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Ackerson earns statewide entrepreneur award
Staci Ackerson of Shankland Insurance, Charles City, received the 2019 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award Feb. 26 in Des Moines. The award "honors an Iowa entrepreneur who has been in business a minimum of three years and has been significantly assisted by an Iowa Small Business Development Center." Ackerson was named the North Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month for September 2018. Using state grants, she moved the business from downtown Charles City to the derelict Western Railroad depot. The renovation included adding two rental apartments and maintaining the historical charm of the building.
Community Kitchen honors volunteer, names board
Barry Trump, from Mason City, was recognized as the 2018 Volunteer of the Year during the annual meeting of The Community Kitchen of North Iowa, Inc. The agency announced it served more than 47,000 meals in 2018. Board members for 2019 include: Jessica Reith, president; Jan Faktor, vice president; Megan Studer, secretary-treasurer; and members Linda Brunsvold, Rev. Kenneth Gehling, Michelle Jurgens, Wally Reidel, and Jean Palmer (past president).
Hanson Foundation adds to Winnebago campaign drive
The Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation and the Winnebago County Conservation Board announced they received a $400,000 grant from the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Family Foundation to go toward the Environmental Education Center Capital Campaign. The groups have raised $900,000 of the $1.2 million goal for the project. Officials hope to open the facility in 2020.
Grocery Grab raises nearly $7k for Hawkeye Harvest
The Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau’s annual Grab and Give Grocery Event raised $6,964 for Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank. The team from North Iowa Collision Center finished first among the 21 teams, finishing just 5 cents of the $250 goal. POET Biorefining collected the most groceries in the 5 minutes, more than $716. The event was held Feb. 19 at Hy-Vee West in Mason City.
Quirk joins LSI as vice president
Lutheran Services in Iowa named Steve Quirk as associate vice president of Child Welfare Services. Quirk will oversee the statewide services that have child welfare contracts with the Iowa Department of Human Services. Lisk previously served as CEO of Youth Emergency Shelter and Services.
PDCM promotes Rothweiler
Waterloo-based PDCM Insurance Inc.promoted Grant Rothweiler to vice president of employee benefits. Rothweiler has been with PDCM since 2014, most recently serving as a benefits consultant.
Rock Falls plans annual meeting
The annual meeting of Rock Falls Area Betterment, Inc. will be held at 7 p.m., March 6, at the Rock Falls Community Center.
ISU Extension co-hosts rural angel investing workshop
Iowa Rural Equity Project, ISU Extension and Outreach, and Ag Ventures Alliance will host a workshop on angel investing in agricultural technology and strategic rural ventures. The event is at 3 p.m. March 21 at The Music Man Square. There is no cost; register by calling 641-423-0844 or emailing email@example.com.
Trade, water quality on ag group's agenda
The annual meeting of the Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experimental Association is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 5 at the Borlaug Learning Center, ISU Northeast Research Farm, Nashua. Speakers include: Wendong Zhang, Extension ag economist, Brian Dougherty, ag engineering field specialist, and Natasha Hoover, research associate from the ISU water quality research lab. For more information about the event, call Terry Basol at 641-426-6801.
Regional ag research group plans meeting
The annual meeting of the North Central Iowa Research Association is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 6 at the Wesley Community Center meeting room. Topics include the growing season outlook and corn rootworm management. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the meeting will adjourn at 2 p.m.
Bratrud elected to Jaycees post
Tessa Bratrud was elected as the 2019 President of the Mason City Junior Chamber, or Jaycees. Bratrud is a content coordinator with Visit Mason City.
Bohl Bormann receives ag award
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig named Nancy Bohl Bormann, certified crop adviser in Algona, a recipient of one of the Iowa Ag Leader awards for conservation. Bohl Bormann is an environmental services manager and agronomist for The Maschhoffs in north central Iowa. Bohl Bormann and her husband also farm near Algona.
Ellis joins Hancock County Health System
Hancock County Health System announced that Dr. Anthony Ellis will join the medical staff in March. Ellis, a primary care physician, will see patients at the Garner Medical Clinic. An Iowa native, Ellis holds degrees from the University of Osteopathic Medicine, Iowa State and Iowa Central, and he completed his residency in Sioux City.
