The Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA) is the professional association for the restaurant and retail beverage industry in Iowa. The IRA works to represent, promote, protect, educate and advocate for the industry as a whole.
Expertise: Creation of rural restaurant business and marketing models
CO.STARTERS® helps communities build vibrant ecosystems by equipping them with the best tools and resources needed to support starters of all kinds. By providing the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn business ideas into action, they harness the power of a community to create a strong startup culture.
Expertise: Workforce Development programs, entrepreneurial business models and incentive programs
Just Place is a non-profit that broadcasts stories of overlooked and misrepresented communities where American ingenuity and innovation are in revival. Just Place amplifies the stories of that revival – happening in communities all across the country, and pushes the conversation further toward what’s needed to build better places.
Expertise: Rural storytelling, marketing, communications plans and photography
PPM Consultants is an environmental and engineering consulting firm. PPM has extensive experience assisting local government and non-profit groups in identifying and preparing grant applications for redevelopment projects, master planning, and project planning.
Expertise: Brownfields redevelopment
Kading Properties, LLC is a family-owned property management company and has been serving clients since the mid-1970s. Their mission is to provide comfortable, safe, and affordable housing to our residents as well as have a positive impact in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Expertise: Housing
ATI Group was formed with one mission in mind—Creating community through residential and commercial real estate development. With ambition, teamwork, and integrity as their guiding principles, ATI Group is a trusted real estate developer throughout Iowa.
Expertise: Housing and real estate development
Levi Architecture is a creative, full-service architecture firm focused on providing outstanding customer service, innovative, and sustainable design solutions with a team approach.
Expertise: Child Care expansion and business planning including proforma, program design, site evaluation and building design. 

Individual Experts

Theo Ramsey
Co-Owner of Ramsey’s Grocery & Ace Hardware in Lenox, IA
Expertise: Rural grocery and small business ownership
Geoff Wood
Founder of Gravitate Coworking in Des Moines, IA
Expertise: Co-Working spaces and networks
Rob Taylor
Owner of Honey Hill Event Center in Osceola, IA
Expertise: Rural distillery business models
Greg Wright
Executive Director of CREATE Portage County
Expertise: Rural public art and economic development plans
Dan Levi
AIA Principal Architect with Levi Architecture in Cedar Falls, IA
Expertise: Full architecture design services, child care design
Mike Lauer
Expertise: Broadband and high-speed internet
Steve Gilbert
Co-Founder/Owner of Rural Housing 360
Expertise: Rural Housing
Liz Lidgett
Owner of Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design in Des Moines, IA
Expertise: Public murals, art programs and curation
Kagan Coughlin
Co-Founder of Base Camp Coding Academy in Water Valley, MS
Expertise: Makerspace and program development
Mary Janssen
Consultant with Levi Architecture in Cedar Falls, IA
Expertise: Child Care Business planning and program building