Stephen Bradford, HNI Corp.

Elected to Iowa Association of Business and Industry

A chance to take over the Illinois Office of Tourism's social media for a day? No one had to ask Quad-City tourism chief Joe Taylor twice.

The president and CEO of the Quad-Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau offered to be the first of Illinois' tourism bureaus to take up the new initiative when it was announced at the spring meeting at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois.

"For one day, June 28, we had a takeover of all their social media channels," Taylor said last week.

The results are in and taking over the Enjoy Illinois' Facebook and Twitter accounts for the day drew an additional 50,000 web visits to the Quad-City tourism bureau's visitquadcities.com.

"Visitquadcities normally gets 500,000 visits a year, and we had 10 percent of that in one day," he said, crediting his staff for crafting various content for the intitiative.

Rolled out by state tourism director Cory Jobe and its public relations partner, TimeZoneOne, the one-day takeover is available to all 40 of the state's bureaus.

Going first, the Quad-City staff promoted its own website and singled out a variety of experiences, including family adventures, attractions such as Backwater Gamblers, trails and bike-riding and a free family getaway to the new visitors. "These are people we would not have normally reached," Taylor said. 

Interest was especially high in Floatzilla, a paddle sport festival on the Mississippi River, and related information on canoeing, kayaking and boating on the Mississippi. Nearly a fourth of the additional web visits — or some 13,000-plus hits — clicked a link about the Aug. 19 event, which will again go for a world record. 

"We accomplished some great marketing for the Quad-Cities thanks to our partners, the Illinois Office of Tourism and TimeZoneOne," Taylor said, adding that the visitor numbers continue to grow from that one-day exposure boost.

Iowa board includes Q-C leadership

The Quad-City region is well represented on the Iowa Association of Business and Industry executive committee.

At its 114th annual meeting last month in Dubuque, ABI elected a new slate of officers and directors. Local representation includes Steven Bradford, of HNI, Muscatine, who was elected secretary. Two new business leaders were elected to join the executive committee: John Riches of Arconic, Riverdale; and Jack Hasken of Jackson Manufacturing, Maquoketa. 

Elected chair was longtime ABI member David Zrostlik of Stellar Industries, Garner.

Exelon honored for volunteer service

Exelon, the parent company of the Quad-Cities Nuclear Generating Station in Cordova, has joined the ranks of the Civic 50 — the country's 50 most community-minded companies as determined by Points of Light.

Exelon was singled out as the utility sector leader on the 2017 list, announced at the Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service, held last month in Seattle. Points of Light is the world's largest organization dedicated to community service.

Civic 50 winners are selected based on four criteria including: investment in community engagement; integration of community engagement programs into business functions; company support through policies and incentives; and social and business impact.

"Being accountable to the communities where we live and work is one of Exelon's values," said Maggie FitzPatrick, Exelon's senior vice president of corporate affairs, philanthropy and customer engagement.

In 2016, Exelon companies and Exelon Foundation donated more than $46 million to nonprofits in the areas of education, environment, culture, arts and community development. Employees contributed more than 170,000 hours of community service and pledged almost $8 million through charitable donation and giving campaigns.

Stanley designs generation station

Stanley Consultants, headquartered in Muscatine, is providing design services for a new generating station being built in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Alliant Energy, along with the facility's co-owner MidAmerican Energy, have launched construction of the $150 million environmental technology project. The owners are building a selective catalytic reduction system to reduce nitrogren oxides by at least 75 percent and is part of Alliant's plan to move toward cleaner energy.

As a joint venture team, Stanley will provide design services and Alberici Constructors will construct the project. 

The project is scheduled for the end of 2019.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com.

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