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Growth Alliance adds new board members

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Kelly Hindman, left, and Mike McCarville, the newest board members of the Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, pose outside of the Growth Alliance offices.

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance has added two new members to its board of directors this year, bringing on Kelly Hindman and Mike McCarville.

Hindman has served as VP of Campus Support Services at Friendship Haven for more than three years. A native of Dayton, he previously served in the Iowa State Patrol for nearly 29 years, retiring as a district commander in December 2016.

“It was quite a transition, but in odd ways, they’re similar in that they’re both helping people,” he said.

With the Growth Alliance, he’s looking forward to doing more of the same by making Fort Dodge and Webster County a great place to live, work and play.

“I’ve always had a fondness for wanting to be part of Fort Dodge’s better future,” Hindman said. “I had a stint on the (Fort Dodge) City Council around 2009, and you get exposed to the city’s potential and get to be a part of that through the Growth Alliance.”

Through essential team work, Hindman said he looks forward to helping foster public-private partnerships to manage the potential for future success locally.

“I, twice in my professional life, had to move away, and moved back as quickly as I could. This is home for us,” he said. “If it’s going to be your home, we all have a part to try to make it as good as we can. I was honored to accept the board position.”

In a position at Friendship Haven that includes the pharmacy, dietary services, grounds maintenance and a variety of other departments, the former commander said he’s seen the support the Growth Alliance has been able to provide to the community with workforce needs. Staffing needs at many independent living and skilled nursing homes in rural America have become particularly pronounced in light of the pandemic.

“It’s hard to fully staff a big employer like we are, and we’re hidden in that regard,” he said. “Meeting those needs can be critical.”

He believes a focus on housing stock will be critical to the area’s ability to recruit the proper workforce, and hopes to cultivate the partnership with businesses around Friendship Haven like UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center, Iowa Central Community College and the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility.

“You can never sit still. It’s more important than ever to seize opportunities to make the community more attractive,” Hindman said.

Mike McCarville, a former mayor of Fort Dodge, will represent the Fort Dodge Homebuilders Association on the board, a joint effort between home builders, RoJohn Home Improvement and Beisser Lumber Company.

“I’ve always been involved in the community. I really think there is a need for local owner-operated business people to get involved,” he said. “We’ve got a huge stake in the community, the community has got to do well for us to prosper. I thought it was a great way for me to get involved and help keep things moving the right way.”

In addition to his stint as mayor, the Moorland native has been the general manager of RoJohn Home Improvement since 2002, where he also served as a carpenter from 1979 to 1985. Previously, he helped run the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance’s predecessor, the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce.

McCarville said he’s looking forward to promoting continual growth in the business community as industries around the world continue to evolve.

“Fort Dodge and Webster County are well poised to capitalize on that growth,” he said. “The overall cooperation and community between schools and the county and the city and business is very strong, and I would just like to be a part of helping that continue.”

McCarville said previous studies commissioned in Fort Dodge have shown that a lack of housing can be a big impediment to growth. He hopes to continue the momentum of new housing developments built over the last few years, such as in Williams Bend.

“We’ve got to continue that,” he said. “The only way that happens is with cooperation on all levels of government. The economics just aren’t there without tax incentives.”

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