(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
Tracy Small, last year's recipient, presented Smith with the award.
"Without the volunteer efforts of so many people to our community and the Spencer Chamber of Commerce, the successes accomplished would be few," Small reminded the audience at Monday evening's Spencer Chamber of Commerce annual business dinner. "The Jack Wedel Community Service Award was established in 1982 to honor a group or an individual for outstanding contributions to the Spencer Chamber of Commerce and the Spencer community."
"I'm just shocked," Smith said. "Great organizations start with great people. It's just great to be involved with the service clubs and committees we have here."
"It would be difficult to find a person more passionate about agriculture and the important role it plays in the Spencer community and surrounding area," Small said, before announcing Smith as the winner.
The presenter added, "This person's innovative ideas, leadership abilities, and approachable personality all highlight this person's ability to get people motivated and excited about getting involved with the Spencer community and its agriculture programs and events."
Smith, joking with the audience said, "I'm involved with agriculture because my son likes to eat."
His eldest son, Westin, joined him at the dinner, and the rest of his family filed in to the back of the events center's ballroom for the presentation.
Smith was recognized as "a very active six-year member of the Clay County Cattlemen." His duties within the local cattlemen's organization have included president, vice president and treasurer.
Smith has served in several different capacities in the Clay County Growers, serving on the group's steering committee since he has been around the Spencer area. He coordinates lining up entries for the plot from various seed companies and is always around to assist in planting, harvesting and tending to the Clay County Growers Plot.
Additionally, Smith has served on Spencer High School's FFA Advisory Team, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, where he participated in a two-year program called I-LEAD (Iowa Leadership Enhancement and Development), and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Smith has been on Spencer Chamber of Commerce's Ag Committee for 10 years, serving in several vital roles including chairperson for several years and is on his second year of co-chairing the Northwest Iowa Ag Outlook Conference and Trade Show. Other committees he has served on include Ag Experience and Ag Breakfast. He also regularly serves as a spokesperson for these events on radio and TV, and presents himself as a very knowledgeable and respected advocate for all aspects of agriculture. Smith is treasurer for the Branding Iron, a Spencer Chamber board member, and is the new president of the Chamber Board.
Looking ahead, Smith said, "I'm looking forward to taking the helm here and working with Bill (Campbell, chamber director) to see what we can bring to town."
- Past Jack Wedel Award winners include: SCT Playhouse (Spencer Community Theatre), Donna Hull, Gene Thill, Roger DeGeest, Dan Maxwell, Dixie Lampe-Orthel, Tom Manley, Dick Hoffman, Dave Hessman, Bob Porter, Sharon Stadsvold, Larry Harden, Harry Rasdal, Randall and Kathy Anderson, Susan Zulk, Steve Fox, Bob and Kayleen Rose, Tom Howe, Kris VanBerkum, Rhonda Wedeking, Mike Fideler, Diane Kitterman, Dean Jacobsen, Steve Pick, Kevin Tlam, Sam and Suzi Harper, Bill Campbell, Dan Heissel and Tracy Small.
Eric Van Der Heide, Steve Pick, Suzi Harper and Kurt Jacobson were recognized as outgoing Chamber board members. Van Der Heide was also honored as outgoing president.
Van Der Heide was elected to serve a second term on the board and will join new board members Jeremy Parsons and Kari Roskens.
The first annual Chamber Business of the Year award was presented to KICD, CD107.7 and Lite 104.9.