Posts by Rachel Manfredi

Volunteer Opportunity at the Iowa State Fair

It’s that time again when the City of Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Wesleyan University, and Midwest Old Threshers attend the Iowa State Fair to share great things about Mount Pleasant. This year, the Iowa State Fair will be held from August 11th through August 21st.

We are in need of knowledgeable and passionate volunteers to help tell the Mount Pleasant story to a large audience! Please help us get the word out about Mount Pleasant by volunteering for a shift (or two or three) at our Iowa State Fair booth! You’ll be handing out info, applying temporary tattoos, and tooting Mount Pleasant’s horn as one of the best places in Iowa!

This year, Midwest Old Threshers is in charge of the sign-up form. You can sign up at

If you have any questions feel free to call the Midwest Old Threshers office at 319-385-8937 and ask for Terry or Grant.

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance Awarded Grant for “The Uptown Cell”

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance Awarded

Grant for “The Uptown Cell”

MOUNT PLEASANT—  Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority recently announced more than $500,000 in grant funding will be awarded to rural communities across the state through the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance was awarded $10,000 to renovate the second floor of the Chamber office to be used as a new work-based learning center for area schools called The Uptown Cell.

“Rural communities are the backbone of our state, and this latest round of grants will help them tackle tough challenges like housing, childcare, and recruitment,” said Lt. Governor Adam Gregg. “The Empower Rural Iowa initiative looks forward to building on this success and further ensuring opportunity and prosperity are present in all corners of Iowa.”

Work-based learning is an instructional strategy that enhances classroom learning by connecting it to the workplace. Students gain work experience while also learning academic and technical skills. Schools, community-based organizations, and businesses come together to make these meaningful programs happen.

A group of students from the Mount Pleasant High School CELL (Civic Engagement and Learning Lab) class is helping to transform the upstairs into a space that students can use to work on projects and presentations and to meet with business leaders from the community. It will also allow chamber members a great space for small group meetings, staff retreats and more. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance and the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission will match the $10,000 for a total project cost of $20,000.


2022 Southeast Iowa Days in Des Moines

2022 Southeast Iowa Days in Des Moines
February 2nd & 3rd

Over 100 delegates from Southeast Iowa participate in this two day event at the State Capitol in Des Moines. Delegates hold meetings with elected officials to influence legislation and direct targeted funding towards essential projects in Southeast Iowa. Delegates are also joined by the M-POWER-U students from area high schools. A number of events are held to shake hands with representatives from all corners of the state, including a breakfast with legislative leaders. Often the top leaders of both chambers and both parties participate in this event.

Register here!


Henry County Leadership Class Announced for 2021-2022

ISU Extension and Outreach-Henry County and the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance

Announce the 2021-2022 Henry County Leadership Class

We are pleased to announce the participants of the 2021-2022 Henry County Leadership Class. Henry County Leadership is designed to provide our community with an enduring source of diverse leaders who are prepared and committed to serving this region.

As a skills-building program, Henry County Leadership aims to identify and motivate emerging community leaders; provide an educational experience with a strong emphasis on both leadership skills and community awareness; and challenge participants to apply their talents within their community while providing an opportunity to become involved. Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Henry County Leadership Class.

Joel Baker, Plant Manger – Cornerstone Building Brands

Eric Booth, Assistant Dean of Students – Iowa Wesleyan University

Grant Davidson, PR & Marketing – Midwest Old Threshers

Holly Frary, Regional Sales Manager – Southeast Iowa Union

Nikki Gerling, Director of Career Development – Iowa Wesleyan University

Allison Jacobs, Director of Membership – Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance

Samantha Koontz, Loan Officer – 5 Star Community Credit Union

Makayla Kruse, MSR – Community 1st Credit Union

Melissa Shull, Middle School Assistant Principal – Mt. Pleasant Community School District

Tyler Thien, Director of Engineering – Access Energy Cooperative 

Caleb Waters, Director – Henry County Conservation Department

Kelly Waters, Marketing Program Coordinator – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Henry County

Mary Weinand, Education Specialist – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Thanks to a wonderful partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach-Henry County class members will experience three-hours of intense leadership training during each session. Following the leadership training, they will travel around the county to learn more about our community challenges and opportunities in Henry County. The nine sessions will include specific topics such as Education; Health Care & Social Services; Economic Development; Local Government, Crime and Safety; State Government; Arts, Culture & Tourism; and Agriculture. Classes will begin in October and conclude in May of 2022. Including this class, we now have 66 people that have completed this important training.


Mount Pleasant Shows Significant Growth in 2020 Census

Mount Pleasant Shows Significant Growth in 2020 Census


Kristi Perry, Executive Vice President
Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance


MOUNT PLEASANT, IA – Henry County, and more specifically Mount Pleasant, was one of the big winners in the recently announced 2020 Census Data.  The census numbers show Henry County experienced a 1.7 percent growth, with the city of Mount Pleasant seeing a 7 percent increase.

