Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting is the Economic Alliance's signature event where valued member businesses and regional champions come together to celebrate achievements and learn about the organization’s goals for the year ahead. 


Annual Report 2021


Featuring 2021 Keynote Speaker, Marc Williams

Marc Williams, senior vice president for Operations at FedEx Ground

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is proud to announce Marc Williams, senior vice president for Operations at FedEx Ground, as the keynote speaker for the Economic Alliance Annual Meeting on January 27, 2022.         

“Cedar Rapids’ unique geographical location makes it an ideal place for companies looking to expand or build their transportation and logistics operations,” said Doug Neumann, executive director of the Economic Alliance. “With FedEx’s major expansion of operations here, Mr. Williams has unique perspective on why our region is valued as a location for national brands and what we can do even better to spur economic growth.”

FedEx is currently building a $109 million warehouse and distribution center, which will allow FedEx Ground to expand its ground service network and provide direct support for its hub in St. Paul, MN. The new FedEx facility is part of the rapid growth in development near the Eastern Iowa Airport.

Mr. Williams began working as a package handler with FedEx Ground in 1994. Over the past 27 years, he has risen within the company to his current role where he oversees all operations in the western portion of the United States for the company.

Mr. Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky and his Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University. He is also a member of the National Black MBA Association. Mr. Williams is the recipient of multiple company awards, including the prestigious FedEx Five Star Award.

Marc resides in Union, KY with his wife and children.

Congratulations Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award Recipients!

Chris & Suzy DeWolf of Lil' Drug Store ProductsThe Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is proud to announce Chris and Suzy DeWolf, co-owners of Lil’ Drug Store Products, as the recipients of the 2021 Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award.

The DeWolfs will receive the award and provide acceptance remarks during the Economic Alliance’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex in downtown Cedar Rapids.

“Chris and Suzy DeWolf truly exemplify the values we associate with Howard Hall in every single way,” said Doug Neumann, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “They run a successful family-grown-and-owned business and clearly see the value of generously giving back to their community. In many ways, they are modern-day Howard Halls. Our region is a much better place because of the DeWolfs’ many contributions professionally and financially.”

The Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award is named for industrialist and philanthropist, Howard Hall (1894-1971), who used his influence to create a better local economy and community. Hall was dedicated to the development of the region and frequently worked behind the scenes to attract new businesses and jobs. Our community benefits from the many contributions of the Hall Family today. The Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed by the Economic Alliance. It is given to a premier business leader or couple who exemplifies the outstanding, enduring business values of Howard Hall and his passion for a vibrant Cedar Rapids. 

Chris and Suzy DeWolf are co-owners of the Lil’ Drug Store Products family of businesses, a portfolio of consumer products and retail solutions companies, and ForeFold Ventures, a family office focused on private investments and philanthropy.  Founded in 1974 to provide convenient relief to travelers, Lil’ Drug Store Products today serves approximately 180,000 retail outlets plus online customers. Lil’ Drug is the #1 supplier of name brand and private label health and beauty products, automotive needs, sunglasses, and cellular accessories to retail and wholesale outlets including convenience stores, travel centers, hotels, airports, drug stores, and others.

The DeWolfs are recognized for their extraordinary leadership in philanthropy in our region. In the past 15 years, the couple and their companies have donated more than $15 million to many local causes and projects including efforts to spur economic and community development. They also significantly contribute to the healthcare community, the arts, education, and services supporting at-risk youth and families. Chris and Suzy serve on several boards, volunteer, and encourage their employees to do the same. More information on their philanthropic work can be found here:          

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