Principled Financial Management

9 Jul 2020

Blog, Partnerships, Members, Letter from the CEO, Investors

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation’s new 5-year plan, Partnership, Progress, Prosperity: FY 2021-2025, could best be described with a bro-culture cliché: “Go big or go home.”


Through aggressive, results-driven business development, entrepreneurship, and workforce and housing programs, the Corridor expects to support the following:

  • 900 direct and 593 indirect jobs
  • $59 million in annual payroll
  • $500 million in capital investment
  • 50 start-ups creating up to 250 jobs
  • Net population growth
  • 300+ new housing units.


The first and most important element in the success of Partnership, Progress, Prosperity lies outside the Corridor office. It is the ingenuity, passion, and persistence of local business leaders. An economic development organization is always a second-string player; true credit for growth, to borrow from Teddy Roosevelt, goes to the men—and women—in the arena.


The global economy will also play a role. Booms bring smiles, busts break hearts, but never forget that great businesses are born in both. The news on our monitors should not dampen the enthusiasm in our hearts.


Besides, there are plenty of factors within the Corridor’s control. Among them is the effectiveness with which we deploy our financial resources, the lion’s share of which comes from our investing members. An upcoming newsletter will break down the percentage of dollars allocated to specific programming areas within our current budget. For now, I want to share the five principles that guided board and staff members during development of the budget and to explain as succinctly as possible the reasons behind the first four. Here we go


Principle 1: The Corridor will not spend more than it receives in income over the five years of the current strategic plan. No organization can operate for long in the red and survive. As my dad, a former public hospital CEO, used to say, “No margin, no mission.”

Principle 2: The Corridor’s most valuable resource is people. The budget will provide for fair compensation package for all members of the team. Everyone is hunting for top talent. We need to hang on to ours.

Principle 3: The Corridor will eliminate debt associated with our resources campaign in advance of the term of loan. In FY 2020, at the CEO’s recommendation, the Corridor opened a line of credit to support the hiring of Convergent Nonprofit Solutions to coordinate the Partnership, Progress, Prosperity campaign. Proving the value of that decision, we are in great shape to pay off the loan early.

Principle 4: The Corridor budget will reflect the priorities announced in the campaign Case for Investment. We promised you, our investors, that your money would be used to assist existing businesses, recruit new companies, support entrepreneurs and small business owners, and deepen the labor pool. We will keep that commitment.

Principle 5: The Corridor will continuously seek new partners and revenue sources with a goal that 33 percent or more of annual revenue will derive from fees for service, real estate, lending, grants, and other sources by FY 2025.


Number 5 warrants a bit more explanation. For that, we will wait until next week. In the interim, if you have questions about Corridor membership or governance, please connect with Kiley, 712.264.3474,


See more articles like this each week in our Newsletter.

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