Sharon Haselhoff, a businesswoman and Legacy of Heroines scholarship donor, has been selected by the Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the 2018 Carrie Chapman Catt Public Engagement Award for her work in the area of civic and political engagement.
Haselhoff was selected for the 2018 award based on her “outstanding achievement in her work with public entities,” said LAS Dean Beate Schmittmann. The Carrie Chapman Catt Public Engagement Award is one of the highest awards bestowed by the college, and recognizes an alumnus or friend of LAS who has demonstrated exemplary performance at the local, state, national or international levels.
The award will be presented during the Iowa State Alumni Association’s honors and awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Benton Auditorium in the Scheman Building. The event is open to the public, and a dessert reception will follow the ceremony. Haselhoff also will be recognized at a private dinner on Thursday, Oct. 25, hosted by the College of LAS.
Haselhoff was nominated for the award by Dianne Bystrom, former director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.
“Throughout her successful career in the public and private sectors, Hasselhoff has worked to mentor women,” Bystrom said. “For her work to engage the public in campaigns and elections, mentor women, and contribute to her alma mater and area community through service and leadership, Sharon Hasselhoff is a most deserving recipient of the 2018 Carrie Chapman Catt Public Engagement Award.”
Haselhoff was in the first class of Legacy of Heroines scholars at the Catt Center from 1996-1998. After graduating from Iowa State University in May 1998 with a degree in political science, Haselhoff worked in various roles to engage the public in the political realm, including serving as the regional field director for EMILY’s List Women Vote! campaign and the Iowa finance director for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s successful re-election campaign.
In January 2003, Haselhoff began her role as a grassroots/political consultant for Iowa’s Link Strategies. While working on special elections during her time at the political and public relations firm, she learned more about the Iowa gaming and resorts industry. She left Link Strategies in October 2006 to work as the public relations director for Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, and is now the general manager at Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood, Iowa. Haselhoff is currently responsible for daily operations for a $120 million business and oversees 13 directors and 500 employees.
Active within her community, Haselhoff is the founding member of the Iowa Women Leaders in Gaming Summit, board member and diplomat of the Board of Directors of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and board member of the Lyon County Economic Development advisory board. Haselhoff is the 2016 recipient of the Sioux Falls Sales and Marketing Executives Women in Business, Women Mentoring Women Award.
Haselhoff has also been involved with Iowa State and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center. She is a member of the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council as a representative of the food and beverage industry. In 2015, Haselhoff established two Legacy of Heroines scholarships at the Catt Center and donated to the Political Science Alumni Legacy of Heroines scholarship – the scholarship which helped support her education at Iowa State University as an undergraduate student. She also makes time to visit Iowa State to meet with the scholars who receive the Haselhoff and Meylor Family Legacy of Heroines scholarships.