TUESDAY, DEC. 19, 2017  |  IN THIS ISSUE  

Lura McBride, shown this month in Van Meter's Cedar Rapids wire center. PHOTO SHUVA RAHIM  
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the CBJ's annual Most Influential poll, and a continuation of the one constant that has held true over the years: It helps to lead a big organization.
This year's Most Influential Person in the Corridor, Lura McBride, is president and CEO of Van Meter Inc., which ranked as the second-largest privately held company in the Corridor in 2016. The Cedar Rapids-based electrical distributor counts 15 locations and more than 450 employees company-wide, and was this year named one of the Top 25 electrical distributors in a Modern Distribution Management magazine ranking, which was based on revenue.
Ms. McBride has been a visible force in building one of the Corridor's best corporate cultures - a fact exemplified by the company's four appearances on the CBJ's Coolest Places to Work list - and in pushing forward educational and women's development initiatives with organizations like Iowa BIG and Iowa Women Lead Change.
"My leadership style is very much about empowering and motivating and lifting others up, versus maybe the old carrot-and-stick model of leadership," she told the CBJ. "I build my influence through deep relationships and shared understandings with others. "
Ms. McBride follows in the footsteps of other leaders of major Corridor organizations in taking the Most Influential title, including last year's winner, Nancy Kasparek, division president of U.S. Bank in Cedar Rapids; former University of Iowa Presidents David Skorton and Sally Mason; retired Rockwell Collins Chairman and CEO Clay Jones; and outgoing Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, who topped the list twice in 2010 and 2013, and appears at No. 5 this year.
Read the CBJ's exclusive profile of Ms. McBride, and more analysis of this year's list, in this week's print and digital editions of the CBJ.

The Corridor Business Journal is taking nominations for its 2018 class of Women of Influence. Honorees will be recognized at an April 12 awards banquet and profiled in the April 16 edition of the weekly CBJ.
Each year, approximately 10 women are honored for making a difference in the Corridor as leaders in their field and community. Any woman living or working in the Corridor is eligible. Honorees are selected by the previous year's Women of Influence:
  • Jill Ackerman of the Marion Chamber of Commerce
  • LaTasha DeLoach of Johnson County Social Services
  • RaQuishia Harrington of the Iowa City Recreation Department
  • Melissa Murer Corrigan of ACT
  • Alicia Murphy of Van Meter Inc.
  • Marsha Nieland of Fusion Yoga Studio
  • Christy Shipley of Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity
  • Cathy Terukina of Folience
  • Jennifer Welton of Bankers Trust
  • LaSheila Yates of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission 
To download the nomination form, visit  http://bit.ly/2018WOI . Nominations are due Jan. 31. For more information about the nomination process, contact Ashley Levitt at (319) 665-6397, ext. 311, or email ashley@corridorbusiness.com .
The 14th-annual Women of Influence awards banquet will be held from 5-8 p.m. April 12 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Honorees will have the opportunity to share their story at the event.
Story4Electronic logging mandate arrives for trucking industry  
The "soft enforcement" period for the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate began this week, meaning commercial truck drivers must begin logging their hours of service electronically.
In accordance with the compliance deadline, inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel throughout the United States will begin documenting ELD violations, and may issue citations to drivers without a compliant ELD system, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.   
Beginning April 1, inspectors will take commercial trucks out of service if they are not equipped with the required ELD.
The Congressionally mandated rule requiring electronic logging has been a long time coming, according to the American Trucking Associations. The rule was first proposed in 2007 and finalized in 2010, but then faced a federal court challenge by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which argued the logs violate drivers' constitutional rights. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear that case in June of this year.
The rule that went into effect yesterday is the result of bipartisan Congressional action in the 2012 highway bill.
In a statement, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear hailed the new requirement as a step forward for the trucking industry.
"The time has finally come to retire decades-old, burdensome paper logs that consume countless hours and are susceptible to fraud and put the safety of all motorists first," Mr. Spear said. "The benefits of this rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion, making it a rule the ATA can firmly support and easily adopt."
Mr. Spear went on to add that the ELD requirement will provide "tremendous benefits" to drivers in the form of reduced crashes, less paperwork and better compliance with hours-of-service rules - although a report from the ATA earlier this year also suggested that the added rules could exacerbate the industry's ongoing driver shortage, the CBJ reported.
Drivers looking for more information on the rule should visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ELD webpage.
A new study from financial website GOBankingRates says Iowa is the best state in the nation for the middle class.
The study's authors analyzed income, higher education and housing trends in the state, including changes in median household incomes over 15 years, five-year changes in tuition and the median home list price.

