Courtney Reyes

One Iowa Gala 2021 Award Recipients

Within the past year, COVID has continued to disproportionately impact our community, the state legislature introduced fifteen anti-LGBTQ bills, we worked to stop all of them from passing, and LGBTQ Iowans still don’t feel safe in our state. We keep showing up and so do all of you.

That’s why we are excited to celebrate the folks in our community who are making a difference every day to make Iowa a better place to live, work, and thrive for LGBTQ Iowans at our 12th annual One Iowa Gala. We’re excited to honor Pie Bird Pies, Aime Wichtendahl, and EMC Insurance with awards celebrating their contributions to the LGBTQ community.

Community Partnership Award: Pie Bird Pies

This inaugural award goes to Kristen Daily and Andrea Piekarczyk of Pie Bird Pies, a queer-run bakery that has raised over $5,000 in grassroots fundraising in the form of delicious pies for One Iowa. Their advocacy is baked into the foundation of their budding small business. We appreciate their continued support and want to celebrate them as a glowing example of how small businesses and organizations can significantly impact their community.

Donna Red Wing Advocate of the Year: Aime Wichtendahl

Aime Wichtendahl is the first transgender woman elected to Iowa’s government as a chair on Hiawatha’s City Council. She shattered glass ceilings with her election and continues to show up as her true self as an advocate for trans Iowans. Amy is always quick to take an interview, speak on a panel and share her experiences. Our state is better off with Aime in it.

Courageous Six Award: Transgender Youth

As we have worked through the 2021 legislative session, we spent a significant amount of time defending the rights of LGBTQ Iowans. But there was an unprecedented attack on transgender youth— eight out of the 15 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced specifically targeted trans kids in schools. Despite this persistent attack, trans kids continue to show up as their best and most authentic selves. We want to send a clear message to trans kids in Iowa: you are valid and loved just as you are, and One Iowa will never stop fighting for you. This award was accepted by the Young Family, who are fierce advocates for the LGBTQ community and trans kids. 

Sharon Malheiro Award: EMC Insurance

Over the past year, EMC has systematically trained all of its employees with foundational education of the LGBTQ community and support LGBTQ programming and events throughout the state. We know that when companies make this work a priority, not only does this send a signal to their employees that they are essential, but it also changes the culture for the better.