Karla Organist

Program Manager


M.S. in Community Development, Iowa State University. Coursework in Math, Statistics and Business, University of Minnesota. B.A. in Elementary Education, Luthor College.


Karla plans, designs and conducts interactive sessions for IDM community clients; delivers and manages IDM programs and technical services at the community level; advises community clients on specific economic development strategies; and makes presentations at economic development conferences and workshops.

Professional Accomplishments

Karla brings an extensive work history to her role at IDM.  Before joining IDM, Karla worked for Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC), the Council of Governments representing a five-county area in Northeast Iowa.  There she served as the economic development coordinator for Fayette County and as the senior community and transportation planner for the entire service area.  Karla also worked for First Children’s Finance as a business consultant and financial trainer for childcare businesses, and she gained substantial experience in business planning, nonprofit management, grant writing and private sector engagement as the associate director for Fayette County Economic Development.  Karla brings additional entrepreneurial experience as a small business owner.  She owned and operated a successful coffee shop and café in New Mexico for five years, a xeriscaping business, and most recently was co-owner of a downtown retail business in West Union, IA.  Her employment history also includes mortgage banking and elementary school teaching.  

Latest News & Views

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The anxiety young people have about maturing in their twenties has lead to the word "adulting" becoming quite popular. It's a useful, albeit somewhat glib, catch-all term for taking care of yourself. Doing your laundry? Adulting. Scrambling an egg? Adulting. In truth, the real sign of adulthood is living a life that's within your control, and for that, there are several iOS apps to help. With these five apps, anyone can "adult" -- or at least fake it when they need to. 


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The University of Northern Iowa today begins its release of COVID-19 test results. This routinely updated aggregate data, shared in a way that protects individuals’ privacy, is available here. The dashboard will be updated each Friday and Monday. “Timely, accurate information is a powerful tool for fighting COVID-19, and we believe everyone in the community deserves to have access to it as we work together to stop this virus,” said President Mark A. Nook.

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UNI's MBA program seeking potential clients

University of Northern Iowa MBA program is seeking clients for student capstone experience. This course is the comprehensive application of the MBA curriculum in a strategic context.

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