Ames Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration is Key to the Continued Success of Ames

January 30, 2019

The Ames Chamber of Commerce recently held the annual State of the City event, co-sponsored with the League of Women Voters. We heard from leaders of the Ames Community School District, City of Ames, Story County, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College.

As I listened to the various leaders speak about their organizations, I was extremely encouraged by what I heard. With the quality leadership demonstrated, our community is on the right path. But it is also the boards, employees and members who serve them that make these organizations so strong.

So, what makes our community so strong?

Our school district. The Ames Community School District is making great strides to ensure equitable opportunities for all students. The citizens of Ames voted for a new high school in 2018 and construction will soon be underway for a much-needed modern facility. There is a new administration in place and it seems committed to making changes to strengthen an already award-winning district.

Our city. A year ago, we had a new mayor and a few new members of the City Council. They have hit their stride and are passionate about our community. With dedicated employees and a host of volunteers on boards and commissions the City of Ames is poised for an exciting 2019. Together these people are working to address challenges and opportunities including developing a comprehensive plan for the overall growth of our community.

Our county. The members of the Story County Board of Supervisors have differing perspectives, but they always come together to find solutions to improve the quality of life in Story County. They continue to invest in infrastructure, the environment, water quality, as well as partnering with others on developing the workforce by helping people of all demographics get access to meaningful employment opportunities.

Our medical center. With the guidance of outstanding leadership, Mary Greeley Medical Center continues on their journey of quality improvement to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. The staff and volunteers are committed to the community, providing a tremendous amount of outreach and assistance. And their partnership with McFarland Clinic is a model of cooperation to be admired.

Our university. Our new president has hit the ground running as the leader of Iowa State University and the future is looking better than ever. ISU remains committed to its land grant ideals of affordable and accessible education, research and outreach. Their collaborations and partnerships can be seen throughout our community and around the state.

Our community college. As enrollment increases, Des Moines Area Community College continues to play a vital role in developing our workforce. Their innovative programs and partnerships are targeting high-demand jobs and developing highly trained workers for our community and state. DMACC is a powerful partner making significant impact in our community.

What struck me the most about the State of the Community was the immense amount of collegiality and commitment to collaboration and cooperation amongst the presenting entities. It was a great reminder that the future of our community is bigger than any one of us and that we need to work together.

We are all unique and have different roles. And we are all vital to the continued growth and vibrancy of our community. But by working together to find ways to benefit the entire community, we can make Ames/Story County an even better place to live, work and do business.

Want to make an impact? Join me at one of the upcoming public sessions on the new comprehensive plan known as Ames Plan 2040 – Grow, Live, Belong. For that plan to succeed it will need input from all facets of Ames. Those meetings will be held February 5th at the Ames Public Library at 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

It is indeed a great time to be in Ames and Story County!

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