Young professional group of Council Bluffs gains traction, elects three new board members
By: Impact CB
Impact CB, the young professional’s group of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, has just elected three new board members.
Mia Laustrup of STARS Scholarship Program, Cara Cool-Trede of Career EdVantage SWI and Rachel Schott of Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE) have all joined the board late this year for three-year terms.
The young professionals group has 111 paid members and its mission is to invite motived young professionals to advance Council Bluffs today through networking, philanthropy and development. The group currently has four committees that center around events, membership, communications and civic engagement.
Successful recent events have included an ‘Ollie Art Tour’ in partnership with the Iowa West Foundation which took young professionals on a tour of the art in Council Bluffs on Ollie the Trolley, Haunted Flashlight Tours at the Squirrel Cage Jail and an escape room night at The Cryptic Room.
“I’m very excited for the future of Impact CB. We have a very engaged board consisted of motivated young professionals that are all big-picture and forward-thinkers. We recently held a strategic planning session to redefine who we are which provided a clear focus for the impact we are going to have on advancing our community,” said Impact CB President, Kyle Gay. “The year 2020 is going to be a huge year for Impact CB. With 111 current members and growing it has never been a better time to be part of something great!”
Additionally, Impact CB just announced the details for its membership drive event which takes place annually in January. This year, the group is changing things up with a 90s theme and invites young professionals to have some child-like fun at The Hub on January 23, 2020 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event will include pizza, beer, networking, nerf guns and something called ‘knockerball’ which involves large air-filled balls that you wear to play soccer.
The cost for a membership is $30 and lasts 12 months, now with the ability to pay and manage your membership online at https://www.councilbluffsiowa.com/impact-cb.
Impact CB currently has a total of 11 board members including: Kyle Gay, Charles E. Lakin YMCA (President); Turner Morgan, The 712 Initiative; Matt Schuster, TS Prosperity Group; Ashley Flater, MICAH House; Kyle McGinn, McGinn Law Firm; Melissa Peterson, TS Banking Group and Rob Dobson, Heritage Financial Services, LLC.
To learn more about Impact CB, upcoming events or volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.councilbluffsiowa.com/impact-cb or reach out to one of our current board members.
Full new board member bios:
Mia Laustrup, STARS Scholarship Program
Mia Laustrup is the Program Director for the STARS Scholarship Program, an Iowa West Foundation Initiative supporting local nontraditional students. Mia was a STARS Scholar recipient from 2012-2014 and attributes her success to the support of the program. She is proud to give back to a program that helped her grow both personally and professionally. Mia empowers the scholars by sharing her story and encouraging them to be proud of theirs.
Prior to joining the Council Bluffs Schools Foundation as the STARS Program Director, Mia worked in cosmetology and Esthetics. While working full-time in a salon, Mia earned her bachelor’s degree in education and pursued a career in the nonprofit sector, where she found her true passion. Now, Mia is back in school working toward earning a master’s degree in project management. She is the Chair of the Communications Committee for the Human Services Advisory Council where she’s gained an understanding for community resources which has helped tremendously in her current role.
Mia is a wife and a mom of three boys: Hayden (15), Dominic (3), Denson (2). She and her family enjoy being outside, spending time with their family, and traveling.
Cara Cool-Trede, Career EdVantage SWI
Cara Cool-Trede is currently the Executive Director for Career EdVantage SWI. In her role, she oversees and facilitate all aspects of the daily operations and programming of Career EdVantage Southwest Iowa. Career EdVantage SWI, established in 2019, provides career exploration, development, internships, and full-time employment assistance for high school students of hope and need. Career EdVantage strives to changes lives by ensuring that young men and women attain the skills necessary to move into a rewarding career while filling crucial employment needs throughout Southwest Iowa.
Prior to joining Career EdVantge, Cool-Trede worked with Iowa Western for nine years. She began with Iowa Western as an Admissions Advisor and Recruiter for three years, then served as Director of Admissions for four years. Her most recent role served was Dean of Enrollment Services where she provided oversight for and managed a variety of services provided to students including financial aid, admission, enrollment, registration, and more. She also served on various college committees including evaluation and assessment of programs, strategic planning, federal grant committees and environmental scanning.
Cara is originally from Council Bluffs, Iowa and after high school, was a student-athlete at Iowa Western before transferring to the University of Iowa where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. While employed with Iowa Western, she earned her master’s degree in Managerial Communication with an emphasis in Project Management at Bellevue University. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton University. Cara and her husband live in Council Bluffs with their two children, Jack, age 5 and Frances, age 4. Brad is owner and operator of Loess Hills Landscaping and Turf.
Rachel Schott, Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE)
Rachel Schott joined Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment (PACE) in August of 2018 in the role of Marketing and Office Manager. As a resident of Council Bluffs, Rachel embraces involvement and inclusion and brings a strong sense of community pride in her current role.
Originally from San Diego, Rachel moved to the region to complete her Bachelor of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Rachel actively serves as a University of Nebraska-Lincoln vocational speaker, private contract marketer and volunteer. She has educational training in corporate administration, promotions and event planning, as well as service, sales and media management. Transitioning from Caesars Entertainment, Rachel lead execution of local and national marketing campaigns for the Mid-America Center and assisted with casino marketing of both Harrah's and Horseshoe Casinos.
When she is not working, Rachel spends most of her free time outdoors with her wife and three active dogs.