Through the dual membership with the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce
and Greater Des Moines Partnership, you have access to numerous educational and professional development offerings throughout the year. Offerings span a wide variety of topics, including marketing plans, implementing internships, human resource issues and inclusion. These educational opportunities are offered both via webinar and in person. The goal is to provide you with just-in-time information on pertinent business operations and emerging trends, but also to encourage you to step outside of your business for an hour or a day to recharge or bring back new ideas to your business.
This year, we are excited to offer two series focusing on small business.
The First Friday Series features interviews from savvy, successful small business
owners in Greater Des Moines (DSM) on the first Friday of every month. The First Friday series allows for attendees to catch words of wisdom from small business owners who have been through it before and connect with fellow attendees in a laid-back environment.
The Top Five for Small Business Series focuses on issues that small businesses face.
The series features presentations to inform, educate and inspire business owners in
DSM. The events focus on a variety of timely topics that affect small business owners
and managers including legal, human resources, information technology, marketing,
accounting and other pressing issues.
To learn more about these opportunities and other events, visit
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. This holds true for Greater Des Moines (DSM).
There are more than 265,000 small businesses in Iowa making up 99.3 percent of all businesses. Together, they employ 641,000 people, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Added to that, 78 percent of all new jobs are created by family businesses. Small businesses add jobs at the quickest rate.
With small business being so vital to the local community and economy, it begs the question: What would happen to your business if you weren’t able to make it to work on Monday? Having a succession plan in place is a vital part of ensuring your business remains in business. Does your business pass the “hit-by-a-bus” test?
According to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), 40.3 percent of family-owned businesses are looking to retire in the immediate future. However, 47 percent of those same businesses do not have a successor lined up.
Taking on an established business is a great opportunity for people to build and to be their own boss. On the other hand, identifying a successor can be stressful within a family.
There is a disconnect between those wanting to sell their business and those wanting to take on an established business. The Greater Des Moines Partnership is using this as an opportunity to connect both sides. We’ve put together a Succession Planning Advisory Network (SPAN) made up of individuals with experience in succession planning; either for their own businesses or on behalf of others. They are available to provide assistance and answer questions for businesses looking at the next chapter of ownership.
Find additional information here and click on the Succession Planning tab or to read the article click here.
Orchard Hills Elementary celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony with the members of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce on July 31st at 5:30 pm. Chamber members enjoyed a sneak peek tour of this amazing facility. Orchard Hills Elementary will open for the 2019-2020 school year. Congratulations to the Norwalk Community School District on beautiful and innovative facility for our community.
DES MOINES: The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University will recognize 12 Iowa individuals and groups with awards for exceptional character this month. The 2019 Iowa Character Awards ceremony will be held Friday, July 26, at The Meadows Events and Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa.
The Ray Center’s top award, the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character, will be issued to Ray Cole of Clive. Ray is President & Chief Operating Officer of Citadel Communications Company. An Iowa native from Kingsley, Ray attended Briar Cliff College (now Briar Cliff University) where he graduated with honors. While at Briar Cliff, Ray completed an internship at KCAU-TV, the ABC affiliate in Sioux City. This opportunity propelled him into a career in broadcasting that now spans nearly 40 years.
A longtime supporter of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center, Ray has advanced the work of CHARACTER COUNTS! forward for many years with his support of the All-Star Evening fundraiser. Leveraging his own personal and professional connections, Ray gives generously to
support The Ray Center’s efforts to improve civility through character development and ethical leadership. Each year, Ray secures a high-profile ESPN representative to attend the annual fundraiser and provides exclusive auction packages such as VIP experiences at American Idol, the ESPY Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards.
Ray also demonstrates good character through his leadership and civic engagements. He currently serves on the Board of Governors for ABC Television Network, the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Ray was inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
Awards will be issued in 10 additional categories:
Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award:
Alicia Kamran, Norwalk
Citizen of Character:
Lois Turnage, Pleasantville
Jordan George, Des Moines
Business/Organization of Character:
The Job Foundation, Cedar Falls
Julie Kopecky, Dallas Center
Communities of Character:
Educator of Character:
Corwin (Corky) Stewart, Brooklyn
Partner of the Year:
Iowa Bankers Association, Johnston
Pursuing Victory with Honor:
Lynnville-Sully Football Program
School of Character:
Lakewood Elementary, Norwalk
Student Team/Organization of Character:
The Ray Center annually recognizes Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. Since 2005, the organization has recognized more than 100 Iowans for showing good character.
The 2019 Iowa Character Awards are presented by Hy-Vee, KDSM-TV, CJM Financial and The Des Moines Register.
The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center, Iowa’s home for the CHARACTER COUNTS! and Excellence with Integrity programs, provides character and leadership development strategies to improve civility and develop ethical leaders throughout the world. The Ray Center honors two of Drake’s most respected alumni—Robert D. and Billie Ray—whose humanitarian efforts, character, and leadership set an inspirational example for multiple generations.