Our Story

About the Business Partnership

The Business Partnership serves as the voice of business for Johnson County, Iowa, uniting businesses and community to maintain a strong economy and qualify of life. Our advocacy efforts, networking events, and other member benefits position members, business leaders and the community for success. 

MISSION

To make Johnson County the best place to live, work, and learn by serving our local business community. 

VISION

To build the best local business ecosystem in the world.

VALUES

  • Members-First Mindset
  • For the Love of Our Community
  • Collaboration is the Way
  • Continuously Improve
  • Be Humorously Human
  • The Voice of Business for Johnson County

    We are a partnership of over 800 businesses committed to making Johnson County the best place to live, work, and learn. We connect members with the resources they need to grow, advocate on behalf of issues important to area businesses, and engage the business community to positively impact our community as a whole. Join the partnership and grow your business, amplify your voice, and strengthen our community. We can do it all – together!

    Our Team

    Kim Casko

    President & CEO

    Describe your role in 10 words or less:

    Clearing the path for a talented, smart, fun, and passionate team to achieve our mission.

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?   

    Convening and connecting across the various sectors of our community and industries to solve the biggest challenges and tackle the greatest opportunities.  For example, in 2017 we helped pass the largest general obligation bond to fund critical infrastructure improvements to our schools and improve the learning environment for our future workforce for decades to come. 

    Contact: 319.519.6336

    Jennifer Banta

    VP of Community Engagement & Advocacy

    What WORDS best describe your role?  

    Advocate. Convene. Policy. Legislature. Involvement. Community. Mentor. Strategic. Future.

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?

    The Business Partnership has a unique ability to rally the community around important issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, the GO Bond and Child Care.

    Contact: 319.325.4902

    Beth Meyer

    Dir. of Marketing & Communications

    What WORDS best describe your role?  

    Communicate. Create. Promote. Brand. Engage. Share.

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?

    The Business Partnership has been able to provide valuable information and resources to our small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Connecting them to loans and essential resources for reopening their businesses has been an important part of our role as a leadership organization in this community. 

    Contact: 319.519.6343

    Felicia Halvorsen

    Dir. of Partner Engagement

    What WORDS best describe your role? 

    Welcome. Connections. Involvement. Community. Engagement. Members.

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?

    The Business Partnership is making a big impact in our community by bringing businesses together. We are a community big enough to have a variety of resources and small enough to care. We have helped make connections individually and through our programs/events. These partnerships have led to  new projects, corporate events, and introductions to  new hires. Together we have a stronger voice and a bigger impact.

    Contact: 319.338.4701

    Emily Wenzel

    Events & Sponsorships Manager

    Describe your role in 10 words or less:              

    Coordination of our calendars, and the generous businesses who support us.  

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?

    Our Community Leadership Program is the most impactful thing we do, especially now that we have re-instated the class community service projects. Each year we create a tight-knit group of people who have the tools and the connections to make change in our community, and so many of them actually do it. CLP contributed to the creation of the Commmunity Foundation of Johnson County, and has equipped dozens of people to serve on the boards of local nonprofits and associations.  

    Contact: 319.337.9639

    Erin Hoard

    Office Manager

    What WORDS best describe your role?

    Manage. Facilitate. Organize. Communication. Member-Centric. Answers. Wizard.

    What’s the biggest impact that we’ve made in our community?     

    We provide a gateway into the community not only from a business perspective, but for community members who are seeking information and area resources.  We take pride in the relationships we forge and the role we play as one of the area’s leadership organizations.                      

    Contact: 319.337.9637

    What's in a Name?

    Early in 2019, we set out to develop a new vision for where we want to be in the next 10 years, and a plan for how to get there. We determined that one of our strategic priorities should be to refresh the image of our organization to better reflect who are members (and future members) are and how we serve them.

    What changed?

    Our name, logo and colors changed. We also took the opportunity to refine the following:

    OUR TAGLINE
    The Voice of Business for Johnson County

    OUR MISSION
    Why we exist

    OUR VALUE PROPOSITION
    What we do

    OUR STRATEGIC PLAN
    We used a framework called the Entreprenuerial Operating System (EOS), to guide the development of our dynamic plan.

    What hasn't changed?

    We are still classified as a 501(c)6 and a chamber of commerce. Our core purpose is still to serve our local businesses and communities.

    How did you land on your new name?

    Our members are businesses located throughout Johnson County who want to improve their own success and the success of the community in which they live. We serve these members by partnering with them directly and by facilitating partnerships among our membership. We also partner with fellow economic development organizations to achieve the work of continuously strengthening our community. “Business Partnership” easily encompasses that – and really defines what we’re all about.

    What does the new logo represent?

    Our new logo is comprised of interlocking location pins to symbolize partnership between area businesses as well as our collaborative role throughout the community.

    The primary colors of blue and orange were selected for the following reasons:

    Blue
    One of the most common logo colors, blue conveys a sense of security, professionalism and stability.

    Orange
    The color is fun, dynamic, and is blue’s complimentary color. Often associated with sports teams, its message tends to communicate energy, life, motivation and activity. It also creates a visual impact on marketing collateral.

     

    Our History

    1936

    Officially incorporated in 1936 as the Chamber of Commerce of Iowa City

    1940

    Changed name to Iowa City Chamber of Commerce

    1981

    Changed name to Greater Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce

    1983

    Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau was spun out of the chamber as a separate entity

    1984

    Iowa City Area Development Group was spun out of the chamber as a separate entity

    1988

    Changed name to Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce in 1988 when we merged with the Coralville Chamber of Commerce

    2000

    Community Foundation of Johnson County started as a project through the Community Leadership Program

    2020

    Changed name to Iowa City Area Business Partnership to better reflect how we work with our members

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