By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
The Centerville Rathbun Lake-Area Chamber of Commerce banquet Monday night at the Manhattan Steakhouse featured the presentations of citizen of the year and decade, two business awards and the keynote given by a man born in Carroll now working on ESPN national television.
Becky Maxwell, Daily Iowegian publisher, presented the 2012 Citizen of the Year award to Jerry Bubenyak. Maxwell presented the Citizen of the Decade award to Lottie Wilson.
Both recipients were noted for their dedication and service to the community of Appanoose County.
One nomination letter said Bubenyak was "the most unselfish and caring person I know."
Bubenyak has long been active in the Boy Scouts and has received many scouting awards.
"This is a complete surprise," he said. "I really appreciate it. It's really an honor."
Wilson is only the third Citizen of the Decade, joining Bob Beck and Morgan Cline.
"I really want to thank you, Becky," Wilson said. "This is a phenomenal honor."
Wilson thanked many others in the community who deserved recognition for the work they have done.
"It takes all of us to make this community work," Wilson said.
Joyce Bieber, Centerville Rathbun Lake-Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, introduced keynote speaker, Scott Siepker.
Born in Carroll in 1982 by flashlight to being a host and co-host of television shows on ESPN and Iowa Public TV takes ambition, Siepker said.
Brick walls are there to stop people who don't have the same level of ambition as you do to achieve your dreams, he said. With ambition Siepker achieved his childhood dreams and aspirations.
Siepker hosts Iowa Outdoors on Iowa Public TV, is an adjunct professor of acting at Drake University, in 2012 starred in the video, "Iowa Nice," produced by the film company he is a founding member of called, Iowa Filmmakers, along with Paul D. Benedict and Brendan Dunphy. "Iowa Nice" was followed up with "Cyclone Nice" and "Hawkeye Nice."
ESPN took notice and now Siepker can be seen twice a week as a co-host on College Football Daily during the college football season.
All three "Nice" videos were attempts to put right the misconceptions of Iowa and two of its major universities, Siepker said.
"I love the state," Siepker said, noting he has lived in Iowa almost 30 years. "I'm absolutely dedicated to staying here."
Siepker said their next video projects are documentaries on Jack Trice and Nile Kinnick with a focus on heroism.
"He really is a nice guy," Bieber said. "It's not just 'Iowa Nice.'"
Bieber's Chamber report focused on community service, or volunteering and the difference between those who do help and those who offer to help. Ideally, volunteers step forward to help without being asked.
Bieber talked about the Chamber's new web site — a member management system that will enhance communication — in the process of going live.
Chamber members and others will be able to post information to the new web site, Bieber said. Among many other things, it will also feature deals, calendar of events and an improved business directory.
The new web site cost approximately $3,000, Bieber said.
"We really hope our members will take advantage of this tool," Bieber said, calling it a really big project. "I'm really excited about this."
The Chamber plans to have a "Lunch&Learn" in March to instruct members on how to use the new web site.
Bieber said the Chamber has three goals: Promote members, bring business to town and improve the communities quality of life.
The Chamber helped to snag The Great Tractor Ride, handed out nearly 30,000 tourism brochures and participated in a state-wide wellness initiative in their effort to realize those goals.
"We're just trying to make Appanoose County an healthier place," Bieber said. "This is just something we're going to be working on for many years."
Dennis Peters, Chamber vice president, introduced Marcia Bratz, the Chamber president for 2013.
Bratz said she has lived in Appanoose County all of her life. Her husband's name is Mark and they have two children.
Bratz presented Hy-Vee and Fareway an award for their contributions to the success of Pancake Day.
Accepting for Fareway was Keith Voss, the new grocery manager. Accepting for Hy-Vee was Tom Crocker, the new store manager.
Pancake Day queen, Shelby Royer, talked briefly about some of the activities she has participated in since being crowned in September of 2012.
Bieber called Royer an excellent role model for the community and how fortunate Centerville is to have her as the Pancake Day queen.