Carroll County is blessed with many
great citizens and communities.
As Main Street Manning Board president,
I would like to provide insight into one of those communities —
At the end of the year, it is common to
reflect on the past 12 months. I entered 2016 thinking the pace would
slow down ... but it didn’t.
The year started with the Entrepreneur
Boot Camp for Women hosted by Drake University in January. Women from
Crawford and Carroll counties attended the two-day entrepreneurial
workshop, which received great reviews. From the relationships
established in the Boot Camp, an informal group called Startup
Sisters of West Central Iowa formed and has continued to meet. The
group is led by Cindy Lawler from Random Ruby’s of Carroll and
meets monthly at BrickHaus Brews in Manning.
Boulders Inn Manning, LLC broke ground
April 1 and opened the new Boulders Inn & Suites Oct. 4. The
Boulders team indicated the Manning community raised the required
investment faster than any of its other 11 communities. Many of the
local shareholders said they invested not only for profit opportunity
but simply to be part of a team that brought a needed economic
development to their community. Hats off to the investors!
In April, Gov. Terry Branstad presented
Main Street Manning with a Game Changer Award at the annual Main
Street Iowa Awards Banquet. The three-year $800,000 downtown
revitalization of 17 building facades on Main Street led to the
coveted award. The award recognizes “inspirational, catalytic
occurrences or influences that have left significant and lasting
impacts on the Main Street programs and Main Street districts.”
A capstone project of a Drake
University School of Journalism and Mass Communication class was the
development of a public-relations plan for Manning. Over the summer,
Main Street Manning hired one of the Drake graduates to help
implement portions of the plan. The recommendations are both thorough
and expansive, and Manning will use them for years to come.
Char-Mac Assisted Living, with its 36
rooms, opened in June. This project filled medical and housing gaps
in the community. We are thankful to have this award-winning company
and management team to serve those in need.
In July, Manning hosted dozens of young
business leaders from sub-Saharan Africa. Their one-day visit to
Manning was designed to share Manning’s use of private-public
partnerships in our economic development activities. Upon completion
of their weeks-long immersion in Iowa and U.S. culture, they
indicated their visit to Manning was one of the highlights. Check out
the YouTube video of the visitors dancing on Main Street on the
Main Street Manning entered into its
ninth and 10th partnerships with Iowa State University’s College of
Design. In the first project, eight graduate students developed
designs for the Main Street green space area where the old hospital
was located. In the second project, 25-plus students developed
architectural artwork designs for Trestle Park and the Little League
baseball fields along Highway 141 and a new sign for the Carroll
County Freedom Rock on the east edge of Manning.
Looking forward, there is at least one
change scheduled for next year. Main Street Manning’s primary
fundraiser, Main Event Family Feud, will be replaced by a version of
The Newlywed Game. Should be interesting — and entertaining.
Want to learn more? Visit the Main
Street Manning Facebook page and ManningIA.com.
Happy New Year to
served as the Main Street Manning board president from Jan. 2011
until Dec. 2016.