Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa and Mrs. Claus Arrive to Christmas Wishes, Caroling

Carroll Connect Young Professionals hosted more than 250 Friday night,
serving hot chocolate and singing Christmas Carols, and the lighting of the Depot Plaza.

Christmas Carolers get the crowd in the spirit, awaiting Santa and Mrs. Claus.

More than 250 enjoyed the brisk evening, singing carols, drinking hot chocolate and posing for the camera.

The guest of honor arrives on Engine No. 1 courtesy Carroll's Finest. Santa and Mrs. Claus responded
when asked repeatedly about the reindeer, said "they don't come out until after hunting season".

Santa & Mrs. Claus address a an estimated crowd of 250 at The Depot Plaza prior to the lighting ceremony.

Following the lighting ceremony, Santa and Mrs. Claus listen to Christmas wishes of
more than 100 children in the Harold Bierl Community Room.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in Santa's Workshop:
Thursday evenings: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons:
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chart of the Week

Video shows monthly
unemployment percent changes by county:

January 2007-September 2009

To see changes in unemployment reate by county Here

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ashwood Business Park in Carroll Boasts "Virtual" Speculative Building

Carroll Area Development Corporation (CADC)and  Western Iowa Advantage (WIAD), an eight county economic development marketing partnership, announce the creation of a unique marketing tool to attract companies to Carroll County. National promotion of WIAD's Speculative Buildings begins this month.

Eighty percent of companies looking to expand or relocate seek an available building, which are scarce in Carroll County and Western Iowa right now. Speculative buildings are expensive to build and especially risky in a slow economy. Not satisfied with the concept of merely having plans on file for a potential building, CADC and WIAD developed a marketing concept around plans and "fly-through" video that locates images of a speculative building in eight industrial parks in Western Iowa. 

A "virtual" speculative building is located in Ashwood Business Park, north of Farner-Bocken Co. on Griffith Road in Carroll. Click below to see a video. Additional marketing includes national advertising targeted to decision makers and site selection consultants. On-site signage, website enhancements and a local campaign to contact companies and developers are underway. Additional Carroll County sites are being considered for the program.

See your new facility before it's built! Contact Jim Gossett, CEcD, Carroll Area Development Corporation

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Local Actor Nails JFK Accent in Re-enactment of 1959 speech

A crowd of more than 50 gathered at Holy Spirit Gymnasium in Carroll to enjoy local actor Tim Tracy's version of Senator John F. Kennedy's 1959 address to the Carroll Chamber of Commerce. Today is anniversary of that speech. Organized by Kuemper Catholic history teacher John Steffes, the program was aided by recollection of the speech by Art Neu and several attendees.

Tracy's delivery of Kennedy's speech was well received by the crowd. He took questions from the audience in his role as Kennedy. John Steffes said if you closed your eyes you wouldn't know it was not the Senator.

Click on the video below to view a portion of Tim Tracy as John F. Kennedy.

On display were several books about the 35th President and articles about his visit here 50 years ago. More is available in an article published this week in the Daily Times Herald. Many thanks to John Steffes for organizing the ceremony.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chamber Collecting Data for 2010 Carroll County Visitor Guide

If you have attractions or events in Carroll County that you would like to submit for inclusion in the 2010 Carroll County Visitor Guide email your information to We may not be able to include all information in the printed guide, but we will try to include on the Chamber's Community Calendar. Deadline to submit information is Wednesday, December 16.

Check the 2009 Visitor Guide on the Chamber's web site to see how businesses are listed in the guide. There is a fee for businesses to be included. If you would like your business listed, call the Chamber office at 712-792-4383.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carroll County Leadership Participant Named Young Soybean Leader in National Program

Matt Danner (back row, left)

Chamber member Matt Danner of Templeton Family Farms has been named by the American Soybean Association, the Iowa Association and Pioneer Hi-Bred International as 2010 ASA/Pioneer Young Leader. He has been chosen to represent Iowa in a program involving producer participants from 21 other states and Canada. The ASA/Pioneer Young Leader Program identifies soybean farmers who are innovative, assertive, "young in leadership" and looking to make their mark in agriculture. See the full story in Wallaces Farmer.

