AP NEWS

With great pleasure

December 29, 2018

It was with great pleasure earlier this week that the Daily News and Elkhorn Valley Bank revealed the 2018 Norfolk Area Person of the Year and two additional finalists for the recognition.

That’s because all three epitomize what the recognition program is all about — honoring individuals who have made Northeast Nebraska a better place to live and work over the past 12 months.

Randy Hagedorn certainly meets that definition.

As the executive director of the Norfolk Family YMCA, he is intimately involved in the multitude of sports, classes and programs that make the Y such an important and popular local institution.

But in 2018, he especially made an impact because of his extensive involvement with the YMCA’s successful capital campaign that is making possible a huge addition and renovations.

Also recognized were Jessica Chamberlain, director of the Norfolk Public Library, and Dr. Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State College.

Ms. Chamberlain was the person primarily responsible for ensuring that the library’s expansion and renovation — approved by Norfolk voters in a previous election that also authorized a temporary sales tax increase — was well planned, designed and then implemented.

And it is.

We would challenge anyone who walks into the facility not to be impressed with its appearance and its functionality.

Dr. Rames had spearheaded the efforts to put Wayne State on a path for sustained growth and excellence. The efforts resulted in about a 10 percent increase in enrollment this school year while many other colleges and universities in Nebraska saw their student numbers decline or remain flat.

She also is helping lead a workforce development effort designed to partner with area businesses and industries to ensure their needs are met and that Wayne State students benefit, too.

In addition to those three honorees, it also should be pointed out that the selection committee for the person of the year reviewed numerous other nominations that were deserving of consideration. That speaks volumes for the kind of individuals who call Norfolk and Northeast Nebraska home.

So, congratulations to Randy Hagedorn, Jessica Chamberlain and Dr. Marysz Rames on being chosen for recognition — as well the other nominees. As was mentioned earlier, this was a pleasure to be part of.

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