Q2030 Organizes New 501(c)3 Organization

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April 8, 2021
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Based upon feedback gained during its mid-course review, Q2030 co-chairs today announced the creation of a new 501(c)3 stand-alone organization that provides a new sustainable model for Q2030 governance and funding. The new organization includes a diverse board representing the business, government, nonprofit and education sectors within the Quad Cities. In addition, the first four champion organizations – Quad Cities Chamber, Quad Cities Community Foundation, United Way Quad Cities and Visit Quad Cities – have strengthened their partnership with Q2030 by committing to align their work with the vision and support the initiative. A search for an executive director to lead the Q2030 organization is now underway.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought significant challenges for our region. Now is the time for the Quad Cities to re-invest and re-invigorate our support for Q2030,” said Kent Pilcher, Q2030 Co-Chair and Estes Construction President.

“There is so much good work happening here, but to truly transform our region, we need both sustainability and breadth of engagement,” said Joe Slavens, Q2030 Co-Chair and Northwest Bank & Trust President & CEO. “Q2030 is collective impact in action, working with people across sectors, race and geography. Evolving from a business-led model to community governance supported by a team of championing organizations is both natural and necessary.”

The Q2030 vision remains the same: The Quad Cities is recognized globally in 2030 for growing and attracting talent and businesses, is energized by a diverse and culturally rich community, inspires innovation and embraces lifelong learning.

However, Q2030’s mission outlines the role and expectations of this new organization: To lead intensified and focused regional collaboration that ignites the transformational change in the Quad Cities region that is necessary to realize our vision.

A press conference announcing the new direction for Q2030 took place on April 8, 2021.The
Q & A below outlines the content delivered at the press conference.

What was the key finding of the mid-course review?

In 2020, consulting firm Alchemy conducted a mid-course review of Q2030 to determine what was working, identify gaps and develop an action plan to accelerate the pace of moving the region forward. Focus groups, one-on-one conversations and an online survey provided critical feedback during the process.

The foundational recommendation was to incorporate Q2030 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with independent governance to serve as the implementation backbone, including a diverse board of directors and its own executive director. Not only does corporate independence ensure that Q2030 is a neutral party in the Quad Cities’ strategic landscape, but it also serves to clarify roles and better engage major implementation champions and a broader group of key strategic partners.

Why is this important to do now?

While the mid-course review was initiated prior to the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt, it certainly has brought significant challenges for our region. Now more than ever is the time for the Quad Cities to re-invest and re-invigorate our support for Q2030. Forming a stand-alone 501(c)3 organization will allow the region to sustain a coordinated initiative to position the Quad Cities as a national community of choice.

“Driving our regional destination forward and strategically positioning the community for the future with vision, clarity and tangible action is the only way to achieve positive outcomes,” said Dave Herrell, President & CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “Q2030’s midcourse process has led us to reaffirming our purpose and focus, sets the stage for increased collaboration and coordination, and demonstrates that a culture of regional ideas and mission critical regional initiatives will further lead us to success. We need to have a sense of urgency if we are going to continually compete for people and place and Visit Quad Cities is proud to be aligned with this team and energy to help the QC grow and improve.”

Who serves on the Q2030 board of directors?

The Q2030 Board of Directors includes:

  • Kent Pilcher – Co-Chair, Estes Construction
  • Joe Slavens – Co-Chair, Northwest Bank & Trust Company
  • Rev. Dwight Ford – Vice Chair, Project NOW Community Action Agency
  • Dr. Monica Smith – Secretary, Augustana College
  • Rene Gellerman, United Way Quad Cities
  • Dave Herrell, Visit Quad Cities
  • Daniel Joiner, UnityPoint Health – Trinity
  • Alvaro Macias, Ascentra Credit Union
  • Jazmin Newton-Butt, Newton Law, PLC
  • Jerred Pauwels, Deere & Company
  • Sherry Ristau, Quad Cities Community Foundation
  • Paul Rumler, Quad Cities Chamber
  • Corri Spiegel, City of Davenport

How will the Quad Cities Chamber be involved going forward?

The Quad Cities Chamber has served as the Q2030 backbone organization and has championed a Quad Cities regional vision since its inception. Going forward, the Chamber will continue its involvement, serving as one of four organization “champions” alongside Quad Cities Community Foundation, United Way Quad Cities and Visit Quad Cities.

“Over the last five years the vision has engaged thousands of Quad Citizens, businesses and organizations to take action to make our region a better place,” said Paul Rumler, President & CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “As Q2030 takes an important step forward, the Chamber will continue to align with Q2030 to implement regional business and economic growth, placemaking and talent development initiatives that are critical to realizing the Quad Cities’ vision. We celebrate the many partners that have advanced Q2030 to date, and welcome even more to get involved in the years ahead.”

What does it mean to be a Q2030 “champion” and who are the champions leading the charge? Will you look for more champions in the future?

