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Rodney Lewis is owner of Rodney's Kitchen in downtown Waterloo.

WATERLOO — Rodney Lewis, owner of Rodney’s Kitchen in downtown Waterloo, aims to be a positive influence in the lives of young people.

He has organized a teen work skills program, offers free sack lunches for kids in need and more.

In August, Lewis received the Paul Mann Memorial Human Relations Award presented by the Iowa State Education Association. While Lewis’ restaurant serves up great food, his work in the community, specifically for hungry kids, is what earned him ISEA’s honor.

What drives you?

My kids and my community drive me because you have to be an example to both.

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2018?

My biggest accomplishment was operating a small business with little help, but we survived with the business provided by the community and surrounding areas.

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What’s you goal in 2019?

To gain more support from my community and surrounding areas so we can continue to run a successful business.

What makes the Cedar Valley a great place for business/education?

You can focus on many things, such as family, community development and leaving a positive impact on the community and what you love the most.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned in your career journey?

No matter how tough times fall on you, never give up.

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Lifestyles and Features Editor

Lifestyles Editor for The Courier

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