Iowa Women Lead Change is an organization that hopes to change those statistics.


Rebranded in 2014, IWLC is a statewide leadership organization for women that works to place more women in Iowa business and government in leadership. On March 31, 2016, the Cedar Rapids-based organization launched the EPIC Corporate Challenge to help recruit, retain and promote women in Iowa companies.

The Economic Potential for Iowa Companies and Communities — EPIC — Corporate Challenge calls for participating Iowa businesses to set measurable goals, monitor gender gaps and pay equity, actively recruiting women in all levels of the organization, increase retention, increase the number of women in senior positions and increase the number of women on the board of directors.

At its start, Hy-Vee, Alliant Energy and Rockwell Collins were among about 20 companies that pledged to the challenge. IWLC hopes to have at least 100 companies participate statewide.

The beginnings of the corporate challenge started in 2008 before it was launched by NEXUS Executive Women’s Alliance in Des Moines October of 2015. Iowa is the second state in the country to take on this challenge; Massachusetts started the challenge in 2014.

Kleiman Construction Inc.

l 6205 Locust Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids, 52404

l Chief officer: Steve Kleiman

l Number of employees: 30-35

l Number of years in business: 36

Kleiman Construction, a locally based contractor, most recently was involved in a project that did not take the form of a new building. Instead, it was a park.

Kleiman Construction served as the general contractor for the nearly $2 million Greene Square renovation project on one of downtown’s major green spaces.

First planted in 1843, the one square block located between the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art had not seen improvements in over 30 years before the proposed renovation.

Completed in May, the Greene Square project now features a variety of options for daily users that include outdoor seating, landscaping, artwork and a splash fountain.


In May 2015, Cedar Rapids City Council awarded Kleiman Construction the overall construction of the park for its $1.736 million bid. The redevelopment then took place from May 2015 to May 2016 and cost a total of $1.95 million. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the space took place on May 20.

The park project was done in conjunction of a variety of entities, including the city of Cedar Rapids and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Maxwell Construction Inc.

l 3011 Sierra Ct. SW, Iowa City

l Chief officer: Jeff Maxwell

l Number of employees: 54

l Number of years in business: 27

Maxwell Construction is owned and operated by Jeff Maxwell, who started the business in 1989.

The Iowa City-based general contractor is building One University Place, at 1300 Melrose Ave., about a half-mile west of Kinnick Stadium.

The project spells big change for University Heights, a town surrounded by Iowa City with a population of just more than 1,000 residents who mostly live in single-family homes.

The $44.9 million project is a mix of residential and commercial development that includes the construction of two separate buildings as well as underground parking.

The first is a three-story building next to Melrose Avenue, which includes 24 residential condominiums and 14,600 square feet of commercial space at ground level.

The second aspect of One University Place is a five-story building of 80 residential units, located behind the three-story construction.

The 5.3 acres where St. Andrew Presbyterian Church sat, located on the site of the proposed One University Place project, was purchased by Maxwell Construction for $4.3 million. The property transferred ownership on June 1.


After an initial planning and design roadblock in 2011, the University Heights City Council approved the construction in August 2015.

One University Place is expected to be completed in 2017.

Mercy Medical Center, Family Caregiver Center

l 701 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Tim Charles

l Number of workers: 1 employee, 39 volunteers

l Number of years the clinic has existed: 1

The beginnings of Mercy Medical Center formed in 1900 by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy to address the need for more hospital beds in Cedar Rapids.

Today, Mercy Medical Center has grown to become one of the major hospitals in the area run by more than 2,100 employees who offer a resource for those seeking cancer treatment, surgery, heart care and other services.

Mercy has recently become a resource for some of the estimated 44,500 caregivers in Eastern Iowa who provide care to family members with chronic conditions, disabilities or age-related issues.

Mercy Medical President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Charles and center director Kathy Good spearheaded the effort that came into fruition on Dec. 17, 2015. The planning process for the new center started in April 2014.

The center offers resources not otherwise available to family caregivers in the Corridor, and to Good’s knowledge it is the only community-focused caregiver center in the country.

A caregiver coach, respite care and a 24-hour hotline are available to family caregivers, as well as legal, financial and health experts through workshops offered by the center.

To date, the center has worked with about 180 caregivers from around Eastern Iowa, Good said.


Good said an endowment fund organized by the Mercy Foundation has reached about $2.2 million of its $2.5 million goal to fund services for caregivers who can’t otherwise afford therapy and respite care.

However, the goal is not the stopping point; Good said she hopes the center will be able to continue raising funds for other services and it expand the Family Caregivers Center.

C.J. Moyna and Sons Inc.

l 8710 Earhart Lane SW, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: John Moyna

l Number of employees: 221

l Number of years in business: 69

Based in Elkader in the northeastern part of the state, C.J. Moyna and Sons specializes in road construction and expansion projects.

Its founder, C.J. Moyna, started the roadwork business in his hometown in 1947. It has since grown to a company with more than 200 employees with projects throughout the upper Midwest.

The grandson of the company’s founder, John P. Moyna, now serves as president of the company.

