Clayton County Development Group holds dinner and awards ceremony in Marquette

The Clayton County Development Group held its 19th annual dinner and awards ceremony July 23 at the Marquette Community Center in the Cobblestone Inn. The group recognized businesses, communities and volunteers that exemplified the CCDG mission statement. Award winners include: (front, left to right) Monona Mayor Fran Passmore, Cindy Wachendorf, Amy Ries, Deb Bries and Don Bries; (back, left to right) Tim Kendrick, Rhonda Kendrick, Katherine Ruff, Rod Marlatt, Tim Engelhardt and Jon deNuei. (Submitted photo)


The Clayton County Development Group (CCDG) held its 19th annual dinner on Tuesday, July 23 at the Marquette Community Center in the Cobblestone Inn in Marquette. “Move with us into the Future!” was the theme for this year’s dinner.


CCDG Director Darla Kelchen shared a brief presentation of CCDG’s accomplishments for the past year, as well as the many programs available through the office. She also shared the goals for the upcoming year and expressed appreciation for the members of the Clayton County Development Group who help make it possible for CCDG to accomplish its goals each year. A special thank you was given to the supervisors for providing a new home for the CCDG office at 200 E. Bridge St. in Elkader.


Awards and recognition were also given to businesses, volunteers and communities that exemplified CCDG’s mission statement: “The mission of Clayton County Development Group is to enhance the opportunities for the creation of wealth for the citizens of Clayton County, Iowa through the promotion of Agriculture, Industry and Tourism: 

· Build strong profitable economic businesses through cooperation and education. 

· Create a destination for quality recreation and tourism. 

·Provide a quality of life that promotes public investment.


The following businesses, communities and volunteers received awards this year:


Kendrick Forest Products was honored as the industry of the year. Tim and Rhonda Kendrick accepted the award for the business, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Rhonda Kendrick shared the business’ journey and the value of great employees in expanding Kendrick Forest Products with the Forever Cabinets division. 


CCDG recognized Don Bries as developer of the year. Don and his wife, Deb, established new housing construction in Garnavillo and have lots available for new construction. Don was recognized for his vision, commitment and dedication to offer quality, all-American homes. His future plans include building additional homes in the housing sub-division, with funding for the down payment available in a forgivable loan program, upon qualifying.


CCDG also recognized Katherine Ruff, owner of By the Spoonful, as the new business entrepreneur of the year. Ruff opened her business this spring and has been busy with plans to offer cooking classes. By the Spoonful is located in McGregor and offers a diverse selection of foods from the Edgewood Locker, as well as decorative accessories for the kitchen, a variety of wines and delicious dry dips. 


The city of Monona was presented with the community betterment of the year award for its downtown beautification project. In 2009, the community had a vision to improve the downtown with streetlights and sidewalks with decorated curbs. The vision became a reality in 2011, and the beautification project was completed in 2012. Mayor Fran Passmore shared the project and invited people to visit Monona’s downtown.


CCDG also recognized the Turkey River Recreational Corridor Volunteers as volunteers of the year. A partnership between Elgin, Clermont, Elkader and Motor Mill began four years ago to provide a water trail on the Turkey River in order to enhance the opportunity to kayak, canoe or tube. Tim Engelhardt  shared the TRRC committee’s vision, along with the progress that has been made between the three communities and two counties. Engelhardt and volunteers Rod Marlatt and Jon deNuei accepted the award.


The new tourism attraction award was presented to PromiseLand Winery. Pat and Cindy Wachendorf started planting grape vines in 2004 in order to make their favorite wines, and will soon open the PromiseLand Winery, which is located on the Great River Road, south of Guttenberg.  The PromiseLand Winery will provide a wine tasting area, event center, outside garden and conference room for gatherings.


For more information on how to be a part of the CCDG or about what CCDG offers, contact the office at (563) 245-2201.

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