Tama County's new Executive Director of Economic Development was in Dysart last week, meeting local business leaders and residents alike. Heath Kellogg, who assumed the position earlier this year, has made it his goal to individually visit the more than 1,000 businesses within the county.
He will be visiting businesses in Traer throughout the summer, getting feedback on what the county can do to help spur the local economy.
Kellogg, who is a native of the county, sees incredible potential for economic development within its borders.
Heath Kellogg, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Tama County Economic Development Commission, met with area leaders last week in Dysart. Here, Kellogg meets with Dwayne Luze of Carl Luze Real Estate. He hopes to meet many of the more than 1,000 business owners in the county as he travels. Kellogg also made a visit to Traer’s city council meeting on Tuesday night.
"I see a county that is very rural, but also very ready to head in a new direction," Kellogg said. "I grew up in Tama County in Montour, graduated from South Tama High School, went away to college and ended up starting my own businesses."
One of the things Kellogg believes will give him a leg up in his new position is his experience on the other side of business, as an owner.
"I had an opportunity to look at the county and see what's been going on here, and I never got a lot of help as a business owner," Kellogg said. "The services weren't what I needed, and I see this as an opportunity where I can turn the tables - I'm not trained in economic development, but I know things from the other side."
One thing is certain about Kellogg's approach: it's proactive. He's already visited many towns and businesses and will be making even more rounds as the summer heat swelters.
Outside of his duties working for the county, Kellogg devotes much of his time to his wife and two children, along with running his own business.
He hopes to meet more area residents and business owners, and hopes to help bring more businesses into the fold.
Residents can contact Kellogg at (641) 484-3108.
"It won't be conventional and it won't be business as usual," Kellogg said. "I'm looking for capital, and aggressive bankers who want to make a deal, along with existing businesses who want to grow and let us know how we can help them."