About the Corridor


“To foster, encourage, promote, aid or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the four-county region.”


As an organization we value honesty, respect, integrity, trustworthiness, openness and reliability. We use the strengths and opportunities of the four-county region to build collaborative efforts for the benefit of the whole.

As employees, we each uphold high ethical standards in all aspects of our work. Through continuous self-improvement, we strive to be ready and responsive. We hold ourselves accountable to our investors, clients and board members, providing results and working to ensure the success of the Iowa Lakes Corridor region.

Commitment to Diversity in the Region

“The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation recognizes that diversity fosters vibrancy and stimulates creativity, which bolsters economic strength in Northwest Iowa. Investors from across the diverse communities of Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties have joined together to foster, encourage, promote, aid or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the four-county region. These communities are a collection of individuals made stronger through common respect and support for one another. Intolerance harms our ability in a global marketplace to attract and retain committed laborers, skilled tradespeople, and professionals. The Mission of the Corridor is advanced by the strength of and for the benefit of all people in the communities.”

About the Corridor

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (formerly the Great Lakes Corridor of Opportunity) was organized in 1992 to foster, encourage, promote, assist or otherwise aid economic growth and development in the Iowa counties of Clay and Dickinson. In late 2005, Emmet County became a part of the region and in January 2006, Buena Vista County joined the region. Watch our special 20th anniversary video here.

The Corridor is a past recipient of the Silver Shovel Award from the Iowa Area Development Group. The Silver Shovel Award, in honor of the IADG’s 25th silver anniversary, is an award based on merit.

The organization is a 501(c)6, non-profit organization in the State of Iowa. The Iowa Lakes Corridor is governed by a 16-member board of directors who set policy and direction for the organization. The board of directors is responsible for the hire of the President and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor. The Corridor currently receives funding from the public and private sector. The total annual budget is approximately $600,000. The Iowa Lakes Corridor has four full-time and one part-time, professional staff members with a central office located in Spencer.

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Board of Directors consists of four representatives of each of the four counties in the region, including Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Board members serve three-year terms and are elected by the membership through a nominating committee each year. Iowa Lakes Corridor board members must be a representative of a member/investor organization.Officers include a chair, vice chair and treasurer. Officers are elected by the Iowa Lakes Corridor Board of Directors.

Iowa Lakes Corridor Board of Directors and Officers: 

John Tatman, Chair, Maurer Manufacturing, Spencer

Barry Sackett, Treasurer, Sackett Law Firm, Milford

Doug Benjamin, Northwest Bank, Spencer

Penny Clayton, City of Estherville

Tim Fairchild, Dickinson County Board of Supervisors, Spirit Lake

Jeaneth Ibarra, Tyson Foods (Pork), Storm Lake

Burlin Matthews, Clay County Board of Supervisors, Spencer

Dr. Joshua Merchant, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake

Rick Olesen, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Estherville

John Pluth, Emmet County Board of Supervisors, Estherville

Mike Porsch, City of Storm Lake

Sean Sherrod, Polaris Industries, Milford 

Kent Stensland, Bank Midwest, Spirit Lake

Jon Wilcke, MetaBank, Storm Lake

Alan Wilson, GKN Armstrong Wheels, Estherville

Susan Zulk, Spencer Hospital, Spencer