When Ron Corbett was elected as the youngest speaker of the House of Representatives in Iowa history, he came to my farm to get acquainted. He asked for advice on how to be a successful speaker. We had coffee and even some ice cream at that meeting, but what I remember most is that he was a listener. Ron’s gone on to a lot of success and gotten a lot done. He puts ideas to work.”
- U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley
If you really want to know how young people decide where to live, you have to talk to them. Ron Corbett has. You’ll find that they choose a location because of the presence of a job and the recreational opportunities after work. Ron has recognized this basic fact throughout his career.”
- Chuck Gipp, Former Majority Leader, Iowa House of Representatives
Ron Corbett and I were both on the ballot in 1986, and he really impressed me then as a smart, hard-working candidate. He’s impressed me ever since as a leader in Cedar Rapids and in Iowa. He’s humble–something too rare in officeholders–and he’s aggressive in fighting for people. That’s a great combination.”
- Former six-term U.S. Rep. Tom Tauke, Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District
This books is further proof of what the people of Cedar Rapids already knew; Ron Corbett is a leader with big ideas. Great read! ”
In an era of constant political bickering, Beyond Promises proves what can be possible if our leaders are committed to finding solutions to our challenges. ”
Ron Corbett is one of the most fascinating and impactful leaders in Iowa's modern history. From Speaker of the House to Mayor of Cedar Rapids and "ideas" man at Engage Iowa, our state is far better for having had his leadership. Fascinating book about a fascinating leader.”
“Beyond Promises” is a memoir of sorts by Ron Corbett, who became the youngest speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives and who now is finishing up his eighth year as mayor of Iowa’s second largest city, Cedar Rapids. In the late 1990s, Corbett was considered a possible Republican candidate for Congress or governor. Then he surprised many and resigned from the Legislature so he wouldn’t have to spend so much time away from home and his growing family. He headed the local Chamber of Commerce for six years, a period in which he led a community campaign to rebuild schools, another to redevelop the Cedar Rapids riverfront and a third that brought professional management to Cedar Rapids city government. Corbett’s tenure as Cedar Rapids mayor coincided with the city’s recovery from a devastating flood in 2008, the costliest natural disaster in Iowa history. Can someone who was a leading Republican voice in much of Iowa reclaim statewide prominence and be elected governor? In 2017, that’s the elephant in the room—the unstated question lingering in the backdrop of “Beyond Promises.” This book is Corbett’s first-person account of where he came from and what shaped him, as well as a chronicle of doing, not simply promising.
The perplexing questions stayed the same: Why do companies stay or go, expand or stagnate, move to your city or somewhere else?
My time at Peppy’s gave me a hard-fought, firsthand view of the tribulations of starting a small business from scratch and working to make it a success.
One thing about disasters: News reporters and cameras move on, and recovery and rebuilding take over. And they take time: Years and years, day by day, out of the limelight.