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Greater Iowa City, Inc.

Greater Iowa City, Inc. (Greater IC) is a network of business and public sector leaders who collaborate to support local companies, guide investment, and grow a resilient economy. With over 1,000 members, Greater IC serves all businesses and business interests in Johnson County, Iowa.

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Staff Bios and Photos

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Nancy Bird is the CEO & President of Greater Iowa City, Inc. - a new organization that merged both the economic development group (ICAD) and the local chamber of commerce (Business Partnership) for Johnson County, Iowa. As a certified planner, Bird’s expertise includes strategic plans that champion place-based initiatives. She harnesses the opportunities of a growing region through partnerships with city leadership, economic development agencies, local businesses, education institutions, and community organizations.


A native of Washington, Iowa, Bird received her BA from Drake University, spent time in Washington D.C. at American University and the Brookings Institute as a policy intern, and then went on to spend several years in West Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Niger, Africa). She later received an MA from Illinois State in Political Science through an economic development program and a Kellogg fellowship. She spent 14 years in Seattle, Washington consulting with multiple levels of government and later, setting up business improvement districts for Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. She managed a regional growth coordination plan for communities in the South Sound and, through this work, became interested in community design. Bird moved back to the Iowa City area in 2012 where she worked as Executive Director of the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) for 10 years. She was an effective driver of change and revitalization of the area, working with a membership base of over 500. In her new role directing county-wide economic development and business support, Bird continues leading with her passion for design, planning, placemaking and working with diverse groups to solve complex problems.

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Cady Sinnwell Gerlach is an experienced nonprofit professional with a demonstrated commitment to civic engagement and development of public-private partnerships. She is also an experienced trial attorney with a record of positive outcomes for clients and is licensed to practice law in Iowa with JD and MPA from Syracuse University. Cady has a BA from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies, and worked at a trade association in Washington, DC before joining the United States Peace Corps in Mongolia, where she served with her spouse, Peter. After graduating school and passing the Iowa Bar Exam, Cady and her family moved to Iowa City in 2013 to join the firm of Meardon, Sueppel, and Downer PLC. After five years of private practice in municipal law, nonprofit corporations, trusts and estates, and litigation, Cady joined the staff at Shelter House in Iowa City where she was the Director of Strategic Operations and Resource Management. In this role she was responsible for comprehensive state and federal grant compliance, overseeing and developing the agency’s $6M annual budget, annual federal single audit, financial and insurance compliance, and real estate transactions.


Since August 1, 2022, Cady has been the Executive Director of Better Together 2030 and has helped to activate, track, and account for Johnson County’s community development plan. This community development organization brings together city, county, social services, local businesses, and economic development organizations to implement this shared All In Vision plan for their collective future. In September 2023, Cady was hired in a dual role with BT2030 and Greater Iowa City, Inc. as Sr. Director of Community Development to help streamline and lead the Community Development work of the organization in neighborhoods, affordable housing, childcare, and public-private partnership development.


  • Cady serves on the Board of Directors for both the Iowa City Community School District Foundation and Iowa City Downtown District.