Council Bluffs is a place of bold opportunity, where unlimited ideas can come to life, community connects and development is happening.

The 712 Initiative is actively improving quality of life in Council Bluffs — from how we live, work, play and move to how we grow. Building on our community’s strengths, we’re driving vitality and growth, creating a stronger sense of place and fostering a healthy, thriving and active environment.

Our Story

The 712 Initiative grew out of a rising need for an organization that could identify and leverage opportunities around development and quality of life in Council Bluffs.


In 2016, Bluffs Downtown, Pottawattamie County Development Corporation and Live Well Council Bluffs joined forces to form this powerful collaboration — aligning common goals and pooling resources as a single entity.

Community. Opportunity. Vision.

It is our goal to attract and maintain an engaged and diverse population that will enhance our economic, health and cultural vitality and will continue to grow pride in this unique city.


We focus on areas of immediate opportunity and potential impact, working together to ensure a vibrant, active and healthy future for our community.

Read our
Strategic Plan

Contact Us

The 712 Initiative
1228 South Main Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

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For information about our events and programs, visit

Our Staff

Sheryl Garst

Chief Executive Officer


Morgan Wade

Associate Director of Place Based Strategies


We're a small but mighty team focused on a thriving future for our community.


If you're a undeterred optimist, a strategic collaborator and an unabashed fan of Council Bluffs, we can't wait to meet you! Check out our career opportunities.

Project Manager

Our Board of Directors

Mike Alford


Pinnacle Bank


Scott Belt

Pottawattamie County


Kristen Blum


CHI Health Mercy Hospital


Kelly Carman

Senior Electrical Engineer

Olsson Associates


Douglas Goodman


Clear Title & Abstract Guarantee Co.


Rick Guill


Farmers Insurance Agency


Chad Hannan

Director of Supply Chain

Complete Nutrition


Matthew Henkes

Director of Grants Programs

Iowa West Foundation

Carol Horner


Synchronicity Consulting


Matt Johnson


Barley's Bar


Edd Leach


Leach Camper Sales


Gary Matters

President / CEO

Frontier Savings Bank


Lorrie Reddish

Director of Case Management

Methodist Jennie Edmundson


Wendy Schultz

Chief of Staff

City of Council Bluffs


Ron Tekippe


HGM Associates