MARCH 2014
Business Grant Contest
Grow Iowa Day
SW Connector
Shovel-Ready Committment
Skilled Iowa
WCLI Class of 2014
Leadership Award
New Face at WCEDC





Warren County
City of Carlisle

City of Cumming

City of Des Moines

City of Hartford

City of Indianola

City of Milo 

City of New Virginia

City of Norwalk

City of West Des Moines



Community Bank

Record Herald & Indianola Tribune  



C&L Companies, Inc.

Colby Interests

Downing Construction

Noble Ford

Peoples Bank

Simpson College 



Bank of the West

City State Bank

Des Moines Truck Brokers  

Doug Shull

Knapp Properties

McClure Engineering

MidAmerican Energy

Peoples Company

Snyder & Associates



A&W Restaurant

Alliant Energy

Capital City Fruit

Cemen Tech

Clarke Electric Coop.


etc!graphics, inc.

Farm Bureau Financial Services - Brad Bross

Great Western Bank

Hubbell Realty

Indianola Municipal Utilities

J.E. Meadows & Co.  

James Oil Co. L.L.C.

Mediacom Business 

Medicap - GRX Holdings

MRogalla Photograhpy

Norwalk Ready-Mix 

Optometric Associates 

Regions Bank

Scotch Ridge LLC

Shull & Co

Sternquist Construction

Story Construction

Three-Sixty Group

Vander Linden Real Estate

Vanderpool Const.


Warren Water District 

Weinman Insurance

Wells Fargo Bank

 Woodruff Const.  





 Doug Shull


 Vice President

Mayor Ruth Randleman 



Steve Bruere



Denis Frischmeyer 


County Supervisor

Steve Wilson 


Mayor Larry Bohlen

Jack Bohlender

Rita Conner

Theresa Greenfileld

Diane Hall

Naomi Hamlett

Eric Hanson

Scott James

Jill Johnson

Todd Kielkopf

Stacie LoVan, Ex-Officio 

Jim Meadows

Mayor Tom Phillips 

Jeff Saddoris

Jeff Schug

Clint Welling 







 Jason E. White 

Executive Director 

 View our profile on LinkedIn  



Hollie Askey 

Director of Operations 

 View our profile on LinkedIn 



Rachel Gocken 

Administrative & Communications Coordinator

 View our profile on LinkedIn  



Samantha Riordan

Project Coordinator



Eric Fitzhugh

WCLI Coordinator



Cole Button



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Jason White
Executive Director

Warren County is in the midst of significant business development activity. The county has experienced recent growth in the areas of retail, financial services and industrial-type enterprises, while adding several large projects at Simpson College.


In total, the top 20 projects in Warren County between 2011 through today equate to over $102 million in capital investment and over 600 new jobs.  These employers have almost 1,000 jobs, collectively.


Contributing to this list is Simpson College's $25 million investment in the Kent Campus Center, Blank Performing Arts Center, and Athletic Center.  The list also includes $16 million with the new Indianola YMCA.  Private sector businesses Capital City Fruit ($12 million) and Loffredo Fresh Produce ($7 million) investments are among the projects and will add over 200 employees in Norwalk once Loffredo's expansion in completed in 2014.


Also making the list of the top projects are the new Subway and Dollar General in Carlisle, as well as the new Fareway grocery store which is planned to be completed by year's end.  The complete list of companies on the "Top 20" list can be found  here.
Warren County small businesses andentrepreneurs will have the opportunity to win up to $5,000 in our first Warren County Small Business  Grant Contest beginning at the end of AprilAll Warren County Small Businesses (less than 10 full time employees) and Entrepreneurs are eligible to enter. Two grant prize categories; Existing Business ($5,000) and start-up business ($2,000). Contest begins April 29th and ends June 3rd with grants awarded on June 10th.


Log onto after April 1st for entry details and information on how to prepare for the contest. Entries will be accepted through the same website beginning on April 29th. For more information contact Hollie Askey or 515-961-1067.

The grant contest is sponsored by WCEDC and our Learn|Grow|Succeed program partners. The Learn|Grow|Succeed initiative was created through WCEDC's Business Retention, Expansion and Entrepreneurial Development task force in 2012. This program is a collaborative effort between WCEDC, Simpson College, The Record Herald and the Carlisle, Norwalk, and Indianola Chambers of Commerce to provide small business education and assistance in Warren County. Regular seminars and workshops are held on topics such as finance, building business plans, marketing and social media. For information on small business assistance and upcoming seminars or workshops, like our Facebook page:


On February 5th the WCEDC Team participated in the Professional Developers of Iowa Grow Iowa Day at the State Capital to reach out to our legislators about key issues relating to economic development. Issues include: Tax Increment Financing, Workforce, Transportation Infrastructure, State Economic Development Resources, Income Tax Reform, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support.

A study commissioned by the Warren County Supervisors was recently released showing the possibilities of the Southwest Connector project. The Federal Highway Administration awarded Warren County dollars to examine a future possible loop route through Warren County, Madison County, and Dallas County.


Supervisor Dean Yordi introduced Ross Harris of HR Green, the team that completed the study. Among the goals is to improve the regional roadway system linkages to enhance local and regional mobility. In other words, as the traffic around the Interstate 35/80 mix-master becomes more congested, there will be significant need to re-route traffic around the southern part of the Metro and back to the Highway 5/65 bypass, which will represent a future southern interstate loop back to Interstate 80 near Altoona.


The Southwest Connector is also expected to be an important link to the planned Southeast Connector, which Des Moines and West Des Moines have been working on collaboratively. West Des Moines has renamed their portion of the existing Southwest Connector as "Veterans Parkway".


