Dr. Marlene Sprouse, president of Indian Hills Community College, was the featured speaker for the banquet. She spoke about how her mission at the college to bring education as close to people as they can is built upon the importance of creating partnerships.
"Education is about growing people and fostering partnerships," she explained. "Nothing gets done without these partnerships."
Sharing words of wisdom from writer, speaker, teacher, scientist and humanitarian Margaret Wheatley, Sprouse outlined points from Wheatley's book, "Leadership and the New Science," that she sees as the cornerstone of creating partnerships. Seeing vision as expansive and inclusive, watching the patterns that emerge out of chaos and understanding that information informs us and forms us are all important in working together, whether it be in education or economic development.
"We all are products of the information and experiences we've had through life. Relationships are all there is, whether it's person to person, people to idea, people to things or people to time, she said. "Partnering for moving toward that field is so important ... we only persevere when we're truly together."
Partners in Progress is the service provider for six nonprofit development organizations in Ottumwa. Six businesses and organizations were honored by each of the nonprofits for their commitments to Ottumwa as "Outstanding Partners of the Year." Each representative of the award recipients were chosen for their dedication to helping the community succeed, supporting in many ways and being example of the values so important in growing partnerships.
The nonprofit organizations and their award winners were:
Bridge View Center: David Bradford — John Deere Ottumwa Works
Main Street Ottumwa: Mike O'Hara — O'Hara Hardware
Chamber of Commerce: Hans Wiltz — Edd the Florist and Big Apple Bagel
Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau: Mayor Tom Lazio — City of Ottumwa
Ottumwa Economic Development: Chef Gordon Rader — Indian Hills Culinary Arts Department
Ottumwa Property and Redevelopment Company: Anthony Christner — Christner Contracting