Winter Games 37 Chair & Co-Chair Announced


The Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the Chair & Co-Chair of the 37th Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games scheduled for January 26-29, 2017.

Chair Greta Gruys is an Iowa Great Lakes Area native who returned to the area with her husband Nate to raise their three young children; Ilsa, Henrik, and Petra.

She enjoys being involved in the community—currently serving on several boards including the Pearson Lakes Art Center, Dickinson County Conservation Foundation, and the Child and Parent Council of Dickinson County (CHAPCO). She is also the President of the T.T.T. Chapter CD and enjoys volunteering at Grace Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake. In her free time, she enjoys boating, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

She is thrilled to be the chair of the 37th Annual Winter Games and looks forward to this extremely fun, action-packed weekend each year. Her favorite Winter Game memories are of the bonfire with spectacular fireworks afterwards and cheering on the crazy polar plunge participants!

Co-Chair of the 37th Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games is Ryan Davelaar. Ryan is a Real Estate Loan Officer at Farmers Trust & Savings Bank in Spencer.

While originally from Rock Valley, Iowa, Ryan spent a lot of time at The Lakes growing up visiting his grandparents. He lived in the area for a few years following his graduation from Northwestern College, and he returned permanently 8 years ago.

Ryan has been active in Kiwanis since returning to the Lakes. He spent 4 years in Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis and the past 3 years in Spencer Hy-Noon Kiwanis. He is also the current treasurer of the Siouxland Bankers Association and is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Spirit Lake.

In addition to working at Farmers Trust & Savings Bank and his involvement in the community, he also co-owns Mammoth Marketing with his wife, Erin. The two married in September of 2013, and she was actually a previous co-chair/chair as well for Winter Games 32 & 33!

From participating in the youth fishing derbies in the mid-80’s to the broomball tournament with college friends, Ryan has always loved the excitement that the Games brings to the area in January. Some of his favorite experiences were years when there was a lot of snow and ice, making Smith’s Bay look like a giant tailgate party.

Greta and Ryan are excited for the preparation ahead for this awesome winter tradition, and they are ready to make this year the best yet!

To get involved in the University of Okoboji Winter Games, please contact Kara Matheson at the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber: or 712-332-2107.