FOREST CITY | FCIS Insurance and KIOW Radio were announced as co-winners of the Business of the Year Award during the Forest City Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development annual meeting last week.
Karin Carlson received the Volunteer of the Year Award, while the late Gaylord H. Wooge was honored with the John K. & Luise V. Hanson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Forest City Parks and Recreation presented its first Gaylord Wooge Service Award to the late Tim Nelson and his family.
FCIS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1978 as an agency in Thompson and opened a branch office in Forest City in the spring of 1982.
In the fall of 1982, FCIS began a nationwide mass marketing effort for the purpose of insuring Winnebago brand products nationwide through the WIT Club.
FCIS now maintains endorsements from all major RV manufacturers in 48 states.
The company moved to its current location in December 2000.
KIOW also is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
The station began broadcasting in November 1978 with 3,000 watts of radiated power that was later boosted to reach from the Boondocks to Albert Lea, and Charles City to Emmetsburg, according to the Chamber.
Carlson has been treasurer of the Winnebago Historical Society since 1991. She's also the treasurer for Heritage Park of North Iowa.
She has taken responsibility for careful accuracy in her bookkeeping and monthly reports, according to The Chamber.
Her nomination noted her outstanding character, her hard work and her honesty and integrity.
Gaylord Wooge was able to use his passions to create an industry standard, according to the Chamber.
His time began in Forest City as a Waldorf student before he left to make his mark on the insurance industry.
Eventually his business grew and he located it in Forest City, where it has grown into a premier national company.
What sounded like just a good idea at the time has grown to the RV insurance industry standard known as the WIT or Wooge endorsement coverage, according to the Chamber.
Wooge was a longtime board member of Forest City Economic Development, serving as an executive board member for a number of years and chairing the small business committee.
He also served on the Forest City Parks and Recreation Board and was a member of the Forest City Rotary Club.
He purchased farm ground east of Forest City and returned it to it to its' natural state, calling it the Walking Eagle Marsh.
The site continues to host the Walking Eagle Pumpkin Patch fundraiser for Relay for Life and Pheasants Forever's No Child Left Indoors, a program that encourages kids to get outdoors to learn firsthand the importance of wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.
Wooge had many lasting relationships in the community and beyond and his reputation preceded him in all that he did, according to the Chamber.
He even had the honor of receiving a shout out on the Pax TV show “Doc”, created by Buffalo Center natives, Dave and Gary Johnson.
Sue Edmondson, director of Forest City Parks and Recreation, said Nelson was the first person they thought of as the first recipient of its service award.
Through the family business Nelson Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, Nelson and his sons maintained the municipal swimming pool for many years. They also maintained the city's aquatic center when it replaced the pool.
"Tim has gone above and beyond for us," Edmondson said.
The Chamber also recognized Karl Wooldridge of KIOW and Marcia Eastvold of TSB Bank, whose terms on the board expired in December, as well as Jackie Kieffer of FCIS Insurance, who served as the 2017 president of the board.