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Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance hosts panel to help business leaders improve and adapt

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance hosted a gathering on Wednesday to help business leaders improve and adapt.

A panel, made up of two local business presidents and one author with a national reach, offered advice. Leaders included Lura McBride, the president & CEO of Van Meter, Jon Dusek, the president of Armstrong Development, and Daniel Susskind, a critically-acclaimed author and prominent TED Talk speaker.

With the pandemic and derecho still impacting so much of eastern Iowa, some business leaders said they see lower staffing level and, in some cases, lower morale.

”Employees still need a sense of culture. Employees still look for meaning and purpose in their work,” Scott Stimart, the chief growth officer for ImOn Communications.

One of the major themes from the panel at the Eastbank Event Center had to do with bringing offices back to full capacity.

”Not bringing people back into the office and how that effects our small business owners, our coffee shops and restaurants,” Cheri Monahan, the Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust vice president.

Monahan said vacant positions or empty office buildings can have an impact far deeper than just a company’s bottom line.

”We need a vibrant community to attract workforce,” Monahan said. “So it’s all just a viscous circle, a very tentative environment that everyone has an impact on.”

After the panel, Stimart said he plans to evaluate work culture in several possible scenarios.

”Having a great company culture where people want to go to work is part of what attracts employees to your company, it’s part of what keeps them there,” Stimart said. “You have to look at how do we do that, how is that accomplished when we work remote verses when we work on-site.”

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