Letter from the Director
I am fully and officially ready for this legislative session to be over with. Although we do not have any legislative actions on the table that would cost money, this year it has been a long battle just to get a bill on the floor that would provide a consistent definition for billing. I have spent many hours at the capital and we are fortunate to have many Senators and Representatives that are strong advocates for our industry. By the time you read this the session should be over as it is anticipated to close by Saturday the 27th.
I and our board of directors are continuing to aggressively work on earning enough money to purchase, renovate and relocate to the new building. On March 3rd, 4th & 5th I was in Washington DC and met with staff from Senator Harkin's office to submit a federal assistance request. Although the request was large, the staff took a lot of time meeting with me and discussing the project and exactly how dollars, if awarded would be spent. I have been told that the request meets all of the necessary definitions and will be included in proposed legislation. If it makes the "mark up" (The process by which congressional committees and subcommittees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation) in June it will have a strong chance of being funded. We have received the appraisal on both the new building and this building to we can continue with the planning process. As I told everyone in the staff meetings if you want to buy this building we can make you a great deal. On a serious note if you know of any company interested have them call us and we are happy to coordinate showing them the property. What this building lacks for us is sometimes perfect for a different business. The proximity to the interstate, the parking and warehouse space along with the loading docks make this a great location for a company that may not be serving the number of people we do, but a company that needs a large and open space. We are waiting to hear back on a $100,000 request that I presented to the Des Moines Community Foundation and we have about 30 requests being considered at this time by corporations, individuals and foundations. Renate Shotwell has put in an incredible amount of time and energy working on grant requests and she has made a huge impact on this project. Thanks Renate.
In addition to the budget it is the time that we start reviewing the employee handbook and propose any necessary changes for the board to review. If you have any thoughts about items in the handbook or items you would like to have considered for the handbook please let me know as soon as possible. You can e-mail me at email@example.com or give me a call. The board of directors (we have a 19 member board) is also working on nominations for new members as well as identifying and presenting a slate of officers. That vote will actually occur in May. I think all of us will be more than ready to see the grass green up and leaves back on trees.
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