At the ISAC Annual Conference in Des Moines on August 23 of 2023, former Linn County Recorder, Joan McCalmant was awarded the Golden Eagle Award for her dedication and extraordinary acts of service to her community, county, and the state of Iowa.

With an exceptional career spanning 36 years as the Linn County Recorder, Joan McCalmant played an integral role on various leadership committees and associations. These positions included serving on the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers (IACREOT) board for over a decade and presided as the board’s President in 2011. Her efforts were instrumental in advancing the adoption of recording standards and the digital transition from paper records.

Her numerous contributions included:

  • Founding member of ICRA Certification Program
  • President of Iowa State Association of Counties in 2016
  • Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA)
  • Iowa County Recorders Association, including president in 2004-2005
  • Member of National Association of Clerks, Recorders, and Election Officials (NACRC)
  • Liaison for Surveyors

In her tenure as a county recorder, Joan McCalmant played an instrumental role in the digitization of land records. She diligently served her community and elevated the stature of the recorder’s role in the state of Iowa and beyond. She also provided vital support to her community following the profound impacts of the 2008 flood.

After the devastating Linn County flood of 2008, Joan showed us how to persevere, taught us the importance of having a contingency plan and became a strong advocate of scanning records. She led her team through a tough time with an unshakable calm and dignity. I would call Joan the personification of a public servant.” – Sheri Jones, former ICRA President and Jones County Recorder

“Joan was a driving force for the creation of Iowa Land Records and a champion of standards and best practices. She was instrumental in the success of the project by encouraging support from the largest Iowa counties, and she recognized the greater good would be served by helping all counties gain access to new technologies.” – Phil Dunshee, Project Manager of Iowa Land Records

Joan McCalmant’s leadership was further demonstrated by her decision to remain engaged with the county even after stepping down as the recorder. She served as the newly elected recorder’s deputy, offering her expertise to facilitate a smooth transition.

The Golden Eagle Award is an honor presented by the Iowa State Association of Counties to recognize individuals that provide extraordinary public service to county government through ISAC (Iowa State Association of Counties) or NACo. Honorees of the Golden Eagle Award are selected by a special committee composed of board and staff members. This committee reviews nominations and presents its recommendations to the ISAC Board for approval. Winners are selected annually and are awarded at the ISAC Annual Conference.