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Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: 2021 PACE Alliance

PACE 2021

November 4, 2021

Chamber Name + Website

Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance

Elected leader for 2021

Mark Putnam, president Central College and chair of the board for PACE Alliance

Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber

Karen Eischen, executive director

Number of Members

315 membersPella, Iowa

How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?

Businesses and organizations can visit the “join the PACE Alliance tab at pella.org, email info@pella.org or call our office at (641) 628-2626.

What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?

Colleges and universities often serve as anchor institutions for the surrounding community. We are uniquely positioned to assist in convening community, civic and business leaders and can often provide resources such as faculty and staff expertise and volunteer support, as well as space for various events and activities. So as president of Central College, it was a natural fit for me to be actively involved in the Pella Area Community and Economic (PACE) Alliance.

What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?

The PACE Alliance collaborates with our members to leverage talents and resources within our community to identify needs then create innovative programs, initiatives and strategies that support employers and employees in reaching their highest potential.

What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?

Our biggest accomplishment revolves around laying the groundwork for two strategies around workforce recruitment — placemaking and targeted digital marketing. The first was setting up a 501C3 to raise funds for placemaking in our downtown convert existing underutilized spaces into gathering/performance spaces, add artwork/murals and create additional experiences in Pella during the Christmas holiday season. The second was creating three videos geared toward young professionals (career opportunities, lifestyle and amenities in Pella) that our members can all use in their recruitment efforts and PACE can use in upcoming digital marketing programs.Pella Community

What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year?

We look forward to implementing the placemaking plans developed over the last year, which will add gathering spaces, artwork and murals around downtown, as well as continuing to add experiential amenities to the community. We are also excited about a county collaboration between the PACE Alliance, Knoxville Chamber and Marion County Economic Development to develop a program for business owners to create their succession plans for a well thought-out future and a business pitch event for entrepreneurs.

What Partnership Tools/Resources Have Been Most Beneficial to Your Chamber Members?

The Partnership’s educational events offer our members of any size opportunities to learn strategies, tools or techniques to challenges that face all companies. In addition, the events also provide an opportunity to network with other business owners who share common challenges and can help each other work through issues.

What Are Your Upcoming Events?

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the fourth largest regional Chamber of Commerce in the nation. Learn more about Partnership Affiliate Chambers, browse the Membership Directory and read additional Affiliate Chamber spotlights.

Karen Eischen

Karen Eischen is Executive Director of the Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance. To make Pella THE best place to call home, Karen works with individuals and companies to shape their ideas into reality, find land for new and expanding businesses or creates smooth transitions for new residents.