At Growth Alliance annual dinner, Shimkat wins Catalyst Award

It’s the highest honor bestowed by the Alliance

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Bruce Shimkat speaks Thursday evening after accepting the annual Catalyst Award during the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance's annual dinner at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Bruce Shimkat speaks Thursday evening after accepting the annual Catalyst Award during the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance's annual dinner at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites.

A co-owner of Shimkat Motor Co. was honored Thursday evening for his decades of devotion to the Fort Dodge community in a wide range of roles.

Bruce Shimkat received the Catalyst Award from the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance during its annual dinner at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W.

The Catalyst Award, given to one person every year, is the highest honor bestowed by the alliance.

Shimkat described himself as “truly humbled.”

“I’m almost speechless and I don’t say a lot to start with,” he said after being presented with the award by its 2016 winner, Scott McQueen.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Bruce Shimkat is all smiles Thursday night after receiving the annual Catalyst Award during the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance's annual dinner. His wife, Sally, at left, along with family members and friends, helped him celebrate.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Bruce Shimkat is all smiles Thursday night after receiving the annual Catalyst Award during the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance's annual dinner. His wife, Sally, at left, along with family members and friends, helped him celebrate.

Shimkat Motor Co., a Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep dealership, was established 70 years ago, and has been operated by generations of the Shimkat family.

“This town has been very good to my family,” Shimkat said.

“Somewhere along the way, I decided I needed to get a little bit involved,” he added.

Shimkat then called on the roughly 425 people in the audience to do the same.

“Get a passion within you,” he said. “Whatever you give, you get so much more back by participating.”

McQueen described Shimkat as “upbeat, passionate and positive.”

He added that the 2017 Catalyst Award winner “truly believes in Fort Dodge and has spent countless hours standing up for our community and promoting Fort Dodge.”

McQueen recited a list of Shimkat’s community activities and memberships which included the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Dodge Civic Glee Club, Fort Dodge Community School District Foundation, Trinity Regional Medical Center board, Fort Dodge Noon Rotary Club and the Friendship Haven Board of Directors.

He said that Shimkat has a long track record of volunteering for the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and one of its predecessor organizations, the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce. He said that Shimkat is one of the longest serving members of the Ambassadors, a group that holds ribbon cuttings at new and remodeled businesses.

According to McQueen, Shimkat is a “strong business leader and his business has become a pillar of the community.”

The Catalyst Award is a free-standing plaque shaped like a flame. It has been presented by the Chamber of Commerce and, now, the Growth Alliance, since 1986.

Shimkat received the honor in front of a record-setting crowd for the annual banquet. The attendance of about 425 people surpassed the previous record of 370 people set last year.

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