Iowan of the Week

Iowans of the Week will be recognized for their contributions to their communities, helping their neighbors and making Iowa better.

Each week, Rep. Axne will submit a statement to the Congressional Record on the unsung Iowan, detailing their work and efforts to make Iowa better and help improve the lives of others.


 

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Isabel Martinez Santos as Iowan of the Week. Isabel immigrated to the United States and has lived in Iowa for 28 years. Isabel has become a staple of advocacy within her community. Isabel has committed herself to addressing the conflict that exists in our world through her position with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and with Nuestras Danzas sin Fronteras, a community-focused dance group she founded.  

Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in honoring Barb Fuller of Corning, Iowa, as Iowan of the Week.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Kay Vanags as Iowan of the week. Kay has provided valuable services to constituents in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District for over 20 years through her work as LifeLong Links Director at Aging Resources of Central Iowa. The organization provides services to individuals in Dallas, Madison, Warren, and Polk counties in our district, as well as Boone, Story, Jasper, and Marion counties in Iowa. Kay’s work has had a widespread impact on Iowa's senior community and their family caretakers.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize two dedicated leaders for mental health and suicide prevention in our community—Joni Thornton and Nicole Mortenson. Joni and Nicole are co-chairs of the Out of the Darkness Central Iowa Walk. The annual walk is part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Iowa and helps raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health in the community.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize a tireless advocate for the Hispanic/Latino community - Joe Gonzalez. Joe immigrated to Iowa in 1957 when he was 5, along with his mother and two younger brothers. Like many Iowa immigrant stories of the time, his family followed his father who came to work on the railroad. Joe is a retired member of the Des Moines Police Department where he worked for 42-years and he remains a vital liaison in the department’s outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor John and Tasha Holben, letter carriers for the United States Postal Service and proud union members, as Iowan of the Week. John has faced the rain, wind, heat, and snow for 37 years to ensure the residents of Council Bluffs receive their mail in a timely manner. His wife, Tasha, has done the same for 17 years. I am proud to honor their dedication and years of service.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize a tireless advocate for the refugee community, Ms. Erin Bell, as Iowan of the Week.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Diane and Robert Findlay as Iowans of the Week.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor retired Council Bluffs Police Officer Lt. Dan Flores as Iowan of the Week. Dan has lived in Council Bluffs since 1981 and has become a staple in his community. Dan has committed himself to helping others throughout his career with the Council Bluffs Police Department, through his work with Centro Latino advocacy, and during his continued service directing the Iowa Western Community College security force.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize Pam Carmichael, a tireless advocate for stable, affordable, and quality housing, as Iowan of the Week. 

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize a tireless advocate, role model, leader, and the CEO of Children & Families of Iowa Janice Lane Schroeder as Iowan of the Week.

Janice is a leader in Iowa’s statewide efforts to serve families harmed by substance abuse, mental health crises, domestic abuse, and other life circumstances. After starting her career working with chemically dependent adults, she now heads the hardworking team at Children and Families of Iowa.

Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Karissa Schweizer, Cross Country Runner and Tokyo Olympian, as our Iowan of the Week.

Schweizer has been excited about the Olympics since she was a high school runner at Dowling Catholic High School. The Urbandale native had the opportunity to see Jenny Simpson, an Iowan and Olympic gold medalist, run her victory lap at Drake University’s blue oval.

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