The Chamber announces the recipients of two prestigious awards recognizing outstanding commitment to the Lawrence community and its citizens. John Ross is the recipient of the Citizen of the Years award, while Nancy Thellman will receive the ATHENA Award, presented by Crown Toyota Volkswagen. Both awards were presented to the winners at The Chamber’s Annual Meeting on January 25 at Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., Lawrence, Kan.
2019 Citizen of the Years
John Ross moved to Lawrence in 1990 and soon started Laser Logic, Inc., the company he owns and runs to this day. Ross has been a Chamber member since 1992 and graduated from Leadership Lawrence in 1995. Ross has pages worth of accomplishments, both within the business community and serving organizations in Douglas County, including Ride for Cops, the Valor Awards, Rotary, Cottonwood, and LMH Health, just to name a few. Ross was Board Chair for the Chamber in 2012, championing a movement for citizens to shop in Lawrence and buy local.
“John is a bright light, full of energy and passion,” said Bonnie Lowe, President and CEO of The Chamber. “John has served in leadership roles across the community, working to promote local business, helping non-profit organizations, and ensuring a prosperous future for Lawrence and Douglas County.”
2018 Crown Toyota Volkswagen ATHENA Award
A Lawrence native, Nancy Thellman currently serves as a Douglas County Commissioner, representing citizens in the second district, and is currently in the middle of her third term. After moving to a farm and watching her oldest son become a first-generation farmer, Thellman founded Slow Money Northeast Kansas, a division of a national organization that matches investors with farmers and ranchers, working to create a stronger local economy and more vibrant food system. Thellman is also an ordained Presbyterian minister.
“Nancy has been a leader in Douglas County for many years and continues to be a shining example of servant leadership in our community,” said Miles Schnaer, President of Crown Toyota Volkswagen. “Nancy has had great success as a County Commissioner, helps local farmers through her Slow Money network, and gives of her time to non-profit organizations, assuring that Douglas County continues to thrive in many areas.”
About the Awards
The Citizen of the Years award honors an individual whose commitment to and impact upon the Lawrence community spans a lifetime.
The international ATHENA Award program celebrates the potential of all women as valued members and leaders of the community and recognizes those who support them. The Lawrence ATHENA Award is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen.