2012 - Spirit Award
By the spring of 2001, the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association was in need of an administrator to oversee many functions of the organization. A recommendation was made to IRRMA President John Senn to offer this position to Doris Welle, a local newspaper editor and radio news reporter. In June of 2001, Doris took on the task of blending all aspects of the IRRMA organization into a more functional operation.
Doris was instrumental in helping guide the growth of IRRMA during her eleven years with the organization. Membership grew from 55 members in 2001, to over 500 in 2011. The Gretsch Art Guitar program flourished, with Gretsch using some of the finished Art Guitar pieces in their national and international marketing centerpieces. When the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association moved into the current location of the Museum, Doris played a major role in getting the operations up and running, ready for the 2003 summer season. She has devoted many hours to the operation of the museum over the years. From that entity came the, now famous, Rock the Roof concerts. Doris played an active part in procuring sponsorships, overseeing marketing, organizing the volunteers, enlisting MC's, selection of merchandise, and much more. Today, up to 1000 people enjoy this event on a weekly basis during the summer months, which is a tribute to Doris' hard work.
Doris has served as the administrator of the IRRMA Scholarship Fund since its formation, until her retirement from IRRMA in February, 2012. Two scholarships are awarded each year to students enrolled in music related studies.
The Hall of Fame event is now a three-day celebration, which requires an exceptional amount of planning, organization, marketing, communication, and hard work of which Doris was always at the forefront.
Doris has made many trips across the State to Rock the Roof Roadshows providing assistance to the IRRMA board members. She has done a tremendous job of helping guide the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association on its mission of preserving the rich music history in Iowa and bringing the joy of music to persons of all ages. This Association will not be the same without her, and for her efforts to keep the music alive, the entire Association, its members, volunteers, inductees, sponsors, friends and customers, congratulate her on her selection to receive the Spirit Award.
In Doris' own words when asked to define the "spirit" of IRRMA, she said, "IRRMA is a large family. We all love the music and we all love enjoying it together. As a family, we want to make Iowa's musicians and all other aspects of the music industry proud of their heritage. We also endeavor to bring that love of music and each other to the younger generations. The spirit of rock and roll and the spirit of IRRMA make us one BIG happy family and I am proud to be a member. May the spirit of the IRRMA 'family,' of togetherness through music, continue for generations to come!"