From October 2-4, a delegation of 29 Ames, Iowa, businesspeople, government officials and university leaders visited Bloomington for Inter-City Visit 2018. They attended panel discussions on topics like startup and entrepreneur culture in Bloomington, mixed-used redevelopment and economic diversity, and quality-of-life improvements.
Amy Howard, vice president of finance and operations at the Ames Chamber of Commerce, said the visiting delegation and leaders from the host community discuss challenges and opportunities their communities are facing.
“The visit provides an opportunity for interaction among city leaders and facilitates the exchange of best practices and lessons learned,” she said.
Howard said the decision to visit Bloomington was based on several criteria.
“Bloomington, like Ames, is a college town, and moreover four members of the Ames Economic Development Commission (AEDC) have ties to Bloomington. Daniel Oh, the AEDC board chair, is originally from Bloomington and still has business interests here. He compares Ames to what Bloomington was like 20 years ago or so.”
Kirk White, assistant vice president for strategic partnerships at Indiana University’s Office of the Vice President for Engagement, facilitated a panel discussion titled “University/Community Relationships” on the final day of the visit. Panelists included Julie Bauters, assistant vice provost, auxiliary business services administration; Edward Comentale, associate vice provost, arts and humanities; David Daleke, vice provost, graduate education and health sciences, and associate dean, University Graduate School; and Ben Hunter, interim associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance and superintendent for public safety.