Character Counts awards announced

DES MOINES — The winners of the 2023 Iowa Character Awards have been released. The annual awards salute Iowans who adhere to the six pillars of character: Caring, Citizenship, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

A total of eleven people and organizations will be honored at an awards banquet later this month, according to program coordinator Hilary Ortman.
“We’ll be recognizing the Iowa women’s basketball program with our Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award,” Ortman says. “They really stood in a national spotlight last year and demonstrated great character in both athletics and off the court as well, so we’re really excited to honor Lisa Bluder and her team.”

The awards event will be held July 28th at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center at Altoona. Ortman says one of this year’s top awards is posthumous, honoring a Des Moines woman who died in June of brain cancer.  “We’ll be recognizing the late Lisa Brinkmeyer with the Robert D. and Billie Ray Pillar of Character Award,” Ortman says. “She obviously is a very familiar name across Iowa and an incredible, incredible woman with high character, integrity and kindness.”

While at Hubbard-Radcliffe High School, Brinkmeyer was named Miss Iowa Basketball in 1993. She won accolades at Drake University as both a basketball player and an assistant coach, and went on to become an assistant director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Launched in 2005, the Iowa Character program has since recognized more than 150 Iowans — individuals, groups, businesses and organizations.

The rest of this year’s recipients are:
Doug Alberhasky, Iowa City – Citizen of Character
Salvador Montes-Clausen, Mason City – Citizen of Character
Grace McCunn, Ames – Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award
Thomas Braverman, Iowa City – Educator of Character
Jay Byers, Des Moines – Character Champion
Nevada FFA, Nevada – Student Organization of Character
Walter Solar and Roofing, Clive – Business of Character
Louisa-Muscatine Community School District, Muscatine (School of Character)
Covenant Construction Services, Des Moines – Partner of the Year