Main Street Iowa celebrated 30 years of downtown and commercial district revitalizations at their Annual Awards Ceremony in Des Moines on Friday, April 29. Approximately 450 people from the state’s 51 districts attended a celebration dinner and award presentations.
The honors were presented by Governor Terry E. Branstad and Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
This year, there were four award categories, and three subgroups in each, for rural, mid-sized and larger communities. The categories were Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Game-changer and Innovation.
Dale Owen, President and CEO of Ascentra Credit Union, was honored with a Leadership Award for his role in establishing a state-of-the-art branch location in the Hilltop Campus Village, the co-sponsorship of a Habitat for Humanity home in the area with a donation from the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation, the key sponsorship of the Hilltop Campus Village Fall Music Festival, and his developing of an agreement with the HCV that allows them to manage and occupy their former branch at 122 East 15th Street.
“I am honored to have been nominated by the Hilltop Campus Village Board to receive this award. It means a great deal to me and to Ascentra to have its role in the Hilltop acknowledged state-wide for its commitment to community reinvestment,” Owen said. “We anticipate being very active within the hilltop area for many years to come.”
The Hilltop Campus Village District was also singled out for a special Reinvestment Milestone Achievement. Nine Iowa communities were honored for reaching new Million Dollar Benchmarks in 2015. Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village exceeded $50 million this year, the largest milestone so honored.
“This is a really stunning achievement for our district,” said Scott Tunnicliff, Director of the Hilltop Campus Village. “Main Street Iowa does a very thorough job of tracking private dollars invested in rehabilitation and acquisition. We help by monitoring activity in the area on a monthly basis, tracking sales and building permits, along with categories such as job creation, business attraction and progress of our four volunteer work groups.”
Robert Lee, Hilltop Campus Board President, also attended the ceremonies and received the award from Gov. Branstad and Ms. Durham.
“To me as a volunteer, this is gratifying, particularly when you look at all that is occurring. Nothing is counted until it is completed, and we have a lot more coming,” said Mr. Lee, who has been President of the Board since 2012. “From a big picture perspective, one of the great values of this ceremony comes from seeing examples around the state of building rehabilitation and community revitalization. The innovation and energy of some communities, of all sizes, is incredible.”
Terry Buschkamp, Main Street Iowa’s Urban District consultant, said in the presentation that “Hilltop Campus Village has been on a roll since 2009, when they were designated as one of the first of our urban neighborhood districts. They were recognized for surpassing the $20 million benchmark in 2012, and the transformation of this historical district that serves as one of the main arteries in the city of Davenport continues.”