NEWS LINE THE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER FOR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES IN THIS ISSUE...
THE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER FOR SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES
IN THIS ISSUE...
Evening Rotary &
Union Block Building
111 West Monroe St.
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Wednesday, Nov. 5th
I am very excited to be writing to you in my new
role as Executive Vice President of the Mount
Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance. Having lived
and worked in the area over the last year and
a half, I can say that it is an honor to join the
impressive group of community and business
leaders who help make Mount Pleasant and
Henry County a great place to live and work. I
truly appreciate the warm welcome I’ve received
over the last several weeks, and I look forward
to new friendships and opportunities to serve our
I have been told more than once that Mount
Pleasant is regarded as a model for small
town economic development in Iowa. I think I
understand why. During my time working as a
regional planner in Southeast Iowa, I’ve noticed
that growing, vibrant communities tend to
have proactive, engaged leaders. I have had
the opportunity to work with elected officials,
city staff, business leaders, school officials,
residents, and others in several Henry County
communities- I’d say we can be optimistic about
the future of our community.
(This seems like an appropriate spot to
express my gratitude to my predecessor for all
his efforts and contributions, and particularly
for always being helpful on my SEIRPC work
projects. Thank you, Kiley!)
I come to the EVP position with experience in
community and economic development, as well
as many years of small-business ownership. I
attended both undergraduate and graduate
school at the University of Iowa, earning a
Bachelor’s degree in English, Secondary
Education certification, and a Master’s degree in
Urban and Regional Planning. I am transitioning
for our community since 1977
www.goodyearEP.com - 319.385.3196
from a position with
the Southeast Iowa
communities in a
four county area on a
variety of communitybased projects. Prior
to that, I owned and
operated a small retail
business in Iowa City
for 17 years.
My family and I
are happily settled in
the Mount Pleasant area. My wife Sara, who
grew up 20 minutes south of Mount Pleasant,
is a nurse practitioner at Great River Medical
Specialists in West Burlington. Our 13-year old
twins attend Mount Pleasant Middle School, and
our oldest daughter is studying biochemistry as
a freshman at the University of Iowa.
I officially start work at the Alliance on
November 3rd, and I am eager to start applying
my time and energy toward the service of Mt.
Pleasant area businesses and residents. I am
especially glad to have Melissa Flowers and
Kadie Dennison on the staff, and Lisa Oetken
close at hand with Main Street Mount Pleasant.
Over the next several months, you can expect to
see some changes coming out of our office, as I
work with our Chamber and ADC boards to take a
fresh look at our vision, programs, and structure,
as well as opportunities to share your thoughts
with us. I sincerely look forward to connecting
with many of you around our shared interest in
growing and improving our community.
Work Is A Stage: What Improvisation Has Taught Me About Business
I am a theatre geek through and through. In college, I studied
at The Second City, a world-class improvisational theatre known
for generating some of the greatest comedians of all time. After
attending one of their shows recently, I questioned the value
of studying and performing improvisation. I realized business
mirrors improvisation. My improvisational skills were being
utilized in the office every day. Here's how:
1. EYE CONTACT. In improvisation eye contact is the crucial
first step because we must connect with our scene partners
before the scene can progress. Looking at another forces us to
pay attention to them and connect. In business, the use of eye
contact shows respect, passion and confidence.
2. BODY LANGUAGE. Improvisation isn’t about being
funny; it’s about responding to the given circumstances. When
we read others’ body language, we can gauge how they feel
about a situation, proposal, or conversation. And when we know
how they feel about the topic, we can react and respond in a way
to better reach the person on their level.
3. LISTENING. Listening involves hearing the actual words
spoken, the subtext, and the nonverbal cues of the other. Tone of
voice, grunts, nods in agreement, etcetera give us clues on how
we need to communicate with our coworkers and customers.
Often when we are in a meeting, or on the stage, we plan what
we want to say next while someone is still talking. We should
instead deeply listen to what others are saying so we don’t miss
important details that may be crucial to reaching an agreement
4. PRESENTATION SKILLS. Being poised and confident
when the spotlight is on us (meeting with the big wigs or
speaking at a fundraising benefit) takes practice. It all starts with
the courage to exercise our skills and practice under pressure.
Improvisers continually live in the space between joy and fear
when they perform. If we practice and learn to love that space,
our presentation skills will improve.
