Leadership Notes

Welcome to the Iowa West Foundation. The purpose of this website is to share ideas as we work together to transform our community. Through this blog I’ll share my thoughts and ideas and invite your feedback. Please check back frequently. Your thoughts are important to me, and to creating the community we all envision.

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Call for Support of Fieldhouse/Hotel Project

April 18, 2016

The City Council voted at last Monday’s City Council Meeting to postpone the Fieldhouse/Hotel Project at the Mid-America Center so that they could receive additional public input. The developer of this project is an L.L.C. created by the Iowa West Foundation. Approximately five years ago, Iowa West hired two companies to conduct surveys of the […]

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The Foundation’s Role in Responsibility

April 11, 2016

“With great power comes great responsibility.” This adage comes to mind because I was recently asked: “Isn’t your job just to give away money?” Well, yes and no. Yes, our primary “job,” is to award funding three times per year. But along with that comes the responsibility to be good stewards of our investments all […]

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New tenants will bring vibrancy to the MAC

November 17, 2015

Since the opening of the Mid-America Center and surrounding plaza, the hope was that the area would be bustling with shoppers and diners, both from Council Bluffs and Omaha, as well as visitors from across the region and country. Unfortunately, the development that the community desired never materialized. The empty storefronts and limited activity have […]

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Election Key to Progress in CB

October 30, 2015

For more than 20 years, the Iowa West Foundation has worked with the City of Council Bluffs to bring about transformational revitalization projects to our community. One need not look far to see the impact this powerful partnership has made on the citizens of the city. From Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park where Loessfest draws […]

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Why the Riverfront?

August 5, 2015

Before the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge was even built, it was referred to as “the bridge to nowhere.” Harsh, but somewhat true as the Iowa side of the Missouri River lacked development, usable space and any sort of draw for people to go there. Simply put, the same can no longer be said. Council Bluffs’ […]

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2014: Year in Review

July 9, 2015

In 2014, the Iowa West Foundation awarded just over $20 million in grants and initiatives to more than 69 nonprofits and government entities. These programs and projects benefit eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa communities, largely Pottawattamie County and Council Bluffs. I invite you to read the 2014 Annual Report to learn more about the wide range of […]

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The difference between Grants and Initiatives

June 10, 2015

For years, the Iowa West Foundation has been known as a “Grantmaking” organization. Since 1994, we have awarded approximately $320 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofits in communities throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. In the past few years, in addition to awarding grants, we’ve begun to invest in what we call “initiatives.” These […]

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Housing Strategy and Priority Projects

April 16, 2015

In preparation for creating a new strategic plan in 2013, the Iowa West Foundation engaged in a series of listening sessions in the community. Housing emerged as a major theme of these discussions. The final report from these sessions states: Housing was a huge issue, manifesting as a need for quality housing across all price […]

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What is Placemaking?

March 20, 2015

The American Planning Association recently named Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs one of its 10 national “Great Places in America” for 2014. It’s a high honor, but it begs the question, what makes a place a “great place?” Is it the location and the physical attributes? Or is it the feeling you get when you’re […]

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OUR VISION is a community where families choose to live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its quality of life and standard of living.


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