Enghs earn Entrepreneurs of the Month award
The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the North Iowa Area SBDC named Derek and Lizanne Engh of North Iowa Lumber & Design as the Entrepreneurs of the Month for February 2019. The couple, each 22 years old at the time, purchased Britt Lumber Co. in 2007 and over the last 12 years have expanded from a single to five locations, including one in Forest City. They also added property management to their portfolio by starting Engh Rental.
Mason City trio named to Kiwanis regional roles
Three members of the River City (morning) Kiwanis Club of Mason City were selected for leadership positions within the Nebraska-Iowa district of Kiwanis International: Gary Farman will serve as the lieutenant governor for District 1; Gary Lindgren will be the trustee for Region 4; and Gary Wattnem will serve as the membership chair for clubs within the Nebraska-Iowa district.
Monaghan rises to partner at Hogan-Hansen
Laura Monaghan was promoted to partner at Hogan-Hansen, P.C. Monaghan has worked at Hogan-Hansen since 2010 and helps manage the Mason City office.
Tourism group honors Broers, Clear Lake
The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry at a ceremony Feb. 7 in Altoona.
Sara Broers, Mason City, was named outstanding individual leader, and the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commercewas the rural recipient of the Outstanding Marketing Collaboration award.
Newman Foundation names new board members
The Newman Catholic Foundation named four new board members: Andy Meyer, partner at Bergland + Cram Architects; Tim Worman, product manager for Vanair Manufacturing; Steve Fettkether, owner/agent of Edwards-Brandt Insurance; and Todd Sheldon, IT tech for Golden Grain Energy.
Mason City, Algona, POET win healthy awards
The Healthiest State Initiative announced the winners of the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards on Feb. 8. Mason City was honored for the second consecutive year. Other North Iowa winners included Algona and POET Biorefining in Hanlontown. The winners were recognized for improving "the physical, social and emotional well-being of their students, employees and fellow Iowans."
Thirnbeck installed as Iowa Jaycees president
Parker Thirnbeck, Mason City Junior Chamber (Jaycees) member and public defender supervisor of the Mason City Public Defender’s Office, was installed as the 91st President of the Iowa Junior Chamber on Feb. 9. He also received the Iowa Governor Award, the group's highest honor and recognizing a recipient "who has made significant contributions to their local community and chapter."
Alliant donates to Habitat's Marshalltown plan
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa received a $25,000 donation from Alliant Energy to support the organization's construction team to complete a Rebuild Marshalltown Blitz Build in April. Habitat will repair between 30 to 40 homes in a five-day period.
Ozark recognizes Kruse
Ozark National Life Insurance gave Cathy Kruse, Marble Rock, a Top Producer of 2018 award at its national convention, Jan. 3 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Kruse was also recognized as being a top-five agent for 25 consecutive years and for having the highest number of life insurance policies in force within the company, according to a release.
Lycke joins Lichtsinn
Cody Lycke recently joined Forest City-based Lichtsinn RV as a RV sales consultant. Lycke graduated from Alden, attended Des Moines Area CC, and graduated from Upper Iowa. He previously worked at TSB Bank as the chief growth officer. He lives in rural North Iowa with his wife and three sons.
First Citizens announces several promotions
Mason City-based First Citizens Bank announced the following several promotions:
Tara Kruckenberg has been promoted to vice president teller management in Mason City;
Jon Prebeck has been promoted to vice president retail in Mason City;
Kim Badker has been promoted to retail banking officer in Mason City;
Jaci Ballance has been promoted to teller supervisor II in Mason City;
MaKenzie Johnson has been promoted to personal banker II in Mason City;
Amanda O’Banion has been promoted to personal banker in Mason City;
Debbie Werstein has been promoted to teller II in Mason City.
Susan Toftey has been promoted to vice president retail supervisor in Clarion.
Jill Fibikar has been promoted to assistant vice president retail supervisor in New Hampton.
Clear Lake Chamber presents annual awards
The Clear Lake Area Chamber held its 76th annual awards presentation and transition into a new Board and officers for 2019. In addition to four new board members, another member "renewed" for a three-year term: Deb Cash, Farmers State Bank.
New board members for a three-year term include: Kelli Mason, Lake Lifestyles; Aaron Donaldson, Lake Theater; Denni Erickson, Ward-Van Sklye Colonial Chapel; Mark Dodd, interim CEO, One Vision. Retiring board members are: Jay Allen, Allen Travel Agency, and Al Gouchanour, Larson’s Mercantile.
