Economic Alliance announces 2022 Bravo, Community Spotlight awards

Honorees to be recognized at annual Good Morning Cedar Rapids! Event Nov. 2

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance will recognize its 2022 Bravo Award and Community Spotlight winners at its annual Good Morning Cedar Rapids! event Nov. 2.

Good Morning Cedar Rapids! honors the role small businesses and non-profit organizations play in the local economy and the community.

Each year, three home-grown businesses are given the BRAVO Award, highlighting some of the area’s best kept secrets and recognizing their contributions as a business in the Cedar Rapids metro area.

This year’s BRAVO Award winners include:

C4 Operations Background Check Services

The mission of C4 Operations Background Check Services is to provide comprehensive, up-to-date data, quickly and securely. Their report management platform provides clients with automated integration to state, local and federal reporting agencies which enables access to background check information. They operate in full compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and offer the highest level of privacy encryption and malware protection. Their U.S.-based customer support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

West Side Transport

West Side Transport is a family-owned business founded more than 60 years ago by Dale Vogt. The business began by salvaging grain spills at train yards using just a couple of pickups and shovels. As the company grew, the Vogt family added semi-tractors and hopper trailers to accommodate customer needs. In July 1986, the Vogt family grew the transport business to over 50 trucks and 90 semi-trailers that mainly hauled to local powerhouses, ADM Corn Sweetener and Cargill. Today, West Side Transport is currently owned and operated by Dale’s son, Don Vogt, and maintains a fleet of 550 trucks and over 2,000 trailers, with terminals in Cedar Rapids, Glenwood, Illinois, St. Paul and Indianapolis.

Wired Production Group

From corporate conferences to professional documentaries, to music festivals, to LED technology, and everything in between, Wired Production Group offers full-service live, virtual, and hybrid event and video production services to deliver an experience that helps enhance, engage, and entertain audiences. For the past 30 years, they have offered the latest AV technology, staging equipment and video production capabilities.

Good Morning Cedar Rapids! also recognizes three non-profit organizations for the outstanding work they do and the impact they have made on the community. This year’s Community Spotlight award winners are as follows:

Together We Achieve

What started as a social media page launched as a resource to help victims of the 2020 derecho has now become a flourishing non-profit making a big impact in the community. Together We Achieve now lives at its largest location to date, with over 17,000 square feet of space to use as a base for its programs in Cedar Rapids. The dream of clients selecting their own items specific to their family’s needs is now a reality, by offering a choice pantry operating six days a week and serving hot meals two days a week. The Resource Center remains low barrier and open to all those in need.

Families Helping Families

Families Helping Families of Iowa (FHF) is a non-profit organization designed to support children in foster care throughout the state of Iowa. Their organization offers programs and services designed specifically to help Iowa’s foster care children, and the families that care for them. They serve children in foster care in all 99 Iowa counties, with the majority of requests coming from the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City corridor, with girls and boys from varied ethnic, socioeconomic backgrounds, aged newborn to 18 years of age.

Orchestra Iowa

Founded in 1923, Orchestra Iowa is widely recognized as the state’s premier symphony orchestra. The Orchestra’s mission is to foster enjoyment of, and support for fine symphonic music through quality performances, education and community involvement. Under the direction of Timothy Hankewich, having just completed his 16th season as Music Director, its 68 professional musicians perform more than 180 public performances throughout the year, many of which can be heard on Iowa Public Radio and seen on Iowa Public Television. Orchestra Iowa showcases its artistic excellence each season through an accomplished array of classical, ballet, opera, popular and chamber performances, in addition to extensive community education and involvement.

BRAVO and Community Spotlight Award winners will be recognized at Good Morning Cedar Rapids! on November 2, at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. In a late-night talk show format, returning hosts Clare Duffy & Eric Hanson of KZIA Z102.9/Morning Scramble will entertain with the help of musical acts and entertainment while recognizing locally-owned businesses.

Doors for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance event open at 7 a.m., with entertainment starting at 7:30 a.m. Registration is required and limited to Economic Alliance members. Registration is available here.

The event’s Presenting Sponsor is Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, while the Supporting Sponsor is Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

History of Good Morning Cedar Rapids!

Good Morning Cedar Rapids! (GMCR) made its debut in 1992 as a unique way to provide the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber a forum in which to honor small businesses. A former Chamber employee heard about the concept at a national chamber meeting and brought back the idea to share with the entire organization.

The Chamber and the planning committee embraced the concept of creating a way to focus on small businesses because it was felt that large organizations received disproportional publicity for their activities. So, the mission became “to spotlight the area’s best kept business secrets, small businesses that are unique, home grown, locally owned, with a long history as a Chamber member, and an established presence in the community.”