Sara Winkleman, S&B Farmstead Distillery, Bancroft
Staci Ackerson, Shankland Insurance, Charles City

AMES, IOWA – America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 special entrepreneur awards.

Sara Winkelman, S&B Farmstead Distillery
2019 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award winner

Sara Winkleman, Founder and Owner, S&B Farmstead Distillery, is the 2019 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award winner. Staci Ackerson, Owner, Shankland Insurance, is the 2019 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner.

The Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award honors an Iowa woman entrepreneur who has significantly changed or improved her life and the lives of others. The award is presented in memory of Deb Dalziel, a devoted small business advocate who was director of the Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Community College, Burlington, from 1987 until her death from cancer in 1999 at the age of 44.

Michael Wampler, Regional Director of the Northwest Iowa SBDC, Spencer, nominated Winkleman for the Deb Dalziel Award because “Sara is a good role model for all entrepreneurs in recognizing the important foundation work and market research that has to take place to create a successful company. In particular, she is a role model for women wanting to enter an industry that might traditionally be more male dominated. It is inspiring to see someone launch a distillery with nationwide market potential, while still being committed to creating jobs and growing her business right here in Northwest Iowa.”

The Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors an Iowa entrepreneur who has been in business a minimum of three years and has been significantly assisted by an Iowa Small Business Development Center. The award was established with a dual purpose—to honor long-time Iowa Congressman Neal Smith for his years of service to Iowa’s small businesses, and to recognize Iowa’s entrepreneurs, who are the driving force behind Iowa’s economic growth.

Staci Ackerson, Shankland Insurance
2019 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner

Brook Boehmler, Regional Director, North Iowa Area SBDC, nominated Ackerson for the Neal Smith Award, stating, “Staci saw an opportunity to expand her insurance business, and began working with the North Iowa Area SBDC to help make her vision come true. Staci and her husband rehabilitated the historic Charles City Western Railroad depot to house not only Shackland Insurance, but to also provide executive apartments and rental storage units. Staci lives her commitment to bettering her community, not only through a physical improvements to downtown, but in also volunteering her time and resources to several organizations in Charles City.”

Lisa Shimkat, State Director of America’s SBDC Iowa, agrees that Winkleman and Ackerson deserve these awards saying, “We are honored to have clients who have worked diligently to move their businesses forward while still showing a strong commitment to their communities and customers. We are delighted to be able to recognize their hard work and success with these awards.”

The two SBDC special entrepreneur awards will be presented to the winners at a ceremony on February 26, 2019, during the SBDC Day at the State Capitol in Des Moines.

America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515-294-7612, Hotline 515-294-1222, email

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops.

For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org, or


Stacy Dreyer, America’s SBDC Iowa, 515-294-5595,
Lisa Shimkat, America’s SBDC Iowa, 515-294-2030,