And the Nominees Are..

The 2021 University of Okoboji Winter Games Cheerleader Nominees are in!

Please read the nomination testimonies below on the 2021 Nominees listed in alphabetical order by last name. Once you've selected your top 8, make sure to cast your vote by the end of day on Monday, January 11th!

Merv & Mary Kay Bates

Merv has built many homes in the area and helped build the Queens interior when first launched in the 80’s. Mary Kay has led many of our community assets and served on the Lakes regional Hospital Board for years. They are community minded and would represent well!

Jack Bauermeister

Captain Jack is the best bartender in Boji. He has nice slick hair and great charm. Always serving the community with a smile.

Kaitlin Catlin

She was raised in the Iowa Great Lakes since age 3 and graduated from Spirit Lake Highschool in 2015 and was a cheerleader for SL for 3 of 4 years and continued in college at University of Sioux Falls (class of ‘19). Very bubbly and social personality; family known around the area; determines to bring happiness to everyone she meets! Kaitlin Absolutely loves winter games and the joy it brings to its patrons!

Ryan Chellew

Ryan has been apart of the lakes area as a summer resident growing up and chose Spirit Lake to settle down, build a career and start his family. He never turns down the opportunity to volunteer or step into leadership. On top of that, he is an avid fisherman, cycler, snow-shoer and loves live music. He always appreciates all the lakes have to offer.

Susan Clark

Sue is very giving of her time with the Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis Club. She is serving as Club Secretary, and has for many years. She has also served as Lieutenant Governor, demonstrating leadership with many Kiwanis clubs during her tenure. She is also very involved with the Iowa Rock n Roll Music Association.

Brad Derner

Brad represents the fun nature of Okoboji. He is always supportive of the local community and shops local as much as possible. Brad is an advocate to bring people to the area as tourists as well as new residents. In short, Brad loves Okoboji.

Maggie Fliss

Outstanding member of the community, loving single mother, and a home health care hospice nurse. She is the epitome of Iowa strong!

Brock Holman

Brock Holman is the epitome of a Winter Game Cheerleader. Brock is a lifelong resident of the lakes region graduating from Okoboji High School. Even at this young age Brock was known to his school family as a volunteer and leader and as such was nominated to Hugh O’Briisn Youth Leadership (HOBY). The mission of this group is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. As Brock continued his education at the University of Northern Iowa he served as a youth ambassador for this organization. I met Brock as a coworker. It was not long that I really experienced what was truly in his heart. It were the students he worked with. He tutored the students, empathized with their trials, and was constantly their cheerleader to find success in life. He volunteered at their event because it would make them better. His next venture brought Brock to Grape Tree Medical Staffing. As he makes his daily calls, he has been known to be the most respectful and caring. His contagious smile can be felt even through those calls. He has been recognized by his bosses several times. Through this job Brock has continued his leadership and volunteerism quietly - never taking credit but giving credit to the people of the Lakes region. A few activities Brock has taken part include: Meals on Wheels, Upper Des Moines, Good News Community Church, GrapeTree Halloween party (even soliciting friends to get dollars for a bigger ad in the Lakes News Shopper), special celebrations for people in our community. Brock is very deserving of this honor. He celebrates OKOBOJI here and throughout his travels.

Travis Kennedy

Has a lot of enthusiasm, has a strong love for the Iowa Great Lakes, Winter Games and a fun, outgoing personality.

Nancy Kriener

As Spirit Lake Elementary School’s instructional coach, Nancy is our (the teachers) biggest cheerleader. Whether we are in need of a small confidence boost or huge assistance as we plan curriculum, Nancy is all about teamwork and compassion. She is willing to help everyone and anyone with a kind smile on her face. Also, Nancy loves the Lakes Area and all it has to offer throughout the four seasons. Rain, snow, or shine, Nancy always finds a way to have a great day! She is definitely the kind of person who represents the pot of gold you find at the end of the rainbow.

Michael Meyers

Michael will make a fantastic cheerleader for our upcoming winter games. as City Administrator of Okoboji for the past 3 years, Michael and his family have wholeheartedly embraced the Okoboji area. Michael is active in Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis and he is also a board member of the Lakes Area Hockey Association. In the past year Michael has worked with the pickleball non profit group and established the new pickleball courts in Speier park. In addition he played a VITAL role the development of our East Lake Park playground.

Jon Pausley

Jon is the Executive Director of the Okoboji Bible Conference Ministries and through his service has provided many opportunities to our area! He has a passion for what he does and emulates what OBCM stands for, "to activate all to be better together to accomplish as much good as possible". He and his wife, Shantel, Executive Director at Cherish Center, have 3 children and are very involved in the area. Jon demonstrates enthusiasm, a ready smile, energy, a generous heart, and good natured fun!

Keri L. Peterson

Keri works at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center as assistant director in the Sales and Catering Department. She definitely fits the description of the qualities of a U of O cheerleader. She has a ready smile, generous heart and good nature. She is enthusiastic for all event happening in the Iowa Great Lakes and understands the importance of promoting the area through the winter games. She also promotes the area through her job and gives 100% of her time and talents to better the quality of life in the lakes area.

Ryan Schmidt

Ryan is the manager of Kemna Okoboji Motor and is very active in the lakes area. Ryan has been actively involved in making our communities great for years. He served as a RAGBRAI Committee Co-Chair when they overnighted in Okoboji, is active in Kiwanis, Chamber Events and as a parent in recent Okoboji School referendums. His positive attitude even in challenging circumstances is an inspiration to all he comes in contact with.

Jason Schneider

Jason is an extremely devoted teacher at SLMS. He has been in charge of many of the winning cheer groups in the Annual Homecoming Cheer competition. He has such a wonderful, positive energy that brings everyone in. I believe Jason would be a great Winter Games cheerleader because he has the most generous heart, positive attitude and all around great guy. Jason is going on 14 years as a science teacher at Spirit Lake middle school. He has dedicated a lot of his time as a coach at the middle school and high school level, ranging from girls and boys MS basketball, MS girls volleyball, HS tennis and HS softball. He was the head HS baseball coach for about 10 years and brought the team from a below 500 record to an amazing program with an appearance at State. His passion and love for his job as a teacher/coach is inspiring, he absolutely loves what he does and being apart of the Spirit Lake community.

Marvin Spieker

I believe this nominee meets the requirements because he brings the Okoboji spirit to the Okoboji community. He is a good sport at local sports events bringing that same spirit to the Okoboji community. He also knows some cheerleading tricks and jokes to help people that are involved in the Okoboji Winter Games do good and spread cheer to the Okoboji community.

Kari Williams

After moving to the area 3 years ago, the Williams family with Kari at the helm have jumped head first into all things Okoboji. They are incredibly active in our community, love to promote all the wonderful things going on and have polar plunged multiple family members into West Okoboji year after year. They are all in for Okoboji and her spirit and enthusiasm screams 'Winter Games cheerleader'.

Isabella Woizeschke

A great asset to the community. Fun to be around. She is a Marketing Director at Okoboji Motor Company and has a lot to offer!! She has a lot of spirit and would make an excellent cheerleader.