Who will be the 2013 Citizen of the Year?
I love a good surprise.
Our Annual Dinner and Citizen of the Year Presentation will be Jan. 23 and the biggest surprise of the year will be revealed that night: Who will be the 2013 Citizen of the Year?
The past Citizens of the Year gathered in October here at the chamber (in secret of course) to discuss candidates and make their choice. As in past years, there were many nominations. Those in attendance take their job very seriously, discussing each candidate, asking questions, reviewing qualifications. After several rounds of secret ballots, a new Citizen of the Year is selected.
And the secret is kept until the big night when the reveal is made by the previous year’s Citizen. This year, 2012 Citizen of the Year Kathleen Zaenger will weave a story of the winner’s life, presenting key details and accomplishments — and not saying the honoree’s name until the end.
It’s always fun to be in the audience and try to guess who it is. Often the winner “gets it” early on in the presentation and sits in stunned and amazed silence until his or her name is announced.
You might want to look around the room during Kathleen’s presentation to spot someone with a “deer in the headlights” expression on his or her face.
This prestigious award has been presented by the Howell Chamber of Commerce every year since Dr. Pat May was named the very first Citizen of the Year in 1957. It honors individuals who have made important contributions to this community through vision, leadership, philanthropy, volunteerism, passion, and just plain hard work and commitment.
Others will be honored on the 23rd for important accomplishments in 2013. We are announcing those awards in advance so friends and family members can be there to celebrate.
But, the Citizen of the Year continues to be the big secret and the grand finale of the Annual Dinner and Citizen of the Year Presentation.
Hope to see you there.