The Cedar Falls Business and Industry Awards and Representative Citizen Award recognizes individuals, groups, and businesses for their continued interest and investment in the community. The awards are presented annually by the City of Cedar Falls and Cedar Falls Utilities.
2021 honorees were recognized during a luncheon on June 3 at the Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls.
Join us in congratulating this year's winners!
Zuidberg North America, Inc. – Reinvestor Award
Zuidberg North America serves as the importer, distributor, and marketer of Zuidberg products which are manufactured at their global HQ in The Netherlands. Since 2014, Zuidberg has established itself as a leader in front 3-point hitch and PTO, conversion track systems, and custom transmissions for both the aftermarket and several Fortune 500 and Global 2000 customers in the US and Canada. They are dedicated to outstanding employee culture and the relentless execution of their long-term strategic plan.
K. Cunningham Construction Co. – Continued Investor Award
Cunningham Construction has been a Cedar Falls business since 1979. The organization is a concrete paving construction leader and has helped Cedar Falls improve and maintain its infrastructure system by constructing many city streets, parking lots, recreational trails, and sidewalks. They moved to their new location on Rail Way in the North Cedar Falls Industrial Park in June 2020. Cunningham Construction looks forward to growing with Cedar Falls in the years to come.
Cedar Falls Utilities – High Tech Partner Award
Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) upgraded their all-fiber network to make 10-gigabit speed readily available anywhere in the community, becoming the first 10-gigabit city in Iowa and one of the first in the country. This commitment to continually improving the Cedar Falls broadband network and providing customers a fast, reliable connection was especially helpful in a year when demand for streaming, learning, and working from home was amplified. In 2020, PCMag recognized CFU as the fastest internet service provider in the U.S.A.
Ashley HomeStore – Redevelopment Investor Award
The new Ashley HomeStore at College Square Mall is part of the Furniture Mart USA family, which includes its regional distribution center that opened in 2017 in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park. This is the Sioux Falls-based retailer's 31st Ashley HomeStore and ninth in Iowa. The family-owned and operated business is strongly committed to service and the community. They have partnered with the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and House of Hope since opening earlier this year.
Brad & Jen Leeper – Continued Investor Award
Brad and Jen Leeper came to Cedar Falls in the early 1990s with one of their first jobs located in the Main Street building that is now JIVA. Upon choosing to raise their family in a historic home on Washington Street, they have been active supporters of the hard work and community collaboration that spurred the revitalization of downtown Cedar Falls. With their children headed to college, they were drawn to the vitality and community feel of Main Street and purchased the former Cedar Falls Band building. Since its inception in 1857, the Cedar Falls Band has been a fixture in the community. They are excited to honor that history through this redevelopment project.
Kryton Engineered Metals, Inc. – CFU Energy Conservation Award
Kryton is a mid-sized metal Fabricator specializing in Metal Spinning but embracing most forms of metal fabrication. This is their 40th year in business and what started as a small start-up has grown into a worldwide supplier of metal fabricated parts, servicing the air movement to oil and gas and agriculture needs worldwide. Kryton has embraced a major culture shift allowing them to attract employees of the Cedar Valley along with embracing the newest technology advances to keep up as a front runner in the manufacturing world.
Vilas "Sid" Morris – Lifetime Achievement Award
Sid Morris is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He graduated from Iowa State Teachers College and then spent more than 40 years devoted to his career in education. During that time, Sid became an active volunteer in the Cedar Valley and has been part of dozens of non-profit and community organizations since the 1980s.
Sid served on the Board of Adjustment, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Cedar Falls City Council and was later on the CFU Board of Trustees. He was also instrumental in the development of Veterans Park in Cedar Falls and organized fundraising campaigns and community volunteers to build the park and construct recent expansions at Veterans Park.
Frank Darrah – Representative Citizen
Frank Darrah, a retired Special Education Supervisor and adjunct professor of 35 years, has been named Representative Citizen of the Year. Frank has devoted much of his time to the community of Cedar Falls through his service on the City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Planning and Zoning Commission. Frank has also found time to volunteer as well as fundraise for local projects.
Frank says, "When you volunteer to lead and recognize the value of the average citizen's caring input, it helps out, it helps you, and it models involvement behavior for others."