posted in Chamber of Commerce on April 5, 2019

(Des Moines, IA) – The Waverly Main Street program and 2018 Board Chair, Heidi Solheim, were recently recognized for their outstanding achievements at the 2019 Main Street Iowa Awards.

Waverly was recognized for 30 years of program designation as a Main Street Iowa community.  Phil Jones, Current Board Chair, Paula Stevenson, Past Board Chair & current Design Committee Chair, and Chamber/Main Street Executive Director, Travis Toliver, represented the Waverly community at the awards ceremony along with Solheim.

Waverly Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Program 2018 Chair, Heidi Solheim, was presented with a distinguished Leadership Award.  Solheim served as an exceptional leader overseeing the organization’s efforts to keep Waverly businesses alive during a two-year road reconstruction project spanning two miles of Waverly’s main street, Bremer Ave.

Internally, Solheim has been instrumental with projects enhancing governance by revising the mission statement, bylaws and employee handbook – bringing policies and procedures up to date with current labor standards.

“Heidi remains an advocate for not only the Chamber/Main Street program, but the entire Waverly community and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this leadership award,” said Toliver.

Main Street Iowa hosted the 33rd annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration at Scottish Rite Consistory in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work day-in and day-out to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s 53 Main Street districts. 

This year, 19 projects were selected to be recognized from the 129 competitive nominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham and James Engle, director of IEDA’s Downtown Resource Center.

“Main Street Iowa has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in the amount of business, jobs and investment in communities of all sizes due to the program, and as a result, these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”

In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center's Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.

Since 1986, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, resulting in: 

  • The inception of 4,805 new businesses and a net gain of 14,938 jobs; 
  • More than 12,000 building projects reported, totaling a private investment of more than $1.96 billion dollars; and
  • More than 3 million hours of human capital equating to greater than $81 million dollars in time and talents according to the Independent Sector’s estimated value of a volunteer hour. 

For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa, email mainstreet@iowaeda.com  or call 515.348.6184.

A high quality of life, friendly and progressive merchants, and a college town atmosphere; this is Waverly, Iowa.