Grow Clinton shows off year of ‘progress, positivity’

CLINTON, Iowa – The inaugural annual meeting of a unified business advocacy group in this community was all about showcasing “progress and positivity.”

That’s the view of Andy Sokolovich, president and CEO of Grow Clinton, who helped host that organization’s annual meeting on a sunny, hot, windy afternoon Tuesday, June 14, at NelsonCorp Field in Clinton.

Grow Clinton
Awards were presented Tuesday, June 14, during the first annual meeting of Grow Clinton meeting. Those receiving awards, from left, include: Paula Steward, Lou Ray, Kevan Kadavy, Heather Farwell, Thalia Clement and Beth Coffey. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

More than 200 people attended the meeting to elect a new board of directors for Grow Clinton, watch as several members of the community received awards, and listen to pep talks on the importance of supporting the newly formed organization.

Mr. Sokolovich said that since Grow Clinton officially formed in March, it has been working hard to promote business growth in the entire region – not just within Clinton city limits. That’s because when businesses look to expand, they look at the overall region, not just one community.

“We are a brand and we need to be proud of that brand and support it. … No longer are we divided by zip codes. We are a region,” he added.

The Grow Clinton leader said that he hoped those attending would recognize the central message of the meeting: “It’s all about progress and positivity.”

Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion, who was among the attendees, called the formation of Grow Clinton a “big step for our business community.”

Grow Clinton was officially formed on Thursday, March 31, when members of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Clinton Regional Development Corporation (CRDC) approved a merger of their organizations, which had been in the works for nearly a year. The merger also included the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau, which was a division of the chamber.

Grow Clinton
Paula Steward and Andy Sokolovich greet the crowd on Tuesday, June 14, during the Grow Clinton annual meeting. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

During the annual meeting, the Clinton mayor also briefly discussed the upcoming Tailgate N’ Tallboys event, a three-day country music festival coming to Clinton next year.

Mr. Maddasion told the QCBJ that the Clinton festival dates have been finalized, but not yet announced. He said the concert dates are expected to be announced during the Tailgate N’ Tallboys concerts in Bloomington, Illinois, scheduled for Thursday to Saturday, June 16-18.

Tuesday’s Grow Clinton meeting also included election of the group’s board of directors. Those elected on a voice vote from the crowd are:

  • One-year term: Matt Parbs, secretary; Lou Ray; and Yari Hernandez.
  • Two-year term: Steve Clements, vice chair; Brig Tubbs; Jason Wheat; and Sean Connell.
  • Three-year term: Paula Steward, chairperson; Amy Berentes; Drew Mangler; and Scott Boehde.
  • Official board seats with representatives from: Clinton County – Tom Determann; Whiteside County – to be determined; City of Clinton – Scott Maddasion; City of Camanche – Austin Pruett; and City of Fulton – Wendy Ottens.
  • Ex-officios will be represented by: Clinton Community College – Brian Kelly; Clinton Community School District – Gary DeLacy; Camanche Community School District – Tom Parker; and River Bend Community School District – Darryl Hogue.

These awards also were presented to:

  • Paula Steward, Andy Determann Memorial Award for Outstanding Board Member.
  • Lou Ray, Julie Allesee Award for Outstanding Community Leader.
  • Dr. Kevan Kadavy, Small Businessperson of the Year.
  • Heather Farwell, Karl Schmitz Memorial Award for Outstanding Ambassador.
  • Beth Coffey and Thaila Clement, Al Wise Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteer.

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