Transformational Project Spotlights
Jeff Kolb, Executive Director
Butler-Grundy Development Alliance
Jeff has been the sole staff person since the non-profit organization (Butler County Development Corp.) was formed in 2001. In 2017, the organization merged with the Grundy County Development Alliance, and now serve both counties. A new strategic plan was adopted, along with the new name.
Jeff completed the Heartland Economic Development Course in 2003. As the lead economic development organization, Jeff has been involved with several industrial expansion and recruitment projects over the past 18 years and assists city leaders in the two-county region with community development-related projects. Most recently, Jeff was instrumental in bringing the partners together for the development of a new rail industrial park, Butler Logistics Park.
Kolb has also been very active in the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership, where he served as the first chairperson for the six-county marketing region. Prior to his economic development career, Jeff had spent 15 years on air in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls radio market. Mr. Kolb is a very active community volunteer, serving in the past on City Council, and continues to serve as a longtime volunteer on the fire department and the EMS service.
John Panning, President
Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Inc.
John Panning is owner and president of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd. of Lake City, Iowa, where he has worked since 1984. John is responsible for the artistic direction of the 18-person firm, working with each client to conceive and design their custom-built pipe organ.
A native of Wisconsin, John has held elected office in the American Institute of Organbuilders, the International Society of Organbuilders, and the Organ Historical Society. The Dobson firm, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024, has served as president of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America. Dobson organs can be found in 28 states, the District of Columbia, and England, with an organ for Sydney, Australia currently under construction. The firm suffered a catastrophic fire in 2021 but has continued its operations in interim facilities and is currently building a new workshop on the site of its old one, on the northeast corner of Lake City's historic Square.
Frank Huseman, Operations Manager
Frank has had a long and successful career in the agricultural industry. He was born on a grain and livestock farm near Aurelia, Iowa, and he graduated from Aurelia High School. Frank earned an Applied Science Degree in Feed & Fertilizer Marketing from Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
In 1982, Frank began his career at the Farmers Cooperative in Everly, Iowa, where he started as a custom fertilizer applicator. Over the course of the past 40 years, he has held various positions within the cooperative system, including roles in operations, location management, region management, and general management positions.
Frank joined NEW Cooperative in 2001. During his tenure at NEW Cooperative, he has served as a location manager for one of NEW's country locations, a region manager overseeing daily operations for multiple locations, and an operations manager responsible for overseeing the daily activities of NEW's country operations.
Currently, Frank is serving as project development manager at NEW Cooperative. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing new construction projects and expansions for the company, which shows his continued commitment to advancing the cooperative's operations and facilities.