“It’s so exciting to be one of the 30 counties in Iowa that are growing. Especially considering we are one of the very few rural counties to grow”, said Kristi Perry, Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance.

Mount Pleasant was one of the highest ranked cities above 5,000 which is outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Mount Pleasant grew from 8,668 people in 2010 to 9,274 in the 2020 census. Much of that growth is directly attributed to the growth at Iowa Wesleyan University.

“Iowa Wesleyan University has experienced steady and strategic enrollment growth for the past five years.  Between 2015 and 2020, we experienced an enrollment headcount increase of more than 56%.  We are delighted to see how this growth has impacted the census numbers for our community,” said Chris Plunkett, Iowa Wesleyan University President.  “Once again, we are expecting record-breaking enrollment for our new fall 2021 students and total University headcount.  We will continue to do our part to help support the growth of the rural communities in Southeast Iowa.”

Another important factor in the growth of Mount Pleasant is the private/public partnerships designed to improve housing stock. Back in 2014, a Housing Needs Assessment gave Mount Pleasant the direction needed to address their shortfall.  Projects such as Ashford Park, Threshers Meadows, Bell Subdivision, and Robin Run are just a few examples of new single-family housing. In addition to that, projects like Heather Branch Estates and a strong interest in downtown upper story housing make Mount Pleasant a very appealing community.

Salem and New London were other communities in Henry County showing a positive population growth in this census. As for the state, nearly 3.2 million people now live in Iowa, a 4.7 percent increase from 2010.

The Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission is part of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance which also includes the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Mount Pleasant and Henry County Tourism.


Introducing EAT-SHOP-PLAY Mount Pleasant App

Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Releases

We are excited to announce that EAT-PLAY-SHOP MOUNT PLEASANT is now live! This tourism/visitors app includes services such as restaurants, hotels, shopping, camping and much more. Each listing on the app includes a name, phone number, address and brief description. When possible, it will link to a map and a Facebook page. We have done our best to get the information about your business/organization correct but we need your help!

To find our App, search for “Eat-Play-Shop Mount Pleasant” on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. You can also access all of our Social Media pages from here!



Attention Business Owners, please download the app and take a look at your listing. If you are comfortable with your listing, then you don’t need to do anything. BUT, the app allows you to make your own changes, to add special features and buttons, and other fun tools. If you would like to have access to your listing, please call Allison at 319-385-3101 or email and she will be glad to give you access to your listing.

Mark Twain Zephyr Rebuild Outreach Tour & Book Signing Event

Mark Twain Zephyr Rebuild Outreach Tour & Book Signing Event

Are you interested in the history and status of the Mark Twain Zephyr?

The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad purchased the historic CB&Q Mark Twain Zephyr, which used to pass through Mount Pleasant are who were interested in both the history of the train and the refurbishment. The railroad’s owners decided to send Robert Tabern, Director of Passenger Development and author of history book series about the Mark Twain Zephyr, on a 13-stop speaking tour along the original route of the Mark Twain Zephyr!

They will be offering a FREE one hour presentation to the public at the Mt. Pleasant, IA Amtrak Station on Sunday, July 18 at 2:00PM.

Check out the full press release and photos of the progress here as well as this video!


Voting Begins for the Mount Pleasant “CommUNITY” Video

Voting Begins for the Mount Pleasant “CommUNITY” Video

MOUNT PLEASANT, IA – Voting is live! Please hop on Facebook and vote for the Mount Pleasant “CommUNITY” video on the IowansUnite video contest. The #IowansUnite Community Pride video contest allows a local community the chance to win a one-of-a-kind mural designed and installed by Iowa artist Ben Schuh that welcomes visitors to their shopping district or downtown area.

The CommUNITY video was choreographed by Sunnybrook Assisted Living and Memory Care Mount Pleasant Marketing Director Cody Flietner who wrote a jingle about Mount Pleasant and orchestrated a number of residents shopping and supporting our small businesses in Mount Pleasant. In the end of the video, everyone gathers as a community at the fountain in Central Park. In addition to Fleitner, the video was made possible by Roy Manfredi from Iowa Wesleyan University who assisted with the audio and Pastor Trey Hegar from First Presbyterian Church who helped with the drone footage.

If you would like to vote for Mount Pleasant, please log on to the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance Facebook page beginning on Wednesday, June 23 at 8:00 am. The voting will run through June 30 at 5:00 pm.  You are allowed one vote per Facebook account per day. The video with the most votes on June 30 at 5:00 pm will win. If you don’t have Facebook, you can vote here:

This video is a joint project of the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Mount Pleasant.