As a thank you to the many dedicated nonprofit professionals in our community, the Community Foundation hosted its first annual Nonprofit Party on November 7. The new event, which will change locations each year, welcomed over 160 local nonprofit staff to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.
The Party offered a chance for people to relax and socialize among their peers. “We’re always looking for ways to collaborate with and support nonprofits,” said Carrie Walker, Nonprofit Network Manager at the Community Foundation. “This is just a chance for us to stop and thank them for their dedication to our community.”
At the Party, two outstanding nonprofit professionals were recognized for their contributions to the field. In addition to the award, each recipient’s organization received a $1,000 grant designated for staff development. These awards were previously presented at the Celebration of Community event.
Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award
The Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award recognizes a nonprofit staff member who has quietly gone “above and beyond” in their support of the organization’s mission and has greatly enhanced the overall effectiveness of the organization through their work.
For the last 11 years, Tim Feldmann has worked to heal children and inspire his coworkers. As a Workforce Specialist at Tanager Place, Tim is responsible for recruitment and retention of treatment counselors in the inpatient program—a field that typically sees high turnover. His success in reducing that turnover comes from a background in counseling and an ability to inspire fellow youth workers.
Tim joined Tanager Place in 2008 as a treatment counselor—a job with high physical and emotional demands. In just ten months, he was promoted to Assistant Program Supervisor, where he oversaw other treatment counselors. After nine years, Tim was promoted to his current role. “A lot of people here will tell you that they look up to Tim,” says Okpara Rice, Tanager Place CEO. “Because of him, they stay in the profession even when it becomes tough.”
Besides recruiting counselors, Tim also teaches de-escalation techniques, which help create a safe and productive environment for both youth and counselors. In his commitment to helping every child that comes to Tanager Place, Tim often steps in to help de-escalate situations himself. His leadership has made an impact on many young professionals and the youth they serve. “Much of his work is not easily visible to the community or even others in our organization,” says Okpara. “But Tim continuously goes above and beyond in his efforts to advance the mission of the organization.”
Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award
The Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award recognizes the leadership and accomplishments of the chief executive officer of a Linn County nonprofit organization who offers exceptional leadership and creates a lasting impact on their organization and the community.
Twice David Janssen has left Iowa, and twice he has returned because of his commitment to Brucemore and the Iowa Cultural Corridor. David served as Brucemore’s Assistant Director from 1993 to 2001 and returned as its Executive Director in 2012. In the interim, he worked to build his skills in historic preservation leadership by holding positions at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and the Detroit Historical Society.
As Executive Director, David has worked to honor the intent of Brucemore’s donor, Margaret Hall, that the property be preserved “for the enjoyment of the public.” He also works to fulfill the vision created by Brucemore’s founding Executive Director, maintaining the site’s status as a vibrant community cultural center. Brucemore now welcomes over 45,000 visitors annually to a wide variety of programs and events.
David has also worked to address critical infrastructure needs that make this programming possible, raising over $5 million and building a team of highly credentialed staff. This focus on culture, sustainability and professionalism has earned Brucemore three of Corridor Business Journal’s “Coolest Places to Work” awards.
Under David’s leadership, Brucemore has continued to be a valued collaborator in the arts community, working in partnership with organizations like SPT Theatre, Orchestra Iowa and Playtime Poppy. Hundreds of independent artists and performers are able to connect with audiences through self-produced events like Cabaret in the Courtyard, and Brucemore has received six awards from the Iowa Cultural Corridor Association for collaboration.
David was nominated for the award by the Brucemore board of directors. “David is highly effective in his role as model and communicator of Brucemore’s mission and values,” says Kay Hegarty, Board President. “David’s words and actions consistently model a high standard of professionalism.”