Changes afoot at Corridor economic development groups

The Corridor’s three largest economic development groups have announced a “temporary reallocation” of top staffers and financial resources in a reshuffle it is attributing to the COVID-19 crisis.

In a joint statement provided to the CBJ today, the board chairs of ICR Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group said that two of three executives at ICR Iowa will be redeployed as part of the shake-up.

Director of Talent Attraction Tim Carty will head to the ICAD Group to support outreach and service to existing businesses, while Brian Crowe, ICR Iowa’s vice president of business investment, will return to the Economic Alliance to assist with existing business support and lead regional business attraction.

“Three area economic development organizations have redeployed staff and financial resources to respond to local business needs during the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic,” the board chairs said in the joint statement.

The moves will leave only ICR Iowa President and CEO Jennifer Daly at the helm of the organization, which exists as a joint venture between the Economic Alliance and the ICAD Group. She will continue to lead ICR Iowa initiatives, including workforce strategies and resources, “to respond to the unprecedented shift in employment and talent attraction needs of local companies,” the statement said.

Board chairs and organization heads contacted by the CBJ today and Wednesday declined to respond on the record to questions about the changes.

ICR Iowa was launched as a joint venture of the Economic Alliance and ICAD in 2016 to lead the region’s business attraction, workforce development and regional marketing efforts. The ICR brand was officially unveiled in the spring of 2018, and the organization hired several seasoned economic development professionals, including Kate Moreland and Tom Banta, both of whom returned to the ICAD Group full-time at the end of 2019. Ms. Moreland was named ICAD’s new president earlier this month after the departure of Mark Nolte.

According to the statement, all three boards agreed unanimously to the temporary staffing reallocations and were “committed to working together to determine future needs and focuses” of all three organizations.

“We see great value in our shared regional efforts… and we remain absolutely committed to regionalism,” concluded the statement signed by Economic Alliance Board Chair Chris Skogman, ICAD Group Board Chair Shari DeMaris and ICR Iowa Board Chair Lydia Brown. CBJ

This story is developing. Look for more in Monday’s print and digital editions of the CBJ.