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.
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BIO: Nancy Bird is the CEO / President of a new Iowa City area organization that is merging both the economic development group (ICAD) and the local chamber of commerce (Business Partnership). As a certified planner, Bird’s expertise includes strategic plans that champion place-based initiatives. She harnesses the opportunities of a growing region through partnerships with city leadership, economic development agencies, local businesses, education institutions, and community organizations.
A native of Washington, Iowa, Bird received her BA from Drake University, spent time in Washington D.C. at American University and the Brookings Institute as a policy intern, and then went on to spend several years in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Niger, Africa). She later received an MA from Illinois State in Political Science through an economic development program and a Kellogg fellowship. She spent 14 years in Seattle, Washington consulting with multiple levels of government and later, setting up business improvement districts for Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. She managed a regional growth coordination plan for communities in the South Sound and, through this work, became interested in community design. Bird moved back to the Iowa City area in 2012 where she worked as Executive Director of the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) for 10 years. She was an effective driver of change and revitalization of the area, working with a membership base of over 500. In her new role guiding the merger of two established organizations, Bird continues leading with her passion for design, planning, placemaking and working with diverse groups to solve complex problems.
Cady Gerlach is the Executive Director of Better Together 2030 (BT2030). On August 1st, she began work to activate, track, and account for the plan.
In September 2023, the BT2030 Board of Directors approved the assignment of director Cady Gerlach’s employment to Greater IC where she has been hired as VP of Community Development & Executive Director of BT2030 in a dual role.