The Waterloo Black Hawks have been named 2019 Business of the Year, as announced by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber on Wednesday morning.
The team’s award comes in the category of businesses with fewer than 50 full time employees. The Black Hawks and other award winners will be recognized on Tuesday, March 26th during the GCVAC’s annual celebration. All of the honors to be presented that evening signify ongoing commitments by companies and organizations to make the Cedar Valley a better place to work, do business, and live.
“This honor provides the Black Hawks with a new platform to share a story that we have been telling for several years: our organization is excited to be part of a rejuvenated downtown Waterloo, and by working with corporate and local government partners, we are providing our fans with reasons to cheer for the whole community, in addition to our players on the ice,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joe Greene.
“I would like to thank the leadership and staff of the Alliance and Chamber, as well as our peers in the GCVAC.”
Since Young Arena opened in the winter of 1994/95, the Black Hawks have watched from the front row as new amenities have been constructed in every direction and historic buildings have been saved, renovated, and repurposed. During the 2017/18 hockey season, the Hawks brought an average of more than 2,500 fans downtown during 30 regular season home games. In the offseason, development camps operated by the organization attracted hundreds of hockey families to local hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments.
The Black Hawks have made their own downtown investments in recent seasons, as well. State-of-the-art luxury suites, The Cold Zone Lounge, and a modern team store are just some of the new features in Young Arena, all funded by the Black Hawks’ private ownership group within a facility owned by the City of Waterloo.
Regardless of the final score of any one game, the Hawks have made a longstanding commitment to helping the Cedar Valley win. Players and staff volunteer for an array of community causes and non-profits each season, sharing the stories of these groups with live game-night audiences at the rink, via live broadcasts, and through social media channels which reach far and near. Fans focus their enthusiasm for the team into good, most tangibly through specialty jersey auctions raising thousands of dollars for diverse organizations with missions as varied as serving veterans, supporting cancer patients, enabling young people to reach their potential, and providing safe, decent and affordable housing.
The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represent over 40,000 employees.