Direct Support Professional Awards

We are excited to announce the opening of nominations for the 2024 Direct Support Professional Awards! This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of an essential role within our communities and the human services industry.


Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Their dedication, compassion, and commitment make a significant difference in the lives of those they support. This award celebrates their hard work, resilience, and the positive impact they have on our community.

Nominations Now Open

Do you know a Direct Support Professional who goes above and beyond in their role? Now is your chance to recognize their exceptional contributions. Nominations are now open, and we encourage you to submit your nominations to honor these unsung heroes.

Click here to submit a nomination.


All nomination submissions, including a recent photo, must be completed by 5:00 PM on Thursday, July 11, 2024. 

Notes to consider

  • Click here to review a PDF of the nomination application questions before submitting a response in the SurveyMonkey link

  • Please limit nominations to five per organization. Email IACP at [email protected]with any questions.

  • Nominees will be celebrated on Monday, September 9, 2024. For more information on the event, visit our Future Forward Summit webpage.



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