1944 - Initial Founding
On June 22, 1944, the Ames Chamber of Commerce was formed as a non-profit organization. The original mission statement was to “promote cooperation in all matters of interest to the business and professional men of the Ames community; to develop an increased civic interest; to create and maintain higher standards in business dealings; to correct trade abuses; to compile and distribute information to its members for their benefit; to aid and protect its members and to do all things as are properly within the scope of such an association for the welfare of its members and its community."
1949 – First Location in Downtown Ames
Upon its initial opening, The Ames Chamber of Commerce operated out of this brick building, pictured in 1949 on Kellogg in Downtown Ames. Between 1949 and today, the Ames Chamber of Commerce has moved multiple times in and out of the Downtown district.
1955-1958 – New Signs, Straw Hat Day, Annual Awards Photos
Between 1955 and 1958, the Ames Chamber of Commerce was handling numerous projects and supporting the community. Pictured on the left is a 1955 sign sponsored by the Ames Chamber of Commerce. Bill Faust, acting President, is pictured in the middle photo in 1958 with colleagues participating in an event called Straw Hat Day. On the right, a photo from the 1955 Annual Awards event shows how this signature event has been an integral part of the Ames Chamber of Commerce since the very beginning.
1960s – Adapting to Growth
In the 60s, some of the unique issues that the Ames Chamber of Commerce were focused on were student housing for Iowa State University students and an ongoing shoplifting problem that was booming throughout the country.
1970 – Program Work and Committee Structure
The Ames Chamber of Commerce noted 12 different focus areas in the 1970s, including Civic Affairs, Legislative Action, Cyclone Country Ambassadors, Commerce Committee, and many more. Some of the specific special projects underway at this time were the International Flying Farmers and Municipal Urban Renewal projects.
1987 – Iowa State University Research Park Opens
In the late 80s, the Ames Chamber of Commerce and the Ames Economic Development Commission devoted a large portion of their efforts towards the upcoming Iowa State University Research Park. Dedicated to the technology industry, this development has vastly expanded the economic development of the community since it first opened in 1987.