The CAE is built on collaborations. Getting here - from 2013 to 2022

Sorting files ... This is from the 4th of July, 2013 - The Dodgeville Chronicle's front page review of my economic development work in Iowa County, Wisconsin. I was blogging about this in real time back then. Those blogs morphed into the book. Now we're launching the CAE. The formula is simple. Set up the infrastructure to develop new collaborations among small enterprises. "Economic development is a relationship business."

ICAEDC celebrates four and a half years of promoting Iowa County


The Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation proved last week that it has a lot to be proud of as it released a report on the organization's successes over the past four and a half years.

The ICAEDC, a non-profit organization founded in 2008, is dedicated to creating a positive business and economic climate in Iowa County. The organization's executive director, Rick Terrien, has played an influencial role at the ICAEDC and many of their successes can be traced back to his committed work.

"Economic development is a relationship business," Terrien said. "I could not be more proud of all the wonderful relationships I've made throughout the Iowa County area."

One of most successful projects Terrien has helped with is the opening of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen. The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen is a state inspected food processing facility in Mineral Point. It is owned by Hodan Center.

"Rick and the ICAEDC have been instrumental in helping Hodan Center develop the business operations for our Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen," Tom Schraeder, executive director of Hodan Center, Inc. said.

Along with promoting a program that celebrates local foods, food entrepreneurs and local food processing, the opening of Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen has added 30 jobs.

"We feel this number will continue to rise with Rick's help," Schraeder said.

Along with an excited buzz downtown, 28 new jobs were added in Dodgeville when Bob's Bitchin' BBQ opened.

Bob Page decided to open his restaurant late last year after selling his infamous BBQ sauces at local farmer's markets.

"Iowa County Area Economic Development has been key to helping me start my new business in Iowa County," Bob Page, owner of Bob's Bitchin' BBQ said.

Bob and Judy Page were even honored by the ICAEDC with the title of Iowa County Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2012.

Another 28 new jobs are planned for the Bio-Vet plant, which will be located in the new Barneveld Business Park. Ground-breaking for the Bio-Vet plant began in May 2013.

"Rick met with us early in the process and provided valuable information, marketing and publicity for the project," Michael Peterson, former Barneveld Village President said. "Rick also brought representatives from MG&E and Alliant Energy to Barneveld. This was a great value to us because we were able to get the Business Park on both company websites, which let companies know that we have land available to develop."

Existing businesses in Iowa County have also utilized the ICAEDC to expand.

Botham Vineyards, located outside of Barneveld, recently expanded their business to include Acala Farms, which sells flavored cottonseed oils.

"As we prepared to launch a new business in an entirely new market sector, the assistance provided by Rick Terrien and the entire crew at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen provided answers to some of our toughest questions and has enabled Acala Farms to see significant growth in its first nine months of operation," Sarah Botham, co-owner of Botham Vineyards said. "Iowa County has so much business potential and the ICAEDC is integral to realizing that potential."

Because of Iowa County's potential, several growing businesses recently moved all their production operations to the county as well.

"Rick and the Iowa County EDC are valuable partners who are creating important business opportunities in Iowa County," Matt D'Amour, co-owner of Om Boys Food Movement said.

"[Rick] has a wealth of knowledge about small business start ups which he generously shared with us," Karen Fulbright-Anderson, owner and CEO of The Elegant Vegan said. "He has been an advocate and promoter of our business, even going so far as to nominate us for an award, which I'm convinced we received because he was the one who nominated us, and he is so widely respected in the field."

Both the Om Boys Food Movement and The Elegant Vegan are using the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point.

The ICAEDC even inspired one entrepreneur to follow her dream.

"I met Rick through the dislocated worker program in Iowa County as a result of me being laid off from Lands' End," Jennifer Golubiewski, owner of Sunny Slope Design Studio in Mineral Point said. "Rick was instrumental for me when my door to a better future unexpectedly opened."

After all the ICAEDC has accomplished in four and a half years, the organization hopes to continue to serve Iowa County, attract more businesses and to encourage entrepreneurs.

"Positive momentum is a valuable force," Terrien said. "There are many great new entrepreneurship and business opportunities for our area thanks to our work. The ICAEDC will continue to support and welcome businesses who want to join our positive Iowa County area economic development story."

Link to the original Dodgeville Chronicle story. Fourth of July, 2013.


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