The Southwest Connector study shows that the area east of Interstate 35 will be planned for six lanes, while west of Interstate 35 will be planned for four lanes (though expandable to six lanes). The study forecasts traffic patterns beyond 2035, with a range of 5,000 vehicles per day on the low side to 98,000 vehicles per day optimistically, with much left to be determined. Click here to view the Southwest Connector presentation. 



As a part of the GroWARRENow blueprint for growing Warren County's economy, WCEDC leaders have committed to the preparation of "shovel-ready" development sites. Simply stated, the chances of luring a business prospect is much greater if local economic development leaders take the time to plan, engage pertinent players, and invest in their real estate. Absent this commitment, the alternative strategy is to hope that prospects will overlook development barriers and simply fall in love in the idea of being in the area based on an effective sales pitch, assuming economic developers even get the chance to tell their story. The latter approach is a "reach" given all of the location options business prospects have from which to choose.


WCEDC has already collaborated in two instances through public-private partnerships under Iowa's site certification program. The roughly 60-acre Ancell-Knox property just south of Norwalk has made it to the third round of the program. Represented by Peoples Company, WCEDC and the City of Norwalk have effectively gathered the necessary information about the site and hosted a visit from McCallum-Sweeney, the consulting group for Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) responsible for reviewing shovel-ready proposals. This year the WCEDC/Norwalk team will further commit to the development of the Ancell-Knox site through annexation proceedings, geotechnical and engineering work. If successful, an announcement could be made in 2015 certifying this site as "shovel-ready". View map of the Ancell-Knox site  


The other site which has been submitted to the site certification program is the 'Ferrari Farms' near the Highway 5 bypass. This site is owned by Colby Interests. Once again, WCEDC has collaborated with the developer and the City of Des Moines to gather information about the 86-acre site and provide an initial proposal to IEDA. Our team now awaits word on whether the site will advance to the next round. View map of Ferrari Farms site 


These two Warren County sites are the only two known properties in the Des Moines MSA which have been submitted for site certification under the Large Industrial Site (50+ acres) category.



Warren County has a strong workforce, serving as one of our area's greatest assets. A group of local organizations is now working to prove that as fact to the outside world and use it as a selling point for attracting economic development. Over the last few months, the City of Indianola, Indianola Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Workforce Development, Warren County Economic Development Corporation, and WeLift have been collaborating on the Skilled Iowa Initiative.


Skilled Iowa allows people to receive an enhanced credential to boost their marketability in the eyes of employers by taking the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) exam. A product of ACT, the exam tests a person's ability to read for comprehension, seek information, and apply mathematics.


The program also allows employers to sign on as supporters of the program, meaning that they will pledge to consider the NCRC certificate as a criterion for hiring, although not mandating it. A number of leading Warren County employers have already signed on to the program, including City State Bank, Harvest Innovations, Peoples Bank, and Simpson College. The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce has also signed onto the program.


As part of achieving the "Skilled Community" designation, a series of benchmarks must first be attained. As more Warren County residents take the exam, the designation becomes closer to reality.



The Warren County Leadership Institute (WCLI), formed in 1993, is affiliated with the Warren County Economic Development Corporation (WCEDC), and has a primary objective to train and inform leaders throughout Warren County. We are pleased to announce the 21st class in WCLI History has 18 outstanding participants.


2014 Class Roster:  

Cody Barrett, Warren County GIS

Megan Berlin, Indianola Parks & Recreation

Kurt Campbell, Rainbow International

Tara Hanson, Peoples Bank

Heidi Hendrickson, Advanced Air Mechanical

Scott Kruthoff, YMCA

Tabatha Lamb, Simpson College

Amy Looft, Peoples Bank

Tanner Loyd, Iowa Realty

Doug McCasland, WC Emergency Management

Skip Phillips, TMC Transportation

Nathan Rasko, Rasko Construction

Emily Roush, Westview Care Center

Laura Shell, Simpson College

Kelli Sutton, Nationwide Insurance

Nathaniel Tagtow, Lincoln Savings Bank

Kimberly Wilson, Community Bank

Teresa Woods, RE/MAX Innovations


WCLI facilitates interactive classroom programs and networking opportunities designed specifically to assist emerging leaders. This year's schedule consists of eight sessions held at various locations around Warren County as well as a fun and informative bus tour. Participants will gain knowledge on many important professional development and leadership topics like; developing leadership skills, effective communication, how to deal with controversy, philanthropy, local agriculture, emergency management, education system, local government and more. In addition, the Leadership Class will complete a community project that benefits Warren County. Keep up with WCLI on Facebook: 

Nominations are currently being accepted through Monday, March 24th for the Kent Britton Memorial Leadership Award. Please consider nominating an individual who displays outstanding leadership skills and a strong commitment to Warren County.

Click here for nominating instructions.

Photo: The most recent recipient of the leadership award Tim Davison of Chumbley's Autreceives the award from WCLI Board member Mallory Wells.  

Samantha Riordan recently joined WCEDC as a part-time Project Coordinator. Samantha is a Warren County native, having graduated from Norwalk High School in 2012. She is currently attending Simpson College and anticipates graduating next May with a degree in Economics and Finance. Samantha is active in Enactus, a campus business organization and is Treasurer of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She has also had the exciting opportunity to spend time studying in Paris, France. Samantha's current responsibilities include developing an economic dashboard that will provide businesses and investors the opportunity to gather information pertinent to them. This dashboard will feature information about the cities and communities in Warren County and track changes over time. WCEDC is excited to have made another talented addition. Welcome Samantha!