Chamber officers for 2019: Diana Symonds, McQuaid Agency, chair; Kristy King, Bergland & Cram Architects, past chair; Laurie Lietz, Surf Ballroom and Museum, appointed board member; Natalie Plagge, Clear Lake Bank & Trust, treasurer; Carrie Tysdahl, American Business Solutions, vice president, tourism; Erickson, vice president, government relations; and Dan Nichols, CL Tel, chair-elect.
Annual award recipients included: 2018 Business of the Year, Lake Theater; 2018 Larry Luker Volunteer of the Year, Kelly Steenhard, Dean Snyder Construction; Education Partner of the Year, Mallory Huffman, Surf Ballroom and Museum; North Iowa Service Award, Mark Holt; and First Mate of the Year, Alice Hanley, Alpha Media.
One Vision receives grant from ITC Midwest
Clear Lake-based One Vision received a $15,000 grant from ITC Midwest to facilitate community-based job placement and training for individuals with disabilities and other needs, according to a release. The grant will be used to support career exploration, job shadowing, training and coaching.
NIACC Pappajohn Center offers free workshop
The NIACC Pappajohn Center and the Small Business Development Center will offer a free workshop 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in room 117. The workshop is for anyone who is considering starting a business. Participants will learn how to create a business plan, do market research, consider different types of business ownership and learn how to register a business. To register, call Mary Spitz at 641-422-342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chizek completes certification
Cyndi Chizek, a functional medicine health coach with Chizek Health Coaching, recently completed examination and certification as a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. The exam is administered by the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Meints named president of national seed group
Jeff Meints, president and CEO of Clear Lake-based Titan Pro, was recently named the 2019 president of the Independent Professional Seed Association during the group's 30th conference in January. Meints is in his fifth year on the IPSA board of directors and has also served as the voting delegate on the US Grains Council for five years. Titan Pro sells seed, crop protection and crop insurance in Iowa and surrounding states.
Deadline for apprenticeship grants nears
Organizations have until Feb. 22 to submit proposals to Iowa Workforce Development to receive funding to grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa.
Iowa Workforce Development recently was awarded an additional $1 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa. The grant is focused on expanding opportunities in health care, as well as increasing the participation of women, youth, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities.
For more information, visit iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov.
Hospice of North Iowa names new director, board members
Katherine (Katie) Schuessler has been named director of Hospice of North Iowa and Palliative Medicine, according to a release. Schuessler, a Mason City native, has been at Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa since 2007.
Hospice of North Iowa also added two board bembers: Philip Garland from Garner and Cathy Rottinghaus from Charles City. New officers include: Kurtis Meyer, board chair, St. Ansgar; and Jaci Thorson, board secretary, Forest City.
Bahler joins ATURA
Logan Bahler has joined ATURA Architecture in Clear Lake as a graphics and marketing coordinator. Bahler graduated from York (Neb.) College and has eight years of graphics experience, including previously as an advertising coordinator with Sukup Manufacturing. He lives in Clear Lake with his wife and daughter, and they are in the process of adopting two boys from Central African Republic.
Report: Architecture billings slow to finish 2018
Architecture firm billings growth softened in December but remained positive for the 15th consecutive month, according to The American Institute of Architects. In the Midwest, the index increase 3.2 points from November, said Jessica Reinert, executive director of AIA Iowa. “Construction in the Midwest seems unaffected by the ongoing tariff situation thus far compared to the soft growth in other areas across the United States.”
Junior Achievement seeks volunteers
Junior Achievement is seeking community and business volunteers to serve as "classroom mentors" in the Mason City School District. Junior Achievement is a national nonprofit that works with schools to provide "financial literacy and career readiness skills," according to a release. For more information, email email@example.com.
NIACC hosts workforce diversity workshop
North Iowa Area Community College, IowaWorks and Employers’ Council of Iowa will hold a half-day seminar on "Welcoming and Retaining Diverse Talent," from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 12 at NIACC. Russ Curry, with 28 years of human resources experience, and Victory Oyervides, a native of Mexico and business specialist with Iowa State Extension, will lead the workshop. For more information or to register, visit niacc.augusoft.net or call 641-422-4358.
