The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Re/Max Partners Realty as the 2017 Grinnell Business of the Year at its Annual Celebration, which took place March 15 at the Grinnell College Golf Course.
“We are humbled with the recognition Re/Max Partners Realty received from the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce”, said Matt Karjahlati. “The work of our business is done by many, and I’d like to extend thanks to our team, Guadalupe Gomez, Cherie Garcia and Theresa Pagliai, for their help day in and day out. I would be remiss to recognize Joyce Halblom for her dedication to our business. The last four years have been an exciting adventure, which makes me optimistic for the future of our business.”
The Chamber recognized Re/Max Partners Realty for their positive impact on the community. They are often one of the first businesses a newcomer meets with when relocating, and their passion and knowledge for Grinnell is obvious. Re/Max employees are philanthropic with their time and talents, and are supporters of numerous organizations and community efforts, including Grinnell Community Daycare & Preschool, Grinnell Area Arts Council, Grinnell Regional Medical Center and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, to name a few.
“Re/Max Partners Realty is a relatively new business to the community, having opened their doors just four years ago but they have become deeply invested in the community,” said Rachael Kinnick of the Grinnell Chamber. “Having recognized the business owner as a ‘One to Watch’ at our awards celebration just last year, we are excited to see what the future holds for this locally-grown business.”
The Grinnell Chamber annually recognizes outstanding businesses, organizations and individuals in a variety of award categories. Nominations are sought from the public, with the final recipients chosen by a selection committee comprised of chamber of commerce members.
In addition to naming Re/Max Partners Realty the 2017 Business of the Year, the Chamber recognized many other businesses, organizations and individuals with a variety of awards during the event, which was sponsored by Grinnell College and Grinnell Regional Medical Center. The award recipients and a brief description of each are included below:
Retail Business of the Year: Beckman Gallery II
Beckman Gallery II is a downtown anchor, offering a unique variety of products. They offer extraordinary customer service, and truly value their customers. Their business is not only a gift shop, but also offers custom framework. To top it off, the display work in the store is fabulous, encouraging people to stop in the store often.
Restaurant of the Year: 1854 Deli
Though relatively new in the community, 1854 Deli has quickly become a hot-spot for many, and has been described by their customers as one of the best and quickest lunch spots in town. Their menu offers sandwiches, soups and custom salads and can be found in the back of Saint’s Rest.
Service Business of the Year: German Plumbing Heating & Cooling
German Plumbing Heating & Cooling has a long history of success, having first opened their doors in 1898. They can often be found working nights, weekends and holidays. Their employees are knowledgeable in the field, and continue their education every year with classes, seminars and training sessions. They are a family-owned business founded and run on core values of hard work, dedication and loyalty.
Economic Impact Award: Downtown Façade Improvements
A heart of a community is its downtown, and the improvements made last year are remarkable. We recognize the investment many downtown building owners, along with the City of Grinnell, Grinnell College and a community development block grant, have made to improving the facades of many downtown buildings. The façade improvements have also spurred many recent conversations, including a number of focus group sessions held last fall, to develop a downtown action plan as a joint effort of the city and chamber to ensure downtown remains a focus for years to come.
We acknowledge Jan Anderson, Tim Baker, Rob Clower, Craig & April Cooper, Peggy Elliott, Family Dentistry, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Bob Hamilton & Rachel Bly, Tracy & Vicki Jensen, John Ruchotzke, the City of Grinnell, and Grinnell College, the collective recipients of the 2017 Economic Impact Award.
Community Betterment Award: Hubbell Realty Company
Hubbell Realty Company took on a monumental challenge nearly five years ago when they began their work towards the redevelopment of the former Spaulding campus to become the Spaulding Lofts. After nearly two years under construction and $15million, the Spaulding Lofts are now home to 77 rental units near downtown Grinnell and all but three of these units are currently occupied.
Outstanding Tourism Experience: Brownell’s
Since opening their retail store early last summer in Grinnell, Brownell’s has become a driver of tourism in our community. Not only has their store become a hot-spot for locals, but it has become a destination for thousands of travelers, with some visitors even re-routing their travel plans so they could visit the new store. Their grand opening event alone saw more than 4,000 people and had over 400 people waiting in line as the store opened that day. The store is outpacing sales expectations, and we know the number of visitors will only continue to grow in the years to come.
Public Servant of the Year: Dan Sicard, Fire Chief
Dan is a leader in our community and a true professional in every sense of the word. He works tirelessly, along with his staff, to educate the community and keep them out of harm’s way. He works diligently with various organizations to enhance safety within the community.
Volunteer of the Year: Jennison Willett
Jennison Willett devotes her time and efforts to community service initiatives. She is committed to helping everyone receive quality education, and also serves as a member of the Tiger Packs Advisory Committee. She has tirelessly fundraised for the program by talking with area businesses and writing grants.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Angela Harrington, Hotel Grinnell
Angela Harrington demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, creativity, determination and perseverance. She has been persistent in the development of the former Community Center into a boutique hotel and events center, and her perseverance is to thank. Hotel Grinnell is going to add to the vitality of Grinnell, especially downtown, and we await its completion and opening late this summer.
One To Watch Awards:
This award recognizes individuals who have started businesses, expanded operations or done exemplary work as part of an organization. These individuals strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, and serve as role models for others in the business community.
20 Under 40 Awards:
This award recognizes twenty emerging leaders age 40 or younger. These individuals are recognized for their commitment to community, professional accomplishments and volunteerism. They serve as role models for other young professionals both personally and professionally.