When Joe Raso resigned as president of the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) group in 2012, we encouraged its board of directors to join with its sister economic development organization in Cedar Rapids, then called Priority One, and select a unified regional economic development leader.
They instead chose an internal ICAD candidate, Mark Nolte, to continue its mission within the constrained Iowa City market.
Mr. Nolte did an admirable job of leading the organization for seven years, pivoting away from exclusively supporting interstate commerce companies to being more supportive of the market’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.
When Mr. Nolte resigned as president of ICAD in January, we again encouraged its board of directors to think regionally before selecting a new president. The board instead chose an internal candidate, Kate Moreland, who was also serving as the interim president.
Just as Mr. Nolte did a good job, we’re confident that Ms. Moreland will also do well. She has a background in law, but spent many years working in the nonprofit sector. She has particularly valuable experience within the education sector – one of Iowa City’s most important industry groups – and most recently was ICAD’s vice president dealing with workforce.
Ms. Moreland learned firsthand from Mr. Nolte how to pivot a rigidly structured organization. If anyone has the right credentials for this difficult position, it is Ms. Moreland.
She certainly has her hands full as the COVID-19 economic crisis continues to unfold, impacting most industries and small businesses. Just think how the pandemic continues to impact ACT and the University of Iowa, two of Iowa City’s most important entities.
We know Ms. Moreland to be personable, intelligent and collaborative. The collaboration that ICAD, Think Iowa City, the Iowa City Area Business Partnership and the Iowa City Downtown District have undertaken since the COVID-19 crisis began is benchmark-worthy.
“It’s grown into a very stable partnership and I think it will serve us well for the recovery period, too, because we need to be integrated in how we look at that,” Ms. Moreland told the CBJ in a recent interview.
We wish Ms. Moreland luck in her important and challenging role.
Three out of four
It is worth noting that with Ms. Moreland’s appointment as president of ICAD, three of the four main economic development organizations in the Iowa City market are now led by women.
Ms. Moreland joins Kim Casko, who is president of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, and Nancy Bird, who is executive director of the Iowa City Downtown Association.
Josh Schamberger, the long-time president of Think Iowa City, remains the sole male. While this is just one small circle of leadership in our region, it’s a sign of progress for women. CBJ