Businesses, citizen honored at Remsen Chamber Annual Meeting and Dinner

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Remsen Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting and dinner on Mon., January 6, 2020, at the Golden Pheasant in Remsen with around 130 people in attendance, according to Chamber Board Member Stephanie Loutsch.

A social hour was held from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

The evening started off a little differently this year than in other years. Chamber Board President Dustin Pick stated, “We are starting off the evening with naming our Employee of the Year, so with that said, on behalf of the Mid-Sioux Opportunity board and staff, we are going to have Tom Letsche read the nomination for this year’s Employee/Citizen of the Year.

Dick Sievers received the Employee/Citizen of the Year Award at the recent Remsen Chamber Annual Meeting & Dinner, which was held on Monday, January 6 at the Golden Pheasant.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

Tom Letsche then stood up and read the nomination letter for the Employee/Citizen of the Year. Tom Letsche stated, “It is with much honor and pleasure that the Board and Staff of Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., nominate Dick Sievers as the 2020 Employee of the Year. In February of 1980, Dick was hired at Mid-Sioux as a Training & Technical Specialist. Soon after, he was promoted to the position of the agency’s Planner/Grant Writer/Equal Opportunity Officer. Thirty-seven years ago, he was named as Mid-Sioux’s Executive Director. This year marks 40 years of service with Mid-Sioux Opportunity. Dick’s hard work and dedication have brought many positive changes to our organization. Responsibilities include managing over a ten-million-dollar agency budget, supervising 110 staff members, strategic planning with Mid-Sioux’s management team and fifteen board members, and supervision of over fifty agency contractual agreements. Over the many years served as the Executive Director, Dick has greatly improved public relations and partnerships with numerous organizations and government officials. He has actively served on various boards and committees many times participating in leadership roles. In 2010, Dick received national recognition as a Certified Community Action Professional (and that’s about as high as you can go). The staff at Mid-Sioux appreciates Dick’s straight-forward and creative leadership style. He meets challenges head on with a positive attitude. Beyond all his amazing leadership skills, he is a genuinely kind person. He has a way of reprimanding you in a professional manner. If his ears turn red and he scratches his head, then you know you just may have crossed the line! Civic duties include serving sixteen years as a council member for the City of Remsen, three years of service to the Chamber of Commerce board and served on the Economic Development and Library boards.”

Coworkers from Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., take a picture with Dick Sievers to commemorate his achievement of Employee/Citizen of the Year at the Annual Meeting & Dinner on January 6, 2020.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

The nomination was submitted by Julie Colling.

Dick Sievers takes a picture with his family after receiving the Employee/Citizen of the Year Award during the Remsen Chamber Annual Meeting & Dinner.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

Dick Sievers then came up to accept his award and say a few words, “Well thanks Julie and everybody for the nomination. I appreciate it very much. I learned a long time ago that nobody does really anything on their own. We all have help in no matter what we do, and I certainly have that at the office with all of the great staff people that I work with, the board of directors, some of those ladies and gentlemen are here tonight too, so I appreciate them coming out and all the rest of you, thank you very much. I’m sure there are others more deserving, but I’m not going to give the award back either. Thank you very much!”

Then the chamber board members were introduced to the crowd. Members serving on the 2019 Remsen Chamber Board included: Dustin Pick, American Bank (President); Rachel Keffeler, City of Remsen (Vice President); Stacey Schroeder, Floyd Valley Healthcare (Secretary); Stephanie Loutsch, WesTel Systems (Treasurer); Shane Bork, Smith Insurance; Jennifer Galles, RGS Seeds; Alicia Hoffman, Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc.; Scott Jones, Iowa State Bank; Kurtis Kroeger, Christ Lutheran Church; and Mirna Miller, Iowa State Bank.

Recently retired Chamber Board Members Stephanie Loutsch and Kurtis Kroeger take a picture together at their last Annual Meeting & Dinner as part of the board.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

There were two board members that were retiring and would be off the board for 2020. Those were Stephanie Loutsch, who has served for the past seven years; and Kurtis Kroeger, who has served for the past twelve years.