DreamDirt to open office in Mason City
DreamDirt Auctioneers took possession of its new location in Mason City earlier this month. The facility, located on Highway 18 in front of Walmart, will be developed into DreamDirt’s Northern Iowa Farmland Auction Center, according to a release, and will serve as a bidding and operations center for the company’s live and online auctions. Its other location is in De Soto.
Pork conference set Jan. 23-24
The Iowa Pork Producers Association will host the 47th annual Iowa Pork Congress on Jan. 23 and 24 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. For more information or to register online, go to iowaprokcongress.org.
Cabin Coffee promotes Smidt
Becca Smidt was promoted to master barista at Cabin Coffee in October 2018. Smidt has been with Cabin Coffee for a little over two years.
RSVP of North Central Iowa recognizes volunteers
In recognition of National Mentoring Month, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of North Central Iowa honored its reading coach volunteers who tutor and mentor middle school students to improve literacy skills. For more information, visit niacc.edu/rsvp or call 888-466-4222 ext. 4256.
Forest City Middle School: Judith Anderson, Mary Baxter, Barb Braun, Annette Bruns, Cheryl Burke, Paul Fitzgerald, Cheryl Hanna, Joan Hansen, Ken Hansen, Cynthia Korth, and Mary Schaefer.
Lincoln Intermediate School, Mason City: Robin Bratvold, Jack Gannett, Don Gettner, Raymond Heimbuch, Vel Mondahl, and Vicki Robertson.
North Iowa Middle School, Buffalo Center: Joe Angstman and Connie Brooks.
West Hancock Middle School, Kanawha: Kathy Johnson and Jean Sheets.
Beef conference set Jan. 24-25
With nearly 2.5 million cattle in four Midwest states, university extension services in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin will offer the Driftless Region Beef Conference, Jan. 24-25 in Dubuque. More information on topics, speakers and lodging is available at aep.iastate.edu/beef.
First Citizens names donation recipients
Mason City-based First Citizens Charitable Foundation, Inc. announced the 86 area organizations that received $486,500 in donations in 2018. It distributes funds to charitable, religious, educational and health care institutions in North Iowa and Minnesota. Application deadlines are June 1 and Nov. 15 of each year. Since 1995, more than $6.4 million has been donated. Click on "Charitable Foundation" at myfcb.bank for more information.
American Red Cross $1,000; B.A.D.G.E.S. $5,000; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa $2,500; Charles City Booster Club $1,000; Charles City Community School District $2,500; Charles City Garden Corridor Committee $1,000; Charlie Brown Preschool & Child Care $5,000; Chickasaw Athletic Booster Club $3,600; Chickasaw Township Fire Department $10,000; City Improvement Association of Charles City $1,000; City of Forest City $10,000; City of Ionia $2,500;
City of Mason City $10,000; Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce $2,500; Community Bankers of Iowa Educational Foundation $5,000; Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, Inc. $10,000; Community Kitchen of North Iowa $5,250; Comprehensive Systems, Inc. $6,500; Coulter Public Library $1,000; Crisis Intervention $4,000; Cub Cadet Childhood Center $5,000; Elderbridge Agency on Aging $10,000;
Faith Lutheran Home $2,000; Family YMCA of Charles City $2,000; Floyd County Fair Society $15,000; Fossil & Prairie Center Foundation $5,000; Foster Grandparent Program – Floyd County $2,500; Francis Lauer Youth & Shelter Services, Inc. $40,000; Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation $1,000; Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa $5,000; Good Shepherd, Inc. $1,000; Healthy Harvest of North Iowa $2,000;
Homes for Haiti $1,500; Iowa College Foundation $5,000; Iowa Specialty Hospital Foundation $11,000; Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa $2,500; Kanabec County Community Health $25,000; Kanabec County Sheriff Reserves $3,500; Kanawha Christian School $1,000; Kanawha Community Swimming Pool $2,500; KCMR Radio $2,500; Kick Cancer to the Curb $2,000;
Lutheran Services in Iowa $5,000; Mason City Choral Music Guild $5,000; Mason City Family YMCA $8,500; Mason City Police Department $1,500; Mason City Public Library $5,000; Meals on Wheels $5,000; Mercy Medical Center – New Hampton $5,000; Mercy Medical Center Foundation – North Iowa $2,000; Mitchell County Memorial Foundation, Inc. $1,000; Mora Elementary $5,650;
