Local organizations, people honored at awards banquet
Thursday, February 06, 2014 3:18 AM
A number of local organizations were honored during the 25th annual Luther College awards luncheon Monday.
Winneshiek County Development Inc.(WCDI), the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC), the Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WCCVB) and the United Way of Winneshiek County presented a number of awards.
Prior to handing out the usual honors, WCDI presented Past President Ron Stoskopf of Decorah was given the President's Award for "his terrific service and dedication as WCDI Board president from 2011-13."
"He is active with WCDI and Decorah Jobs as well as a mix of governmental and non-profit organizations in our community," said WCDI Director Randy Uhl.
Receiving WCDI's Impact Award was the Iowa Dairy Center in Calmar "whose world-class facility was opened near NICC in 2000."
In 2013, Iowa's Dairy Center opened a new robotic milking center and free-stall barn. The $1.5 million project was a partnership between NICC and the Northeast Iowa Community Based Dairy Foundation. Today, half the herd is milked robotically. A visitor center enables visitors to view the milking process.
A second Impact Award went to Oneota Valley Family Eye Clinic, formerly Meehan & Schwartz Family Eye Care Clinic.
Oneota opened a new, 10,000-square-foot clinic in downtown Decorah in mid-December of 2012. The Clinic, founded under a different name in 1900, has 15 full-time employees including Dr. Brad Schwartz and Dr. Ashley Klocke.
WCDI's Pioneer Award went to Iroc Web Design Services of Calmar.
Founder Cori Peterson started Iroc in 2002 and the business has grown into the developer, designer and support service for more than 225 clients in the Midwest.
In addition to priding themselves on making computer information "easily understood by non-techy folks," Iroc also helps businesses devise a marketing plan to help that business grow on the Internet.
The WCDI Partners in Progress award was given to Graphics Inc. of Calmar, a commercial web offset printing company, which prints 41 weekly newspapers, shoppers and grocery store flyers. Graphics also prints monthly newsletters and provides other printing services.
Graphics was established in 1969 by seven publishers and has grown to 16 full-time employees and around 10 part-time workers in four different departments.
Receiving this year's WCDI Sustainability Award was the Depot Outlet of Decorah.
In 2013, Depot Outlet donated more than $100,000 to non-profit organizations in Winneshiek County. The organization also prides itself on being the largest recycling generator in the county.
The Depot Outlet has three full-time and 16 part-time employees.
Receiving the Century Award was Winneshiek Medical Center, which is celebrating its centennial this year.
WMC opened its doors Nov. 1, 1914, as the Decorah Hospital. The campaign to build the hospital was led by Rev. Paul Koren, pastor of Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, and was funded by William Smith, his sister, Matilda, and businesses and families of Winneshiek County.
WMC has scheduled a number of community events throughout this year to celebrate this milestone.
Following an address by Luther President David Tiede, DACC President Laurie Parrish recognized this year's Outstanding Community Service recipient Kent Klocke of Decorah, who was nominated for his service and dedication to the local park and trail systems.
Klocke has been an advocate of "outdoor" Decorah for the last 20 years. He has been a longtime member of the Decorah Parks and Recreation Board, retiring his position last year.
The DACC also recognized Jason Soland of Decorah with the Outstanding Chamber Volunteer Award.
Soland serves as a member of the Ambassador Committee, the Advocacy Committee and the Membership Committee.
"He has always been a dedicated volunteer that the chamber can rely on for different tasks, and has demonstrated his commitment to educate and engage DACC members," said Parrish.
Outgoing DACC president and Board of Directors members were given with awards for their years of service.
Doug Van Sloten of Decorah, who is currently on the DACC Board, served one term as president. Randy Schissel of Decorah served two terms as president and Ross Hadley of Decorah served one term on DACC Board.
The Winneshiek County Convention and Tourism Bureau recognized Inspire(d) Media as the 2014 Tourism Great Strides recipient.
"Positive news from the Driftless Region is the theme of every Inspire(d) Magazine," said CVB President Steve Luse of the magazine, which is distributed throughout the tri-state area.
The Decorah Fish Hatchery received the United Way's Doyle and Margery Gorden Award, which is presented to a business that has demonstrated corporate and organizational support.
Lilly Jensen, United Way Board member, received the Loretta Ian Award "for going above and beyond in service."