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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Fat Hill staff earns beer certification
Fat Hill Brewing, Mason City, announced all of its employees completed the Cicerone Certification Program Beer Server certification, passing a 60-question test administered. The test covers all the taproom fundamentals, beer styles, flavors, and ingredients.
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.
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.
Hamton's Gibson named Entrepreneur of the Month
The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the North Iowa Area SBDC named Russel Gibson of Christensen Jewelry as the Entrepreneur of the Month for March 2019. Gibson bought the Hampton-based business in 1988 after repairing and restoring high-end watches at the wholesale level. He's since added wholesale jewelry, cell phone retail, lawnmower, video, and tanning stores, along with commercial and residential real estate to his portfolio.
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.
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.
Kruckenberg earns customer service award
Scot Kruckenberg, an American Family Insurance agent in Mason City, has been recognized for providing an outstanding customer experience under the American Star Excellent in Customer Experience Certification Program. The award process consists of a customer satisfaction survey which measures customers' overall experience with their current American Family agent. Kruckenberg has been an agent for American Family since 1990.
Lawson named to Great Nurses list
Michele Lawson, director of nursing at Manly Specialty Care since 2007, was named to the 100 Great Iowa Nurses list and will be honored May 5 in Des Moines. Lawson has been a nurse for more than 25 years and helped the facility earn a five-star rating from CMS.
Manufacturing Institute honors Schmitt
The Manufacturing Institute announced it will award Emily Schmitt with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award, honoring "women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry." Schmitt is the general counsel at Sheffield-based Sukup Manufacturing Co.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ruroden earns American Land Title Association designation
Zachary A. Ruroden was awarded a National Title Professional designation from the American Land Title Association, recognizing "land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property." Ruroden is president of Fritcher Abstract Co. Inc. in Storm Lake and G.T. Murphy Abstract Co. in New Hampton.
Soybean groups honor Latham
Don Latham, Alexander, received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the United Soybean Board and the American Soybean Association during a banquet March 1 in Orlando, Florida. Latham was a founding member of the USB, served on the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board and was a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee. In addition to farming, he also manages a seed company.
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."
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.
United Way campaign nets $726,000
United Way of North Central Iowa concluded its 2018 campaign, raising $726,000. The organization funds more than 40 programs, and officials say its work impacted 15,280 lives in North Iowa. "Because of the generous spirit of businesses, volunteers, community organizations, and individual donors, we will be able to create positive change in our community and help those who need it most," said CEO Jen Arends in a release.
UPS recognizes two Mason City safe drivers
UPS announced that two Mason City drivers are among 1,436 newly inducted into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving: Brian Baack and Mark Hadacek.
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.
Yunek admitted into legal association
Joel J. Yunek, owner and managing partner of Yunek Law Firm since 2008, was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers recently at a meeting of the group in La Quinta, California. Yunek is a graduate of the Iowa School of Law. Fellows have at least 15 years of trial experience and are noted by "ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality," according to a release. Just 1 percent of the lawyers in any state are given membership.