Iowa Bankers Association - Partner of the Year

Iowa Character Awards

We annually recognize Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.

Nominations for the 2023 Iowa Character Awards will be accepted until May 2, 2023.

Awards Process

Writing Your Nomination

You don’t have to complete the form all at once. Create a username/password to save your nominations and return to it later.

Give examples. A successful nomination will include specific examples of the nominee showing good character.

Ask for help. You don’t have to complete the nomination alone. Ask the nominee’s friends, families, or co-workers for examples of the nominee’s good character.

Who Can Be Nominated?

Individuals, organizations, and communities who have not received an Iowa Character Award in the last 5 years are eligible.

Previous nominees and Honorable Mention recipients are eligible.

Youth nominees should be between the ages of 10 -19 as of May 1, 2023.

Who Can Nominate?

Anyone can submit a nomination.  You can nominate family, friends, co-workers, and community members.  You can nominate your own school, organization, or company.


2023 award recipients will be honored in three ways:

  • Award recipients will receive their awards at the 2023 Iowa Character Awards dinner on Friday, July 28, 2023 at Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona.
  • Award recipients will be featured in a one-hour Iowa Character Awards prime-time special that will air summer/fall 2023.
  • Award recipients will be honored in their hometowns during a special event organized by The Ray Center.

Who Would You Like to Nominate?

Presented to individuals who consistently demonstrate good character.

Presented to individuals who consistently demonstrate good character.

This award is presented to an educator or administrator who impacts students by using innovative character education practices. 

The Jim Hallihan Pursuing Victory with Honor Award is presented to an athletic team or athletic organization that consistently shows good character.  

This award is presented to a school or district that who impacts students by using innovative character education practices. 

This award is presented to a student organization that consistently shows good character.

Presented to a company or organization that demonstrates good character through their work. 

Get Started Today!

Don’t wait to start your Iowa Character Awards nomination.

Nominations are due May 2, 2023.

Iowa Character Awards

Iowa Character Awards have been presented since 2005.


Award Categories


Iowans make up the volunteer award selection committee. 

2022 Award Recipients

Katie Hernandez, Des Moines
Citizen of Character Award
Katie hernandez
Luanne Kustra, Carroll
Citizen of Character Award
Luanne Kustra
Andrew Genz, Muscatine
Character Educator Award
Andrew Genz
Iowa State University Athletics, Ames
Jim Hallihan Award
Victory Day with ISU Athletics
Schuler Elementary School, Atlantic
School of Character
Schuler Elementary
Fairfield Student Council, Fairfield
Student Organization of Character
Fairfield Student Council
Southwest Iowa Planning Council, Atlantic
Organization of Character
Community of Character

2022 Specialty Award Recipients

These awards are annually chosen by The Ray Center’s National Advisory Council and team.

Bud Hockenburg, Des Moines
Ray Pillar of Character Award
Bud Hockenberg
Iowa Farm Bureau
Partner of the Year
Partner - Farm Bureau
Renee Murphy, Ankeny
Character Champion Award
Renee Murphy
Zackry Brennan, Belmond
Aaron Eilerts Community Service Award
Zackry Brannen

Past Award Recipients