Jody Josten is an Iowa City native, University of Iowa graduate and small business champion. She started her career in food and beverage, working for locally owned restaurants and in sales distribution for a craft distillery in Portland, Oregon making sustainably produced fruit brandies. After her “boomerang” move back to Iowa in 2017, she worked as the membership services and growth specialist at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance where she developed membership growth strategies and led the Business Support Innovation Council- comprised of local business leaders, tasked with creating and monitoring community wide small business support strategies. She is currently the national partnership manager for ecommerce design company, Shop Where I Live partnering with 35 economic development organizations in 14 states, including Shop Iowa. She is currently a master’s candidate in the School of Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Iowa, focusing on public policy, economic and sustainable development and interning part-time at ICAD. On weekends she enjoys hiking with her husband and dogs, cooking and craft cocktails, and hosting corny theme parties.