Names & Notes

Mid-Iowa Coop invests in Sinclair Milling LLC, Sinclair Elevator LLC


BEAMAN — Value-added agriculture is getting a big boost from Mid-Iowa Cooperative’s new business ventures that spurring economic development in rural Iowa, from state-of-the-art grain facilities to livestock feed milling.

A new partnership between Mid-Iowa and Sinclair Elevator (and affiliates) in east-central Iowa will include:

• 750,000 tons/year feed manufacturing capacity

• More than 2.3 million bushels of grain storage

• A key role in the agronomy inputs segment

Mid-Iowa Cooperative and the owners of Sinclair Elevator (and affiliates) have signed a definitive purchase agreement to complete Mid-Iowa’s investment in Sinclair’s grain, feed and crop chemical business interests near Parkersburg. Mid Iowa has purchased an initial minority equity stake in a number of affiliated companies known collectively as Sinclair Elevator with future options to purchase additional equity, with the right to eventually own all of Sinclair and its affiliated companies.

The companies plan to close on this investment transaction on Feb. 28.

“I’ve known the folks who own and manage the Sinclair operation for many years and have the utmost respect for the business they’ve built,” said Mike Kinley, CEO of Mid-Iowa, a full-service, member-owned cooperative headquartered in Conrad that serves farmers throughout central and east-central Iowa. “Like Mid-Iowa, they’ve built their business on long-term relationships deeply rooted in trust and integrity. It’s an honor to partner with folks who share this culture and know how to add value for their customers.”

Roger Baker has owned the Sinclair Elevator since 1979. During that time, the company survived an EF5 tornado in 2008 that nearly destroyed the grain elevator, agronomy services and feed mill. The decision to rebuild surprised a number of people, but Baker and his team were loyal to their producer customers and decided to reinvest in the company. They didn’t replace some of the full-service agronomy capabilities, but did expand upon their grain and milling assets.

These facilities, along with Sinclair’s talented team members, complement Mid-Iowa’s asset base, as well as the cooperative’s commitment to add more value to farmers’ grain. “The opportunities for both companies to grow together are tremendous,” Kinley said.

Chadderdon earns American Board of Opticianry certification


The American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners are announcing that Austin Chadderdon, of Eyecare Associates, has recently demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe and effective practice of opticianry and/or contact lens fitting by passing the the National Opticianry Competency Exam and/or the Contact Lens Registry Examination.

The NOCE and the CLRE are job-related exams, which accurately measure technical optical dispensing knowledge, and are administered nationwide twice a year. Certifications by the ABO and the NCLE are the only nationally recognized voluntary credentials for ophthalmic dispensers.

Chadderdon is in his first year as a director of the board for the Opticians Association of Iowa. He was honored to be selected to serve on the board and help Iowa opticians be the best to serve the public with knowledge, skill and great resources

He plans to gain advanced certification and then his certification as a Master Optician in the future. In addition to this nationally recognized certification, Chadderdon took an extensive Management Development Program through Essilor Labs of America in Dallas, Texas graduating from the program on Dec. 1, 2016.

“I hope to benefit the Marshalltown community will these skills and knowledge so that our community can grow stronger together with perfect vision. I love my job and working for a business that has been at the center of the Marshalltown medical field for over 70 years.” said Chadderdon.

Grinnell opens one-of-a-kind hotel


GRINNELL — Possibly the coolest renovation of an old school, ever…A one-of-a-kind hotel opened its doors just blocks from Grinnell College in the heart of downtown Grinnell. Upscale in style, but laid back in spirit, Hotel Grinnell’s industrial chic look embraces the innovative soul of the community while also paying thoughtful homage to the building’s scholastic past.

Once an old school building constructed in 1921, this extraordinary boutique hotel, bar and event center is likely the most innovative adaptive reuse in the state’s history, transporting guests to a scene more like that found in downtown Chicago.

Soaring windows, lofted ceilings and original hard wood floors are complimented by unique amenities like live succulents, organic soaps and luxury linens. Guests delight in surprises around every corner, as chalkboards hang in all 43 rooms, and special features like ‘Hall Pass’ keycard holders, #2 branded pencils and report card style in-room surveys give an additional nod to the building’s history.

That same theme is not lost in the on-site eatery and drink lab, The Periodic Table, which neighbors the beautifully remodeled Central Park, Amphitheater and lighted fountains to its south. Craft beers, fair trade coffee, specialty cocktails and affordable eclectic eats dominate the menu at this comfortable and modern spot. Patrons can choose to be both competitive and comfortable with the giant scrabble board and casual seating inside, or to gather around the firepits on the outdoor patio.

For more information about the Hotel Grinnell go to: or connect on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Twitter.

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The Times-Republican invites businesses in its circulation area to submit brief items concerning their employees or businesses for the Names & Notes column, which is published on Sundays.

Potential subjects of these business briefs include announcements of new businesses, branch acquisitions, departures of longtime employees, employee recognitions or new hires. Submissions will be edited and run on a space-available basis. Items must be received by 5 p.m. Thursday for consideration in Sunday’s column.

Submit brief articles and JPEG headshots to: Names & Notes, Newsroom, Times-Republican, 135 W. Main St., Marshalltown 50158, or call Kathy Beane at 641-753-6611 or email