Organizations will serve as “champions” of the Q2030 initiative with higher-level responsibilities for aligning behind strategic goals and engaging partners in the implementation of Q2030’s four pillars. Champions have broadly committed to being regionally focused, supporting and aligning their work with Q2030 plans that are consistent with their organization’s mission, vision and programs of work.

Four organizations have stepped up to serve as Q2030 champions:

  • Quad Cities Chamber
  • Quad Cities Community Foundation
  • United Way Quad Cities
  • Visit Quad Cities

“One of the biggest impediments our community has in becoming world class is how to work across our sometimes fragmented, geographically dispersed and siloed region,” said Rene Gellerman, President & CEO, United Way Quad Cities. “I am most proud of the steps that Q2030 and the many endorsing organizations have already taken to align and work differently. This is not only evident in the efforts of the four champion organizations, but even in how businesses, nonprofits and local funders are aligning to dream big, build capacity, reduce unnecessary redundancy and improve outcomes. I am encouraged by this step and believe that by breaking down our silos, we can help lead our region to a more hopeful and prosperous future for all Quad Citizens.”

Additional champions can be designated as Q2030 implementation proceeds.

What’s next for Q2030? What does success look like at this point?

“We’ll hire an executive director, finish our fundraising and develop a more detailed strategic action plan that outlines the work needed to achieve the regional vision,” said Pilcher.

How are you conducting the search for an executive director? When will you announce an executive director has been selected?

Total Solutions has been contracted to facilitate the search hiring process. Interested candidates should supply a resume and cover letter and apply at www.totalsolutionsus.com/q2030search. The board, to whom the executive director will report, hopes to announce the new executive director by this summer.

What will be the executive director’s primary responsibilities?

The executive director’s primary purpose is to translate the Q2030 vision into actionable, measurable impact to drive outcomes. The successful person in this role will be relational at their core, an exceptional communicator and have the political know-how to listen and navigate the complexities of our bi-state region. Guided by the regional vision, the executive director will oversee the implementation of the action plan.

What is your fundraising goal and how much money have you raised to date?

Q2030 has established a first-year goal of $400,000 and early fundraising efforts are close to securing half the funds. Remaining funds will be solicited through both public and private investment sources.

“Many generous community leaders agree that financial support for Q2030 will help our region improve and grow, tackling some of our toughest challenges,” said Pilcher. “In order for this movement to be successful, we need this to be an ‘and’ when it comes to giving – meaning we need funders to continue giving at the same levels or higher to our existing nonprofits and give more to support the work of Q2030.”

How will you formalize the new workplan for Q2030 – specifically in terms of strategies or ideas on turning the vision into reality?

The Q2030 strategy and work plan will be deeply influenced by the collective input identified and gathered through various activities undertaken thus far. “There is a unique opportunity and urgent need for Q2030 to collaborate with other regional partners on COVID-19 recovery and rebuilding,” said Slavens. “Key themes that have emerged as priorities include education, the riverfront and making the Quad Cities a place where everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential. The game changer for this is the building upon existing work with the alignment of people, organizations and money in a way that increases capacity and impact in transformative ways.”

What hasn’t changed about Q2030?

Being cool, creative, connected and prosperous are the cornerstones of building a vibrant and thriving region for both current and future Quad Citizens. These components are all interconnected and guide the work needed to achieve the regional vision.

“I believe in the regional vision our community set forth together over the past few years. Just like the new I-74 bridge is a game-changer that will allow our community to come together, Q2030 provides the vision – the mindset and the roadmap – to think and act like the inclusive and prosperous Quad Cities we need to be to grow amenities and businesses that attract and retain people. When the Quad Cities Chamber launched Q2030 five years ago, the Quad Cities Community Foundation was proud to step up to the plate with major financial support thanks to the generosity of donors, as well as leadership support through our time to build an inclusive and prosperous region,” said Sherry Ristau, President & CEO, Quad Cities Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation believes in the Quad Cities, and in the vision created by our community, for our community. And just as we have for the past five years, we will continue to listen to what our community wants for our region – and act.”

What’s the history of Q2030?

In 2015, more than 4,000 Quad Citizens provided feedback for a strategic process that became Q2030, a regional vision and action plan that brought together business, government,
nonprofit, academic sectors and the trades for the shared purpose of moving the region forward economically and to improve quality of life. The plan embraced the collective spirit of the Quad Cities region and the unique characteristics and strengths that make it a dynamic place with rich resources and high potential. Strategic efforts were focused on four priority themes for action: cool places, creative people, connected region and prosperous economy. Significant milestones included a public community survey, the Big Table conversations and endorsement from 243 organizations.

During its first five years, the Quad Cities Chamber served as the coordinating body to help bring together diverse stakeholders and help lead a synchronized effort for Q2030 to nurture the movement, gain supporters, develop the action plan, host conversations like the Big Table and raise funds to support the effort.

“The complete history of Q2030 will not be written for years to come, but today we can be certain of one thing; whatever we accomplish, it will be overwhelmingly determined by effort, creativity, collaboration and investment of Quad Citizens, and no one else,” said Slavens. “To become what we are capable of becoming is entirely up to us.”