Mora Food Pantry $3,000; Mora High School $2,000; NIACC $1,000; NIACC Foundation $31,950; NIACOG Housing Trust Fund $5,000; North Iowa Band Festival Foundation $5,000; North Iowa Christian School $12,500; North Iowa Community Action Organization $5,000; North Iowa Events Center $10,000; North Iowa Transition Center $1,000;
NIVC Services, Inc. $2,750; North Iowa Youth For Christ $10,000; Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless $21,500; Ogilvie-Mora Swim Team $7,000; One Heartland $5,000; One Vision $1,000; Osage Community Day Care $15,000; Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavior Healthcare $15,000; Project Flo Association $2,000; Rockwell Lions Club $2,000;
Salvation Army $1,000; Salvation Army Adult Day Health Center $11,000; Senior Citizens Center $1,000; Spin Devo $2,500; St. Paul’s Lutheran School $1,800; Stacyville Community Nursing Home $1,000; Stebens Children’s Theatre $1,000; The World Food Prize Foundation $10,000; TLC: The Learning Center $5,000; UNI Foundation $1,000;
Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc. $2,000; Visit Mason City Iowa $5,000; Winnebago Council Boy Scouts of America $5,000; Wright On The Park, Inc. $1,500.
Anderson moves into president, owner role with Skott & Anderson
Skott & Anderson Architects announced Gary Anderson as its president and owner. Craig Skott, past president and company founder, remains on staff as project architect. Anderson joined Craig Skott Architects in 1994 and formed Skott & Anderson Architects in 2006. He is an Iowa native, graduated from Iowa State and lives in Mason City with his wife.
MBT donates to Winnebago fund
Manufacturer’s Bank and Trust donated $10,000 to the the Winnebago County Conservation Board and the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation, according to a release. The money will go toward an environmental education center. The groups have raised about $474,000 for the $1.2 million facility.
Visit Mason City announces tourism grant recipients
Visit Mason City awarded $5,000 in grants to nine local tourism events and programs from its Tourism Marketing Grant Program.
Award recipients included: Charles H. MacNider Art Museum; Friends of the 457; Healthy Harvest of North Iowa; Iowa Lions District 9NC; North Iowa Band Festival; North Iowa Events Center: Trouble Pool Tournament; North Iowa Events Center: River City Warm‐Ups; River City Society for Historic Preservation; and Wright on the Park for billboard advertising.
The grants provide financial assistance for marketing projects that promote events that attract tourism activity to the community. The next round of applications for the program are due on Feb. 1. For more information, visit visitmasoncityiowa.com/tourism-marketing-grant.
Schneider joins IOOF; IOOF promotes Esser
The IOOF Home and Community Therapy Center announced the addition of Shelly Schneider and promotion of Billie Esser.
Schneider will serve as the director of nursing, managing the nursing department and setting and monitoring care standards. She earned degrees from NIACC and Chamberlain and is pursuing a master's from Capella. She previously worked as an EMT for 12 years and as a nurse for nine years.
Esser will be the assistant director of nursing. She has been with IOOF for 10 years; her experience includes 20 years in long-term care and 14 years as a nurse. Esser has degrees from NIACC and Ellsworth.
Dohlman joins Ashley HomeStore
Dan Dohlman has joined Ashley HomeStore in Mason City as the store manager. Dohlman has previous experience in home furnishings and as a sales manager.
Kossuth EDC celebrates intern program
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp. will celebrate its 20th year of its summer intern program in 2019, according to a release.
Engels joins CENT
CENT Credit Union announced that Alanna Engels has joined the organization as a member service representative. Engels attended Newman Catholic and NIACC and graduated from Iowa State. She has nine years of experience in ag sales and marketing. Engels lives in Clear Lake with her husband and two daughters.
Graham joins Jane Fischer & Associates
Jane Fischer & Associates announced the addition of Realtor Sales Associate Jessica Graham. She is a Mason City native and graduated from Iowa State. Graham also owns and operates her own company, Maneuvers.
Winnebago donates thousands of meals
Forest City-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. contributed 268,640 meals to its hometown communities, including Forest City and Charles City, leading up to Christmas. The company's goal for the drive was 60,000 meals.
