Meet the Staff: Joanne Follon, Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator

Meet the Staff: Joanne Follon, Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator Main Photo

6 Feb 2024

Blog, News, Staff

Joanne Follon is the Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator for the Corridor and has been a part of the team since 2008.  Joanne leads the Corridor's business retention and expansion (BRE) efforts through existing industry surveys and business relations. She is also the contact for workforce development, expansion projects, and childcare inquiries.

What is your favorite part of the job?

There are so many great aspects of my position at the Iowa Lakes Corridor. My favorite is the business visits; getting to know the CEOs, learning about the businesses, the challenges they face and how far their products reach outside the Corridor region. There are some amazing businesses in the Iowa Lakes Corridor region, many of which were started by entrepreneurs.

What show/book/podcast are you currently consuming?

I'm currently reading “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown. It's a self-improvement book about embracing vulnerability and shame resilience to lead a more wholehearted life. To be a daring leader, one who is not afraid of change and new challenges, you must embrace vulnerability, recognizing it not as a form of weakness but as a willingness to acknowledge when you don't know all the answers.

How did you get involved in economic development?

IN 2008, I interviewed for a position with the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. Kathy Evert, President & CEO at the time, was knowledgeable and experienced in economic development. I knew this was going to be a rewarding opportunity, and it certainly has been.

The best advice I've ever been given is _____________.

Always look for the lessons learned in difficult times, for if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.

What do you see is a top strength of our region?

Diversity…is our regional strength! Diversity in our four different counties, all our communities, our businesses and industries, and our people and workforce.

And lastly: Pizza, Burgers, or Tacos?

None of the above…but I will take a good ribeye steak!