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Kurt Karr


President & CEO

My role.

I wish I could spend all day every day learning about the unique needs and capabilities of clients, and when done with that, I would be excited to imagine what their best future could look like, and just after putting those ideas down, I'd dive into the strategies pulling all those strands together, all while working with our team as they do the same. 


How can you call it work when that means being with talented and fun people – one of whom is my decades-long wilderness canoe traveler and son?


A favorite client.


Not hearing well led me to avoid social situations, business meetings, visiting friends, and generally hurting my relationships. As I learned later from doing interviews and research, my experience was quite common. Hearing loss usually happens gradually, and the person who has lost hearing doesn't realize what's caused them to lose touch with the world around them. It can appear that the person has just become more withdrawn, or as my grandson informed me when I'd said "what" too many times and with too much emphasis, "when you say 'what' like that, you sound grumpy."


I went to the audiologists my son-in-law trusts at Cedar Rapids Hearing Center. I was so excited by the change in my hearing that I recommended my father-in-law go there and now he hears better. A friend asked me about my experience, and after getting hearing aids, he told me how much he appreciated hearing music again.


I believed in the difference CR Hearing makes for patients that I almost begged for the chance to improve their marketing. They hired us, and our team created a new website, inside signage, a beefed-up referral program, designed print ads, and provide management of their social media and digital advertising.


Melissa Heinricy and Nancy Sickelka are great examples of our clients and our projects. They are dedicated to the people they serve, and their attitude is infectious. 

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Stone Ridge Developing.

My obsession.

The practical application of creativity to solve the everyday problems of small businesses, small communities, and rural America is what I'm obsessed with. There is no stone tablet commanding small businesses to struggle or small towns to shrink. I believe rural America has much to teach America and that, in turn, rural residents can learn valuable lessons from our fellow citizens living in urban areas.


I am convinced that creativity is the pursuit of solutions we haven't yet seen and the source of the energy we need to keep moving despite monumental challenges.


Kurt's experience comes from owning and managing businesses in very diverse industries, including construction, office supplies, and software as a service. Except for a few years pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, he's lived in his hometown of Vinton, Iowa. His commitment to the importance of community reflects years of experience as a school board member, a community volunteer, and a resource for innovative initiatives. Kurt organized a large group of volunteers who worked from 2014 to 2018 to create Vinton's successful, municipally-owned fiber-to-the-home project.