Main Street Iowa Development Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements

posted in Chamber of Commerce on May 4, 2022

April 22, 2022 (Des Moines) - Main Street Iowa hosted the annual Main Street Iowa Development Awards celebration at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work tirelessly 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, Waverly volunteer Don Meyer, received the Governor’s Leadership Award for his time as the 2020 and 2021 board chair for the Waverly Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Program. “The Leadership Award recognition from the Main Street Iowa program made my heart glad, mostly because I share it with our dedicated Waverly board of directors, our terrific staff and our committed volunteers,” Meyer said. “Their can-do attitude and love for making Waverly a better place during my two years of leadership deserves this kind of recognition.  Now the whole state of Iowa knows what great things we do in Waverly!” 

Accompanying Meyer during the event was Executive Director, Travis Toliver. “Having Don as our chair during such an unprecedented time in our history was a true blessing. He and our board members were exceptionally supportive of our team’s many efforts to keep businesses informed and assisted during the shutdown of 2020 and well into 2021,” said Toliver.

In addition, Toliver was one of 53 Main Street Directors who received the 2022 Spirit of Main Street Award, for his work in helping to lead Waverly’s Main Street Program and staff during the pandemic. “I’m honored to be accepting this award on behalf of our team who dedicated countless hours of hard work at every turn throughout the pandemic”, Toliver said. “We were and continue to be dedicated to our local businesses who are the backbone and heart of our community.”

Governor Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham, Executive Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority, presented the honors.

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

“Main Street is grassroots economic development,” said Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “It is inspiring to witness the impactful work of local Main Street program staff, volunteers, and community partners.”

In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted Main Street America’s Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the IEDA. Since then, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, including 5,237 new businesses, 15,759 jobs and more than 13,000 building projects totaling more than $2.4 billion in private investment.

For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit iowaeda.com/downtown-resource-center/, email Michael.Wagler@iowaeda.com or call 515.348.6184.

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