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Celebrating Iowans, Businesses + Teams

Iowa Character Awards

April 8, 2024

When our organization was founded in 1997, our Chairman, Governor Robert D. Ray, advocated for recognition to be a key part of our mission. In the years since, we have honored more than 250 Iowa individuals and organizations for their good character. Businesses, organizations, athletic teams, educators and individuals (students and adults) are all eligible.

I invite all Iowans to nominate someone for an Iowa Character Award. Not only will you find it rewarding, but it is also beneficial for the nominee and the community.

Recognition: The Iowa Character Awards are an easy way to celebrate individuals who exemplify positive character skills like the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship). Plus, this recognition can motivate all of us to make a positive impact in our communities. in our communities.

Inspiration: By highlighting the stories of individuals with strong character, we can inspire others to follow suit. By showcasing real-life examples of people who show good character, the awards can inspire others to cultivate similar qualities in themselves.

Community Building: Nominating someone for an Iowa Character Award can foster a sense of community pride and unity. It brings attention to the good deeds and positive contributions happening within the community, fostering a sense of belonging, and collective identity.

Encouragement: Being nominated for an award can serve as validation for the nominee's efforts and encourage them to continue their positive actions. It shows that their contributions are noticed and valued by others.

Nominate an Individual or Business for the 2024 Iowa Character Award

Nominating someone for an Iowa Character Award recognizes, celebrates and promotes the qualities that makes Iowa communities stronger and more resilient. By spotlighting exemplary role models, the Iowa Character Awards inspire a ripple effect of positive character and good decision-making.

Iowa Character Award nominees will all be recognized. Award recipients will be honored in the following ways:

  • Award recipients will receive their awards at the 2024 Iowa Character Awards dinner in July 2024.
  • Award recipients will be featured in a one-hour Iowa Character Awards prime-time special that will air summer/fall 2024.
  • Award recipients will be honored in their hometowns during a special event organized by The Ray Center.

I would like to give a special thank you to our Iowa Character Award partners: KDSM Fox 17, Hy-Vee, Inc., Prairie Meadows, and Murphy Enterprizes.

You can get started nominating an individual or business/organization at IowaCharacterAwards.org. Nominations are due Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

With the #7 Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S. and a Top Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million), Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a region where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses, including Chamber luncheons, roundtables and ribbon cuttings. You can also find live music happening each week thanks to the “Live Music This Week in DSM” blog series.

Scott Raecker

Scott Raecker serves as Executive Director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University — a position he has held since the work of the center was founded by former Governor Robert D. Ray as a lasting legacy to the Iowa Sesquicentennial in 1997.