February 04, 2023

Destination Newton Alliance makes changes to leadership, name, membership

Wade steps down as president, group wants to expand past downtown

Destination Newton Alliance's president, Vicki Wade, is stepping down from the organization, which will now be led by two co-chairs. In addition to the leadership change, the group changed its name and will be expanding its membership past downtown.

The downtown Newton group that commonly holds events to bolster interest in small businesses has a new name, new leadership and a new way for others outside the town square to get involved.

Destination Downtown Newton Alliance has dropped the “Downtown” from its namesake to better describe its new endeavors, the group’s founder Vicki Wade told Newton News. Wade, who is also a member of the city council, has decided to step down as acting president of Destination Newton.

Taking Wade’s place are local business operators Julie Jones, owner of Choices, and Dan Nieland, owner of Nostalgia Wine & Spirits, who will be serving as co-chairs. With the work of her new corporate job and the added responsibilities of her work in city council, Wade thought it was best to step down.

With the change of leadership also comes a change in operations. Wade said the group has expanded its area to include all businesses in the 50208 zip code. Members of Destination Newton, she added, will venture out to all businesses to invite them to the group or even become members themselves.

Membership is not necessary in order to be involved with the group. As of December 2023, Destination Newton has accumulated 25 members, Wade said.

“What we wanted to make sure we did not do was create an exclusive membership,” Wade said. “We want all businesses to feel they can be a part of the events that makes the best sense to them … We’re very event-focused. That’s a major goal of ours is to hold as many events as possible.”

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.