ICAD Hires Sarah Thompson as Director of Rural Development

July 25, 2022 |

IOWA CITY, IA — The Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) is excited to announce the hiring of Sarah Thompson as the Director of Rural Development. In this position Thompson will be responsible for further development in Johnson County’s rural communities. Pursuant to a contract between Johnson County, Iowa and Iowa City Area Development Group, Thompson will consult with rural communities and unincorporated areas on issues such as grant writing, development projects, economic development programs, strategic marketing, entrepreneurship, and project management.

Thompson has extensive experience in the areas of community and economic development in rural communities. Before starting her own consulting business — Rural Revitalization LLC — Thompson served as the Executive Director of Jewell… A Main Street Community. Other professional experiences include serving as the Executive Director of Hamilton Hometowns Economic Development (previously known as Hamilton County SEED), the Executive Director of Lansing, Iowa’s Main Street program, the Tourism & Events Coordinator for the Story City Greater Chamber Connection, and more. Sarah currently serves on the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa “Invest” Task Force, which she has been a part of since its inception in 2018. Through this Task Force, she’s helped work on issues of housing and entrepreneurship in rural communities.

“Johnson County is very excited about Sarah joining the ICAD team. Expanding the long-standing partnership between Johnson County and ICAD to provide focused economic development services to the unincorporated areas and small towns outside the metro is a major goal of the County’s recently adopted economic development plan. We cannot wait to start working with Sarah.” — Josh Busard, Director of Planning, Development, and Sustainability, Johnson County.

Having grown up in rural Iowa and attended the University of Iowa for college, Thompson is excited to make the move back to Johnson County.

“I am overjoyed to be returning to a community that is so dear to my heart. This position combines my passion for supporting and revitalizing rural communities with my love of the Iowa City area. There is so much potential in a county that is

already thriving, and I look forward to helping shape the future of the ecosystem and progress the communities in the ways they desire,” said Thompson.

“Sarah’s leadership experiences in rural communities and her connections both within Johnson County and across the State of Iowa make her a perfect fit for this role. We’re excited to have found someone with this level of experience that also understands the importance of creating a new, agile economy that will be able to withstand whatever the future holds. We want to ensure that our rural communities thrive both now and in the future, and Sarah is the ideal person to do just that.” — Kate Moreland, President, Iowa City Area Development Group.