Templeton Family Farms joined the Chamber in 2009. Matt is currently participating in Carroll County Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Carroll Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations Matt!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Firemen Light-up the Downtown Preparing for Santa & Mrs. Claus

Again this year the Carroll Volunteer Fire Department replace rooftop lights in downtown Carroll. Thank you firemen for your manpower, boom trucks and ladders in preparing the downtown for the holiday season. It looks great!

Also a thank you goes out to the City of Carroll crews who put up the garland and wreaths. Your hard work is appreciated!

Everything is ready for Santa & Mrs. Claus to arrive at the Carroll Chamber of Commerce on Friday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. for the lighting of the Depot. Come early for Christmas caroling and free hot chocolate. Santa & Mrs. Claus will be on hand to visit with children at the Harold Bierl Community Room until 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Local Photograhper Donates Giclee Print

Kim Hackett, Secreteary-Treasurer of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce accepts a giclee print (photograph on canvas) from local professional photographer Stan Buman. Chamber staff is thrilled with this beautiful piece and invite the public to stop by and view this unique photo. Thank you Stan.

Stan has been doing photography for several years and more of his work can be seen at

Chamber's Leadership Development Program Continues with Board Dynamics Workshop

Six select members of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce participated in "Board Dynamics - How a Board Member Really Adds Value to an Organization" in the Harold Bierl Community Room at the Chamber today. These individuals serve on boards of non-profit organizations. The reason the Chamber conducts thistraining is two-fold: It provides added membership benefits to the non-profit organizations that belong to the Chamber; and, it strengthens the member organizations by setting expectations for volunteer board members.

Two Chamber members, New Hope Village and New Opportunities not only have participants in the two-hour workshop, but Frank Hermsen (New Hope) and Chad Jensen (New Opportunities) assisted with content and delivery.

"Chamber workshops like Board Dynamics help train board members of non-profit organizations. This is beneficial to volunteers new to a non-profit boards, and to organizations that need expert guidance on organizational leadership," said Frank Hermsen, executive director of New Hope Village.

The Chamber 's Leadership Development programs include Carroll County Leadership Institute, Connect Young Professionals, workshops and much more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chart of the Week

Leading Midwest Economist Says Iowa Economy Improves

Report for the month of October 2009

Creighton University Economics Professor
Ernest Goss delivered some welcome news this week. A leading indicator of economic growth measured by Goss' Creighton Economic Forecasting Group bucks the midwest trend in the month of October.

For a second straight month, Iowa’s Business Conditions Index bounced above growth neutral. The index, a leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers in the state, climbed to 55.5 from 52.9 in September and 48.9 in August. An index of 50.0 is considered growth neutral.

Not so for the Mid-America region however...

The October Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region, a nine-state area, slumped to 51.8 from September’s much healthier 56.2, indicating a fragile recovery, according to the latest survey results. “This month’s decline suggests that the economic recovery underway is going to be a disappointing one. In fact, the volatility and level of the overall index over the past several months, indicates that a double dip recession is a growing possibility. Downturns in farm income, in addition to legislative uncertainty in Washington, are having negative impacts on the regional economy,” Creighton University Economics Professor Ernie Goss said today.

The Creighton Economic Forecasting Group has conducted the monthly survey of supply managers in nine states since 1994 to produce leading economic indicators of the Mid-America economy. States included in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Goss' news for Iowa employment is not as sunny. Since the national recession began in December 2007, Iowa has lost 3.0 percent of its jobs with 2.9 percent of the loss occurring since October 2008. “Even though Iowa’s unemployment rate has stabilized, based on our surveys over the past several months, I expect the state’s jobless rate to climb by another 0.3 percent by the end of the year,” said Goss.

Follow these monthly reports and more from Creighton University Economics Department:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chamber Board Holds Retreat

Carroll Chamber of Commerce Board members gathered Friday in the Harold Bierl Community Room  for their annual Chamber retreat. The day long session included a preview of the Chamber's "Board Dynamics" workshop conducted by Chamber Exec. Jim Gossett, planning for 2010 led by Chamber Vice-President Rob Cordes, and LOTS of input from Board members. Much of the discussion centered around the Board's desire to continue to put Chamber members 1st in all the organization does.

While this is not a change in direction - the chamber exists to serve its members - board members are enthused about doing even more to be sure members are getting the value they need and desire from their involvement with the Chamber. Look for specific activity the board and staff will engage in through the coming months to improve the Chamber's service to its membership and the community.