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2024 Grinnell on the Fourth Parade Grand Marshal

Posted on 06/28/2024 at 11:16 AM

We're thrilled to announce Peggy Elliott and Martha Pinder as the 2024 Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshals. Many incredible and worthy nominations were received again this year, and we are excited to recognize Peggy and Martha for their tireless commitment to communicate, inform and highlight area happenings. 

Each year we receive many nominations to serve as the Fourth of July Grand Marshal, and this year was no exception. In a world where communication and accurate reporting are critical, we are thrilled to recognize Peggy and Martha for their commitment to keeping Grinnell and the surrounding area informed.

One nominee shares, “The Grinnell Herald-Register plays a critical role in Grinnell by informing us of important events, telling the stories of our residents, and documenting the history of our community.” The Grinnell Herald Register, owned by members of the Pinder family since 1944, is one of the community’s longest standing businesses. The sisters are no strangers to the community, devoting their lives and livelihood to sharing the community’s important news and information for decades. 

The community is invited to join Peggy and Martha as this year’s Grand Marshals at the Fourth of July parade beginning at 5 PM. Click /index.cfm?nodeID=86743&audienceID=1 to find more details about Grinnell on the Fourth. 


Martha & Peggy are pictured above with their late mother, Dorothy Pinder. 


The parade is produced by the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Ahrens Park Foundation in partnership with Grinnell Mutual, Green State Credit Union and Clarity Eyecare and Windsor Manor. Fireworks are managed by the City of Grinnell and paid for by the City’s Hotel/Motel Tax Committee.

Uniting Together: Rural, Suburban & Urban

Posted on 06/12/2024 at 3:59 PM


In case you missed it, our President & CEO Rachael Kinnick attended the Greater Des Moines Partnership's DMDC fly-in back in May along with a few others from our community.


Much of our organization's work is spent strengthening the local Grinnell community right here in our five square miles. But we also work with other communities in the Central Iowa region. Our Chamber of Commerce is a regional affiliate of the Greater Des Moines Partnership (GDMP) and we work with them and their 23 affiliate chambers of commerce towards a common goal of strengthening central Iowa as a great place to do business and raise families.


While many of GDMP's members are located in metro areas and are advocating heavily for their communities, we take the time to advocate on behalf of Grinnell and rural Iowa. This year, GDMP is working to launch initiatives that better support and connect rural, suburban and urban, and we are thrilled to be part of that work to better connect our community and its businesses with others. With so much of rural Iowa beginning to see economic downturns, many federal programs are instrumental for continued community development in these places.


Not only did we have the chance to talk with our elected delegation and their staff about a number of issues which are critical to the continued growth and vibrancy of Grinnell, but we were able to network with nearly 200 business and industry leaders from the Central Iowa region. We were inspired by the support and encouragement from our peers and are excited to work with them in the coming months as we continue to strengthen many newfound relationships.


As a chamber of commerce, we spend much of our time collaborating with others. Not only in our community, but within our region to continue building rural, suburban and urban relationships in an effort to make Grinnell and Central Iowa a great place to live, learn, work and play.

Water Improvements in Process

Posted on 05/01/2024 at 11:58 AM

Many of you will recall that a little over a year ago, the Build a Better Grinnell project surveyed community members in an effort to better understand some of the key issues community members believe to be most critical to the Grinnell community. Seven top responses were identified, and while there will be more information coming soon about each of those, one of the key issues Grinnellians noted was improving drinking water quality. At the time of the information gathering and its subsequent release, the City was already in the process of designing a new water treatment plant to help address the issue. 


Much progress has been made since that time, and as you can imagine, projects like these take a significant amount of legwork to structure, design and develop - not to mention time and money. The city just recently completed the 95% design meeting with project developers, indicating components of the project will soon be put to bid and visible progress will soon be made. You can read more about the status of all the water improvement projects in a recent update on the city's website HERE.


The city was also recently notified they are the recipient of a federal grant through the Community Project Funding process, secured by Congresswoman Hinson, to help fund the efforts. This earmark will provide $3M towards the scope of the project. Additionally, the City has applied for state revolving funds (SRF) and are exploring other funding options that could also be used toward the project's completion. 


I encourage community members to follow along with the Grinnell Herald Register as they provide regular and in-depth updates on this important community project. And in case you missed it, the Chamber Ambassadors visited the City of Grinnell's Water Treatment Plant over spring break (thus the smaller group photo!) to learn more about the progress being made on these efforts to address the water system(s) in the community. You can read more about that visit and find some of the photos HERE

Learning From The Next Generation

Posted on 04/05/2024 at 10:39 AM


Our team had the pleasure of attending Grinnell High School's Reverse Career Fair this week. It was an opportunity for us and our business community to visit with the Career and Technical Education students and see what they've been learning in class and how these skills can help them in a future internship or career. There were over 30 different classes represented by 50+ students from all four grades. 


From business to ag science, culinary to manufacturing, robotics to theater and more, each student we talked with shared their successes and challenges in what they've learned this school year. Our team was impressed by the student's communication skills and their passion for sharing what they learned, and we even learned a thing or two! Some key skills they've developed include; project management, problem solving, teamwork, communication, time management, public speaking and so much more. The CTE program plans to do this again next year and we strongly encourage anyone interested to attend.


Hats off to Amy Skouson, Ashley Wolfe, Jerry Hulsing, Sam Watts and the rest of the GHS faculty and staff for their hard work in preparing Grinnell students for the future. We appreciate your dedication and thank you for the opportunity to visit with students. And to all the students that participated, thank you for sharing your passion and experiences with us. We can't wait to see what you do next!

Unlocking Success Together

Posted on 03/01/2024 at 1:15 PM

We strongly believe in regional collaboration and we also believe in tapping into resources outside of our own community, when possible. We were proud to host team members of the Iowa Economic Development Authority/Iowa Finance Authority in Grinnell yesterday. Joined by Director Debi Durham and Main Street Director, Michael Wagler for a morning visit, we spent a quick visit touring them through the community. We used the opportunity to not only thank them for the investments the State of Iowa has had in recent projects in Grinnell, but to also ask for continued support and assistance for future projects. 


The department oversees an incredible number of programs and initiatives including economic development, housing, tourism, downtown resource center and several others. We were able to share some progress of their most recent financial commitments to Grinnell in action. A few of those included the completion of the second round downtown facade project, the Grinnell Historical Museum - which was recently awarded a $200,000 CAT grant, several housing projects including the now-completed Reserves at South Lake (nearest WalMart), a downtown building rehabilitation project for the School of Music, and concluded with a visit to the UnityPoint Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center's OB department who was recently awarded $600,000 through a CDBG program. 


Our office and many of our partners are constantly looking into opportunities - whether grants or loans - that may help move projects and businesses forward in our community, and we feel fortunate to have partners at IEDA who are willing to engage and assist us along the way. We can't wait to have them visit again soon as we more projects come to fruition! 

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