Haas Chiropractic donates to NIVC
Haas Chiropractic Clinic donated $5,000 to North Iowa Vocational Center, or NIVC, on Dec. 20 as part of its annual giving back to the community. According to Dr. David Haas, each year they choose a nonprofit organization to support and collect funds through offers to new patients.
Hofbauer retires from Winnebago board
Rick Hofbauer of Buffalo Center retired from the Winnebago County Conservation Board on Dec. 10. Hofbauer served on the board for 26 years.
Odegaard joins Mercy Behavioral Health
Amber Odegaard, temporary licensed mental health counselor, joined Mercy Behavioral Health Services. Odegaard is the primary therapist for the Intensive Outpatient Program. She earned degrees from Minnesota State and Argosy and previously worked at facilities, health centers and schools in southern Minnesota.
Mason City receives Cultural Affairs grant
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awarded a $9,096 grant to the Mason City Historic Preservation Commission for the "Melson Mausoleum Historic Rehabilitation" project. The local group aims to "develop a treatment plan for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the building," which was designed by prominent Prairie School architect Barry Byrne.
Uhde, Jones join Clear Lake Bank & Trust
Clear Lake Bank & Trust announced the addition of two new employees: Tonya Uhde and Hannah Jones.
Uhde, from the Stewartville, Minnesota area, will join the Garner office. She has four years of experience in retail, consumer lending and real estate banking. She lives in rural Meservey with her husband; they have two grown children.
Jones, a Mason City native and graduate of NIACC and Iowa State, will be a a trust assistant in the Clear Lake office. She most recently worked in insurance, and she lives in Clear Lake.
Kossuth EDC plans Ag Education Day
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation will host an Ag Education Day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 13at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg. Topics include Midwest ag trends and trade policies. For more information and registration details, visit kossuth-edc.com.
Two at Manly Specialty Care win awards
Staff members at Manly Specialty Care claimed two of the seven awards given Dec. 7 at the Care Initiatives annual awards brunch in West Des Moines. Care Initiatives operates 52 facilities throughout Iowa.
Natalie Leewright, a cook at Manly Specialty Care, received the Be Consistent Award. She joined MSC in 2008 at the age of 16.
Monica Meyer, a CNA/CMA, received the Employee of the Year Award. Meyer joined MSC in 2016 as a CNA and is studying to become an LPN.
Cerro Gordo Health grant will go toward five schools
The University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network named Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health one of seven winners in its Community Grant Program. The $3,000 award will be used to install sensory pathways within five elementary schools in Mason City and Clear Lake to provide a physical activity outlet for students between classes. According to a release, "Similar pathways have been found to improve attention and behaviors of students in the classroom, and provide a convenient and effective way for youth to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors."
Sonquists earn Entrepreneurs of the Month award
The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the North Iowa Area SBDC named Dean and Marcia Sonquist of Plas-Tech Tooling as the Entrepreneurs of the Month for December 2018. The couple founded the Garner business in 1993 in their two-car garage while juggling full-time jobs. Plas-Tech specializes in custom molding needs, working with NIACC and Iowa State for staff development and business leads and on technological specs.
Henkel Construction promotes Phillips
Henkel Construction Company announced the promotion of Bill Phillips to business development director. Phillips joined Henkel in September 2016 as a business development representative. He will now oversee business development activities and staff for Henkel’s North Iowa and Central Iowa offices. Phillips lives in Mason City with his wife; they have three grown children.
Thome joins Focus Insurance
Julie Thome joined Focus Insurance Team in St. Ansgar. She brings with her, over 11 years of experience in the insurance industry. Thome, an Iowa State graduate, is licensed to sell health, life, property casualty, annuities and crop insurance. She lives in St. Ansgar with her husband and three children.
Iowa State Extension hosts annual crop seminar
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold its annual Crop Advantage Series Jan. 11 in the Muse-Norris Conference Center at NIACC. The seminar aims to help producers "make smart, informed decisions for the farming operation," according to a release.
Topics include: market outlook, crop production, soil pH and liming research update, soybean disease management, herbicide resistance, nitrogen management in variable environments, and current status of tariffs.
For fee and registration information, visit cropadvantage.org.
Wessels joins CENT Credit Union
Christopher Wessels joined CENT Credit Union as investment advisor. Wessels, who graduated from Osage, NIACC and Northern Iowa, has held a securities and insurance license since 1996. He lives in Clear Lake with his wife; they have three adult children and one grandchild.
