New Albin man named among 2019 “Rising Stars under 40”

Josh Dreps ...

Josh Dreps of New Albin was named one of the 2019 Rising Stars under 40 by the 7 Rivers Alliance and River Valley Media Group. Twenty-four such winners from across the region were recognized at a reception held in La Crescent, MN October 16.

This is the fourth year for the awards, which are given to outstanding men and women in the 7 Rivers Region who are doing outstanding work in their profession and community. The recipients are nominated from the community and the finalists are selected by a committee.

“The success of our region and our communities relies on the efforts of these fine leaders,” said Chris Hardie, CEO of the 7 Rivers Alliance. “It’s truly a privilege to meet them and to be inspired by their work.”

The 7 Rivers Alliance is a regional economic development membership organization for the Upper Mississippi Region which fosters regional economic growth through collaboration with public and private partners. For more information about the 7 Rivers Alliance, go to

The 32-year-old Dreps works as a processor at City Meat Market in New Albin, and currently serves as Mayor of New Albin. His mother is Lesa Dreps, married to Jack Dreps, and his father is Al Wuennecke, married to Kelley Wuennecke. His grandparents are Bob and Barb Leppert, and he is currently engaged to Ellie Harmon.

In listing his proudest professional accomplishment, Dreps replied with, “My proudest moment is when New Albin was able to become the first town to be able to use the One Water Technology for our sewer plant. It was a very long process and is still ongoing. This was a great opportunity to bring New Albin into the conversation for other communities our size that face the same struggles we do.”

Dreps is a Navy veteran who was on active duty for six years as an In-Flight Technician on EP-3s for the squadron VQ-1. He was deployed all over the world and says that has “played a huge part in realizing that this truly is the greatest country in the world and that we live in a very special place in that great country.” He is also an active member in Friends of Pool 9 and Ducks Unlimited, noting that “giving back to your community is vital for a small town to not only survive but also be given the chance to thrive.”

Dreps says he draws his inspiration from the small town he lives and works in. “Being the future sixth-generation business owner of The City Meat Market, I wanted to help New Albin be known for more than just that small town you see when you come into Iowa from the north. We have great potential here as a community with lots of people who are tremendously generous.”

When asked about his advice for younger leaders to aid their success, Dreps offered, “Dream big and don’t let anyone tell you that ‘oh, that’s impossible.’ Also, don’t get caught up being labeled or only following what one group says or does and thinking you have to follow that. Use common sense in everything that you do because that is something that is desperately missing today. Don’t be afraid to find a middle ground for solutions.”

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