Business Notes for November 20, 2022

The Gazette’s Business Notes is a compendium of the week’s promotions, new hires, certifications, added businesses, and business events in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the rest of the Corridor, among other things.

Information and photos can be sent to Business Notes by email to [email protected] or by visiting our website at

New employees

Libby Bettis joined Skogman Realty as a real estate agent.

David Spaniard is now with Strategic Financial Solutions as a financial advisor.


Promoted Hills Bank Sam Rand to deposit compliance officer at Hills office; Allyn Franz to commercial banker and Yu Yu to First Vice President, Wealth Management Officer, both in the Iowa City Office; and Stephanie Schumacher to Vice President, Mortgage Lender, Team Leader, in the Mount Vernon office.

Jenny Abernathy has been appointed as CRST’s new Chief People Officer, responsible for Human Resources. Previously, she was the company’s vice president of enterprise capacity development.

hats off

Cedar Rapids Toyota in Hiawatha received the Toyota Motor North America Board of Governors Award.

Hy-Vee was named to Forbes list of America’s Best Employers for Veterans.


The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has unveiled a new logo design.

Insights and Sessions

The Q4 Hiawatha Business Summit will be held on December 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Stillwater Coffee, 1275 N. Center Point Rd., Hiawatha. Participation is free, but registration is requested.

The Q3 Gazette Business Breakfast panel discussion, “A Small Business’ Tool Kit for 2023: Lessons we’ve Learned and Challenges – and Opportunities – for that we can be ready,” is now online at /3eD04Wv. Panelists are Paul Andreasen, Founder and Owner, Saucy Focaccia; Sydney Rieckhoff, CEO, Almost Famous Popcorn; and Kymberly Stevenson, Manager, Targeted Small Business Development Program, Iowa Economic Development Authority. The discussion series was sponsored by BerganKDV.

The final episode of 2022 in the Gazette Spotlight on… taped interview series is also available at This group recognizes companies and organizations for their focus on growth. Interviewed were Luke Bishop of BAE Systems; Big Grove’s Matt Swift; Sarah Nelson of the Comm-Unity Crisis Service; and Drew Martel of Foundation 2. The Better Business Bureau’s Cedar Rapids office also joined The Gazette to speak with Marc Meyer of Inteconnex. The series was sponsored by TrueNorth Cos.

Libby Bettis

Allyn Franz

Sam Rand

Stephanie Schumacher

David Spaniard

Yu Yu