There was a recent article about former GO Cedar Rapids executive Aaron McCreight getting a position in Alabama (“Former GO Cedar Rapids president lands job,” March 12). There’s been considerable coverage of the newbo evolve failure and McCreight’s involvement. If Alabama wants to believe he was made a scapegoat, they are entitled to pursue that delusion. Clearly he misled his board as to ticket sales and revenues and he deserved to be fired.
However, in all the controversy, I believe we are missing the big picture. McCreight was swinging for the fences when he tried to initiate a signature event. The fact that the event failed is not an issue as the board recognized the event would lose money the first year. This was expected and would not be the deciding factor when looking at the success or failure of the event. There were many lessons learned about ticket pricing, staging of events, event locations and so on that should have be used to make this year’s event even better.
That is where the real issue lies. This community needs events like newbo evolve to promote tourism and help build our community into a destination. I’m afraid the debacle of McCreight and newbo evolve may have tarnished Cedar Rapids’ reputation and, in the process, dampened momentum for future events.
I urge our community and leaders to support future events (with proper oversight) to get our community back on track and to finally put newbo evolve behind us.