Thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet presented by MidWestOne Bank.
More than 225 Waukee Area Chamber members, business owners and leaders, and local residents gathered on February 1, 2022, at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown to celebrate our community’s wins in 2021 and take a look ahead at 2022.
The evening kicked off with a social hour, followed by dinner and a program featuring speeches from Chamber Board of Directors members, a keynote by Terry Rich, former president & CEO of the Iowa Lottery, and recognition of award recipients.
Keynote Speaker: Terry Rich, Former Iowa Lottery President & CEO
In his engaging keynote presentation, Terry Rich shared how a lottery ticket, a hot dog, and Bigfoot foiled the largest lottery fraud in United States history.
When Terry Rich got the unexpected call that a fraud may have occurred under his watch, his next decision and direction would affect jobs, business, and personal friendships. As most companies focus on external hacking and fraud, he presented an internal vendor fraud case exploring how established checks and balances, and a little luck, helped crack the largest lottery fraud in U.S. history.
And the Award Winners are…
The annual banquet highlights Waukee Area Chamber members who have made an impact, both within the Chamber and our community, in the past year. Our 2021 award recipients include:
2021 Young Professional of the Year: Erin Hullermann
Waukee Young Professionals empowers young professionals who live or work in Waukee to come together, build relationships, and make a positive impact within the local community.
Erin Hullermann, this year’s Waukee Young Professional of the Year, has had an immense impact on the Waukee YP Committee since its inception in 2018.
Her dedication and leadership have been instrumental in the committee’s growth. In addition, as chair of the YP committee in 2021, they weathered the obstacles presented by COVID and led the charge to provide Waukee’s young professionals with opportunities to get involved and connect with each other.
2021 Citizen of the Year: Don Frazer
The Waukee Citizen of the Year Award recognizes Waukee area residents for their dedicated volunteer efforts that contribute to making Waukee a great place to live, work, play, and learn. This award is a joint effort between the City of Waukee and the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce.
Don Frazer has volunteered time above and beyond what is expected for the Waukee community. He displays exemplary character, commitment, and leadership for all things Waukee and has been a member of our community for over 10 years, including serving as a past board chair of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce.
2021 Volunteers of the Year: Chris Crone, Brett Braafhart, and Terry Snyder
Many individuals put our community first, but three specifically rose to the top and deserve to be recognized.
Chris Crone, Brett Braafhart, and Terry Snyder serve on the Ambassadors, Events, Economic Development, and Waukee Young Professional committees for the Waukee Area Chamber. They do this on top of their workloads serving on the Waukee City Council, shaping future leaders for the Waukee Leadership Institute, working full-time positions, and spending time with family. They have also helped keep ribbon cuttings and events on schedule when the chamber was left with no staff in place.
Chris, Brett, and Terry never ask who can do this, but rather, what can we do to help.
2021 Large Business of the Year: The Palms Theatres & IMAX
The Palms Theatres & IMAX has supported many community events, including the Waukee Area Chamber Annual Golf Outing. They also host the Waukee Economic Development Bus Tour and chamber luncheons, and their staff provides extraordinary service to the entire community whether it’s going out for lunch or providing entertainment for the whole family.
The nominator for this business said, “They toughed out COVID when they could have easily shut down but instead stayed open to continue to give our community members an entertainment option. They have been a wonderful addition to our community.”
2021 Medium Business of the Year: Kinship Brewing Company
New to the community, Kinship Brewing Company hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back. They have hosted Waukee Young Professionals events, chamber luncheons, and community events and have been a great partner for the city and chamber.
Kinship has also hosted 5Ks and other events that have helped bring our community closer than ever.
The nominator stated, “This team has created a company that has embodied Waukee’s “hometown” feel. A place where everyone is welcome.”
2021 Small Business of the Year: Scooter’s Coffee
Scooter’s Coffee and their team are the first faces many in our community see in the morning. Their infectious smiles and never-ending energy get our community going from the crack of dawn. They provide support to community events and chamber coffee hours.
The nominator stated, “For businesses, it’s hard to balance everything – but they constantly support the community and always find a way to make your day better.”
2021 Non-Profit of the Year: The Waukee Leadership Institute
The Waukee Leadership Institute provides an incredible service for professionals to further advance their leadership skills. They are known in our community, state-wide, and even nationally.
The nominator put it best when saying, “There may not be any other organization in the Waukee area that has made as much of an impact in Waukee, including promotion of the city and school district. Waukee should be very proud of this organization with now over 300 graduates. Many are active in our city council, school board, businesses, ministry associations, and as city workers.”
Congratulations to all of our 2021 award recipients!
Thank You to our Sponsors
The 2022 Waukee Area Chamber Annual Banquet would not have been possible without our sponsors. Thank you for your support!
Shottenkirk Waukee Chevrolet
Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency
Focus Eye Care
The Estates of Waukee: A Vintage Cooperative Community
Kinship Brewing Company
Want to see more from the event? Take a look at our 2022 Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet photo album.