North Iowa Fair receives award
Mason City's North Iowa Fair was awarded the 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair Award by the Association of Iowa Fairs during the group's annual meeting, Dec. 7-9 in Des Moines. The award recognizes the fair that shows progress in providing youth programs and community service in the group's North Central District. The Association of Iowa Fairs is the organizational body of the fair industry in Iowa.
Young selected to lead new respite group
Karen Young, Mason City, was named Respite Companions Group’s first program coordinator. The group, launched in October, utilizes a volunteer network to provide family caregivers time off. Young, a native of Clear Lake, served as an ordained Methodist minister for 21 years.
Siems joins CASA volunteer network
Linda Siems, Nora Springs, was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, or CASA, volunteer Nov. 27 by Judge Adam Sauer. The group advocates for abused and neglected children in North Iowa judicial settings.
One Vision receives accreditation
Clear Lake-based One Vision recently received a three-year accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or CARF, following a three-day onsite visit in October. The review included a look at programs, services, employment, policies and procedures. The evaluation highlighted One Vision's "dedication, compassion, and enthusiasm for the services they provide," according to a release. One Vision, which provides personal and employment supports for individuals with disabilities in 30 Iowa communities, has been accredited by CARF since the 1980s.
NIACC Pappajohn Center offers free workshop
The NIACC Pappajohn Center and the Small Business Development Center will offer a free workshop 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, in room 117. The workshop is for anyone who is considering starting a business. Participants will learn how to create a business plan, do market research, consider different types of business ownership and learn how to register a business. To register, call Mary Spitz at 641-422-342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seidel joins Hertz Farm Management
Nevada-based Hertz Farm Management, Inc. announced the addition of Carrie Seidel, farm manager, to the Mason City office. Seidel, who grew up on a diary farm in northeast Iowa, graduated from Iowa State. She previously worked for Wyffels Hybrids and is a licensed real estate agent in Iowa and Minnesota.
FCIS acquires New Jersey agency
Forest City-based Farm & City Insurance Services, or FCIS, announced the acquisition of The Tobin Agency located in Collingswood, New Jersey. The deal is scheduled to close Jan. 2; terms were not released in a press release. FCIS has an office in Lake Mills, as well, but the Tobin Deal is its first outside of Iowa. Both agencies, who've had a "business association in a related area since 2014," specialize in recreational vehicle insurance.
Thomas leads two seminars at NIACC
NIACC will host author and productivity consultant Audrey Thomas on Jan. 10 in the Muse Norris Conference Center on the NIACC campus. Thomas will lead two seminars, one on productivity and one on organization. For more information, including cost, call 641-422-4358.
MacNider family donates to museum
The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum Foundation received $50,000 from Margaret MacNider, who died Sept. 19. The museum also received several gifts in her memory.
MacNider, according to a release, "understood the museum’s importance to the North Iowa community and the need for funding its future." The foundation is a private nonprofit, while the museum receives about half of its funding from the city. Grants, donations, memberships and classes are the other funding sources.
Whalen receives national EDC award
Rick Whalen, director of economic development for Butler County REC and Franklin REC received the 2018 NREDA Rural Economic Development Leadership Award at the National Rural Economic Developers Association's annual conference, Nov. 7-9 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The award "recognizes outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development" and a project that improves quality of life and creates new jobs.
Mason City Clinic announces grant recipients
The Mason City Clinic Charitable Giving Committee recently awarded grants to several organizations in the North Iowa area for "projects that enhance health, safety and educational programs in North Iowa communities," according to a release.
Health: Elderbridge Agency on Aging, $1,500; Living Free Ministries, $1,500; Mason City Soccer Club, $3,710.
Education: Boy Scout troop 1012, $400; Charles City Garden Corridor, $6,400; Charles H. MacNider Museum, $3,000; Choral Music Guild, $10,000.
Safety: Exceptional Opportunities, $500; Mason City Schools – Phys. Ed, $5,000; North Iowa Christian School, $3,000; One Vision, $5,850; Spin Devo Junior Cycling, $2,630.
Building and Reconstruction: Mason City Senior Activity Center, $5,000; North Iowa Vocational Center, $2,000.