• Accel Wealth Management acquires Premier Advisors
• UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids opens medtech innovation hub
• CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX 28: CR projects recap, UI/ISU entrepreneurship rankings
• Heritage Agency transitions to nonprofit, names board
• MidAmerican announces first EV fast-charging sites in Iowa
Accel Wealth Management acquires Premier Advisors
Accel Wealth Management, the financial services division of Accel Holdings Inc., has acquired Premier Advisors LLC, an independent financial management firm located in Cedar Rapids.
Accel Holdings is the corporate parent of the Accel Group, an independent insurance agency with offices in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Waverly and West Des Moines.
Premier Advisors has been serving clients for more than three decades. Owners Todd Manternach and Marty Willenborg, and financial advisors Jason Willenborg and Anthony Gaiffe, will join the Accel Group’s offices at 3100 Oakland Road NE later this month, and will begin operating under the Accel Wealth Management umbrella.
“I’m excited to welcome our new partners from Premier Advisors into the Accel Wealth Management team,” said Stacie Brass, managing partner with Accel Wealth Management, in a press release. “Our two teams complement each other in our ability to provide a lifetime of experience and industry knowledge. Our clients now have access to an amazing team of experts.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids opens medtech innovation hub
UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids on Thursday cut the ribbon on generate @ St. Luke’s, a new open-access medical technology and learning lab designed to encourage innovation at hospital bedsides and within its clinics.

UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids partnered with Boston-based MakerHealth for the construction and ideation of the new lab. MakerHealth, a spinoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Little Devices Lab, is a pioneer in hospital makerspaces, and its principals have over a decade of experience bringing the tools of innovation to the point of care so that clinicians and patients can create health care devices.

The Cedar Rapids facility is the first hands-on fabrication lab of its kind in the Midwest and the third of its kind in the United States.

Generate @ UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids will provide a designated space in the hospital where hospital and clinic nurses, physicians, team members, patients and community partners can transform their ideas for improving patient care into tangible prototypes to be tested and reviewed for implementation.

UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids previously worked with MakerHealth and the MakerNurse community for nearly two years , hosting seven pop-up lab events in the hospital and community that resulted in 57 projects made by clinicians, with 11 of those already in use at St. Luke’s and its clinics. These projects include a sensor system, designed and made by St. Luke’s Wound Clinic nurse Christina Ross, which was connected to a wound vac device to alert nurses via text message when the system pressure is low. Others included a 3-D printed case for medication vials to prevent needle sticks in the operating room, and a silicone frame for a virtual reality mask.

“I learned about the MakerNurse community about 18 months ago when I was working on my doctoral project,” said Rose Hedges, St. Luke’s nursing research and local MakerNurse champion, in a release. “The program taps into the ingenuity of nurses. For decades nurses have used everyday materials to improve upon and create new tools and devices, which allow us to provide better care for patients. It's an international program that supports this work.”

Generate @ St. Luke’s includes several rooms within the space for collaborative meetings, a workshop area, digital fabrication equipment such as 3-D printers and a laser cutter, and medical-grade fabrication materials for designing and prototyping. UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids employees will have access to technology training resources on topics such as 3-D printing patient data, creating connected connected health devices, and fabrication of simulation models and smart systems.

In addition to generate @ St. Luke’s Hospital, there will be two St. Luke's MakerHealth satellite labs with medical fabrication resources at Witwer Children's Therapy locations in Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha. They join a growing network of MakerHealth hospitals including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and Hospital Negrin in Las Palmas Gran Canaria, Spain.

IMAGE: A look inside the new generate @ St. Luke's space inside UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids. CREDIT UNITYPOINT
CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX 28: CR projects, UI/ISU rankings
In this week’s CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX 28, reporter Katharine Carlon discusses three projects worth a combined $42 million in Cedar Rapids, Last Dollar Scholarship awards to Iowa students and the University of Iowa and Iowa State’s recent ranking among the best schools for entrepreneurial studies. Watch the full report here .
Heritage Agency transitions to nonprofit, names board
A former Kirkwood Community College department focused on serving seniors in the Corridor’s seven-county region has transformed into a newly reclassified nonprofit, and is now ready to serve the nearly 100,000 older adults in the region.

Working primarily with adults ages 60 and up, the Heritage Area Agency on Aging is designated by the Iowa Department on Aging (IDA) to serve Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Washington counties. Heritage also serves adults of any age living with disability and family caregivers.

Heritage recently transitioned from a department at Kirkwood to a 501(c)(3) organization and has named its board of directors. Its members includes several current and former elected officials, a former IDA Director and other successful professionals. The board’s officers are:

  • Larry Kudej (chair), retired attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District
  • Sr. Susan O’Connor (vice chair), vice president of mission integration, Mercy Medical Center
  • Steve Ovel (treasurer), Board of Trustees, Kirkwood Community College
  • Scott Olson (secretary), District 4 Representative, Cedar Rapids City Council

The nonprofit’s core focuses include regional nutrition, through its Encore Cafes, Meals on Wheels and health and wellness programming; elder rights and abuse intervention and recovery; caregiver support, through case management, options counseling and referral assistance; and providing information and assistance for all service questions and needs.

