Des Moines, Iowa, Jan 19, 2012 -- January 21, 2012 – Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, today announced that Dennis Henke, formerly of Waverly and now residing in Waterloo, is this month’s Vilsack-Wallace Award recipient for exceptional contributions to USDA Rural Development in Iowa.
The Vilsack-Wallace Award is given each month to a USDA Rural Development employee in Iowa who goes above and beyond their normal work duties to assist rural Iowans and USDA staff.
Henke is a Community Programs Specialist working in the agency’s Waverly office.
In the last few years Henke has had an exceptionally large caseload including managing USDA Rural Development’s involvement in the expansion and construction of critical access hospital projects in Guttenberg and Sumner. The Guttenberg Municipal Hospital was a $17 million renovation and addition to the existing facility and the Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner has just started construction of an $18 million new replacement facility.
“Dennis has handled these two large projects while still keeping all the other smaller loan and grant projects moving forward,” Menner added. “He has done an outstanding job juggling multiple applications and not losing focus on all the communities he serves.”
The results of Dennis’ hard work can be seen all over northeast Iowa.
“During the past 30 years Dennis has been driven to get as much funding as possible to the communities he serves,” Menner added. “Whether it is a new fire truck, emergency services equipment, childcare center or new water system, you can see his fingerprints in hundreds of community in northeast Iowa.”
Recent examples of projects in or near Waverly have included a new office building and waiver home for The Larrabee Center, the new Waverly Child Care and Preschool building and Pathways Inc.’s satellite office in Fredericksburg.
The Vilsack-Wallace Award is named for the two most recent Iowans to serve as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Tom Vilsack served as Iowa’s governor from 1999 to 2007. Henry A. Wallace was the first Ag Secretary and later Vice President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also perfected the first corn hybrid and founded Hi-Bred Corn, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and cooperative programs.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural areas and communities. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
The Waverly office, which can be reached at (319) 352-1715 Ext. 4, serves communities, residents and businesses in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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