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Notes of the District

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On October 26th, Main Street Waterloo held its inaugural fundraising event, Notes of the District at the Elks Club. The gathering was a special occasion dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the dedicated individuals who have put in extensive efforts to revitalize downtown Waterloo. The hospitality and charm of the venue created a welcoming atmosphere making the event even more memorable.

Dueling Pianos with Mick Staebell, Joe Boyle, and Leigh Bailey captivated the audience with their musical talents and engaging interaction. The dueling pianos provided a lively and memorable soundtrack to the event, ensuring everyone had a fantastic time.

Six awards were given out which acknowledged outstanding achievements, recognized award-winning projects, and honored the contributions of entrepreneurs and volunteers. Through their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts, they have helped to make Downtown Waterloo a lively and inclusive destination.

design Council

The Main Street Waterloo Design Council actively supports the community’s evolution by improving the physical and visual elements that distinguish our commercial district. This dedicated group strives to craft an inclusive and welcoming environment that celebrates the district's historical charm and nurtures accessible, people-centric public spaces.

The two outstanding placemaking projects that were recognized revolve around engaging the community and various stakeholders in the enhancement of public spaces.

The Small Placemaking Award was presented to JSA Development for their string lighting project along E 4th St which has made a significant transformation infusing new vitality into our primary corridor, casting a warm ambiance that has captured the hearts of both residents and visitors. The charming glow elevates our city’s aesthetics and cultivates an atmosphere of warmth, joy, and community.


The Large Placemaking Award celebrates an exceptional project that has left an indelible mark on how we experience Downtown Waterloo. Waterloo’s River Lights Experience has cast a radiant and enchanting spell over our beloved Waterloo. This captivating project has transformed the downtown landscape into a vibrant tapestry of light and color, igniting a sense of awe and unity among residents and visitors alike. As we stroll along the pedestrian bridge, we are enveloped in the shimmering brilliance of this spectacle, which has redefined our connection to the waterway and the core of our city. This endeavor stands as a beautiful example of successful public and private partnerships, completely funded through grants and private donations.

Economic Vitality Council

Main Street Waterloo’s Economic Vitality Council is instrumental in fostering a diverse economic foundation, igniting fresh investments, and nurturing a thriving environment for entrepreneurship. The Economic Vitality Business Partner of the Year accolade was bestowed upon a business that has displayed exceptional dedication, fervor, and unwavering commitment to the enhancement of our downtown. Jeremy Jones, and the Screaming Eagle, embody the very essence of robust partnerships and an enduring devotion to our downtown. The contributions of the Screaming Eagle have not only elevated the commercial landscape, but have also ignited a renewed sense of community, rendering our downtown area more vibrant and inviting.

Organization Council

The Organization Council plays a pivotal role in establishing a solid foundation for our sustainable revitalization initiatives. They foster partnerships, engage with the community, and work diligently to secure resources for the district. The Organization Council was proud to recognize Main Street Waterloo’s Volunteer of the Year. Bev Diercks demonstrates the incredible spirit of volunteerism. She dedicated time, energy, and enthusiasm to make a positive impact. Bev truly embodies the very essence of selflessness and community spirit. Her unwavering commitment to the betterment of our community has served as an inspiration to us all. From volunteering at events to tending to weeding and litter cleanup, her contributions have been invaluable and heartwarming. She has epitomized the profound impact that one individual can have, setting in motion a ripple effect of positive change and igniting the spirit of volunteerism in others.Bev's commitment is a shining example of the remarkable influence that a single person can have on the community.

Promotions Council

The Promotions Council is dedicated to promoting the distinctive characteristics of our district, conveying these unique attributes through compelling narratives, cultivating a positive image that highlights our community’s individual qualities, and fostering support for the local shopping experience. Earlier this year, we mourned the loss of an exceptional individual, Jim Cockhren, the driving force behind Jim’s Smokin BBQ. Jim and his barbeque have been integral parts of downtown Waterloo events from the very start. He not only brought the delectable flavors of his cooking, but also a profound commitment to our community. Jim’s unwavering dedication, warm personality, and mouthwatering food have been essential pillars of Main Street Waterloo events. He turned every event into a gathering of friends and family, where the tantalizing scents of his barbeque filled the air, and his kindness warmed our hearts. Jim Cockhren was honored with the Spotlight Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Main Street Waterloo announced their first Lifetime Achievement award to a man whose passion and unwavering dedication have been truly infectious. Jim Walsh was a leader, a guiding light, a mentor, and a friend to us all. His enthusiasm for downtown was palpable, and it was impossible not to be inspired by his vision of a revitalized downtown. Jim Walsh has played an instrumental role in the transformation of our downtown into the vibrant and welcoming place it is today. His unwavering support, tireless efforts, and invaluable contributions have made a significant mark on the growth and vibrancy of our community. Jim's passion, kindness, and determination have left an impression on our community, and for that, we will forever be grateful. His relentless efforts have not only supported the growth and vitality of our downtown but have also motivated others to join the journey of revitalization.

Under Jim's leadership, JSA Development has worked on more than 40 downtown properties, restoring historic buildings, creating residential living spaces, and commercial units, which house over 60 businesses, eateries, pubs, and more than 100 residents.

His legacy endures in the memories of those whose lives he touched and the lasting impact of his involvement. Jim was a cherished business partner, a true friend, a devoted father and husband, and a visionary leader who will be greatly missed. His legacy will live on, not only in our memories but in the enduring impact of his involvement. Jim challenged all of us not to think small but to dream big, and then work tirelessly to bring those dreams to life.

Please join us in expressing our gratitude to these deserving awardees for their accomplishments and their steadfast commitment to our community.

Thank you to the planning committee who has put their heart and souls into bringing you a night to remember. We could not have done this without them! Thank you Annie Alvarado, Jake Bauer, Samantha Gutknecht, Jayne Hall, Nick Hedrick, Jane Messingham, Jeanne Miller, and Star Rupe.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors whose support who made this event a reality. Our sincere appreciation to ISG for their role as our Community Sponsor. We would also like to express our thanks to Experience Waterloo, JSA Development, and Pilipchuk Persson Wealth Management for their support and contributions.

Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors






Iowa Irish Fest

US Bank

Varsity Cleaners/Milroys Tuxedo

Veridian Credit Union



Cappella Magna

Cedar Valley SportsPlex

Gray Lane Yoga

Holiday Inn & Suites and Bien VenU

Invision Architects



Pretty Good Co.

Screaming Eagle

Silos & Smokestacks

Waterloo Black Hawks

Waterloo Community Playhouse


Annie & Brandon Alvarado

Jacob Bauer

Jim Burbridge

Brett DeVore

Doughy Joey's

Lori Eberhard


Samantha Gutknecht

Chris Hale

Jayne Hall


Mason Fromm

Jane Messingham

Jeanne Miller

Ritland+Kuiper Landscape Architects

Jessica Rucker

Screaming Eagle

Ivan & Estee Valtchev

Brendon Wagner

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