• OCTOBER: At the Exchange's storytelling event in October, attendees heard the fascinating story of Jennifer Thomas-Maxwell, an artist who takes other people's discards and turns them into beautiful pieces of art and home decor. As her slogan says, "From shabby to chic and always unique." Read her story by clicking here.
  • SEPTEMBER: Thank you Jake Barnes, for sharing your story and introducing us to your business, Whet Your Pallet," a surplus liquidator. (Brickhouse provided great food as always.) Visit Whet Your Pallet in person at 1115 South 11th Street in Oskaloosa, visit their Facebook page or check out their web site.
  • SEPTEMBER: The Exchanged welcomed AJ Gevock, director of the Regional Entrepreneurship Center (REC) at Indian Hills. He shared resources and services which are available to the ten-county area it serves. Click here to learn more about REC.
  • MAY: Amy Kuhlers from the Iowa Economic Development Authority provided some very helpful links, tips, and information regarding how to create an effective business plan. Some members were sad they had to miss this presentation so if there's enough interest, we'll have an encore presentation. Click here to view her presentation.
  • APRIL: Amanda Laverman gave a stunning presentation on "Social Media Strategy." Though the Exchange's equipment fell a bit short, Amanda's presentation was stellar. Members commented on the amount of new information Amanda presented even though they thought they were very learned in Social Media. Thank you Amanda! Click here for her presentation.
  • APRIL: Deb Linder owner of Stella's Salon, shared her story about how her dream of owning her own salon and boutique became a reality. She is, and her story was, inspiring! Find her on Facebook or stop by her shop at  1211 A Avenue East in Oskaloosa.
  • In February, the Exchange was honored to hear "Creating vs. Finding Employment: An Entrepreneurial Story" -- ​Entrepreneurs, someday entrepreneurs, business owners, and members of the community were invited to come and learn how Kory & Staci Wright (owners of The Brickhouse) created their own success stories. The event was held at the Brickhouse Cafe, 212 1st Ave., and the food Kory provided (for a free-will donation) was exceptional!​

2017 EVENT  highlights...

  • NOVEMBER: Richard Tolbert (resident of Ankeny, father of 5, husband of 17 years, musician, traveler, and Frianklin Covey's representative for Iowa), presented "The Time Matrix" which generated some amazing conversation about productivity and how we spend our time.
  • SEPTEMBER: Bob Wersen provided a fascinating story about his business start-ups, moving his company from Santa Rosa to Oskalooosa IA, and ended the evening with some very helpful advice to entrepreneurs.
  • JULY: Debbie Doty, a local entrepreneur and co-owner of "Doty's", presented 'Staying Ahead of Hackers and Phishermen." She explained how our computer use behaviors can put us at risk more than we realize. She gave all attendees an excellent handout which included great advice. Get your copy by clicking here.
  • MAY: Michelle Bartusek, Director, Education and Resources of the Iowa Center for Economic Success spoke to the Oskaloosa Exchange for Entrepreneurs on May 5, 2017. The Iowa Center for Economic Success’ mission is to empower Iowans with the potential to succeed as they pursue opportunities for financial success. Services offered are free tax return preparation and tax planning, Women’s Business Center, business microloans, classes on business planning, networking, strategy, marketing, insurance, employee management and more.
  • APRIL: A special thank you to Steve DeBruin of WG Provisions / De Bruin Rabbit, for being the special speaker at the Exchange's Storytelling Event at On The Green. Thank you to OskyNews for their coverage of this event! Learn more about Steve's business by clicking on the links above.
  • MARCH: Thank you to Josh Buckingham for presenting "Numbers, Numbers, Numbers!" He answered many questions regarding a variety of money issues -- from bookkeeping, sales tax, to Social Security for the self-employed. Good stuff! His presentation notes are available here.
  • FEBRUARY: Thank you Exchange Member Jennifer Wilson for providing insightful and helpful information about various image types as well as when and how to use them. With your "Vectors, Pixels, DPIs, OH MY!" presentation, we all could see a little more clearly. Click here to view a copy of her PowerPoint presentation.
  • JANUARY: Jane Nicholson of Mahaska Drug and Nanette Cunningham of 804 Decor shared their entrepreneurial stories to attendees at this special evening event held at On The Green. Q&A was lively and their stories were fascinating. Click here to read about the night's event.p Benefits Ltd/Midwest One Insurance, a specialist in small business, group and the Affordable Healthcare Act, shared insurance options and ideas to Exchange attendees.

