Tenco Celebrates Success at Annual Awards Banquet

OTTUMWA-A crowd of nearly 300 attended the Annual Tenco Awards Banquet on Friday evening at the Ottumwa High School cafeteria, in this Tenco’s 52nd Anniversary of service to people with disabilities.  The event honored business and industry, civic organizations, benefactors, Tenco staff and individuals served by Tenco. Achievers and Believers was the theme of the evening.

Attendees were entertained by juggler Scott Baird, as well as musical entertainment by Tenco’s own Angie Lennie accompanied by Scott Amos.  The meal was catered by Country Kitchen and served by AKTION club and 4 O’Clock Sorority with assistance from Tenco employees. Audio needs were handled by Wes Konrad. Master of Ceremonies was CFO Marc Roe.

The evening began with honoring staff years of service. Honored for five years of dedication to Tenco were: Codie Amason, Rodney Bostic, Sarah Bostic, Mary Johnson, Lora Lahvic, Dixie Merritt, Robert Merritt, Teri Scholtus, and Nita Songer.


Honorees receiving awards included:

Tenco Individuals Served Awards:


Top Effort Awardrecognizes individuals for achievements in the areas of personal growth, skill development and movement toward independence. Winner of the Top Effort Award were: Tim Jackson, Ottumwa; Dena Shelangoski, Fairfield; and Jon Smith, Centerville.


Mitzi Martin Awardis presented to individuals who have overcome adversity and are an example to all of us that hard work and determination does indeed lead to personal success.  Winner of the Mitzi Martin Award was:  Alice Coffman, Centerville.


Independence Award:  recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding growth in socialization and becoming more independent in their living situation.  (Winners of the Independence Award were: Angel Carmen, Knoxville; Ken Hamstreet, Ottumwa; and Kay Peckham, Ottumwa.


Achievement Award- the Achievement Award was developed to honor an extraordinary individual that is served by Tenco services.  It is to honor an individual who advocates for themselves and maintained a positive outlook on life during times when others may have lost optimism.  This individual has gone above and beyond to future opportunities for individuals served by Tenco. Winners of the Achievement Award were:  Preston Dixon, New Sharon; Terry McSparen, Ottumwa; and David Allison, Centerville


Tenco Staff Awards:

Advocacy Award presented to someone who has gone above and beyond in support to the mission of Tenco and supporting the clients that Tenco serves. Winner of the Advocacy Award were:  Dixie Merritt, Ottumwa; Dixie Serna, Centerville; and Ashley Lewman, Fairifeld.


 Image Award – for the outstanding reflection and vision portrayed to the community, the individuals Tenco serves and other staff members. Winners of the Image Award were:  Missy Schaffer, Centerville; Lorrie Bouchard, Ottumwa; Deb Wood, Fairfield; and Krissy Wood, Ottumwa.


Allegiance Awardfor the loyalty, commitment and faithfulness portrayed to the community, the individuals Tenco serves and other staff members.  Winners of the Allegiance Award were:   Jennifer Schuttinga, Ottumwa; Jim Courtney, Ottumwa; Mary Johnson, Ottumwa; and Theresse Grubbs, Keosauqua.


Community Awards:

Employer of the Year Award: Culver’s

Business Partner of the Year: Wells Vehicle Electronics and Pioneer Hi-Bred

Community Service Award: Legacy Foundation and Marshall Diaz

Visionary Award: MudbuM and Robert Perkins

Exemplar Award: Wapello County Foundation

Exceptional Service Award: Deb Pumphrey
New this year was honoring recent planned gifts. Planned gifts to charities across our great nation have been referred to as the “life-blood” of the good work to which these charities are dedicated.  Tenco is not an exception; a major planned gift by the Floyd Parker estate in 1975, “really gave Tenco the opportunity to survive and grow” according to Tom Johnson – Tenco’s first Executive Director.

This Tenco tradition continues today – with two recent planned gifts.

  • George “Russ” Benson and his wife Dorothy were life-long residents of Ottumwa. Dorothy was a teacher, beginning her career in a one-room school before a long tenure teaching elementary in Ottumwa.  Russ was hired by J.W. Edgerly & Co. in Ottumwa in 1938, working their until his retirement except for a 4 ½ year period when he served in the European Theatre in the 1040’s.  Their estate remembered Tenco, along with several other charities in Ottumwa.
  • Bonny Rater was a native Ottumwan, the daughter of Dr. David Leo and Kathryn C. Sheridan Rater. Bonny was a graduate of Ottumwa Heights Academy in Ottumwa and Loretto Heights College in Denver.  She taught in Omaha, NE and Topeka, KS before returning to teach in Ottumwa in the 1970’s & 80’s.  Her estate remembered the Tenco Foundation.

Tenco and the Tenco Foundation are certified 501 c 3 by the IRS and as such gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Tenco is a non-profit in its 52nd year in serving individuals with special needs.  Tenco operates vocational programs in Centerville, Fairfield, and Ottumwa; Adult Day Habilitation services in Centerville, Fairfield, and Ottumwa; and residential services in Centerville, Chariton, Keosauqua, Fairfield, Knoxville, Ottumwa, and Oskaloosa.  Tenco also manages a Transition Home in Fairfield and Residential Care Facilities in Keosauqua and Knoxville.  In addition, Tenco has two hydroponic greenhouses and two thrift stores – Second Time Around.