Adel Chamber names 2019, 2020 Business, Citizen of the Year award winners

Allison Ullmann
Dallas County News
Adel Chamber Board Chair Kristi Fuller speaks during the Celebrate Adel event on April 22 at Country Lane Lodge.

The annual Celebrate Adel event returned after a one-year hiatus.

“Pivot was the word of the year. And all of us had to pivot and change and learn how to do everything different,” said Adel Chamber Board Chair Kristi Fuller.

Last year’s Celebrate Adel event was canceled because of COVID-19. The Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce pivoted and honored the 2019 and 2020 Business and Citizen of the Year on April 22 at Country Lane Lodge.

Thomas Book, left, accepts the 2019 Business of the Year award for Raccoon Valley Bank during the Celebrate Adel event on April 22. He is pictured with Adel Chamber Board President Kristi Fuller and Shane Goodman, with Adel Living Magazine.

The 2019 Business of the Year nominees included Harvey’s Greenhouse/Adel Flowers and Gifts, Raccoon Valley Bank and Iconic Apparel with the award going to Raccoon Valley Bank.

“Raccoon Valley Bank has always been a strong supporter of the Adel community,” a nomination letter said.  

One of the ways the bank supported the community was through a new ice rink in the stage and pavilion area.

More:Ribbon is cut for Raccoon Valley Bank Ice Skating Rink

“The bank saw the daily use the ice rink was getting from our residents. They stepped up in 2019 to purchase a new rink that can be used every winter,” the letter continued.

The 2019 Citizen of the Year nominees included Rebecca Hillmer, Elizabeth Holland and Keith Troester, with the award going to Hillmer.

Rebecca Hillmer receives the 2019 Citizen of the Year Award during the Celebrate Adel event on April 22 at Country Lane Lodge.

A nomination letter said Hillmer has been a community volunteer and has served multiple roles, including helping with fundraising for the Kinnick to Raccoon Trail Improvement Project and supervising volunteers for the Sweet Corn Festival 5K.

“This is getting harder,” Fuller said of awarding the Businesses and Citizens of the Year. “We have so many well deserved businesses and citizens that it’s an awesome, overwhelming problem that we have this many people who deserve this.”

The 2020 Citizens of the Year nominees included Tina Krug, Jodi Kuhse and Val Sutton, with the award going to Krug. She was nominated for her many hours helping to design and oversee the planting of over 2,000 trees, shrubs and plants for the Kinnick to Raccoon Trail Improvement Project.

Tina Krug is congratulated by her fellow 2020 Citizen of the Year nominees, Val Sutton and Jodi Kuhse, during the Celebrate Adel event on April 22.

“It’s such an honor,” Krug said of the award. “It was just great to be up there with such incredible people who have really taken care of our town in so many ways.”

The 2020 Business of the Year nominees were Big Al’s BBQ and Catering, Big Deal Car Care and Sumpter Pharmacy, with the award going to Big Al’s. The business was nominated for its efforts in offering free meals during COVID-19.

"Their dedication to the community rallied many people to step up and help out during the pandemic,” a nomination letter said.

While owner Al Laudencia was honored to be named the 2020 Business of the Year, he can’t take credit for the it.

“The award isn’t about me, it’s about the community,” Laudencia said. “Had it not been for the community of Adel and the surrounding communities, this wouldn’t have happened. They believed so much in us that they wanted us to stick around.”

Al Laudencia receives the 2020 Business of the Year award for Big Al's BBQ and Catering during the Celebrate Adel event on April 22.