The contractor has a long resume of road projects, which include reconstruction of I-380 near Waterloo in 2012, I-35 in south central Iowa in 2011 and Highway 100 near Cedar Rapids.

The Highway 100 extension is taking shape on 7.5 miles between Edgewood Road to Highway 30 on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids at an estimated cost of $200 million. By the time the project is complete in 2020, it will change the way travelers pass on the road and help boost traffic efficiency.

Phase one of the two-phase project, located from Edgewood Road NW to Covington Road, will open in 2017, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Phase two of the extension is located from Covington Road to Highway 30.


C.J. Moyna and Sons has contracts worth about $18 million for work at Edgewood Road. Paving will continue along Edgewood Road through the 2016 construction season, and the four mile section is expected to open December of this year.

According to the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Edgewood Road area, as well as the space from the Cedar River to Interstate 380, could see more than 9,000 new residents by 2040.

Neumann Monson Architects

l 221 E College St., Iowa City

l Chief officer: Kevin Monson

l Number of employees: 48

l Number of years in business: 39

Neumann Monson Architects, which has offices in Iowa City and Des Moines, works in commercial, retail, residential, mixed-use and other types of large construction projects.

The architecture firm has been involved in several large scale projects across Iowa, including some easily recognizable facilities that include the Iowa State University Jack Trice south end zone addition, the Davenport Skybridge and the University of Iowa Kinnick Stadium addition and renovation.

The firm is also involved in several projects still in the works, including One University Place in University Heights.

The new development includes the construction of two buildings — one three-story building along Melrose Avenue and one five-story building in the rear. Although initially stalled in 2011, the $44.9 million project is under construction at 1300 Melrose Ave., west of Kinnick Stadium.

The three-story building consists of 14,600 square feet of commercial space at ground level, as well as 24 residential condominiums on the top two stories.

The five-story building will be made up of an additional 80 residential units. Both buildings also will include below ground parking.


Construction began on the project in June 2016, beginning with the three-story building. One University Place is expected to be completed in 2017.

New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative

l 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Eric Engelmann

l Number of employees: 8

l Number of years in business: 3

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative works with entrepreneurs, kids, creatives, parents, start-ups … and small business owners through various programs and events throughout the year.

These programs that aim to spur creativity and idea building include Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, 1 Million Cups Iowa City-Cedar Rapids and more.

A few major initiatives the collaboration has taken on in the past year include its efforts to promote careers in coding and business for women across the Corridor.

The Power Ladies Lunch is another female-focused program, which is a monthly luncheon targeted for working women in the Corridor as a networking opportunity.

Another women’s empowerment program offered by the collaboration is the Women’s Entrepreneurship Collaboration Council, an organization to helps women starting a business by sharing statewide resources and programming.

The NewBoCo also encourages young women to pursue a career in coding through the Iowa Girls Code Camp, a one day camp that took place on Feb. 27 this year at Geonetric in Cedar Rapids. This camp is led by female professionals and college students in the computer science field.

OPN Architects

l 200 Fifth Ave. SE, Suite 102, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Daniel Thies

l Number of employees: 119

l Number of years in business: 37

Scott Olson, Tom Popa and Jim Novak founded OPN Architects in 1979 as a regional design firm that works with a variety of clients, including corporate, higher education, health care and more.


The firm has been involved with projects throughout the Corridor, including the construction of new facilities on the University of Iowa’s campus.

In August of 2016, the architecture firm opened a new office on N. Clinton Street in Iowa City, making it the fourth OPN office in the Midwest.

In partnership with several other organizations from Cedar Rapids and around the Corridor, OPN Architects has given a visible benefit to the community through its efforts to make the Greene Square project a reality.

The one block-sized Greene Square was transformed with a $1.95 million renovation project completed in mid-May and now serves as the front yard of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

OPN Architects aimed to created a unique look for the only green space in downtown, the design of which was inspired by Des Moines’s Pappajohn Sculpture Garden, St. Louis’ Gateway Mall and other popular park locations in the Midwest.

The park has hosted a variety of events by city entities since its launch, including yoga classes from June to August. The park also will be the home of the city’s Christmas tree, which will sit in front of the library during the holiday season.

Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa

l 202 10th St. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Michael Sundall

l Number of employees in the clinic: 369

l Number of years clinic in existence: 19

The Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion in Cedar Rapids is one of the largest private multi-specialty clinic in Iowa, with more than 80 physicians, surgeons and providers.

Although the organization was formed in 1997, the clinic all came together under one roof in 2013 with the opening of its facility on 10th St SE. The clinic has also recently opened another location in Waterloo, expanding its services in Eastern Iowa.


On April 20, 2016, the Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital announced a partnership to provide more extensive cardiac care through the Heart and Vascular Institute.

The goal of the institute is to provide coordinated care at a reduced cost as well as treatment to patients in town in order to avoid travel for care to places such as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa provided four cardiac surgeons and St. Luke’s provided 16 cardiologists.

Dr. Todd Langager, medical director for the Heart and Vascular Institute, said the institute will be able to treat about 95 percent of heart-related issues.

