PHOTO: Joel Althoff
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
“Joel Althoff is a man of many talents and passions.”
This was a statement made by State Farm Insurance Agent Rick Meyer in his nomination letter to the Corridor Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 campaign.
Each year, they honor 40 community leaders who are making a difference in the Corridor (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area). Althoff, 33, of Monticello, was one of the recipients this year.
“I didn’t think I’d actually get it,” Althoff admitted. He knew he was nominated, but said he was up against over 150 others under the age of 40. “This was the biggest class of nominees they’ve ever had.”
Taking pride in his community, his company and his family, Althoff’s list of accomplishments is quite impressive and speaks for itself. First and foremost, after working for his family’s business, Cascade Lumber Manufacturing, in the IT department, Althoff decided to start his own IT company: ITS (Infrastructure Technology Solutions). The Monticello-based business was started in 2007 and continues to grow, with another office in Ankeny, Iowa.
ITS offers outsourced IT services and data housing to businesses in Iowa. ITS has grown to 300 clients thus far and employs 10 people.
As a growing company, ITS has received business awards over the years. Last year they received recognition as one of the fastest growing businesses in the small and mid-sized business class from Ingram Micro.
In 2008, ITS received the Venture Award from IADG (Iowa Area Development Group). This led Althoff to being selected by the IADG to meet and have breakfast with President Barack Obama in 2011 while in Iowa for the Rural Economic Forum.
Althoff is also very community-minded. He helped start the Jones County Young Professionals organization, Ignite. This is a networking opportunity for young professionals in Jones County to take advantage of. Althoff is also heavily involved in the Monticello Rotary Club (you can’t miss him while parking cars during the fair). He’s also volunteered for Chamber events.
With three young kids, two in school, Althoff and his wife, Leslie, dedicate time towards their children’s education by serving on the Monticello Community School District’s technology advisory board. Giving his time toward education, ITS has been the site for students looking for job shadow experiences, high school computer classes and career planning.
“I nominated him because I value his opinions and experiences as a fellow young professional. We serve together through Ignite and Rotary, and I have seen firsthand his dedication to his family, his employees, his clients and his community,” Meyer offered as to why he nominated Althoff.
“I’m a big believer in giving back,” Althoff said. He said it’s important to give back to a community that supports its busineses.
He said he’s proud of having a successful business tied to his name. In opening a second location, Althoff said, “We have Eastern Iowa covered now. We need to expand our services.” By the first of the year, he hopes to have two more employees hired.
Of being named to the Forty Under 40 list for the class of 2013, Althoff said it is something he can now cross off his bucket list.
“It was always one of my goals,” he said. “Anyone can apply or be nominated.” (Anyone under 40, that is.)
Looking over the list, there are impactful people named to the class, some you might see on your local news, other entrepreneurs like Althoff, and community volunteers who’ve made a difference in their hometowns.
“It’s nice this group (the Corridor Business Journal) sees value in what we do,” Althoff said of the recognition.
The ceremony took place on Oct. 24 at Riverside Casino and Resort. This also happened to be the same date as another community event the Althoffs were involved in, Treats on the Streets and the Monster Mile & Monster Dash.
Althoff said each recipient was able to give a short speech, no more than three words. Each additional word cost $25, with the proceeds going toward the Ronald McDonald House. Althoff offered six words himself, but said they raised about $500 for the charity.
“It was a neat idea,” he said.