Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon man has been named NCC’s Alumnus of the year.
Each year, one outstanding graduate of Northwest Iowa Community College is recognized for his or her success in their chosen profession and support of NCC.
The recipient of the 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award is Dave Popkes of Sheldon.
Popkes is a 1971 graduate of the Clerical Accounting Program, and has utilized that knowledge to own and run a successful Sheldon business, Dave’s Appliance, for 27 years. He also met his wife Ruth (Van Voorst) at NCC as a student in the same program.
During his time at NCC Popkes had an internship with the Little Rock, Iowa, K-12 School District in which he gained valuable accounting skills. Upon graduation from NCC, Popkes took a job with Slegle Lumber Company, Alton, Iowa, and Lincoln Construction Company, Alton, Iowa, working as their accountant. Dave joined the Iowa National Guard and served as a sergeant in the Sheldon Guard Unit from 1971 until 1985. This was one of Dave’s first commitments to community service as a NCC graduate. Later, he worked for Kats Appliance, Sheldon, Iowa, for fourteen years. In 1985, he and his wife opened Dave’s Appliance in downtown Sheldon (actually beginning the business in his garage).
Dave has served his community well. He has been a scout master as well as a scout trainer for club leaders. He has served two terms as a Deacon of Bethel Reformed Church. He was elected to his first term on the Sheldon City Council in 1998. He has served on the Sheldon Park and Recreational Committee and was instrumental in developing their Master Plan. He has served on the Sheldon Museum Board, the Airport Commission and the HTC Cable Commission.
Dave and his wife Ruth have been lifelong advocates of Northwest Iowa Community College. Since graduation Dave has taken many Continuing Education classes through NCC. Dave has even taught Continuing Education classes for NCC. Ruth worked as administrative assistant at the College from 1971 until 1977 when their first child was born. Their daughter Sonya started her college education at NCC and his son-in-law Dustin Egdorf is a graduate of NCC’s Powerline program. He is now a Powerline Crew Supervisor in Kodiak, Alaska.
Popkes says he was overwhelmed by the honor. He says he wants to acknowledge all the support the College has given him and the community over the years. He says it’s a big honor and he appreciates what the College has done for him.
Popkes continued, “There is no doubt that my education at NCC prepared me for my career. The program gave me everything I needed to get started. My internship gave me the practical experience I needed and the classroom time gave me the theory behind everything I needed to know. The program gave me the exact skills I needed at the time to start my career.”
Popkes has been an active supporter of the College over the years. “I am ecstatic about seeing the College grow over the years.” Popkes stated. “NCC is a real plus for Sheldon and the surrounding communities. NCC offers a closeness and connectivity to the community. NCC has done a great job blending itself with the community. I like the fact that everyone can attend NCC. NCC also helps support the other colleges in the area as well. Students can attend NCC for two years and transfer to one of the four year schools. It’s a great feeder school for the four year schools.”
Popkes summed it all up at the end by saying, “NCC – I love that school!”