Jamie Krienert of Feeck Crop / Krier Insurance and Becky Brown of Bavarian Meadows will be the new members of the Remsen Chamber Board for 2020.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

New board members joining for 2020 include Jamie Krienert, Feeck Crop / Krier Insurance; and Becky Brown, Bavarian Meadows.

A delicious meal of pork loin, broasted chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, rolls, salad bar, and dessert followed, served by the Golden Pheasant.

The Remsen Chamber then gave a summary of events that took place in 2019. Events included the Easter Egg Hunt, Scholarships for graduating seniors, Kids' Days, Chamber Golf, Oktoberfest Spirit Contest, Halloween Trick or Treating, Olde Fashioned Christmas; Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Chamber Bucks Drawings; Christmas Lighting Contest, and the Little League Parade.

The rest of the awards for the evening where then announced.

Jeri Hofland receives her Up & Coming Business of the Year Award for her business Jeri A. Photography at the Annual Meeting & Dinner.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

The Up and Coming Business Award was announced by Pick, "This award is being given to an “Up and Coming” Business that belongs to the Remsen Chamber. This award is presented to someone that has recently invested into this community and has taken a leap into the business world of Remsen, Iowa. This award is nominated and voted on by the Remsen Chamber directors. This year’s winner is Jeri A. Photography.”

Pick continued, “Jeri A. Hofland grew up in the Marcus Area and came to Remsen when she was 17. She loved the atmosphere and knew she wanted to stay in the community. After doing photos on site and in homes for a few years she knew it was time to grow. Jeri moved into her studio on Hwy 3 in May of 2018 and is loving it. Growing up, Jeri always gravitated toward photography and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a photographer. Her photography style is bright, colorful, natural and candid. She strives to make everyone feel comfortable and considers it a win if she can get you to laugh at least once during your session! Jeri says she feels lucky to get to do what she loves all while helping people preserve those special memories in their lives! Congrats Jeri, and we are happy to have you here in Remsen!”

Doug Wurth with his family and Beer City Employees take a picture together with the Business of the Year Award during the Chamber Annual Meeting & Dinner at the Golden Pheasant on Monday. January 6.
(Photo by Megan Sabin)

The Business of the Year was announced and awarded their plaque. Mollie Klein came up to read the nomination, “We would like to nominate Doug Wurth and Beer City for Business of the Year. Doug has owned Beer City for the past 24 years. There have been many changes in those years. Seven years ago to this date, Doug has started the pizza making business. If you know Doug, he is always thinking of ways to improve and grow his business. He has remodeled the inside twice and added a kitchen. Recently he purchased the old Hardware Store and used half of the building to add additional seating and handicap bathrooms. It has also made room to serve lunches as well. Beer City is not just a bar anymore, it is also a restaurant. This has brought a lot of new people to Remsen. He has plans to remodel the other half of the building and remodel the apartments above to rent out. Beer City has always been and will always be a staple of Remsen. Doug has done his best to make sure that stands true. He has made it a place to bring your family for supper or college friends to enjoy free entertainment. It is guaranteed that wherever you travel with a Beer City T-Shirt on, you will run into someone who will say “Hey Beer City in Remsen, I have been there.” Because every great story begins with 'When I was in Remsen'.”

Doug Wurth then came up to receive the award and replied, “Without all of you, this wouldn’t be the kind of place it is. I thank you.”

After the awards, door prizes of Remsen Chamber Bucks were handed out. Inside a brochure was a number and whomever had one of the numbers called would receive the Chamber Bucks. Numbers chosen were 40 - this represented the number of years Dick has worked at Mid-Sioux; 24 - that is the number of years Doug has owned Beer City; 2 - number of years Jeri has had a studio in town; 7 - number of years Stephanie Loutsch has been on Chamber; 12 - number of years Kurtis Kroeger has been on Chamber; 80 – this is the year that Dick started working at Mid-Sioux; 96 - the year Doug purchased Beer City; and 18 - the year that Jeri opened her studio.

Pick then gave closing remarks, “I’d like to thank everyone for coming. You are all very well deserving of your awards.”

Congratulations to Dick Sievers, Jeri A. Photography, and Beer City on receiving their respective prestigious honors.