It’s that time of year again – time for the State of the Union, the State of the State, and earlier this month the Ames Chamber of Commerce co-hosted the State of the City.
The annual State of the City event, co-sponsored with the League of Women Voters, is a great window into our community. We heard from leaders of the Ames Community School District, City of Ames, Story County, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College. (If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to visit www.youtube.com/OfficialACSD to view the full recording.)
As I listened to the various leaders speak about their organizations, I was extremely encouraged by what I heard. With the quality leadership demonstrated, our community is on the right path. But it is also the boards, employees and members who serve them that make these organizations so strong.
So, what makes our community so strong?
Our school district. The Ames Community School District is making great strides to ensure equitable opportunities for all students. The upcoming bond referendum provides the opportunity to complete the upgrade of its facilities to better serve the increasing enrollment. I have full faith that our children’s education is in great hands.
Our city. With a new mayor, passionate council members and dedicated employees, the City of Ames is poised for an exciting year. Together they are working to address challenges and opportunities including developing a comprehensive plan for the overall growth of our community. The city is also working hard to better serve its residents through enhanced CyRide routes, the extension of Grand Avenue, and the planned healthy life center.
Our county. The members of the Story County Board of Supervisors have differing perspectives, but they always come together to find solutions to improve the quality of life in Story County. They continue to invest in the environment, water quality, developing the workforce and surrounding counties, as well as increasing access to mental health services through a new crisis care center. This is a much-needed resource in our community and I am encouraged by their action.
Our medical center. With the guidance of outstanding leadership, Mary Greeley Medical Center continues on their journey of quality improvement to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. The staff and volunteers are committed to the community, providing a tremendous amount of outreach and assistance. And their partnership with McFarland Clinic will actively reduce the likelihood of getting sick or injured.
Our university. A new president is at the helm of Iowa State University and the future is looking better than ever. ISU remains committed to its land grant ideals of affordable and accessible education, research and outreach. Their collaborations and partnerships can be seen throughout the community.
Our community college. As enrollment increases, Des Moines Area Community College continues to play a vital role in developing our workforce. Their innovative programs and partnerships are targeting high-demand jobs and developing highly trained workers for our community and state. I look forward to seeing what’s next for this growing community college.
When I reflect back, what stands out to me is the high level of collaboration that exists between these organizations and our entire community. It’s a great reminder that the future of our community is bigger than any one of us.
We are all unique and have different roles. And we are all vital to the continued growth and vibrancy of our community. But by working together to find ways to benefit the entire community, we can make Ames an even better place to live, work and do business.
-Dan Culhane, President & CEO