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BRENT WILLETT NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF IOWA'S "CULTIVATION CORRIDOR" INITIATIVE
Source: Greater Des Moines Partnership news release

The Greater Des Moines Partnership announced today, on behalf of Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines & Central Iowa, Brent Willett, CEcD will serve as Executive Director of the new Capital Corridor initiative. He will begin his duties on April 14, 2014.

"The opportunity to lead the efforts of the Capital Corridor initiative is a great honor," said Willett. "With the framework that is in place for a nationally-recognized brand and development engine here, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of leaders from throughout the state and region, I couldn't be more excited about contributing to the powerful momentum already underway for agricultural and bioscience development in Central Iowa."

Willett joins the Capital Corridor team after serving as the President & CEO of the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation, a regional economic development group in North Central Iowa. During his professional career, Willett helped secure more than $210 million in capital investment, assisted with the creation of more than 1,000 jobs and the retention of more than 1,200 jobs.

"We are all excited to have Brent on board," said Dr. Steven Leath, Iowa State University president and Co-Chair of the Capital Corridor. "He is deeply committed to the success of our state and will provide the results-driven leadership this effort requires."

Willett currently serves as: Immediate Past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa; Leadership Iowa Board of Governors; Iowa Chamber Alliance; Iowa Association of Business and Industry Economic Growth Committee; Mason City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Board of Advisors; Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Mission Committee and in advisory positions with several organizations. He is a past officer of the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors.

Willett is a 2009 Leadership Iowa, 2010 Institute for Organizational Management and 2011 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute graduate. He is an International Economic Development Council Certified Economic Developer [CEcD].

"Brent has a proven track record and will bring the energy that the Corridor project needs for the next phase," said Steven Zumbach, Belin McCormick, P.C. attorney and Co-Chair of the Capital Corridor. "We look forward to working with Brent in our on-going efforts to further develop and market the Corridor's world renowned ag/bioscience assets to attract companies, talent, and capital from across the globe."

A native of Davenport, Iowa and graduate of the University of Iowa, Willett and his wife Emily currently live in Mason City.

More information regarding the Capital Corridor initiative will be announced at a news conference on Monday, April 21, at 10 a.m. at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Downtown Des Moines.

Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines & Central Iowa is a five-year regional roadmap with nearly 5,000 community representatives. Today, over 500 community and business leaders have volunteered to lead the plan implementation to accomplish short and long-term economic growth throughout Central Iowa.


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