We are excited to share with you as investors and members of our organization that our two entities formally merged into one dynamic enterprise on July 1, 2023.

Greater Iowa City, Inc. (Greater IC) is a network of business and public sector leaders who collaborate to support local companies, guide investment, and grow a resilient economy.

We work in cities, towns, and rural areas in the greater Iowa City area – or Johnson County, Iowa. Because the success of greater Iowa City depends on regional collaborations, we work together with partners throughout the 7-county area and the state of Iowa to develop our region as a whole.


Join us at our first Annual Meeting as a merged entity and newly branded organization. It will be held on November 15th at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Coralville!

What does investment look like now? How will this advance support for local businesses and growing a resilient economy? At this event, we are thrilled to share all this and more with you! Plus, we get to hear Beth Goetz’s perspective on leading change.


3 IN 1: We have merged economic development and the local chamber of commerce into Greater IC. With the merger, we are also integrating services with non-profit 501(c)3 Better Together 2030 (BT2030) to help us implement the community-wide All In Vision Plan. Since BT2030 is a community development corporation, this will allow for public/private development opportunities and will be a new tool in the tool box for our organization.

INCLUSIVE MODEL: We are eager to begin supporting and connecting all businesses in Johnson County, regardless of size, owners, profit, or membership. This inclusive model reflects our approach to growing a resilient economy. Investors will guide our services and determine our strategic plans.

BUSINESS COUNCILS: We are developing new business councils to guide and oversee our work. Councils, each with a unique focus based on business needs and goals, will give Greater IC investors an opportunity to engage with one another and problem-solve collectively. These business councils are a direct response to focus groups conducted in preparation of the merger in the Spring 2023. Working with a third-party facilitator, results revealed that business leaders want Greater IC to drive the economy with clear plans by strategically convening community leaders.

GREATER IOWA CITY AREA: We work in cities, towns, and rural areas in the greater Iowa City area – or
Johnson County, Iowa. Because the success of greater Iowa City depends on regional collaborations, we work together with partners throughout the 7-county area and the state of Iowa to develop our region as a whole.

The design work started when our boards approved a resolution of intent to merge in November 2022. The Board of Directors from both organizations have now voted to approve the new organizational design and governance structure. So far, the votes that have passed to go into effect July 1, 2023 are:

  • On April 14th, both boards approved adopting an affiliation model as the legal structure for the merged entity. An Affiliation Agreement was signed and will go into effect July 1, 2023.
  • On May 11th, both boards approved modified bylaws that reflect the agreed upon affiliation model. They also approved a transition governance structure for FY24 that will consist of a “Transition Executive Board” (TEB) and “Transition Advisory Council” (TAC) to go into effect July 1, 2023. The TEB will consist of officers from the current boards’ executive committees and the TAC will consist of directors from the current boards of directors. This will allow the more permanent governance structure for the merged entity to be developed over the course of FY24 by the TEB and TAC, along with new President/CEO Nancy Bird.
    Transition Executive Board (TEB) Members: Robin Therme (chair), Todd Means, Geoff Fruin, Kelly Haworth, Pete Mathes, Chris Klitgaard, Patrice Carroll, Adam Keune, Jennie Wunderlich, and Lisa Shileny.
    Transition Advisory Council (TAC) Members: DaLayne Williamson, Brenda LaMarche, Cami Jo Rasmussen, Carolyn Wallace, Christa Payne, Christine Boge, Jackie Kleppe, Jasmine Almoayyed, Jim Conard, Jim LeBoeuf, Joe McCarragher, Jon Darsee, Kathryn Kunert, Kathy Courtney, Katie Burnette, Laura McLeran, Laura Seamans, Marty Lenss, Matt Degner, Megan Alter, Michal Enyon-Lynch, Paula Rogers, Renda Greene-Fishman, Ryan Heiar, Scott Wiley, Susan Moore, Tara Wachendorf, Tracy Jon Sargeant, V Fixmer-Oraiz, Vince Ellison, and Wendy Ford

Nancy Bird was voted by both the Business Partnership and ICAD Boards of Directors to be the President/CEO of the new merged entity, including the Business Partnership and ICAD. She will begin her new role in June 2023. Nancy is joining this new endeavor after 10 years as Executive Director of the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD). A certified planner, Nancy was an effective driver of change and revitalization of the area, working with a membership base of over 500. There she sustained a mission, values, and growth-oriented strategic plan that championed place-based initiatives. As part of this effort, Nancy works with leadership at the City of Iowa City, other economic development agencies, arts organizations, and the University of Iowa to harness the opportunities of a growing region.


Kate Moreland stepped down from the ICAD President role in January 2023. This was her personal decision to focus on her consulting business, supporting the well-being of individuals, organizations, and communities. Her decision was not influenced by the merger. We are excited that Kate continues to work with our teams through Better Together 2030. As of January 9th, 2023, she moved into her new role as a part-time consultant for the Better Together 2030 All In Vision work.


