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One of the reasons that businesses join the Business Partnership is to get more involved in our community. The following opportunities are proven platforms to help you do just that.

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Community Leadership Program

Our premier leadership program, CLP fosters informed, well-equipped and invested leaders. This appointed professional development group meets once a month during the academic year for day-long sessions to gain insight into the issuesopportunitiesstrengths and challenges within the Iowa City area.

Applications for the 2020-2021 class are now open! Download the application here.

All applications must be submitted by 4:30 PM on Monday, June 15, 2020Click here for frequently asked questions and tips to make your application the best it can be!

CLP was created in 1990 to foster informed, well-equipped, and invested leaders in the Iowa City area.  Through the program’s life, more than 650 current and future leaders have gained insight into the issues, opportunities, strengths and challenges within our community.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today if it weren’t for the Community Leadership Program, in terms of the knowledge it has given me and the connections I’ve made that have helped me to get here,” says Business Partnership President and CEO Kim Casko. “It’s a program that is very close to my heart.”

The Community Leadership Program Class of 2020-2021 is scheduled to start August 29. We are hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to proceed with the 30th CLP class, with appropriate precautions in place. We will continue to monitor our local situation throughout the application and selection process and if at any point we are not able to provide the high-quality, community-based experience that has come to be the signature of the Community Leadership Program, we are ready to adapt. A stellar experience is always our goal, but participant safety is our first priority.


What’s Involved

The Community Leadership Program features nine full-day sessions that take place once per month from September through June. Each session explores a specific theme, and also features activities designed to help the class identify their leadership styles and bond together as a group. Session themes include: Agriculture & Environment, Arts & Culture, Economics, Education, Human Services, Health Care, and Local Government.

CLP offers its participants unique access to our community leaders, awareness and understanding of critical issues, and in-depth experience with the systems that govern, serve and develop Johnson County. Last year alone, participants heard from local experts and leaders including:

  • CEOs of UIHC, Mercy Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Hospital
  • Directors of Think Iowa City, ICAD Group, Iowa City Downtown District, and ICR Iowa
  • Johnson County Sheriff
  • Leaders from the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College
  • City Managers and Administrators

Class members also gain a variety of perspectives from around the community. During the Human Services session, the class is introduced to a consumer panel to hear firsthand how programs such as Shelter House, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and Goodwill of the Heartland benefit people in their daily lives.





Become a Business Partnership Ambassador and help tell our story. As an Ambassador, you will lead the charge on representing the us at various events and business initiatives. While sharing your enthusiasm for the Business Partnership, you'll also be supporting small businesses and increasing your business contacts throughout the community. Ambassadors, each from a different member organization, celebrate member ribbon cuttings and ground breaking ceremonies, honor long-standing members in the community, recruit new Business Partnership members and volunteer at events.

Call (319) 337-9637 to learn more. Applications are accepted biannually. 

Download the 2020 Ambassador Application.

 "My favorite thing about being an Ambassador is welcoming new business owners to our community, and seeing their joy and excitement about starting a new chapter."   - Dan Kuenzi (Ambassador since 2018)



An educated workforce translates into a strong business environment, community and economy. The Education Task Forces ensures the continued excellence of the community's public and private education by:

  • Reflecting on education through the lens of workforce needs
  • Connecting business and educators to build relationships and understanding
  • Advocating for public policy initiatives that lead to more effective educational opportunities
  • The Business Partnership also annually hosts:
    • Excellence in Education Awards to recognize the extraordinary achievements by students, volunteers and educators, and to celebrate the strong partnerships local businesses build with schools.
    • New Teacher Luncheon where the business community welcomes new teachers to our area.

Call us at (319) 337-9637 to learn more.


Referral Exchange

Referral Exchange connects non-competing Business Partnership member businesses for the sole purpose of sharing leads, referrals, tips, information and advice that directly support their ability to drive business.

Currently two Referral Exchange groups operate:

  • 1st & 3rd Tuesday, 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
  • 2nd & 4th Wednesday, 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Call (319) 337-9637 for more information and to receive an application. Due to the limited size of these groups, it is possible you may be placed on a waiting list if your industry is already represented by another member.