Henry Anson. Dave Lennox. Paul Norris.
These are key names in Marshalltown - names that remind us of our past and where we come from.
But there are others, those we welcome to our community because they are focused on our future.
Joel Akason came to Marshalltown five years ago as the head of the Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee with an enthusiasm that hasn't faded.
With a strong skill set based in economic development, it was clear that Akason would make things happen.
The position demanded that he work behind the scenes, paving the way for many success stories. As he did so, he gained the respect and trust of our business leaders.
Over the years Marshalltown businesses have come to know that they can call on him for anything from employee training to expansion efforts.
Growth such as Emerson's Innovation Center, the JBS distribution center and the Mechdyne technical center don't happen without the clear vision and hard work of professionals like Akason.
Meanwhile he's had his hand in a number of smaller ventures that help sustain our business community.
Akason's tenure in Marshalltown will end Feb. 11 as he moves on to become the director of economic development for the city of St. Paul, Minn.
His time here has been significant. There is no doubt that he has left a footprint in Marshalltown.
We will continue to appreciate the many things he has set into motion and wish him and his family the best in Minnesota.