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Governor Branstad Presents Iowa Nonprofit Summit Awards

For more information contact:


Tina Hoffman, 515.725.3150                                               


Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, 515.989.1188



Six Award Recipients Recognized


November 16, 2011 (Ames) – Governor Terry Branstad and Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, executive director of the Iowa Council of Foundations, presented the 2011 Iowa Nonprofit Awards today at the Iowa Nonprofit Summit recognizing excellence in the nonprofit sector.  The Summit, held November 15 and 16 in Ames, brought together more than 500 leaders of nonprofit and volunteer management organizations from across the state to provide learning and networking for Iowa’s nonprofit community.


“Today’s awardees are making a difference in the lives of Iowans in so many ways,” said Governor Branstad.  “The non-profit organizations that we have in Iowa play an essential role in our communities, and it is an honor to be able to highlight some of that work with these awards.”

The Iowa Nonprofit Awards were presented to six individuals and non-profit organizations in recognition of their outstanding work in Iowa’s nonprofit community. 

Award winners included:

--Sarah Comstock, Executive Director of the Iowa Cancer Consortium, received the Nonprofit Board/Staff Leadership Award.  Under her leadership, the impact and scope of work of the Iowa Cancer Consortium has been enhanced and the organizations effectiveness and accountability has been expanded.

--Link Associates received the Nonprofit Spotlight Award in recognition of its commitment to ensuring that every member of the community has equitable opportunities to participate fully in their community and neighborhood.   The organization provides services to more than 1,200 individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families to support full integration into the Greater Des Moines community.

--Denise Nelsen of Rock Valley received the Outstanding Volunteer or Service Manager Award for her work as a Program Director of the Foster Grandparent Program which has led to increased community awareness and sustainability for this work.  She was also appointed as an Iowa representative to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and has served in a variety of capacities supporting her field. 

--Grinnell College’s Apprenticeship in Nonprofit Management Program received the Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration Award.  The Program represents a collaboration between Grinnell College and five local nonprofits and places six Grinnell College students in a year-long position as the apprentice to the executive director of a nonprofit agency. The program builds the capacity of each individual organization as well as the collaborative power between them by identifying areas of common interest and opportunities to work together.

-- The United Way of Central Iowa’s VITA Program received the Outstanding Volunteer or Service Program Award.  The VITA program is a successful, proven strategy that mobilizes and trains volunteers to provide free tax service to lower income individuals and their families.  The Program assists these taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet by saving them the cost of tax preparation and helping them claim all tax credits for which they are eligible.

-- The RJ McElroy Trust, awarded the Philanthropic Impact Award, has granted in excess of $50 million to more than 1,700 organizations and agencies serving youth in Northeast Iowa.  Those young beneficiaries have the opportunity to broaden their minds through the vision of a man who valued lifelong learning and demonstrated his community commitment.   

The Iowa Nonprofit Summit was hosted by the following collaborative partners: Iowa Campus Compact, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Council of Foundations (including the Iowa Community Foundations Initiative), United Ways of Iowa, Grant Enterprise Management, Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, and Volunteer Centers of Iowa.

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