Andrew (Drew) Conrad
Director - IDM
B.A. (American History/Pre-Law) and Masters in Public Policy (MPP)
Graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) at the University of Oklahoma
Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) – International Economic Development Council
Certified Community Researcher (CCR) - Council for Community and Economic Research
Economic Gardening Professional Certification - Market Research - EGc(MR) - National Center for Economic Gardening
Drew brings over two decades of experience in statewide economic development planning and research to his leadership role. Drew facilitates strategic planning and regional economic research for communities and economic development organizations. He designs, delivers and provides follow-up support for economic development services including strategic and short-term planning, community assessments, cluster analysis, target industry analysis, supply chain mapping and other applied research projects. He also coordinates graduate and undergraduate students assistants and works with UNI faculty on applied research projects.
Prior to becoming IDM Director, Drew was IDM’s Senior Program Manager and Special Projects Manager for UNI’s Business and Community Services. Drew previously served as Marketing Manager for the Industrial Site Location Program (ISLP) at the University of Northern Iowa, where he provided technical assistance to communities and was responsible for marketing and providing information about the ISLP to business clients, community groups, economic development groups, the general public, and local, state and federal government officials.
Prior to joining the University, Drew served in the Scott County Office of County of Administrator where he provided assistance with assisted with Board issues, applied research and employee enhancement projects.
Drew is active in various professional and community organizations and volunteer activities. He currently represents the Board of Regents on the Iowa Workforce Development Board and serves on Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council and the UNI Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a Past Chair for the Council for Community and Economic Research, a Past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa and Past Board Chair for the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors. He has held board positions with the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Black Hawk Leadership, Waterloo Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation and is a past President of the Waterloo Jaycees, a past Co-Chair of the Waterloo Jaycees Greater Waterloo Open Golf Classic and past Chair of the Waterloo Fireworks Festival.
Latest News & Views
The pandemic has damaged businesses across the country. Federal aid in the form of Paycheck Protection Program—which began April 3 and ended Aug. 8 and handed out 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion—provided an essential crutch. But some businesses, particularly Black-owned and minority-owned businesses, were largely locked out, according to a recent report from the Association Press and CBS.
Travis Steffen remembers the first time he contemplated building a business. An undergraduate student, he was sitting in his dorm room at Dancer Hall, chatting with his two roommates. They wanted to make bed lofts and sell them to incoming students. They calculated a $10,000 profit, life-changing money in college. Although they later found out UNI already contracted with a bed loft company and dropped the idea, Steffen couldn’t shake the potential.
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