Ask Kevin Platz, CEO of the Cedar Rapids Area Association of REALTORS about the value of being a Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance member, and he’ll share a long list. “The CR Area Association of Realtors has probably been a member for at least 70 years, back when it was the Chamber of Commerce, because they work on community and economic development and workforce issues. Today, we have a symbiotic relationship with the Economic Alliance because their efforts to grow the community help our organization. The more businesses and people that move here, the more real estate is bought and sold.”
That is an obvious benefit. But Platz also feels a significant benefit is the Economic Alliance’s legislative efforts. “We can’t all get to Des Moines to make sure legislation is passed that is pro-business or that legislation is stopped that is not pro-business. But the EA’s public policy strategist is well-known and well-connected in the statehouse. This is an important benefit that most members don’t realize.”
As a past staff member of the Chamber, he had a consistent piece of advice for members. “You get out of it what you put into it and I compared it to being like a business insurance policy. If the Economic Alliance continues to be successful at what it’s supposed to do, the community will thrive. Being a member is an investment in the community.”
Platz has put these words of advice into action by serving on the Business Support Innovation Council. He enjoys strategic thinking, planning and working with the Economic Alliance staff and other council members. He is also a past graduate of the Leadership for Five Seasons program and recommends applying for this program because of the educational aspects and the lifelong friendships and colleagues he’s made.
“Put membership into your budget because it is so important to support this organization that helps foster, expand and recruit workforce to our area. Get involved if you can and understand that the Economic Alliance is working on your behalf. It is important for all businesses to be a member at whatever level they can afford. I never thought of not renewing our membership.”
Ready to become a member? Contact Anne Laugen at email@example.com.