Kim Casko resigned as Business Partnership President & CEO in May 2023 due to personal matters concerning health and family. This was a very personal decision, and she feels confident in the team’s ability to handle the merger of our organizations upon her resignation. Those who know Kim know that she is extremely proud of our teams and the upcoming merger!

ICAD and the Business Partnership are the only two organizations included in the merger. With the merger, we are also integrating services with non-profit 501(c)3 Better Together 2030 (BT2030) to help us implement the community-wide All In Vision Plan. By more fully integrating with BT2030, Greater IC will provide streamlined services and staffing support for the plan.


We will continue to align efforts with our peer economic development partners at the Iowa City Downtown District, South of Six Iowa City Business District, and Think Iowa City particularly in executing on the Better Together 2030 All In Vision plan.

Who we serve is overlapping more and more!

Years ago, the Business Partnership served “local business” and ICAD served “interstate commerce.” Now, with the growing prevalence of online shopping and service platforms, the distinction between the two is blurred. Traditional local businesses are now selling out-of-state via online platforms, as one example. There is an opportunity to align our services to support businesses from start-up to expansion and beyond, regardless of their sales territory!

Our work is overlapping more and more!

Our work overlaps more than ever with one need across all-sized businesses: WORKFORCE. We have already co-created two workforce-related newsletters and partner on the Innovation in Education Awards. Developing, retaining, and growing our workforce is an all-hands-on-deck challenge. Being a merged entity will allow us to focus on additional resources.

We can be more efficient to create with the capacity to do more!

Our operations are very similar, and we see opportunities for efficiency in finances and staff roles. This will give our team the opportunity to focus even more on supporting your business – rather than on administrative tasks! This will also give us capacity to build out new capabilities.

You will get more from just one membership!

Businesses in the Iowa City area will gain easy access to both organizations’ resources, network, and programming through a single membership investment model.

Our staff and board of directors believe this merger puts us in the best position to serve YOU and create a thriving business community in the Iowa City area. Merging will ultimately give your business:

  • Easy access to both organizations’ resources and network through a single membership investment model.
  • One front door for any business support services and inquiries.
  • One unified voice for the Iowa City area business community.
  • Greater impact on shaping our local economy and addressing our community’s biggest challenges.

We expect our regularly occurring events and programs to remain the same throughout the majority of 2023. Our teams are committed to maintaining, if not enhancing, the level of service you have come to expect as we design our new entity!

The organizations formed a Merger Advisory Council (MAC), comprised of current board members, to guide the process. They met every other week to discuss and review key deliverables and ensure the project timeline stayed on track.

Merger Advisory Council Members:

  • Co-Chair: Carolyn “Dazi” Wallace – Phelan Tucker
  • Co-Chair: Tracy Jon Sargeant – MDC
  • Kathy Courtney – GreenState Credit Union
  • Vince Ellison – Benchmark
  • Ryan West – West Music
  • Patrice Carroll – ImOn Communications
  • Lisa Shileny – Hills Bank

Together with the staff, they have been completing the following design activities:

  • identify the new mission, vision, and values of the organization
  • identify core functions and organizational structure
  • identify team operating norms and framework
  • identify processes and procedures
  • design a new revenue model and single investment strategy
  • create necessary governance and legal documents
  • and develop a transition and implementation plan, including a plan for a search for the CEO of the new single entity.

Both boards voted on key deliverables throughout the first half of 2023 to approve the design, plan, and governance structure for the new entity to take effect by July 1, 2023 – with complete integration by July 1, 2024.


Before we began the merger process, we were prepared with the research, experience, and vision.

  • Research: To make this recommendation to our boards, we worked through our due diligence in watching industry trends and consulting with other chambers and economic development organizations that have merged or aligned. We also looked at the Business Partnership and ICAD’s overlapping capabilities. Most recently, we worked with a third-party facilitator to conduct focus groups with members and investors, gaining an in-depth understanding of current and future needs. We encourage our members and investors to contact us at any time with questions, insights, or challenges to inform the design of our future work for our community.
  • Experience: Our teams have been closely collaborating on initiatives and events, such as the Talent Tuesday newsletters, Excellence in Action Awards, and so much more. As an added bonus, we work together in the same space and already consider each other coworkers.
  • Vision: Launched in the summer of 2022, the Better Together 2030 All In Vision plan serves as our north star to guide our strategic areas of focus.

Our boards both approved a resolution to merge the Iowa City Area Business Partnership (Business Partnership) and the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group on November 17, 2022. Votes continued to occur throughout 2023 to approve key deliverables, the organizational design, and articles of incorporation. Now, we continue the integration process guided by our Transition Executive Board and Transition Advisory Council.

The design work began in December 2022 and will continue through 2023. The two organizations formally merged on July 1, 2023 with complete integration by July 1, 2024.

We are working on a new website for Greater IC!
Until then, find everything you need where it was before – on our current websites.


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