Heritage has been one of Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging since 1971. By transitioning to an independent nonprofit, leaders said the organization will be better positioned to diversify its funding and make its programs more sustainable in the long-term.
MidAmerican announces first EV fast-charging sites in Iowa
Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy this week announced plans to begin constructing publicly accessible electric vehicle fast-charging stations in five Iowa cities by the end of this year, and 13 more next year, including nearly a dozen “ultra-fast” chargers.

By the end of next month, MidAmerican will begin to install 50 kilowatt direct-current fast chargers in Clarinda, Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Sheldon and Waterloo. Next year, the company will install 50 kW chargers in Altoona and Carroll, as well as 160 kW DC ultra-fast chargers in more heavily traveled corridors in Avoca, Davenport, Early, Fort Dodge and Waterloo.

The company is working with other communities for six additional sites, including two near Des Moines, which the company will announce when it finalizes agreements.

DC fast-chargers, with two charging plugs per station, can generally provide an electric vehicle with an 80% charge in less than 40 minutes. DC ultra-fast chargers can provide the same charge in half the time, depending on certain factors.

Los Angeles-based Greenlots has been contracted to install the charging stations and provide payment systems at host locations. MidAmerican Energy will establish and maintain the charging stations while the site hosts will operate them. Customers pay the usage fee, set by the site host and consistent with state laws and regulations, through a payment card or the Greenlots app.

In late July, MidAmerican announced a first-of-its kind effort to build a fast-charger network throughout the state. The company chose locations within roughly 50 miles of each other to address electric vehicle “range anxiety” and promote electric vehicle adoption statewide.
Short Term Event Planner
Dec. 2
New Member Mixer, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 4-6 p.m., CountryHouse, 5710 Gibson Drive NE, Cedar Rapids. Meet and mingle with new members of the Economic Alliance. Free. To register, visit .
Dec. 3
2019 Workforce Awards, by Corridor Business Journal, 7:30-10 a.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. The CBJ is partnering with Kirkwood Community College to recognize companies in Kirkwood’s seven-county region that are ahead of the curve in creating and maintaining their workforce talent edge. Keynote by IEDA Director Debi Durham. Tickets: $45 or $450 per table of 10 through Nov. 26. Breakfast provided. For more information or to register, visit  or call Ashley Moore at (319) 665-6397, ext. 311.
Financial Management for the Closely Held Business, by Hills Bank, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Hills Bank, 590 W. Forevergreen Road, North Liberty. Learn how to proactively control your company’s finances through financial management techniques and maximize profits through informed decision making. Cost: $100 per person, lunch and materials included. To register, visit  by Nov. 27.

On the Menu: End of Year Bookkeeping and Tax Write-Offs, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Marion Chamber, 1225 Sixth Ave. This session will cover financial statements, payroll/1099s and other year-end filings and due dates, and things to keep in mind when thinking about your tax return. Free for chamber members, $10 for non-members. To register, visit .
Membership 101, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE. New members can learn how to use their Economic Alliance membership, meet other new members and hear from seasoned members. Free. For more information, visit .
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
Paul Hoff has been sentenced to 224 months (18 1/2 years) in prison on federal gun and drug charges. Mr. Hoff was sentenced Thursday evening after accepting a plea agreement on lesser charges including possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was originally charged with four counts, including two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. Those two counts were dropped in the sentencing. Mr. Hoff was also indicted by a Linn County grand jury on state charges related to the death of Chris Bagley. He faces charges of obstructing prosecution and abuse of a corpse. Mr. Bagley's family was in the courtroom as Mr. Hoff learned his fate on his federal charges. They were surprised when, given the opportunity to speak, Mr. Hoff turned to look at them. “I wasn't expecting an apology,” Chris' father Stewart Bagley said outside the U.S. District Court. "When he kept looking back at us it actually, after talking to my wife and Courtney, it actually made us uneasy." Read the full story here .

Snow fell in Cedar Rapids this season before all the leaves could fall from the trees. Now, the city is playing catch up with its loose-leaf collection. The early November freeze pushed the loose-leaf vacuum crews back one week, and both the city and neighbors are working to rake up leaves before the weather strikes again. The city's solid waste and recycling division manager, Mark Jones, says there are way residents can help the city speed up the leaf removal process, starting with parking. “Long rows [of leaves] and parallel to the parking, and obviously if you have a car that you park on the street … if you could park the car somewhere else that would make access to the leaves much better for us,” Mr. Jones said. He also says to pile your leaves along the curb and not in the street, which prevents them from getting washed down the storm sewers. “Our goal is to continue with the 12 trucks until we are caught back up with the schedule and hopefully Mother Nature cooperates," Mr. Jones said. For the new loose-leaf collection schedule, click here .

These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
CBS2 Weather First Forecast
High pressure will be in control today and lead to a sunny, cool afternoon. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30s. There will be a few clouds passing through tonight and temperatures will drop into the mid-20s. This weekend will be calm and cool. Temperatures will be in the low 40s Saturday under sunny skies. There will be a few more clouds Sunday with temperatures in the mid-40s.