5. DECISION MAKING. One rule of improvisation is, “Don’t
ask questions. Make statements.” The business translation
is, “Make decisions.” Decision-making shows confidence
and competence. Kulhan, a Professor of Business at Duke
University and CEO of Business Improvisations, says, “There’s
a misconception in business that you have to be 100 percent
correct 100 percent of the time, whereas the truth is you have
to be 100 percent correct about 10 percent of the time—the rest
of the time you have to just make
6. ADAPT & CONTRIBUTE.
Improvising is not about acting,
it is about reacting to the present
environment and contributing
to the scene. Being adaptable
to changing schedules, job
duties, and new employees or
employers creates a positive work
environment. Like in improvisation,
not every project will go as
planned. It is not enough to adapt
to problems; we have to add to the
Kadie Dennison solution, too.
Mount Pleasant Area
biggest rule of improvisation
is, “Don’t say no.” Improvisers
learn to always say, “Yes, and…” when responding to their
scene partners. The goal is to accept, adapt, and contribute.
In business we should take the ideas people offer, respect and
consider them, then direct them toward the end goal. An office
dynamic of agreement is an open-minded environment where
ideas can thrive and innovation is welcomed.
8. COLLABORATION. Saying yes to people transforms the
way an office communicates; brainstorming starts to explode.
The suspension of judgment and the energy of agreement gives
people confidence. In improvisation, trust helps build the scene
and everyone works together. A collaborative office allows
each person to be invested and essential in the success of the
9. ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS. There is a lot happening
when we communicate with others. Not only does improvisation
help us think quickly on our feet and make decisions objectively,
it helps us perceive and gauge the emotional consequences of
our decisions. The emotional side of business calls us to craft
our messages to accommodate a person’s logical and emotional
sides. Saying “yes,” using interpersonal skills, and working
collaboratively will lead to improved organizational dynamics.
Try using some of these tips in your workplace! Improvisational
skills are invaluable in the business world. After all, “There’s no
business like show business.”
New London Holiday Stroll Committee
Geode Energy LLC
410 West Wilson Street
New London, IA 52645
319.850.1929 (Tim Jacobs)
Geode Energy specializes in sales & installation of solar
PV (electric), solar thermal (hot water and air), natural light
energy systems, solar powered attic fans, and other energy
saving options for the home and business.
The New London Holiday Stroll Committee is in its 24th
year of planning the holiday stroll, which occurs annually on
the first Saturday of December. The committee is currently
raising money for a new Santa house; they have two main
fundraisers each year, including the breakfast during the Red
Flag Horseless Carriage Tour and Monster Mash 5K run/walk,
held in October.
3305 Quincy Avenue
Danville, IA 52623
The conservation of energy sometimes dictates a change of
lifestyle or habits. Call us today and let us show you how the
use of renewable energy and conservation can enhance your
If you would like to donate or become a member of the
committee, please call Tim Jacobs or visit “New London Iowa
Holiday Stroll” on Facebook.
Life, Love, and Faith Clergy
Beck's Superior Hybrids
505 North Harvey Road
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
Rev. Jacqueline S. Manning has been an ordained minister
since August 25, 2009. She is ordained to officiate all
weddings in any state. She enjoys doing this for a living and
prides herself on customizing weddings according to the
preferences of each couple. Reverend Manning will travel up
to two hours and to the destination location selected by the
Beck's Superior Hybrids seed company provides high yield
corn, soybeans, wheat and elite alfalfa. All seed products
are protected by the Escalate™ yield enhancement system
delivering higher yields, insect protection, improved stand,
and seedling health.
We access the best genetics and seed technologies from
suppliers worldwide. Farmers can get the genetic diversity
and trait protection they need, all from one company. Beck’s
Superior Hybrids’ Mount Pleasant facility focuses on the
production of soybeans and seed corn for sale to farmers.
Barktoberfest: October 19, 2014
There were over 30 dogs present at Barktoberfest 2014. This
fun event for the whole family was sponsored by Northeast Animal
Hospital, Team Staffing Solutions, Pura Vida Creative Design
Studio, Henry County Veterinary Hospital PC, Amy Becker
Photography and Almost Home Dog Daycare & Boarding.
Special thanks to Chris & Travis Van De Berg for supplying
obstacle course and Blake Radel & LaMae Gerst for assistance
in plannig and staffing the event.
Project Dogway Winners
Best Dog Costume
Pet's Got Talent
1st: Major (Heather Coffin)
1st: Ebony (LuCasey Patton)
2nd: Paris (Theresa Himes)
2nd: Major (Heather Coffin)
3rd: Snow (Maddie Van De Berg)
Look Alike Contest:
1st: Casey (Cyndi Lukens)
2nd: Diesel (LaMae Gerst)
3rd: Ozzie (Tabitha Schimmelpfennig)
to Amy Becker
Reverend Jacqueline S. Manning
New London, IA 52645
MAIN STREET NEWS
Thank you to all of the businesses that participated in the Main Street Mount Pleasant Chili Challenge on October 16. The
weather was beautiul for the Chili Challenge and there were 16 entries to the event! The following participants were the first
People's Choice: Hearth & Home Technologies (Donation Chili raised over $200 for the Fellowship Cup!)