Iowa ranked high on almost all the metrics analyzed, according to the website, including a median household income of $75,953.
"Iowa has a high median household income of middle-class families, and a relatively low drop in median household income change between 1999 and 2014," the report's authors wrote. "On the higher education front, Iowa has a high college graduation rate and low in-state tuition and fees. It also has one of the lowest percentage increases in college tuition cost over the last five years."
It also cited the state's relative housing affordability, with a median home listing price of only $169,900, and its high ownership rate.
Four of the top five states in the study were located in the Midwest. South Dakota ranked No. 2, Nebraska ranked No. 4 and North Dakota was No. 5. See the full results here.
Story5AbouAssaly to deliver Marion's State of the City address Jan. 25
Nick AbouAssaly
Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly will review the city's accomplishments over the past year and look ahead to 2018 during the 24th-annual Marion State of the City luncheon, set for Jan. 25 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott.
Mr. AbouAssaly, voted No. 2 on this year's list of the Corridor's Most Influential People, has helped lead a remarkable development renaissance in Marion, from the new $50 million Squaw Creek Crossing project at the city's busy east gateway to the redevelopment of the city's Central Corridor. Read the CBJ's exclusive interview with Mr. AbouAssaly in this week's digital edition here.
Reservations for the luncheon are $35 per person and $350 for a table for 10 and may be purchased online via the Linn County LWV website, www.lwvlinncounty.org. Tickets will not be mailed in advance.
Funds raised by the Marion State of the City event are used to help the League of Women Voters of Linn County cover the cost of nonpartisan voter-education materials and forums. Limited free seating, on a reservation basis, will be available to allow individuals to attend and observe the presentation only.
EventHeadlinesShort-Term Event Planner
Dec. 20
Open Coffee at MERGE , by ICAD Group, 8-9 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Meet other entrepreneurs and creatives, hear announcements on upcoming startup and creative events, and talk about startup and tech news. Free. Register at bit.ly/2i2kQOl.
1 Million Cups , by 1 Million Cups, 9-10 a.m., MidWestOne Bank, 102 S. Clinton St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. Free. For more information, visit bit.ly/2vWaQhG.
Deck your inbox with news

Forward the FREE CBJ Business Daily newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and share the feeling of being informed! Use our fast, one-minute subscription to the CBJ's newsletters here, or check out our other subscription options here.

See something we missed? Send tips, leads, corrections, etc. to news@corridorbusiness.com.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
The Iowa City man who gave up more than 200 neglected birds is now criminally charged in the case. 70-year-old Francis Prohaska is charged with livestock neglect. On Dec. 6, Iowa City Animal Services contacted police about the report of neglect at the Solon farmstead Mr. Prohaska owned. Police attempted to meet with him, but he did not show up for a scheduled meeting. A search warrant was then obtained for his property. Authorities and Iowa City Animal Services say they brought in 110 ducks and geese, 76 chickens and 49 pigeons. Many dead birds were also removed from the farmstead. Birds at Iowa City Animal Services are being restored back to health and evaluated for adoption.

It's the time of year to deck the halls and think about others during this holiday season, and that is exactly what Ben and Amy Janda and their two children are doing this year. Every year, the Jandas decorate their home in Christmas lights set to music and it has grabbed the attention of the community over years. Every year, people offer to pay them money or leave donations in their mailbox but the family has refused the donations, until this year. The Jandas have decided to put those donations to  use supporting a woman in the community who has two children and is battling thyroid cancer. To view the lights, the home is located at 5401 Gordan Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

It is going to be mild today ahead of a weak cold front. We will have a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures will climb into the low to mid 40s this afternoon. It will be slightly cooler on Wednesday with temperatures in the upper 30s. The storm arrives on Thursday and will keep temperatures in the mid 30s. Rain showers will start off in the area on Thursday afternoon. Then as cooler air starts to move in there will be a transition to some wintry precipitation north of Highway 20 and light snow north of Highway 30. There will likely be breaks in the precipitation at times with another round of light snow possible on Friday. There is still uncertainty in the exact amounts of snow, but the higher chance for accumulation snow will be north of Highway 20.