The Pella Chamber of Commerce honored five Hall of Fame Excellence Award recipients at their Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, February 28, 2014. Recipients were selected for the impact each has on the community, quality of life, and economy of Pella.
This is the 41st year for the Hall of Fame Awards. Each year the Chamber receives nominations from its members and the general public for businesses and individuals who have made a positive impact on the community.
A selection committee made up of current and former Chamber board members reviews the nominations and selects the recipients. Awards were presented by Chamber Board Members Cyndi Atkins and Trevor Castle.
According to the Pella Chamber, an Excellence Award recognizes the efforts of an individual or business that has had a long-lasting, positive impact on the quality of life and the economy of Pella. Each of the five award winners, in very unique and different ways, has unselfishly contributed their time, talents, treasures and teamwork year-after-year to make Pella a better community.
This year’s recipients are:
Larry De Vries
Larry’s involvement in the community is a testament to what can be achieved through partnerships, entrepreneurial spirit and recognizing needs in the community.
Approximately 15 years ago, Larry entered into a partnership with three individuals and the City of Pella to construct what had been a dream for many in Pella…a canal we now know as the Molengracht. A definite icon for the community, this area provides space for businesses, condos for residents, a hotel for guests, a great dining option and a public space for all to enjoy. Not every community can boast they have a canal but thanks in part to Larry – we can!
Recognizing the community’s need for various housing options, Larry developed Fountain Hills, a moderate to upscale housing development on the north edge of the community. He also saw the need for maintenance-free upscale rentals, in response he built many duplexes in Pella. Larry was also instrumental in as an investor in Vriendschap Village, an apartment complex for independent and assisted senior living. But he didn’t stop there, he also recognized Pella’s growing tourism industry and the need to accommodate more visitors, forming a partnership to build the Comfort Inn Hotel to give visitors more hotel rooms to meet their needs. Larry’s impact also is felt through his generosity to the community. Many non-profit projects and activities have benefitted from his giving; far too many to mention, but each better off because of a caring spirit.