Mike Nelson Honored as Remsen’s “Citizen of the Year”


(Remsen) — Remsen Chamber of Commerce honored its own Saturday evening during the annual Remsen Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. In addition to the “Citizen of the Year” and “Business of the Year” awards, this year, the Remsen
Chamber of Commerce added another award category. The “Up and Coming Business” award is decided upon from the Chamber’s board of directors. The Chamber decided to make the presentation to someone that has recently invested into the
Remsen community, and has taken a leap into the business world of Remsen. The inaugural “Up and Coming Business Award” was given to Mitch Frericks of Frericks Repair. Mitch Frericks purchased Charlie’s Repair in June of 2015 and renamed
it to Frericks Repair. He has since purchased the building next door to expand the services offered. Mitch has a service truck he can take on site to make needed repairs. Frericks Repair employs three full-time and one part-time employees.

The “Citizen of the Year” award went to a person who believes in volunteering for the community. Mike Nelson has worked with West Iowa Telephone for the past 35 years. He has helped WesTel grow over the many years with his financial
expertise and vast knowledge of advancing technology. As a former member of the Jaycees, Nelson recruited approximately 150 new members in 1986. In 1987 he obtained senator status, and had support to run for state presidency, though he declined. He served as the treasurer for the Iowa Jaycee Foundation from 1990 until he stopped active participation in 2000. Nelson’s contributions to the community have been continuous since he first moved to Remsen and his accomplishments are too many to count. He participated in golf, bowling, and dart leagues in Remsen for nearly 20 years. He organized and helped lead the
food stand for many years at the demolition derby and continues to volunteer as a worker for the Oktoberfest each year. Mike began his civil service in 2001, following election to the city council, and served in that capacity for a number of years before deciding not to seek re-election. He has been a member of the
Remsen Chamber of Commerce and the Remsen Quasquicentential Committee, organizing the beer garden for the whole celebration in 2014. For many years, he has been part of the Remsen Economic Development Committee, currently he
serves as president.

The Remsen “Business of the Year” started more than 79 years ago in 1939. Os Arens borrowed $1,000 from his Aunt Mag. That investment bought a new Chevy truck with a 14 foot box, license, gas, and a set of chains. Today, that investment would only buy two tires.

In the late 1940’s, Os and his brother-in-law Ed Jaminet, formed a partnership that lasted until 1962, when Ed had passed away. The business has been in the same location for 73 years, and is the oldest private business in Remsen. Arens Trucking is now owned and operated
by Joe, Jerry, and Rob Arens.

The Arens Trucking firm now owns 10 tractors, 15 trailers, and two owner-operators. Arens Trucking employs eight full time employees and several part-time drivers.