Iowa Lakes Corridor honored for spurring ecnomic growth, creating jobs in northwest Iowa

15 Jul 2015

News Release

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is being honored with Iowa Farm Bureau’s second ‘Inspiring Community Growth Award’ for its efforts growing existing businesses and fostering entrepreneurial development in the Iowa Great Lakes region.  The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, and Emmet Counties and has played an instrumental role in the area’s economic vitality.


“The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is a great success story for economic development in northwest Iowa,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Economic Development Administrator Sandy Ehrig.  “From helping youth understand and appreciate entrepreneurship and business development to helping executives take the next steps to grow their business, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is a valuable asset to the four-county region.” 


The four-county Iowa Lakes Corridor features a blend of commerce, recreation and leisure, culture, education, and hospitality.  The organization provides guidance and training to individuals as young as middle school students to executive-level professionals serving as company presidents and CEOs.  

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, formerly the Great Lakes Corridor of Opportunity, was organized in 1992 to foster, encourage, promote, assist, and aid economic growth and development in the Iowa Lakes area.  Their success in growing the local economy has been nothing short of remarkable. 


Since 1999, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation has been responsible for over 3,000 new jobs, the retention of 1,100 jobs, the addition of 40 new companies, and have completed 84 projects.  Additionally, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation has assisted over 760 students with entrepreneurial training, involved more than 1,000 students in Junior Achievement programs, and held countless regional events promoting professional growth and career opportunities. 


“In May, the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation co-hosted a very successful seminar, “A Journey to Your Vision,” with the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program, and some great connections were made and ideas shared,” said Kiley Miller, president and CEO, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.  “There is no doubt that the seminar helped spark economic growth in the four-county Lakes region, and that is what it takes to keep rural Iowa prosperous.” 


The next Renew Rural Iowa “A Journey to Your Vision’ seminar takes place September 3 in Dubuque.  The seminar helps business leaders tap into expertise, recognize their top five challenges, complete a business model for growth and tap into resources that can take them to the ‘next level’ of success.     


Additionally, in cooperation with the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, Renew Rural Iowa is hosting the ‘Rural Innovators Meetup’ on Thursday, August 6, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Hosted at Okoboji Boat Works, 1401 Lake Shore Drive, Okoboji, Iowa 51355, attendees will hear from an inspiring panel and enjoy food, drinks, and a boat ride.          


“Renew Rural Iowa is all about helping small businesses grow and thrive in rural Iowa because we know how vital they are to the sustainability of our rural communities,” says Ehrig.  Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program has helped more than 2,800 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006.   More than 38 RRIA seminars have been held around the state since the program began, connecting entrepreneurs, business leader mentors and finance opportunities.  For more information on upcoming seminars or for more information on Renew Rural Iowa, call 800-254-9670 or go to