2019 Corn Carnival Grand Marshall is Nicole Clapp

Photo by Margaret Thomsen Gladbrook Corn Carnival Grand Marshall of the 2019 Grand Parade Nicole Paustian stands beside the “Honor our Veterans” rock at the All Veterans Memorial Park in Gladbrook. Nicole is the current National Vice President of the American Legion Auxiliary and is scheduled to become President in August of 2019.

The Gladbrook Corn Carnival Corporation has named Nicole Clapp as the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Grand Parade. The parade will take place on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Nicole will be riding in a wagon pulled by the Thoms-Fevold Clydesdale Hitch.

Corn Carnival Corporation President Teri Luehring said, “On behalf of the Corn Carnival Committee, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to have Nicole serve as our Grand Marshal for the parade. She helps us all remember that in this country you can strive to be and do anything you set your sights on, even if you are from a small town in Iowa. Her dedication and commitment to the Corn Carnival has continued every year, even when she could not attend due to other responsibilities. We are happy that she can spend the 97th celebration with us this year as our Grand Marshal.”

Raised on a farm outside Gladbrook Nicole was a 1989 graduate of Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School. Nikki was very involved in sports, band, music, Girl Scouts, earning the Gold Award, 4-H, Gladbrook Junior Auxiliary and was active in Youth Fellowship at Peace United Church of Christ. The Paustians served as Grand Marshals in 2012.

“I look forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity to be a goodwill ambassador by leading the American Legion Auxiliary during upcoming milestone centennial year of celebration. Thank you Gladbrook Corn Carnival Corporation for this special honor during the Grand Parade of the 97th Corn Carnival”, said Clapp.

Nicole Clapp was elected National Vice President of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) in August 2018. She will assume the office of National President in August of 2019, if elected during the National Convention in Indianapolis. This is especially poignant as it is the 100th anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary. A Homecoming America’s Heartland celebration would then occur October 3-6, 2019 with the host site at Meskwaki bingo Casino Hotel in Tama. Featured events will include tours of the John Deere Factory, Clark and Associates Prosthetics and Orthotics and Gladbrook’s Matchstick Marvels. Guests will experience the harvest first hand with a farm to table dinner at the Brett and Beth Miller Farm – with hayrides pulled by Clydesdale horses. The Saturday evening banquet festivities conclude with a performance by the Iowa Military Veterans Band.

Nicole is eligible for membership in the ALA through the military service of her grandfather, Roger Schroeder, a U.S. Navy seaman in the Central Pacific Theatre during WWII. She is a 44 year Paid Up for Life member of the Ehrig-McTurk Unit #127, Gladbrook, Iowa. She has been a dedicated member serving our nation’s veterans, military and their families in various roles since she was four years old. Nikki Has held numerous leadership positions in the organization at the unit, department and national levels. She served as 1987-1988 ALA Honorary National and Iowa Junior Auxiliary President and chaired many committees and serve d special appointments, including National Finance, Children and Youth Veteran’s Affairs and Rehabilitation chairman, Future Focus Committee member and ALA Centennial Strategic Plan committee member. Nicole was a member of the ALA Iowa Girls State Board and as a staff for over 16 years. She is also serving as a member of the Department and National 100th Anniversary Committees, in addition to the 75th Anniversary of the ALA Iowa Girls State Committee.

Professionally Nicole graduated with Honors and Distinction from the University of Iowa in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Following completion of her thesis entitled, “The Impact of Implementing Shared Governance on Autonomy, Accountability and Job Satisfaction”, she received a Master of Science Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Iowa in 1996.

Nicole climbed the corporate ladder of expanded responsibility, supervision, management and leadership over the past 22+ years; preparing her for the administrative stepping stones of middle management, onto the role of vice president and ultimately, president and chief executive office of a hospital. She has served on several health care boards at the local, state, regional and national levels.

Nicole is board certified in Healthcare Management and a Fellow of the American College of healthcare Executives. She was named the Wisconsin chapter’s Young Healthcare Executive of the Year in 2004. In 2014 and in 2015 Nicole was recognized as one of Becker’s 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know in the United States.

Nikki is a member of the Gamma Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of nursing. She also enjoys volunteering with the Lions Club International, Peace United Church of Christ and PEO International. And, of course, Nikki truly loves cheering on her alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes!