CIRAS Networking: A New Focus in 2018

Writen by: Mike O’Donnell
CIRAS Program Manager

As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know.

Thanks to Google, online forums, and social networking sites, a lot of people will tell you that old saying is out of date. Our experience at CIRAS is that it is more true than ever. Searching the web for solutions to problems is great, but sometimes it is the personal connection that makes it real, and helps you implement real change within your business.

Every day, our CIRAS experts see one company’s biggest issue solved by another company an hour away. In fact, the need for networking has grown so much, it has been identified as a key strategy in the Governor’s Year of Manufacturing initiative.

So, in 2018, CIRAS is expanding our suite of in-person networking activities. CIRAS and our partners will offer three distinct types of networking:

Matchmaking Events: Targeted one-on-one interactions focused on creating a business relationship

Industrial Supplier Matchmaking & Networking: April 2018 (Cedar Rapids) and November 2018 (Quad Cities)

Government Contracting Matchmaking Events: TBD

Peer Networking: Focused group networking events to help you learn best practices and develop relationships

CIRAS Government Contracting Partnership and Networking – Construction (Spring 2018), Manufacturing (October 2018)

Targeted Small Business Roundtables (Dates TBD, contact Leah Barton (

Peer Groups:

Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (

Iowa Lean Consortium        (

Siouxland Lean Consortium (

ABI BizWise

LeanWise: Peer group of lean practitioners in southeast Iowa

Marketwise: Peer group of sales and marketing professionals in northeast Iowa

For more information, contact Holly Mueggenberg (

ABI Operational Excellence Roundtable

Peer group of plant managers and manufacturing executives facilitated by ABI and CIRAS

For more information, contact Kathy Anderson (

ABI CFO Roundtable

Exclusive programming for chief financial officers of ABI member companies.

For more information, contact Kathy Anderson (

Regional Networking: Informal regional activities to expand your network and build relationships

Watch CIRAS’ calendar for dates and locations!


Mike O’Donnell can be reached at or 515-509-4379.