Rick Tollakson, president and CEO of Hubbell Realty Co., is the Great Western Bank Commercial Real Estate Professional of the Year.

The award will be presented April 20 at the Business Record's 2016 CRE Trends & Issues Forum. It honors a CRE professional for professional accomplishments and community engagement. This is the second year the award has been given.

Tollakson was recruited to Hubbell Realty in 1984, when the company needed someone to lead a major downtown construction project that would provide an office and retail hub along the skywalk system. Hub Tower and the Kaleidoscope at the Hub were the result.

Currently, the company has five projects under construction or in the planning stages in downtown Des Moines and is working to develop the site of the former Riverfront YMCA along the Des Moines River.

During Tollakson's tenure, Hubbell Realty has developed a distribution center in Grimes, the Riverpoint business park in downtown Des Moines and Lakeview Medical Park in West Des Moines, and it has become the state's largest home builder.

Tollakson is noted for his work with a range of Greater Des Moines charities, and he serves on the boards of several signature organizations, including Des Moines Redevelopment Co., YMCA of Greater Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Last summer, he learned how to paddle a kayak and took the helm of a task force studying water trails and water-related recreation.

He brought Hubbell Realty's charitable efforts to a national stage in 2006, when the company and more than 200 of its trade partners built a home for an Iowa family on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The extreme builds are an ongoing program at Hubbell. 

Michelle Weigel, director of the JDRF Greater Iowa chapter, said Tollakson didn't balk when asked to chair a corporate fundraiser for juvenile diabetes. His granddaughter, Tegan Rauser, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4. Weigel suggested a fundraising goal of $75,000.

"To date, through his leadership and persistence, he's raised more than $141,000," Weigel said. He is trying to beat the national record of having 1,400 people registered for the JDRF One Walk.

Tollakson was named Hubbell Realty president and CEO in 2004. Since that time, the company has grown from 50 employees to more than 200.

Last year's recipient was Knapp Properties Inc. President and CEO Gerry Neugent.