Ron Reischl
Ron Reischl

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 — Manning.

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 ManningIA.com homepage.

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 y’all!

Ron Reischl served as the Main Street Manning board president from Jan. 2011 until Dec. 2016.