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Van Meter Inc. Cares A Lot About Local

March 21, 2024 | Business Support, Buy 319

Van Meter Team

Last year, the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance launched the BUY 319 campaign to promote supporting local amongst the business community. The success of this program was made possible by our highly-engaged, loyal members. Van Meter – one of the corridor’s largest employers – was one of the first to get on board. But in fact, buying local has long been a part of the company’s culture.

“It is important for us to take care of our community through a lot of volunteer outreach and we also do that through supporting local businesses,” says Danielle Monthei, Community Impact Manager. “We are really passionate about this initiative. A lot of times, organizations look at their processes, and people may assume that using convenience or e-commerce is better. For Van Meter, it is about the relationships.”

And that comes down to the details of doing day-to-day business. Office supplies, cleaning services, vehicle maintenance, company apparel – even company lunches.

Kristi Kothenbeutel, First Impressions Team Member explains. “We often hold internal meetings here at the corporate office in Cedar Rapids and most of these meetings we serve lunch. We call our local vendors and businesses to deliver and our list continues to grow.”

This culture of supporting local businesses extends beyond the corporate office in Cedar Rapids. Why? Because personal relationships matter.

“Face to face business relationships are rewarding as well as profitable for both parties. We get referrals from our vendors and we give them right back. It shows we all care about our communities. We have a Community Impact committee which is constantly involved in the effort to support local events and charities. We do this with either employee-owners’ time or financial support to reach the needs in the community.”

Van Meter’s commitment to community comes from the top. Lura McBride, President & CEO , was named the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award. In her acceptance speech at the Annual Meeting on January 18th, 2024, McBride kept a constant phrase in her speech – “We care a lot.”. And it’s true, this organization does care a lot, and that passion rings through as they support the 319 and beyond.

To learn more about how you can support Buy319, take the pledge and make the change, go to