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Tama County Pitch and Build showcases innovation

September 9, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

There was no shortage of what Tama County Economic Development Director Heath Kellogg terms "the spirit I want to see come to life in Tama County" at the fifth quarterly Pitch and Build competition on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Four local entrepreneurs were met by enthusiastic response from what was the biggest crowd yet to be on hand for one of these events.

Hosted by Economic Development at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center, a vision of a youth sports training complex, a local restaurant serving a healthful menu chocked full of locally-produced foods, expansion of a gift shop into a photography studio, coffee bar and more and the effort to establish residential curb-side and business-industrial recycling county-wide were all in the mix.

Article Photos

Receiving Tama County Economic Development Pitch and Build awards for their new concepts, businesses or products were (l-r) Corey Brown - FUELED?Restaurant, Toledo, David Chubb - Starprep Academy, Eric Haughey- Gold award winner - Razz Recycling, Heath Kellogg, Tama County Economic Development director and Deb Osborn, Serendipity by Deb.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

Kellogg said each enterprise fit the model of providing a product or service, identifying people willing to pay for it and a way to get paid.

Judges for the evening event were Jon Kriegel, developer of Oak Ridge Motor Sports Park and the winner of the last Pitch and Build competition, Jill Van Dee, chair of Tama county Economic Development and Lyle Niemeyer, SCORE counselor and retired business education teacher at Marshalltown Community College and Toledo High School.

Just as in the account of earlier Pitch and Builds, the winner is not revealed until the end of this story.

The contestants were:

FUELED - Corey Brown - "A few years ago I weighed over 500 lbs. and I was going to die," Brown said. "I had no nutrition in my diet." He attributes changes in the food he eats to a weight loss that is saving his life.

He said he aims to prove "You can feel like you're 18 again."

Brown maintains "It's easily had, there's no such thing as a diet - It's your nutritional intake.

RAZZ- Eric Haughey - "I want to make Tama County a cleaner, greener place to live," said Eric Haughey. He launched Razz Recycling in Tama earlier this year to provide curbside residential pickup of recyclable paper pro-

Starsprep Academy - David Chubb - "I'm from Des Moines, I moved here three years ago," David Chubb said. Since then he has developed a baseball program for younger players "which stared with seven kids."

"Next year we'll have teams for 8, 9, 10 year-olds, two 11-year-old teams, 12 and 13 year-olds and I'm trying to get a 14-year-old team," Chubb said.

He said his baseball program "is not only about sports it is team building and developing life skills. And, we make it fun for kids."

Chubb said he has been involved with baseball all of his life and backs the vision of a complex devoted to year-around coaching of a variety of sports.

Development of Starsprep Academy in Tama County for three sports could cost $750,000 - $1 million according to Heath Kellogg, the Economic Development director.

He said coaches on their own could not afford such a facility but would be willing to rent space or "salons" for their programs.

Both Chubb and Kellogg said a number of young people go out of the area now for this type of training on an on-going time frame.

They believe thew central location of the county would draw athletes from all over the area.

Building Starsprep Academy in the county "is not a risk. i know it will work," Chubb said.

They said the parents of the athletes would be an added bonus because they would shop and eat locally while the kids were training.

Kellogg said professional coaching for young people is not out-of-the ordinary, it is another facet of modern times.

THE WINNER- Close voting and a tough decision is how Kellogg characterized judges' decision. Razz Recycling- Eric Haughey's innovative recycling idea came out on top with the "Gold Award."

The next quarterly Pitch and Build will be on Nov. 19. Anyone with an idea or with a new venture in progress is invited to contact Tama County Economic Development: 1107 Prospect Dr., Reinig-Toledo Civic Center, Toledo IA 52342 - Ph. 641-484-3108 -



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