Remsen honors business, citizen of the year

Friday, January 20, 2023
(Sentinel Photos by Megan Sabin) Jeremy Bunkers, center, Remsen Citizen/Employee of the Year, is pictured with Dusty Pick, left, and Jeremy Homan, right, who nominated him for the honor.

REMSEN — The Remsen Chamber of Commerce annual meeting was highlighted with the announcement of the Citizen/Employee of the Year and Business of the Year.

The dinner was held Jan. 9, at the Golden Pheasant in Remsen.

Chamber board member Dustin Pick served as emcee for the night.

Jeremy Bunkers is was named the Citizen/Employee of the year.

Pick read the nomination letter for the Citizen/Employee of the Year in making the announcement.

“Jeremy Bunkers, boss, co-worker, friend, and brother with 15 years of service to American Bank. Bunkers has played a vital role within Remsen’s Economic development committee alongside the City of Remsen to bring a grocery store back to Remsen after being closed for four years.

“What sets him apart from other workers; he’s tall, bald, and handsome; what more could you ask for? In all seriousness, we could not ask for a better person to keep our ship afloat. He is constantly putting the bank and its staff’s interest ahead of his own, and his selflessness deserves to be recognized. Not only do we admire his dedication to the Bank, but he genuinely cares for the town of Remsen and wants to help it succeed.

“He is an active member in multiple organizations in the community, banking organizations, and can still be seen coaching multiple teams for his family; most recent and most importantly, he is an active member of the Men’s Oktoberfest Choir.

“He will more than likely want to hit us because he wouldn’t want to be in the spotlight, but we feel it’s well deserved and worth the pain. Please consider Jeremy Bunkers for Remsen Chamber’s Employee of the Year. Thank you for your consideration.”

The nomination was submitted by Jeremy Homan and Dusty Pick.

Bunkers then came up to receive his award and say a few words of thanks.

The Business of the Year was announced and awarded their plaque, with this year’s award going to the Golden Pheasant.

The Golden Pheasant received the Business of the Year Award. Pictured are all of the employees in attendance at the Remsen Chamber Annual Meeting and Dinner with the Business of the Year Award.

Chamber Treasurer Ashley Schuttpelz read the nomination that was submitted by Ann Cole-Nelson.

“The Steichen family opened the Golden Pheasant in 1965. They sold the restaurant in 1978 to Wally and Sandy Phillips. After running the business for 20 years, the Pheasant was sold to Larry and Jo Ellen Mullally. They were owners for 21 years. Tom Ahlers purchased the Golden Pheasant in September 2019, just ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With an increase of business, the number of part-time employees has gone from 30 employees to 45 employees this calendar year. This would include employees with varying ages and skill sets including cooks, kitchen staff, bartenders, wait staff, hosts, bussers, and dishwashers.

“As previously noted, Tom took over the Pheasant just ahead of a pandemic, a business environment like none of us had lived through before. While some businesses were forced to close, he used this time to renovate much of the inside of the restaurant and bar, serving to-go meals and drinks as allowed by COVID rules.

“Once able, the restaurant was opened to in-person dining and has been thriving ever since. Most weekend nights are a packed house with parking only available on the fringes of the highway (reservations are suggested). If you are there during these busy times, you will notice a few locals, but most are people traveling from Marcus, Sioux County, Sioux City and beyond for a chance to enjoy the best steaks, seafood, and pasta in the area.

“To increase the curb appeal, Tom also resided, added a new roof, new doors and revamped the handicap entrance this summer as well as great new ‘golden’ Golden Pheasant signs. The improvements are remarkable; and the building proudly serves as a beacon to those looking for a great meal right here in northwest Iowa.

The Golden Pheasant has become the host, even opening outside of normal business hours, to many local events such as the Remsen Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, business meetings, MMCRU’s Top 5 Banquet and RSM’s Meet the Teams. They also happily host large parties including wedding rehearsals, anniversaries, birthdays, class reunions, Christmas parties and other events upon request. It is nice to have a restaurant with the ability to serve a large menu for the fancier group events. This offering absolutely attracts businesses outside of Remsen. The Golden Pheasant is also the meeting location for the Remsen Lion’s Club. You too can enjoy the fun and singing on the third Thursday every month!”

Tom Ahlers, owner of the Golden Pheasant then came up to receive the award and share his gratitude.

Remsen Chamber board members for 2022 included: Rachel Keffeler, City of Remsen (President); Dustin Pick, American Bank (Vice President); Jamie Krienert, Feeck Crop/Krier Insurance (Secretary); Ashley Schuttpelz, Iowa State Bank (Treasurer); Tom Ahlers, Golden Pheasant; Becky Brown, BExpressed Personalized Gifts; Kristine Mohning, WesTel Systems; Luke Nieuwendorp, Iowa State Bank; and Geri Lynn Schroeder, Floyd Valley Healthcare.

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