WATERLOO — The recipients have been named for the Courier’s class of 2019 20 Under 40 awards.

Twenty men and women who live and work in the Cedar Valley were selected by a committee, who sorted through nearly 80 nominations in the 18-year-old award program.

In July, the Courier began seeking nominations for the award, which honors outstanding young leaders in the Cedar Valley who are making a difference in their work and personal lives to make the area a better place.

The individuals will be featured in Cedar Valley Business Monthly magazine in November and then featured on a daily basis in the Courier beginning in December.

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A reception for the winners is planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Hawkeye Community College’s Tama Hall, 1501 E. Orange Road.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Katie Hillyer, 32, University of Northern Iowa’s College of Business Administration.
  • Ryan Tucker, 35, of Denver, funeral director, Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home.
  • Joyce Oaks, 39, franchise owner of Ameriprise Financial Services, Cedar Falls.
  • Abby Turpin, 39, anchor, KWWL TV, and singer.
  • John R. “Andy” Anderson, 36, assistant professor of management and John Deere Endowed Fellow in UNI’s College of Business Administration, mountain climber, and owner of TransChina Solutions LLC.
  • Ryan Meyer, 32, vice president, operations, at MercyOne Northeast Iowa.
  • Oscar Valdivia, 39, owner of Amigos Mexican Restaurant, Cedar Falls and Waterloo.
  • Zach Everman, 33, owner of Pixel Labs, Cedar Falls.
  • Bart Schmitz, 39, University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, Cedar Falls.
  • Tera O’Hare, 36, of Waverly, chief operating officer of Homelink, the largest division of VGM Group, Waterloo.
  • Ben Stevens, 38, of Jesup, chief financial officer at Buchanan County Health Center, Independence.
  • Kyle Baker, 39, Community Bank & Trust, Waterloo.
  • Virginia Wilber, 38, attorney, Trent Law Firm, Cedar Falls.
  • Erin Schildroth, 34, of Reinbeck, community outreach and volunteer coordinator at Grundy County Memorial Hospital, Grundy Center.
  • Julie Gleason, 35, nurse practitioner at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital Community Cancer Center, Waterloo.
  • J’Kalein Madison, 23, of Waterloo, salesman, KWWL TV.
  • Liz DeJoode, 34, health innovation consultant, PDCM Insurance, Waterloo.
  • Jamie Rathjen, 34, founder and executive director of Guiding Star Cedar Valley and founder of Fiat Fertility Care Center, Waterloo.
  • Mark Watje, 30, president of Curbtender Inc., Cedar Falls.
  • Melanie Knipp, 37, co-owner of Trends Hair Salon, Waterloo.

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Nancy Newhoff


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