Wayne Seaman, recipient of the 2014 Citizen of the Year Award during Monday’s Carroll Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Wayne Seaman, recipient of the 2014 Citizen of the Year Award during Monday’s Carroll Chamber of Commerce banquet.
January 28, 2014

Wayne Seaman, a veteran Carroll ag-businessman who has served on a raft of boards for foundational local organizations, Monday night received the Carroll Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Citizen of the Year Award, the 433-member group's top annual honor.

"As much as anyone in this room, or really, the history of our community, our honoree has understood and fostered the vital relationship between production agriculture and other businesses," said Ann Wilson, the publisher of the Daily Times Herald and the 2013 Chamber Citizen of the Year. "He knows how towns and farms work together. And both are better for it around Carroll because of Wayne Seaman."

Wilson introduced Seaman to a crowd of more than 300 people associated with the Carroll Chamber at the awards banquet held at the Carrollton Centre.

Farner-Bocken Co. earned the Heritage Award for its contributions to the Carroll community since its founding here in 1939 by Bill Farner and Don Bocken. Jim and Peggy White of rural Westside earned the Good Neighbor Award largely for their contributions to signature Carroll institutions, St. Anthony Regional Hospital and the Kuemper Catholic School System.

St. Anthony Regional Hospital Chaplain Peg Scheidt collected the Humanitarian Award for her work with pastoral care. Dr. John and Nicole Carroll earned the Public Service Award for their commitment to a host of causes, notably education in the Carroll and Kuemper systems - and at a state level with Nicole Carroll's position on the Iowa Board of Regents.

Cody Irlbeck, the 28-year-old president and founder of Irlbeck Precision Surfaces, a company that does granite, marble and quartz fabrication in Carroll, accepted the New Business Award.

In earning the main award, Seaman, 75, the former general manager for Ralston-based West Central Cooperative, said he owed a debt of gratitude to many in his business and the organizational boards on which he served.

Seaman has served on boards for New Hope Village, St. Anthony Regional Hospital, the prestigious Denver, Colo.-based Co-Bank, Farm Credit Services, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa Ag Finance and Home State Bank.

"Our honoree has been a leading voice for the growth of Carroll on the Carroll Area Development Corporation," Wilson said. "What's more, our honoree has given nearly 30 years to one of the foundational institutions in Carroll - St. Anthony Regional Hospital. He's served on the board of directors for the Franciscan Sisters' medical center."

Seaman has reliably volunteered at New Hope, in the Bargain Shop. He's served on a committee looking at a new football stadium in Carroll, and he's been a trusted source for new businesspeople in Carroll looking for sage advice, Wilson said.

Additionally, Seaman has been devoted to the Presbyterian Church in Glidden - teaching high school Sunday school, serving as a deacon and elder and serving on many committees.

"To sum it up, our honoree has worked for people, for projects, for Carroll, for progress," Wilson said. "And he's done it with a big heart, no red ribbons and fanfare."

Seaman and his wife, Shirley, have three sons: David, 46, who works with Fareway in Boone; Darin, 43, a pastor for the Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud, Minn.; and Derek, 42, who is with Hon Industries in Muscatine.

"I've had an incredible life," Seaman said. "I've enjoyed seeing things grow, progress and develop."

Seaman, a 1956 Scranton High School graduate, noted that he started "near the bottom" with West Central as an assistant feed sacker, rising eventually to general manager. He was with the cooperative from 1956 to 1999.

Dean Onken, president of Farner-Bocken, and Tom Farner, vice president of the company, accepted the Heritage Award. (See related story.)

"A person that would have loved to be here was my father," Tom Farner said of the late Bill Farner. "He would love to be here for this award."

In presenting that award to Peg Scheidt, Jim and Peggy White stressed her commitment to St. Anthony and the families who are treated there.

"She holds a special place in her heart for those who are suffering," Jim White said.

Former Carroll Mayor and 2012 Citizen of the Year Jim Pedelty introduced the Carrolls, the winners of the Public Service Award, as a "dynamic duo."

He rattled off a king's ransom of public service highlighted by Nicole Carroll's presidency of the Carroll Community School Board of Directors and service on the Iowa Board of Regents, the latter of which oversees Iowa's public universities. She served for 12 years on the school board, six of them as president.

Nicole Carroll also has been involved with, among other things, the United Way Board, day care development, the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Advisory Board, the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and PEO.

An attorney, Nicole Carroll has been a court-appointed special advocate for children in Family Court.

Dr. John Carroll was recognized for serving hundreds of Carroll citizens as a physician. He has been the medical director at Regency Park and Iowa Hospice. Additionally, he has been highly active in the Carroll High School speech program. Carroll has been a lector, singer and guitar performer at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, and director of spring musicals for Kuemper Catholic High School.

"Carroll's been everything we hoped it would be - a warm, engaging community," Dr. Carroll said.

Kuemper President Vern Henkenius presented the Whites with the Good Neighbor Award in "red, white and blue" fashion - the red for their support of Kuemper, the blue for their advocacy for Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. (where daughter Maureen played on the golf team) and, of course, white for the family name.

Jim White stressed that Carroll benefits when the region thrives as surrounding communities feed Carroll's prosperity.

The Whites are co-chairs of the Kuemper Tomorrow Campaign, which is aimed at improving the facilities at the schools and boosting scholarship opportunities. Jim White said he is encouraged with progress toward a $4.6-million fundraising goal.

Jim White is president of the Kuemper Foundation. Peggy White, a former nine-year member of the Carroll City Council, serves on the St. Anthony Regional Hospital Board of Directors.

The couple have been active in a number of St. Anthony activities, including the current pastoral care campaign.