Direct Support Professional Awards

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Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are one of the most critical aspects of Long-Term Services & Supports for more than 160,000 Iowans. Each year, the Association recognizes exceptional DSPs during National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week (September 11-15, 2023). 

Nominations show appreciation for DSPs and help IACP advance policy goals that support the DSP workforce. It’s also an opportunity for IACP members to spotlight DSPs who stand out and provide exemplary service in the profession. 

Focus Areas

This year, IACP is seeking nominations of DSPs who exemplify excellence in the following areas:

  • Serve as a quality-of-life change agent: focused on physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Community inclusion and involvement: promotes inclusive participation and membership in the community
  • Career dedication to serving vulnerable Iowans: employed as a DSP for more than 2 years.


Nominations are now closed. Please check back in Summer 2024 for the next submission period.


IACP DSP Award Winners 2023

DSP Award Winners 2023

IACP DSP Award Winners 2022

IACP DSP Award Winners 2021


Click on the names below to read about their nomination.

IACP DSP Award Winners 2020

  • Michelle Hollon, Imagine the Possibilities
  • Kathy Matthieson, Hope Haven, Inc.
  • Ian Beatty, Link Associates
  • Kelsey Friday, University of Iowa REACH Program
  • Rhonda Jackson, Discovery Living
  • Shelia McDuffey, Penn Center
  • Lacey Yarbrough, North Star Community Services
  • Helen Bell, Mosaic in Central Iowa


IACP DSP Award Winners 2019

  • Edward Henry, Opportunities Unlimited
  • Julie Rottinghaus, Lutheran Services in Iowa
  • Zachary Norton, Mosaic in Central Iowa
  • Abdulai Kamara, Optimae Lifeservices
  • Dee Van Dyke, Hope Haven, Inc.
  • Jodi Warford, Genesis Development
  • Edvin Lopez, New Hope Village
  • Justin Christian, Penn Center Community Based Services
  • Justin Paulsen, Candeo
  • Cassie Shivers, Friendship Ark

IACP DSP Award Winners 2018

  • Katie Baylor, Pursuit of Independence
  • Michelle Grear, Tenco
  • Katie Goedken Arc, ECI
  • Vicky Phipps, TASC
  • Dori Paulsen, North Iowa Transition Center
  • Kate Simonson, Horizons Unlimited
  • Crystal Christensen, Crossroads of Western Iowa
  • Tracy Houston, Wesco
  • Angela Vanderhoff, Lifeworks Community Services