Grimes Chamber & Economic Development (GCED) hosted their Annual Dinner & Awards Presentation on Jan. 30 at Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston.

More than 180 individuals attended the event including Geraldine "Jerry" Nicklos who was recognized as the Citizen of the Year. She was honored in large part due to her tireless volunteerism at organizations such as Grimes Volunteer Support Services (GVSS) and the Grimes Food Pantry. Ben Chadwick was named the Grimes Educator of the Year. Mr. Chadwick is a Technology Education instructor at the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District new Meadows facility. He works with both middle-school and high-school age students. It was noted that he is very proactive in STEM initiatives, has worked to develop relationships with businesses throughout the Des Moines Region, and regularly mentors students participating in individualized learning projects. The title of Ambassador of the Year was given to Julie Downing. Julie is an employee of Grimes Living Magazine and actively supports a variety of chamber organized events, most notably she serves as the Chair for the Experience Grimes; A Tasteful Business Expo event. The GCED Ambassador Group was created in 2011 and the award was earned by being involved and attending many events throughout the course of the year.

Golden Openings, Inc. was pronounced as the Business of the Year. Founder and President Kimberly Baeth accepted the award on behalf of the company. Golden Openings, Inc. specializes in providing products and services to businesses and organizations wishing to celebrate notable events such as grand openings, ribbon cuttings, expansions, re-brandings, etc. The entire staff was on hand for the presentation.

Jay Brewer, President of Grimes Volunteer Support Services began his term as the 2014 President of Grimes Chamber & Economic Development. Brewer, in a short speech, encouraged attendees to familiarize themselves with GCED member businesses and consider giving them your business, before seeking services outside the community.