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Iowa Character Awards

The Ray Center annually recognizes Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.

Since 2005, we have recognized more than 150 Iowans for showing good character.  

Watch our one-hour primetime special featuring the 2022 recipients!

  • FOX 17 Des Moines: Tuesday, August 9 |  8-9 pm
  • FOX 28 Cedar Rapids: Friday, August 12 |  6-7 pm
  • Fox 44 Sioux City: Saturday, August 13 | 5-6 pm


Get started on a 2023 Iowa Character Award nomination!


2022 Iowa Character Award Recipients

Business/Organization of Character:

Southwest Iowa Planning Council  (Atlantic)

Adult Citizen of Character:

Luanne Kustra (Carroll)

Honorable Mentions:
Colleen Conrad (West Des Moines)
Sylvia Westendorf (Maynard)

Youth Citizen of Character:

Katie Hernandez (Des Moines)

Honorable Mentions:
Kathleen Loder (Des Moines)
Brody Spies (Hinton)

Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award:

Zackry Brannen (Belmond)

Educator of Character:  

Andrew Genz (Louisa-Muscatine CSD)

Honorable Mentions:
Michelle Hill (Waukee CSD)
Joan Nikkel (Pella CSD)

Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award:

Iowa State Victory Day (Ames)

School of Character:

Schuler Elementary (Atlantic)

Student Organization of Character:

Fairfield Student Council (Fairfield CSD)

Honorable Mentions:
Mason City High School Student Senate (Mason City CSD)

Community of Character:


Partner of the Year:

Iowa Farm Bureau

Character Champion:

Renee Murphy (Ankeny)

Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character:  

Bud Hockenburg (Des Moines)


The 2022 Iowa Character Awards are presented by:  

    Hy-Vee logo


   Partner logo

Murphy Enterprizes  



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