Be Informed. Get Involved. Stay Connected.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Welcome Newcomers! 

Thank to the many who visited our table last night at the Montezuma Business Expo!  And thank you to the Montezuma Community Boosters for sponsoring another great event in our community. 
We have several folks signed up to volunteer for our community beautification efforts this spring and summer, but the more we have, the more we share in all the fun!  Dates will soon be announced for spring planting and rosters will be put together for watering and maintenance.  Several groups and organizations have also expressed interest to adopt our city's gateways and other landscaped areas this year.  Don't forget to check with your people and get back to us at MCD.  We need your support to make this a more attractive community and better place to live. There is even a rumor that plans for a new community garden are underway.  Green thumbs unite! 
For more information or to provide updates on your recruiting efforts, give us a call at the MCD office, 641-623-7600, or feel free to drop an email to us at  Get Involved!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bates Named as MCD Interim Director

The Board of Directors for Montezuma Community Development Corporation has named Derek Bates as the Interim Director for the organization.  The appointment began this week following the resignation of Terence Blain announced at the end of February.  Blain will remain in his post until March 29, and will be working with Bates during the transition.  Bates will officially take the helm on April 1. 

Bates is a 2004 graduate of Montezuma High School and a 2008 graduate of Grinnell College.  He is one of two creative minds behind Simone's Cuppa, a local coffee shop enterprise that opened downtown in 2011.  Derek is very involved in the community and serves on the Certified Local Government.  The CLG Program is a preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the grass roots level.  Montezuma’s CLG was instrumental in providing the support and research needed to nominate Montezuma’s historic downtown as National Historic District, of which Bates was a part. 

Bates will be working with the board of directors while sustaining the efforts of the organization and working to implement strategies to better the community.  This includes an amplified community beautification project this spring and summer, a new community event, and working with downtown stakeholders on the hopeful fa├žade project that is pending a grant from the state.  The board will take the next several months to make long range plans on how to grow the effort and make decisions about how to move forward with a permanent staff position. 
For questions regarding the transition, please contact the MCD office at 641-623-7600 or speak with a member of the board.  Board members are Aaron McCaslen, Joel Kercheval, Christy McCaslen, Jo Ahrens, Andrea Martin, Charlie Sheets and Clayton Hjelmland. 

County Seat Market Fair
Begins Memorial Day Weekend

A newly organized Main Street event under the umbrella of Montezuma Community Development will be launching on Friday, May 24.  A group comprised of local growers, food producers and arts and crafts enthusiasts has joined ranks to spearhead the summer event which will provide a combination of a traditional farmers market with area crafters and live music.  Following the Memorial Day start, the Market Fair will run the first and third Friday during the months of June through August.  The season will conclude on Labor Day weekend, Friday, August 30.  There will be 8-events from 4-7 p.m. throughout the season.
The planning committee is seeking vendors.  The $50 seasonal vendor fee will support event planning, promotion and funding for future community development projects.  Prorated season fees may be considered based on available space.  Vendors should supply their own table, tent, and electricity if needed.  Vendors selling potentially hazardous foods will need to show their state license to do so.  Prepared foods and baked items should list ingredients and possible allergens. The committee is also seeking business or corporate sponsors for entertainment, and organizations who would like to adopt an event for a cookout or meal as a local fundraiser. 
Please contact the MCD office for more information, 641-623-7600.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Stop Now!
A Letter from Terence Blain, Executive Director
On Thursday, February 28th, the Board of Directors of Montezuma Community Development accepted my resignation as Executive Director of the organization.  This news has traveled quickly appearing in the newspaper, discussion at around the coffee table and online.  I wanted to take a moment to provide words of explanation and encouragement as I hope Montezuma will continue to look ahead.
I had no idea what was on the horizon for me when I returned to my hometown late in 2011.  But somewhere along the line (perhaps it was a secret ingredient in my cheesecake), I was soon appointed into a unique role in the community with great responsibility.  It has been my pleasure to serve in this capacity leading the MCD organization.  Many things have been accomplished and many things are beginning to take shape as the community is starting to unify their vision and forge the important partnerships necessary for the future of our town.  The list of accomplishments from our first year is long, and much of it has been realized because of the dedication and efforts of many in our community who have risen to this challenge.  I want to personally thank the City of Montezuma, Montezuma Light & Power, Montezuma Community Boosters, Poweshiek Iowa Development, our local businesses and industry, civic organizations, private contributors, and countless hours of volunteerism that have gone into laying the ground work for local community development.  I also want to thank our board of directors for their support this past year. 
Be Informed.  Get Involved.  Stay Connected.  This has been our tag line and the message I have tried to communicate consistently since our liftoff.  You want something for your community, go get it.  No one will do this for you - not a new director, not a single benefactor, not someone with a magic wand or fairy dust.  Everyone must do their part in their own way to make it happen.  Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for someone else to do it for you, well, I hope you like sitting. 
So what's next for Montezuma Community Development?  I have implored upon our board of directors to jump on finding a replacement as soon as possible.  I have also provided several succession planning tools to provide for a smooth transition.  My advice?  Don't stop now! 
So what's next for Terence?  Next month I am returning to Chicago where I have spent nearly one-third of my life.  I consider the Second City my second hometown.  Right now I am looking at some other career opportunities, but also very excited to reunite with my network of friends and colleagues there.  I have no regrets for making the return to Montezuma, and I believe that for everything there is a season and purpose.  Even though it was for a short time, I'm certain this is where I was destined to be.  My life's motto is that wherever I go, make a difference.  I again thank all of you that have been a part of helping me live this out over the past 16 months. 
I look forward to hearing about and seeing continued progress in Montezuma.  My best to you as you look ahead to a bright future.  Thank you for all that you do to make this a great place for your community. 
                                                                                    - Terence Blain