If an organization could have a “father”, JA of Lincoln’s would unquestionably be Dan Remigio. He’s the man who started it all, the one who overcame the challenges of the early years, and the one who has championed the cause all along.
It’s been 40 years now since JA of Lincoln began in 1971, and Dan Remigio has continued to be the heart of the organization for all that time. His years of dedication were recognized at this year’s JA awards luncheon in the form of a special proclamation from Governor Heineman, as well as plenty of kind words from state and local leaders. In his typical style, Mr. Remigio accepted the honor with grace, humility, and plenty of humor.
In addition to Mr. Remigio, the 2011 awards luncheon also honored the work of some of JA’s most outstanding volunteers and educators. It’s easy to forget how amazing it is that an organization with the size, scope, and success of JA of Lincoln is able to run with a full-time staff of just 3 people. It takes an army of volunteers and educators to make JA’s work possible, and Lincoln is lucky enough to be home to some of the best in the country. This year’s honorees were:
JA Worldwide Board of Directors Bronze Awards
- Scott Barnett (Windstream Communications)
- Katie Becker (Nebraska Lottery)
- Holly Kruger (Blessed Sacrament School)
- Dr. Steve Joel (Lincoln Public Schools)
Volunteers of the Year
- John Dumonceaux (Leadership Management Incorporated)
- Angela Melton (Nebraska Public Service Commission)
- Larry Miller (Nelnet)
Educators of the Year
- Audrey Mattson (St. John the Apostle Elementary)
- Katie Krivolavek (Everett Elementary)
- Pat Shied (Saratoga Elementary)
Company Coordinator of the Year
- Shawn Troyer (TMCO)
Keeping with the theme of appreciating the past while looking toward the future, outgoing JA Board President Brad Crain summed up a year of great growth for the organization, and then passed the reigns to new Board President Randy Bretz. To close the program, Board Member Ken Svoboda, who was in the inagural JA of Lincoln program in 1971, shared the stage with Yasmine Kamelian, a high school sophomore who in is the program now. They took a look at how things have changed over the last 40 years, and how Junior Achievement has grown into one of the most dynamic organizations in Lincoln.
JA of Lincoln has come as far as it has because of the work of the kind of volunteers, educators, board members, and friends who filled the room on June 21st. It’s these type of generous, motivated individuals who have allowed Dan Remigio’s vision for JA of Lincoln to thrive for the past 40 years, and it’s them who will carry us into the future. Here’s to another 40!