Past event highlights...

  • OCTOBER 2016: Andy Campbell and Kelan Ern of Odyssey Group presented a great customer service program. Attendees learned the five main concepts on which customers evaluate your service, the tools and structure necessary for extraordinary customer service, and great Q&A followed.
  • SEPTEMBER 2016: Bryan Ziegler Bryan Ziegler of Indian Hills Small Business Development Center, provided valuable information on how he can help in the process of finding money for business startup and expansion. Read more in the article posted on OskyNews...
  • JULY 2016: Rob Taylor shared his story while providing information, resources, and insight during his Taking the Leap presentation. Weren't able to attend? Click for a copy of his presentation notes which includes some excellent reading suggestions.
  • JUNE 2016: Todd Swope provided insightful, simple to understand basics of websites and how to make sure information is attractive to your business audience. 
  • MAY 2016: Mark DeJong from Bank Iowa,presented some great tips with regard to small businesses in his "Think Like A Banker" presentation. He stressed not being afraid to call and make an appointment to talk with your banker;they will ask the tough questions and help in any way they can. They want you to succeed just as much as you do!
  • APRIL 2016: Facebook Marketing: Exchange member Renee McLaughlin helped attendees understand the confusing world of Facebook Marketing. To view her PowerPoint presentation, click here. Want Renee's help in marketing efforts for your business? Call her, 641.670.0056.
  • MARCH 2016: Why 124 North Market Is Important to You -- Attendees learned about the four groups in the OACDG building, what benefits they offer local entrepreneurs and the value of being connected locally. Click here to learn more or visit the OACDG web site.
  • MARCH 2016: The Exchange - A New Introduction: Held March 8 at On The Green in Oskaloosa, members of the Exchange Steering Committee introduced the direction and focus of the community and invited members to fill out a survey to make sure needs and wants were being met. There was a great turn out and lots of new faces exploring the community's entrepreneurial potential and value.
  • SEPTEMBER 2015: Chris Haviland, Group Benefits Ltd/Midwest One Insurance, a specialist in small business, group and the Affordable Healthcare Act, shared insurance options and ideas to Exchange attendees.
  • SEPTEMBER 2015: Josh Buckingham from TD&T CPAs & Advisors presented the program: Business Financial Basics." Click here to view a PDF version of his presentation. 
  • OCTOBER 28: ​Andy Campbell and Kelan Ern of Odyssey Group presented a great customer service program. Attendees learned the five main concepts on which customers evaluate your service, the tools and structure necessary for extraordinary customer service, and great Q&A followed.

The Exchange begins

The Exchange is a group of like-minded area entrepreneurs who are currently self-employed or are taking steps to follow their business dreams down an entrepreneurial path.

Since 2015, the Exchange for Entrepreneurs has been meeting, learning, discussing and addressing business issues and concerns for its members and attendees. Its success as an organization is due, in part, to the Iowa Building, a restored historic building in downtown Oskaloosa and a potential grant opportunity to address a use for that building.

While in the infant stages of establishing an identity as a group and creating what is now a co-working and business incubator resource, the Exchange investigated the Iowa Building as a potential home. Though that investigation was premature, place continues to be discussed as our numbers and successes grow. 

Regular Coffee & Conversations continue to take place Friday morning (click the calendar menu item for more information). Special learning opportunities take place periodically thanks to experts from area businesses within and outside the Mahaska Community. “Entrepreneur Story-Telling” provides opportunities to learn from area entrepreneurs.

No dues are required to be a part of The Exchange; just attendance at any one of the events, a desire to learn, and a willingness to listen and exchange ideas and information.