Why Iowa? Q&A with Jill Lippincott

Why Iowa? Q&A with Jill Lippincott

Growing up with an inborn fondness for the Midwest, Jill Lippincott knew Iowa was the place she wanted her family to call home. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado-Denver, she came back to the heartland to do just that.

Jill serves as the Team Leader, Innovation, at Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and is the agency’s liaison to the Iowa Innovation Council. The council is a thinktank of Iowa leaders that recommend public policy and strategies to support innovation initiatives to advance Iowa’s Bioscience, Financial Service and Advanced Manufacturing industry sectors. IEDA’s Innovation Team also connects entrepreneurs with Innovation funding and business owners with resources, educational materials, internship funding and certification through the Targeted Small Business program.

1. What brought you to Iowa and what led you to stay?

I’m from the Midwest originally and spent some time in Denver in pursuit of my graduate degree, but when it came time to choose a place to raise my family, Iowa had everything I was looking for: Great career opportunities, low cost of living and a wonderful quality of life.

I quickly fell in love with the state because of its people, its history, its culture and the variety of adventures that each area of Iowa has to offer. I love traveling the state and meeting entrepreneurs, small business owners and leaders who are making their communities a better place.

2. What drew you to the Iowa Economic Development Authority and how has serving in your role impacted you personally?

At IEDA, I was drawn to the idea of helping people and businesses reach their full potential on a state-wide level (and even in some cases, a global scale!) But my favorite part about this role is getting to really know the people of Iowa and learn what makes them tick. Innovation is at the heart of who we are as Iowans, and I am constantly inspired by the stories of tenacity, grit and perseverance I hear from those who are working to make our state and our world a better place.

3. How does the IEDA work to enhance the lives of Iowans?

We strive to make Iowa the choice for all people and businesses through various support programs for our targeted industries, small businesses, communities, innovators, visitors to Iowa and anyone and everyone who plays a part in building a life in this state. Though IEDA’s programs alone may not address every need, we work to be a connector to other resources as often as possible.

4. How would you define the “Iowa Advantage?”

Iowa has a robust mix of industries stemming from its strong agricultural foundation. We have focused our strategies on job creation in our targeted industries such as bioscience, advanced manufacturing and financial services and have made it easy for both entrepreneurs and global companies to invest in research and development. Combining that incredible access with our low cost of living, livable communities and a range of activities to explore across the state, Iowa’s Advantage is that it has something to offer for everyone.

5. Please give us three recommendations of places to go or things to do in Iowa.

Take a visit to Templeton, IA to tour the Templeton Rye Distillery and learn about the history of Templeton Rye Whiskey. On your way back from Templeton to Des Moines, stop at the Milligan Grain & Lumber Coal Building in Jefferson, IA to visit a historical furniture shop and museum.

Make a weekend out of visiting Cedar Falls by booking an afternoon workshop at Three Pines Farm and shopping in Cedar Falls Main Street before a stay at the Black Hawk Hotel.

Spend the day in Madison County! Tour the Covered Bridges of Madison County, shop the square in Winterset, make a stop at one of the wineries or cidery, and play with alpacas at Rusty Star Alpacas.