Not Yo' Mama's Chili: Gary Ruth
Best Theme & Firehouse Award: West Liberty Foods Market
Trick or Treat on Main was held on October 23 and a crowd of well over 700 came
to Main Street Mount Pleasant for the event. Pictured below are
various photos from the event.
Pop to Shop for the Holidays
At a time when retail landlords are struggling with record
vacancies, a novel sales strategy employed by some tenants
is helping them fill the gaps and earn some additional rental
income. Pop-up stores, which allow a retailer to sign a
temporary lease lasting anywhere from two months to two
years, have traditionally been scoffed at by landlords who
could take their pick of permanent tenants. But in today’s
environment, with retailers wary of new store openings, popups are becoming a hot new trend and landlords are finding
it suits them just fine.
Pop-ups are literally popping up all over the place, from
large metropolitan areas to small rural country sides. We
have seen big box stores putting small pop-ups in rural areas
and in large downtown metropolitan areas, fashion buses
in rural European country sides, and even cupcake mobile
stores in urban neighborhoods.
Many storefronts on popular streets and off-the-beaten
trail neighborhoods are empty. Mayors across the country
have jumped on the bandwagon by inviting artists, designers
and entrepreneurs to inhabit these spaces. The overarching
problem isn’t solved, of course, but giving life and economic
Main Street Director
dynamism to empty spaces during
difficult times is significant.
As Main Street Director, I
wondered if this is something that
could benefit downtown Mount
Pleasant. Could this be a way to
fill some of our vacant buildings?
Could we see our downtown return
to its glory days where people
come to shop, eat, live and have
fun? I think it could work.
If you have a business idea
you would like to try out for the
holiday season contact the Main
Street Mount Pleasant office at
319-385-3101 or email [email protected]
From the Main Street Director's Desk
PAGE 5 5
Join us for Chamber Chat over coffee at de Brito Baking
Bistro on Tuesday, November 11 from 8:00-9:00 am.
Our host will be DMC Regional
Waste Commission and the topic of
conversation will be “Recycling.”
This will also be a chance to
meet the Alliance's new Executive
Vice President, Travis Kraus.
Citizen of the Year
The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce
will recognize the 42nd Citizen of the Year for Mount
Pleasant at its annual banquet on January 22, 2015.
Krehbiel Insurance celebrated their grand
opening at 128 North Main Street with a ribbon
cutting on Friday, September 26.
If you wish to nominate a potential Citizen of the
Year, submit an application via our website www.
mountpleasantiowa.org, click on Mount Pleasant Area
Chamber of Commerce (under About Us Links) and
then click Citizen of the Year to connect with the list of
past nominees and current nomination form. You may
also simply stop by at the Chamber office to pick up an
application. Nominations are due by November 30th.
MAIN STREET NEWS
VP Business Dev.
VP Community Dev.
Chris Van De Berg
AREA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
MAIN STREET BOARD
The Alliance hosted a debate between Marc Lindeen & Mary
Hoyer, canditates for Henry County Supervisor, on Saturday,
Executive Vice President
Lisa Oetken, CMSM
Main Street Director
Melissa Flowers, CMA
Membership & Small Business Growth
Director of Administration, Communications &
Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance
124 South Main Street
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
MOUNT PLEASANT IA
PERMIT NO. 25
CHALLENGE: Local Shoppers,
try to buy one less Christmas
present online this year!
Tuesday, November 4
Annual Banquet Committee Meeting,
Wednesday, November 5
Alive After Five at Union Block,
hosted by Evening Rotary & Iris
Tuesday, November 11
Chamber Chat on "Recycling" at de
Brito Baking Bistro, 8:00-9:00am
Wednesday, November 12
Look Local, 9am
Wednesday, November 12
Thursday, November 20
Chamber Board Meeting, 7:30am
Sunday, November 16
Mount Plesaant's Got Talent at
Heatilator Performing Arts Center,
Tuesday, November 25
Area Development Commission
Board Meeting, 11:30am
Thursday, November 27-28
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAYCHAMBER OFFICE CLOSED
Wednesday, December 3
Health & Small Business Expo at
Union Block, 2:00-7:00pm
Alive After Five at Airport Road
Vineyard, hosted by Edward Jones,
Wednesday, November 19
Thursday, December 4
Main Street Board Meeting, 5pm
Holiday on Main
The Look Local First Committee reminds
taxpayers to flip the ballot over on November 4.
Local sales tax helps support our city streets,
parks, and buildings; the use of these funds aids
in keeping property taxes low.