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Aaron Horn to step down as NewBoCo Executive Director

Named Chief Information Officer with Benchmark, Inc. in Cedar Rapids 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (April 3, 2023) – NewBoCo has announced that Aaron Horn will step down as Executive Director to take a new position as Chief Information Officer with Benchmark, Inc, a national roof and pavement consulting firm based in Cedar Rapids.

Horn will remain with NewBoCo until April 30.  

“I’m excited for this new opportunity because it will utilize my strengths in IT Leadership, and I’m looking forward to helping Benchmark build on their already innovative technology,” Horn said. “Benchmark, much like NewBoCo, has a great entrepreneurial culture and commitment to the community.”

Horn began working with NewBoCo as a member of its Board of Directors in 2014, serving as its chair in 2016. He then joined the NewBoCo staff full-time as Chief Operating Officer in 2017. In 2020, Horn became Executive Director of NewBoCo, replacing founder Eric Engelmann in the role. 

“It’s hard to put into words what NewBoCo has meant to me over the past decade,” Horn said. “It has been a fantastic fit with my passion for entrepreneurship and tech education.  Not to mention the amazing people at NewBoCo that share that passion and make such a huge impact on people’s lives and our communities across Iowa.  I’ve made lifelong friendships here, and I appreciate every one of them.”

A graduate of Iowa State University, Horn worked for 12 years as the Global IT Manager for Becker Underwood before serving as Director of IT for the Iowa Interstate Railroad. Horn also serves on the Board of Directors for nonprofits Miracle Travel Works in Des Moines, Candlelighters NYC in New York City, Hawkeye Area Council – Boy Scouts of America, District 9EC Lions Club, and Beat Cancer Today in Cedar Rapids.

Horn said his goal with NewBoCo has always been to see the state of Iowa “be known for making big things happen.” As he enters his final month of leadership, he believes NewBoCo is positioned to do exactly that.  

“The future is incredibly bright for NewBoCo,” Horn said. “As Community Partnerships continue to expand, NewBoCo will be there to support the growth of entrepreneurial and tech ecosystems across Iowa.  More K-12 students, more adult career changers, more entrepreneurs, and more innovators will be impacted across the state as NewBoCo works with an increasing number of economic developers and educational organizations.  I look forward to supporting and cheering on NewBoCo’s efforts for years to come.”

The NewBoCo Board of Directors will begin a search for the next Executive Director in the next few weeks. For now, the role will be filled on an interim basis by current Chief Operating Officer Jill Wilkins. Wilkins spent 10 years with the Cedar Rapids Downtown District and the Metro Economic Alliance, where she led the newly established Downtown Farmers’ Market. She joined the NewBoCo team in 2016 and became Chief Operating Officer in 2020.  

“Aaron has been an integral part of NewBoCo since day one,” Wilkins said. “His passion for supporting and growing the entrepreneurial community, growing computer science education in Iowa, and providing life-changing opportunities to our DeltaV students is unmatched. He leads with compassion and creates a space and atmosphere for our staff to dream big ideas, and supports them to go out and make them happen. We will miss him, and we wish him all the best in his newest role.”

About NewBoCo

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) is a 501(c)(3) organization located in the New Bohemia neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NewBoCo’s programming supports entrepreneurship, innovation and tech education to help Iowans become more resilient and thrive in a changing economy.

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