Supply chain development in Northern Iowa [M2017-05]

Project Description: 

Opportunity Village is a nonprofit agency in Clear Lake providing services to Iowans with disabilities, including the creation of community-integrated employment opportunities. The project will research supply chain development to improve utilization of locally grown food. Key aspects will be investigating existing local assets and participants and learning from other regional food hubs; developing a business plan for cooperation among growers, agencies and organizations; experimenting with light processing methods; and assessing feasibility and design of a working commercial space for food aggregation, processing, storage and delivery.

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Lead Investigator: 
Michael Mahaffey
Lead Investigator Bio: 

Michael Mahaffey is the chief development officer for Opportunity Village. A 25-year employee, he holds many responsibilities in this capacity, including small business development. Additional duties include administrative oversite for fund-development, three thrift stores, a greenhouse business, an autism center, vocational training center, volunteer programs, and public relations. Prior experience with other employers includes sales management, marketing, direct sales, project management and customer service.

Opportunity Village has an annual operating budget of more than $26 million. The Village's Strategic Plan outlines the development of small businesses for two purposes: to create jobs for people with disabilities and to increase revenue streams, thus reducing reliance on Medicaid funding.