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Names & Notes

Kinser receives young city official award

Marshalltown City Administrator Jessica Kinser was awarded the Rhonda Wood Smith Award by the Iowa League of Cities during the Awards Banquet at their Annual Conference & Exhibit in Dubuque.

The Rhonda Wood Smith Award was created to recognize exemplary work of young city officials and those new to city government.

Award criteria included innovation, bold leadership, commitment and sacrifice. The award was named for Rhonda Wood Smith, a single parent who served as mayor of Garner while working as a municipal consultant. She succumbed to cancer early in 1997 after establishing an outstanding reputation as a civic minded person committed to her community.

Kinser’s career in public service, both for the city and in her community, made her eligible for this award. Her many accomplishments were highlighted at the Awards Banquet, which took place Sept. 26.

The introduction read, in part, “Jessica Kinser, this year’s Rhonda Wood Smith award recipient, has been an active advocate for her community and personifies the characteristics of a true leader. She has been an active member of the Iowa League Cities Executive Board and IaCMA Executive Board.”

Local veterinarian named Vet of the Year

Dr. Dennis Drager, of Marshalltown, was recognized as Iowa Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year by IVMA Immediate Past President Dr. Randy Ackman at the Sept. 13 Iowa Veterinary Medical Association Annual Meeting in Ames.

The Veterinarian of the Year award recognizes an IVMA member for his/her outstanding service to the advancement of veterinary medicine, demonstrating outstanding compassion and achievements in advancing the welfare of animals and/or working to create a positive image for veterinarians in his/her community or the State of Iowa.

Drager is a 1985 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. For the past 30 years, Drager has been a dedicated veterinarian in the Marshalltown community at Animal Clinic — The Vet. He also handles a significant number of referrals from surrounding veterinarians for orthopedics.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Drager traveled to Mississippi and worked in a parking lot to provide care to the animals affected by the storm. Last year, when Marshalltown was hit by a catastrophic tornado, he spent the night at his clinic so people would be able to bring injured pets, as well as lost or found animals that needed a safe place to stay. He worked closely with the County Emergency Response team to coordinate post-storm care and housing for all of the animals in need. He also set up a donation area, where people in need could stop and get food for their pets at no charge.

Drager has served as the Vice Commander at the American Legion and has held several positions in the Rotary Club. He has served as Chair of the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Partnerships Board. He is the co-chair of the local United Way campaign, is involved on his church board, has served on the board of his local Animal Rescue League and has been a Boy Scout Leader. Drager speaks to elementary schools and has kids come to his clinic to learn about veterinary medicine. In 2017, he was named the Optimist Citizen of the Year. He is also an IVMA Foundation Fellow.

Law firm welcomes new counsel

Moore, McKibben, Goodman & Lorenz LLP announced the hiring of Raymond J. Starks as an associate attorney in their Marshalltown office located at 26 S. First St.

Starks received his J.D from Drake University Law School. He will be representing clients in the areas of tax, business and real estate transactions, probate, estate planning and family law.

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