The cardiac medical professionals provide a variety of specialties, including advanced heart failure treatment, heart disease prevention, cardiac surgery and cardiovascular imaging.

Clinic and hospital officials prepared for the Heart and Vascular Institute for four to five years. During that time, physicians and surgeons received additional training and education before the institute began treating patients.

Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic

l 1030 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Okpara Rice

l Number of employees in the clinic: 40

l Number of years clinic in business: 12

About 1 in 5 children ages 8 to 15 will have “a seriously debilitating mental disorder” at some point in their life, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic works to help these children through prevention, treatment and research. The clinic works with children dealing with trauma, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, depression and other behavioral issues.


The clinic recently completed a major expansion on June 2, opening of a new outpatient mental health clinic.

The Clinic’s third floor was remodeled to house the autism treatment center, the music therapy room and other services, said Heather Gierut, community relations specialist at Tanager Place.

The expansion allows the organization to increase its capacity by just more than 3,000 patients annually — nearly doubled from the previous 1,600 patients annually.

Since the expansion, the clinic has also increased its staff by eight people.

The clinic launched the “Soaring Beyond” capital campaign on Feb. 11 to raise $6.5 million through private donation, grants and company donations to fund the remodel. So far, Tanager Place has raised about $6.1 million, Gierut said.

TEAM Centered Workplaces

l ICAD Group, 136 S Dubuque St., Iowa City

l Chief officer: DaLayne Williamson

l Number of employees: 7

l Number of years in business: 32

Several companies throughout the Corridor have taken on a new workplace model created and advocated for by the Iowa City Area Development Group. TEAM Centered Workplaces is a workplace philosophy that aims to attract and retain employees to area businesses through an improvement of workspace culture.

About once a month, liaisons from each company in the group meet to discuss practices and implemented strategies in their own workplace, and how they have worked. For example, a liaison may discuss a practice to encourage employees to volunteer in the community to the TEAM group, and whether this practice was successful and if it can be applied to other companies.

TEAM Centered Workplaces was created by ICAD, an area economic organization, and Diversity Focus, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes diversity and inclusion in the Corridor. The past three years, ICAD Group has been working under TEAM, which stands for trust, enjoyment, accountability and managing the whole person.


The workplace model was launched in June 2014 by ICAD, Diversity Focus, Kirkwood Community College, the City of Cedar Rapids and the City of Iowa City at the Workplace Revolution summit in Cedar Rapids.

In April 2015, nearly 40 companies in the Corridor committed to the change in culture, including The Gazette Company.

The workplace model certification requires no cost to participating companies, according to ICAD’s website.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital

l 1026 A Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids

l Chief officer: Ted Townsend

l Number of employees: 3,809

l Number of years in business: 132

With roots that trace back to the mid-1880s, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital now cares for thousands of patients each year as one of the major hospitals in Cedar Rapids.

St. Luke’s offers patients services in birth care, rehabilitation, cancer care and heart care among other specialties. And since April 2015, the hospital, along with Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, has provided even more specialized heart care through its Heart and Vascular Institute.

The institute team consists of four cardiac surgeons and 16 cardiologists, all with combined expertise in cardiac and vascular surgery, electrophysiology, cardiovascular imaging, coronary and vascular therapeutics, advanced heart failure treatment and more.

The goal of the Heart and Vascular Institute is to provide coordinated, cardiovascular care using leading edge technology, as well as clinical trials and research.

The institute can treat about 95 percent of heart-related issues.


Another goal is to give patients an in-town option, instead of having to travel to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics or the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

University of Iowa

l 5 W. Jefferson St., Iowa City

l Chief officer: Bruce Harreld

l Number of employees: 22,827

l Number of years as university: 169

Every year, the University of Iowa is home to tens of thousands of students, with an enrollment that reached more than 32,000 in fall of 2015 — about 23,000 of which were undergraduate students.

This past year, University of Iowa has also become the site of a recent building boom.

Construction on the campus has given shape to new facilities for the Hancher Auditorium, the Voxman Music Building, the College of Pharmacy and the Stead Family University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the design of a $96.3 million project in 2014 for a new College of Pharmacy facility that began work this spring. The project is being funded by state appropriations as well as College of Pharmacy contribution and investments.

University of Iowa is also revitalizing its performing arts building, Hancher Auditorium. Staff began moving into the space in early June, and the public unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Sept. 9. The 180,000-square-foot auditorium, built in 1972 and damaged in the flood of 2008, cost $113 million.

The Voxman Music Building is making a full recovery from the 2008 flood as well with the three year, $152 million project underway in downtown Iowa City. The facility became operational in August and houses the university’s school of music. Major aspects of the new building include a 700-seat concert hall, a 200 seat recital hall, a music library and rehearsal spaces for students in the program.

Since the fall of 2012, Iowa City has also seen work done to complete the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Construction crews have been working to build the 507,000-square-foot facility and renovate an additional 56,250 square feet to offer a site that can provide services to children around the Midwest.

The facility cost $360 million and will open its doors to patients Dec. 10. The 12 floor facility will create room for 250 new positions within the hospital.

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