Ankeny honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at Chamber awards gala

Published 8:35 am Friday, November 17, 2023

The Austin Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Event Tuesday night at the Austin Country Club. More than 200 community leaders and influencers gathered to celebrate outstanding accomplishments within the Austin business community.

Mike Ankeny received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded to  an individual whose legacy has significantly impacted the local community. Ankeny’s impact on Austin is immeasurable, from his leadership in Discover Austin and support of Austin Area Arts to his service as a Mower County Commissioner. This award acknowledges Ankeny’s continued leadership, hard work and commitment to community service.

Darrell Ingvaldson’s Farm Bureau Financial Services agency in Brownsdale emerged as the recipient of the Small Member of the Year award, acknowledging their consistent dedication to excellence, innovative practices, and active participation in community initiatives. 

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Ingvaldson and his team are involved in the annual Ag Appreciation Dinner, supporting 4-H, FFA, and the Dairy Princess program. The agency has exemplified the core values of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Fox Electric clinched the Large Member of the Year award. In addition to being active Chamber members, they’ve been part of the Development Corporation of Austin’s Executive Committee, supported the Austin Arts Festival, the Austin Historical Society, and high school and youth sports. Fox Electric’s commitment to community engagement and customer satisfaction is a shining example for the local business community.

Chamber President Elaine Hansen expressed gratitude to all attendees and highlighted the pivotal role each awardee plays in the success and evolution of the Austin business landscape. 

“These awards not only recognize individual and business achievements but underscore the collective spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines what it means to belong to a community,” Hansen said.

Chamber Ambassadors Receive Recognition

Bob Hartman, of KSMQ, was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Amanda Gunderson, of First Farmers and Merchants Bank, won the highly coveted Chamber Ambassador of the Year award. Additionally, the Ambassador Team of the Year award went to: Gunderson (Team Captain); Sharon Alms, Austin Public Schools; Aaron Brack, Edward Jones; Leah Ferch, Cooperative Response Center, Inc; Daniel McElroy, Austin Country Club; Terrance Plath, All Seasons Outdoor Maintenance; Penny Tupy, Games People Play; and Heather Voigt, Mayo Clinic Health System.