Two Storm Lake business leaders, Susan Fitzpatrick, a 1977 BVU alumna, and Dick Drahota, have been selected as co-chairs of the Buena Vista University 2006-07 Community Campaign.
Drahota, vice-president and commercial lender at Heritage Bank NA, and Susan Fitzpatrick, vice-president of Cherry Corner Insurance Agency, will serve as co-chairs of the annual fund drive. The campaign, which has a $115,000 goal this year, kicks off with a special "Business After Hours" reception on the BVU campus at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Drahota, a native of rural Pierce, Neb., retired from the USDA in 2004 following a 35-year career to join Heritage Bank. Based at their new Storm Lake branch, Drahota serves the bank's eight northwest Iowa locations. His wife, Becki, is owner and president of Mills Financial Marketing & Advertising in Storm Lake and is a member of the BVU Board of Trustees.
Their children include son Jeff and his wife Melissa of Kearney, Neb.; daughter Sarah Bacehowski and her husband Dan of Portland, Ore.; Tracy of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Abby of Washington D.C. Their three grandchildren include Meredith, a senior at Western New Mexico University majoring in English, and Kristyn and Kaci of Kearney, Neb.
Drahota says he volunteered as a campaign co-chair because "BVU is a tremendous asset to Storm Lake. The students, faculty and administration support our local economy and BVU graduates are an excellent pool for our businesses to recruit fresh, bright talent."
Fitzpatrick, originally from Atlantic, moved to Storm Lake 32 years ago to attend Buena Vista and has never left. After graduating from BVU, she opened a branch office of Cherry Corner Insurance Agency. Her father, who recently completed his 50th year in the insurance business, and two brothers all work in their main office in Atlantic.
Fitzpatrick has been active at St. Mary's in Storm Lake and has just finished serving on the Finance Council as a Lay Director for the past nine years. She and her husband Tom, co-owner of Fitzpatrick Auto Center, helped with fundraising for the Awaysis Community Drive last year.
Fitzpatrick has two daughters, Amy and Rachel, who work and live in the Des Moines area.
Buena Vista University is an independent university, with primary income coming from student tuition and fees. Contributions to the Community Campaign support the University's annual operating expenses, providing resources for scholarships, maintaining facilities and developing academic and internship opportunities.
The Buena Vista University Community Campaign kicks off with a Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours reception on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. in the Dows Conference Room of the Harold Walter Siebens Forum on the BVU campus. The event is open to the public, free of charge.
For more on BVU's 2006-07 Community Campaign, contact Christina Danielsen, 749-2101 or email@example.com.