Yandas, Wolken honored at MACC Banquet

Husband and wife duo Mary and Jay Yanda received the chamber’s Lifetime Membership Award. Mary Yanda (right) has been a devoted chamber volunteer, and Jay has assisted throughout the years as well. Presenting the award was outgoing chamber president Monica Gray. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

This year’s Monticello chamber Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Richard Wolken (left) for his longtime dedication to the chamber and Monticello community. Presenting the award and honoring Wolken was last year’s recipient, Tom Yeoman.

The Monticello Regional Airport was a recipient of the chamber’s Community Pride Awards. The airport was recognized for the addition of a new 10 T-hangar. From left is outgoing chamber president Monica Gray presenting the award to City Administrator Doug Herman.

Rhonda and Mike Bachman, owners of The Cone Shoppe, received a Community Pride Award from the chamber for their indoor and outdoor renovations.

Eric Green, owner of Diamond Pi Company, was the recipient of the chamber’s Community Pride for opening up the new pizza restaurant and renovating the existing building (former Happy Joe’s). Presenting the award is outgoing chamber president Monica Gray.

The Monticello Heritage & Cultural Center board members accepted their chamber Community Pride Award. The Heritage Center houses much of Monticello’s unique history for all to see. Front from left are Kaye Junion and Emily Hendricks. Back row, Tiffany Bacon, Dave Schoon and Bob Hendricks.

Orbis was another recipient of the Community Pride Award. Orbit was recognized for the expansion of their plant and warehouse in Monticello. Accepting the award was Plant Manager Doug Wortman and MR Manger Lynnette Martineau.

Chamber Ambassadors Angie McDonough and Judy Tuetken were recognized with the Ambassador Leadership Award for their attendance at Ambassador calls.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) held its annual banquet on Jan. 15, honoring several local businesses, organizations, and community members for their support and dedication to the chamber.

     This year’s Lifetime Membership Award was presented to husband and wife duo Mary and Jay Yanda.

     “They both have been vital members of our community,” chamber board president Mark Spensley said of the Yandas. “They have served the chamber and the city for many years.”

     A recent job opportunity is taking the Yandas to Texas. Mary retired from the Monticello Express after 20-plus years.

     The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Richard Wolken. Presenting the award was last year’s recipient, Tom Yeoman.

     Leading up to the suspense of naming Wolken as this year’s honoree, Yeoman shared that Wolken was not only a Monticello High School graduate, but moved back to town after college to start his dental practice (Wolken Dental), and to raise his family. Several generations of Wolkens now reside in the community.

     “He’s always loved working on the family farm,” said Yeoman.

     Wolken was and continues to be active in FFA, 4-H, the chamber, the Lions Club, and the Great Jones County Fair.

     “I’m told that one of his biggest regrets is not buying the old Milwaukee Railroad depot and moving his dental practice into it,” shared Yeoman.

     In accepting his award, Wolken said, “It’s been great to be here for 43 years with my dental practice. I’m proud to be in Monticello. It’s been great supporting the community, as well as the community supporting me.”

     Six Community Pride Awards were handed out for new construction, renovations, community service and economic development. Awardees must be chamber members.

     Orbis received an award for new construction for their 100,000 square-foot warehouse addition to their plant. Accepting was Plant Manager Doug Wortman and HR Manager Lynnette Martineau.

     Orbis has been operating in Monticello since 1974 and continues to grow.

     “Orbis chose to build their new warehouse addition to accomplish two goals,” explained Spensley. “Number one, to be able to grow their catalog business and ship with shorter lead times. They recently hired seven new people to help support that goal. Number two, to free up approximately 18,000 square feet for additional injection molding cells.”

     Two economic development awards were given to Theisen’s and the Monticello Regional Airport.

     No one from Theisen’s was present to accept the award. They were recognized for the purchase of the former Family Foods building, and expansion of their lawn and garden division.

     City Administrator Doug Herman accepted the award for the airport. The award showcases the new 10 T-hangar project completed last fall.

     The Cone Shoppe and Diamond Pi Company were both awarded for individual renovation projects. Cone Shoppe owners Rhonda and Mike Bachman spent the summer remodeling and painting the restaurant, both inside and out. They also expanded their hours into the winter months. Eric Green, owner of Diamond Pi, was a longtime employee of Happy Joe’s Pizza. Green purchased the restaurant building in 2018, did some remodeling, and started his own franchise. He also modified the recipes to provide his own pizza of choice.

     The Monticello Heritage & Cultural Center was given the award for community service. Accepting the award were board members Bob Hendricks, Emily Hendricks, Tiffany Bacon, Dave Schoon, and Kaye Junion.

     “Right in the heart of Monticello stands what used to be St. Luke’s Methodist Church. Built in 1949, it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This charming old church has been revamped into a museum of Monticello history and memorabilia. It is full of educational, entertaining, always changing displays of local history for all ages. The museum is run by local volunteers, determined to keep the history of Monticello alive, continuing to educate future generations,” Spensley said.

     Other awards of the night included recognizing outgoing chamber board members Tris Langdon and Scott Shuttlefield, and Monica Gray as past chamber board president.

     Spensley also recognized several ambassadors, the goodwill arm of the chamber.

     “The Monticello Chamber of Commerce has a group a volunteers who are vital to our membership,” he said in describing the vital role of the ambassadors.

     Angie McDonough and Judy Tuetken were presented with the Ambassador Leadership Award, in recognition of their regular attendance at ambassador business calls.

     Out-going ambassador president Jerry Retzlaff was recognized for his service. Craig Thompson takes over the leadership of the ambassadors.

     Spensley also thanked Executive Chamber Director, Jan Hoag, for her two-years of service, and counting. “She is a vital member to our organization, planning, coordinating and organizing the chamber as we strive to meet the needs of our membership,” he said.


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