Lt. Governor Adam Gregg to Present Iowa Nonprofit Awards

Monday, October 28, 2019


October 28, 2019

Contact: Betsy Shelton, Volunteer Iowa


Lt. Governor Adam Gregg to Present Iowa Nonprofit Awards

DES MOINES, Iowa– Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will present the 2019 Iowa Nonprofit Awards recognizing excellence in the nonprofit sector on October 29th at 4:00PM, in conjunction with the Iowa Nonprofit Summit.

In recognition of their outstanding work in Iowa’s nonprofit community, awards will be presented to:

  • Carolyn Wallace, Iowa City, Riverside Theater, Nonprofit Board Leadership Award
  • Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership, Grinnell, Outstanding Nonprofit Collaboration Award
  • Iowa Child Advocacy Board, Des Moines, Outstanding Volunteer or National Service Program Award
  • Iowa West Foundation, Council Bluffs, Philanthropic Impact Award
  • Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Nonprofit Spotlight Award
  • Melissa Strovers, Grinnell, Outstanding Volunteer or National Service Manager Award
  • Tray Wade, Des Moines, EveryStep, Nonprofit Staff Leadership Award

The biennial Iowa Nonprofit Summit Oct. 29-30 in Altoona will bring together more than 300 leaders of nonprofit and volunteer management organizations from across the state to provide learning and networking for Iowa’s nonprofit community. For more information, visit

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About the Award Winners - See information below

About the Iowa Nonprofit Summit

The Iowa Nonprofit Awards and Iowa Nonprofit Summit are made possible through a collaborative effort with: Volunteer Iowa, Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, United Ways of Iowa, Volunteer Centers of Iowa, Iowa Council of Foundations, Iowa Mentoring Partnership, Iowa Association of RSVP Directors, and the Iowa Association of Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion Programs.

About Volunteer Iowa

Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at

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About the 2019 Iowa Nonprofit Award Winners

Carolyn Wallace

Carolyn is the Vice Chair of the Riverside Theater Board of Directors in Iowa City. She is actively involved with all issues related to ethical practices and activities for Riverside Theater. She serves as the go-to individual for legal advice pertaining to employment and ethical practices, and always looks at those issues not as hurdles, but as standards by which to further the Theatre’s mission to connect art and artists to more audience members.

Carolyn’s work has led to the recruitment of new board members, the hiring of new senior staff, and over $20,000 in new donations. She regularly devotes over 20 hours per week into matters of governance, fundraising, and planning for Riverside Theatre.

Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership

The Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership was founded in the 2014-15 academic year, as a cradle to career initiative that innovates in collaboration with the local community. The Partnership pilots sustainable initiatives and achieves proven successes in the areas of literacy enrichment, afterschool learning, and career building opportunities. They bring together community nonprofits, area employers, the Grinnell-Newburg School District, statewide partner Iowa Campus Compact and community volunteers to support kids and families in Grinnell.

To date, the Partnership has engaged nearly 150 AmeriCorps members and has involved more than 20 organizations in supporting the effort to give students a strong start, to set them up for success in early years of school and to finish strong, so they are prepared to succeed after graduation. The most notable offering the Partnership has spearheaded are changes in summer learning opportunities.

Iowa Child Advocacy Board

The Iowa Child Advocacy Board (ICAB) administers two highly effective volunteer programs – the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and the Iowa Citizen Foster Care Review Board (FCRB). ICAB volunteers help create better child welfare and legal systems, protect the vulnerable, make clarity out of chaos and lead cases forward to the best possible resolution for the child.

In fiscal year 2019, both programs combined had a dedicated force of 606 volunteers advocating for the best interests of over 3000 children in 59 counties in Iowa. ICAB oversees 17 local coordinators, who oversee all CASA and FCRB volunteers. ICAB provides ongoing staff development in volunteer management practices, to ensure training on topics such as leadership styles, safety/risk management, background checks, volunteer evaluations and dealing with difficult situation. Their commitment to become a certified Service Enterprise has been invested in, promoted, and came to fruition as staff consists of many volunteers involved in various aspects of ICAB’s work.

Iowa West Foundation

The Iowa West Foundation was founded in 1996. Since then, they have awarded more than $500 million in grants to improve the quality of lives of thousands in 14 counties in Iowa and a small part of eastern Nebraska. They are committed to improving lives and strengthening communities for today and future generations, by impacting four core focus areas of economic development, education, infrastructure and beautification projects.

The Iowa West Foundation has spearheaded new housing projects, helped preserve historic neighborhoods, established an incubator pipeline for entrepreneurs, and supported cradle to career investments that increase kindergarten readiness and improve grade level reading proficiency. The Foundation has created postsecondary opportunities for high school graduates and nontraditional students, and funds service organizations that strengthen families and help individuals reach their full potential.

Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa

Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, by teaching the difference between “wants” and “needs.” They have partnered with several school districts in Eastern Iowa to provide hands-on programs to foster career readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills for 48,767 kindergarten through 12th grade students in 15 counties.  

Among their many program offerings, Junior Achievement is launching a new JA Emerging Entrepreneurs program for third through fifth grade students in Waterloo, to address entrepreneurship curriculum gaps at the elementary school level. This program is focused on helping students develop skills and interests in entrepreneurship with a focus on being environmentally conscious. These Junior Achievement programs help increase graduation rates and better prepare students to successfully compete in the 21st century through career readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy education, which directly impacts and strengthens Eastern Iowa’s local economy.

Melissa Strovers

Melissa has served as the lead program manager for the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership since its inception in 2014. As program manager, Melissa creatively adapts to changing circumstances by integrating new ideas to build sustainable systems that meet the program and the community’s needs. She brings people together to identify needs and to collectively arrive at solutions tailored to the community’s priorities and goals. Melissa understands that successful members are the key to a successful program and individually coaches any member who could benefit from one-on-one time.

Under Melissa’s leadership, the work of the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership has proven success. Nine in ten students who participate in the expanded summer school program maintained or improved reading skills over the summer. Chronic absences among elementary school students have dropped by more than half. Nearly 90% of Grinnell third graders were reading proficiently at grade level, and proficiency levels of low-income students has greatly improved, reflecting a commitment to closing the achievement gap.

Tray Wade

Tray Wade has a 16-year career at EveryStep, serving for the past three years as its President and CEO. During his tenure, he has taken the organization from losing more than $1 million annually to a positive earnings flow. He also led the organization through rebranding in the fall of 2018, one step in moving the organization’s mission forward while remaining financially strong and well-positioned for the future. Under Tray’s leadership, EveryStep has invested in staffing and infrastructure to maintain the legacies of rural, locally staffed hospice programs.

Tray has demonstrated commitment to supporting and keeping valued employees by implementing a $15 minimum wage. He responded to employees’ desire for greater transparency, clearer accountabilities, improved communications between every level of the organization and for more education and development opportunities. He also announced plans to revise EveryStep’s performance management processes and develop leadership training resources and an organization wide education department.

Printed from the website on October 20, 2020 at 3:15am.