Business notes for January 8, 2023

The Gazette’s Business Notes are a summary of weekly promotions, new hires, certifications, added business lines and business events in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the rest of the Corridor, among others.

Information and photos can be submitted to Business Notes by email at [email protected] or on our site at

New employees

Danielle MooreARNP, has joined the MercyCare Community Physicians team as a nurse practitioner at MercyCare Medical District in Cedar Rapids.


Christoph Trappe, a Marion marketer and former Gazette reporter, published “Is Marketing a Good Career?”, which is available on Amazon. He previously published “Going Live” on live streaming podcasts.


Jason Smith, CEO of Cedar-Rapids risk management and insurance brokerage TrueNorth Companies, announced the executive appointments aimed at strengthening the company’s future and its goal of “developing exceptional talent and growing the organization from within.”

Terms include:

  • Matt Rathje, TrueNorth’s senior vice president of client operations, will become chief operating officer.
  • Chad Thurm, senior vice president of transportation, will become TrueNorth’s chief financial officer.
  • Bill Teubel, former CFO of TrueNorth, will remain on the board as senior strategy officer.
  • Max Smith, executive vice president of risk management, becomes TrueNorth’s chief commercial officer.
  • Robynn Westphal, assistant general counsel, was promoted to general counsel.
  • Stu Haker, senior vice president of risk management, assumes Smith’s role as executive vice president of risk management.
  • Bill Zenk, transportation and practice leader, becomes executive vice president of risk and workforce solutions.
  • Chris Gulker, director of transportation and practice leader, becomes senior vice president of transportation.
  • Andrew Miller, director of client services, becomes vice president of risk operations and workforce solutions.
  • Garrett Shekleton, manager of strategic initiatives, becomes vice president of risk management operations.

Insights and sessions

Registration is now open for the Business of Art conference to be held March 4-5 at Reiman Gardens in Ames. The session is designed to strengthen the business skills of creatives and artists, with topics on brand development, art photography and audience engagement. Details and registration information are available at or by calling (515) 259-0494.

The third quarter Gazette Business Breakfast panel, “The 2023 Small Business Toolkit: Lessons We’ve Learned and the Challenges — and Opportunities — We Can Be Prepared For,” is now online at /3eD04Wv . Panelists include Paul Andreasen, founder and owner, Saucy Focaccia; Sydney Rieckhoff, CEO, Almost Famous Popcorn; and Kymberly Stevenson, Small Business Targeted Development Program Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority. The discussion series was sponsored by BerganKDV.

The final installment of the 2022 “Gazette Spotlight on…” taped interview series is also available for viewing at This group recognizes companies and organizations for their focus on growth. Interviewees include Luke Bishop from BAE Systems; Matt Swift of Big Grove; Sarah Nelson of Comm-Unity Crisis Service; and Drew Martel of Foundation 2. Also, the Better Business Bureau Cedar Rapids office joined The Gazette in conversation with Inteconnex’s Marc Meyer. The series was sponsored by TrueNorth Cos.

Danielle Moore

Christoph Trappe

Matthew Rathje

Chad Thurm

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