February End of Month Update

Dan Culhane - President and CEO of Ames Regional Economic Alliance

Last year, we helped develop Build a Better Boone, a collaboration that brought together key organizations across the Boone community on a regular basis. The key entities include the City of Boone, Boone County, Visit Boone County, Boone Community School District, Boone Chamber of Commerce, and the Boone County Economic Growth Corporation, an organization that we lead. The goal of Build a Better Boone is to facilitate an open line of communication between key community organizations, provide opportunities to give updates, and help cultivate long-lasting relationships.

This is just a small part of the work we do in Boone County. I’ve been asked several times why we work in Boone, as well as other adjacent communities, and the answer is simple: Boone’s success will resonate across the region. The positive impact of economic development does not stop at city or county borders. This concept applies to all of our neighboring communities: Nevada, Huxley, Story City, and the other communities in the two-county region.

When we get leads from the state of Iowa for economic development projects, we explore options across the two counties. When our federal representatives visit the region, we facilitate business tours in Ames, Boone, and Nevada. When Huxley needs help getting the final funding for their new splash pad, we help secure the grant funding. The same can be said for the Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center in Ames.

​Over the past several years, our organization has grown into a regional business and community development organization. It was work that happened out of necessity and grew organically. Today, we have community partners across the region as our area continues to prosper. Whether you live in Boone or Story County, I encourage you to take advantage of the businesses and amenities in your immediate community, but also those across the Ames MSA. Together, we will continue to collaborate to take this region to new heights as a critically important area of the state.