One of the strategies we use to enhance our work is the implementation of site visits to other communities. There is nothing more powerful than travelling to another community and seeing with your own eyes and hearing from those who have helped to make it happen what is possible. We are always amazed at the generosity and openness of our host city and our latest site visit was no exception. A delegation from Ottumwa recently traveled to fellow “river city” Dubuque, Iowa for a site visit to learn best practices from leaders in the Dubuque area. Although larger than Ottumwa, Dubuque has faced many of the same challenges in the areas of economic development and revitalization. The group spent a significant amount of time touring the riverfront area to see both fully developed projects such as the Port of Dubuque and those in various stages of planning and community input like the Chaplain Schmitt Island Project. Another correlation was seen in the number of historic buildings, primarily in the downtown area. The City of Dubuque has become a leader in the rehab and restoration of formerly blighted and dilapidated buildings that now are now serving as catalysts for entire neighborhoods. A wonderful example toured by the group was the Schmid Innovation Center, located in the Historic Millwork District. This project effectively illustrated the power of cross-sector collaboration and the importance of communication and planning. Thank you to all of our friends from this “All American City” – Mayor Roy Buol, City Administrator Mike Van Milligan, Assistant City Administrator Cindy Steinhauser, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque President/CEO Nancy Van Milligan, Mark Seckman with the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and John and Mary Gronen of Gronen Properties for their hospitality and willingness to share their knowledge and lessons learned. It was truly our pleasure to spend the day with you in your beautiful city!