• Citizen of the Year

  • The award recognizes a New Richmond area resident who has made a positive and noteworthy contribution to the community this year. The recipient of this prestigious award will be announced at the Chamber's largest event of the year---its Annual Meeting and Awards Gala--on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at R & D Catering. All of those nominated will be celebrated at the Gala - we hope you can join us! [Click Here to register.]

    The following people have been nominated for the 2018 Citizen of the Year:

    Larry Gee: New Richmond has been Larry’s home for 34 wonderful years.  He moved here from Minneapolis and hasn't looked back. Larry feels that New Richmond has given him many opportunities that larger cities simply cannot offer. His dedication to the New Richmond community is commendable. While he is a constant supporter of many organizations, he was nominated as Citizen of the Year because of his work at Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley. Larry has provided essential support for board governance, fundraising, events and general programs.


    Dave Green:  Dave has been nominated for his efforts in bringing veterans assistance programs to New Richmond and assisting in drafting legislature to help raise funds for veterans in need. As a member of the VWF Post 10818 Dave lives their mission to support veterans, active duty members and their families, honor the seniors that built this community and invest in the youth who are our future. Dave can’t remember a time that he didn’t feel the call to serve others - once he took the oath, the oath was for life!  Dave has been married to his wife, Karen, for more than 35 years and together they have five kids and 12 grandkids.


    Marie Gremore: Marie is quite simply everywhere in the community, helping as many as she can! From serving on the board of the New Richmond Community Foundation to being an active member of Kiwanis and the former President of New Richmond Chamber, Marie supports the organizations that support New Richmond. While Marie actively participates in so many organizations, she was nominated as Citizen of the Year because of her work on the Living Well Together initiative. Marie embodies the group’s mission which includes “We have the power, strength and hope to unite as a community and rise to meet any issue we face.” Marie has lived in New Richmond for 14 years. She and her husband, Jay, have four kids and five grandsons.


    Mike Montello: In addition to his day job at Bernard’s Northtown, and his service to our community as a City Council Alderman, Mike is known by many as the “voice” at New Richmond High School Basketball and Football games, High School Commencement, M.C. at the St. Croix County Fair Talent Show, parade announcing, and so many more events! While all of that is commendable on its own, Mike has been nominated as Citizen of the Year for his dedication to supporting and improving our community as a leader and mentor to our youth. From participating in “mock” interviews with high school students to volunteering at a reading program, and facilitating the Strive Scholarship program - Mike does not say no when he can make difference. Mike and his wife Liz have lived in NR for 38 years and have three children and six grandchildren.


    Chuck Olson: Chuck Olson was born and raised in New Richmond and bleeds orange and black for the Tigers. Chuck has been married to his wife Melissa for 17 years and they have 4 kids, Charlie 15, Ava 13, Levi 11 and Henry 8. Chuck is a Youth Pastor for Faith Community Church and also invests time into our schools with mentoring elementary students. Chuck is on the Board of Directors for New Richmond Baseball Club and coaches sports such as baseball, football, and basketball. He and his family are always looking for ways to help the community move forward together. Chuck was nominated for his commitment and passion to our community's youth.  


    Joan Simpson: Joan is the nurse for New Richmond School District and takes caring for our youth and families to a whole new level. The GAP Fund program was established in 2008 when Joan identified the "gap" in funds available for those "extra" essential items needed for a student to be successful in the school setting. The GAP Fund is about trying to make everybody feel normal. Some examples of uses include; college application fees, clothing items, laundering clothes, winter apparel, sports physicals, medication co-pays, eye and dental exams, eyeglasses and oral care products. She makes sure that each student that receives help knows that it's coming from the community - "The community is proud of you and someday you can pay this forward." Joan is also a part of the Backpack Program that sends 70 backpacks home each week with food that is crucial in getting kids through the weekend. Joan’s compassion for those that need help is only matched by her ability to get things done which has earned her the nomination for Citizen of the Year. Joan moved to New Richmond 18 years ago from Colorado with her husband, John, and three children, Cody, Colton and Sydney. 


    Craig Yehlik: Craig moved to the New Richmond area over 20 years ago to work for the New Richmond Police Department and currently serves as your Chief of Police. Craig continually thinks of the community and ways to better it. He genuinely cares about New Richmond residents and has shown his dedication through the forming of the Living Well Together initiative.  Craig was nominated as Citizen of the Year because his position in the community can be stressful, but he keeps his sense of humor and encourages others to do the same. Craig and his wife have raised two children in our community and been active in youth hockey and dance.



    Citizen of the Year History:

    1992          Bob Heebink

    1993          Curt Anderson

    1994          Irv & Mary Sather

    1995          Mayor Billy Smith

    1996          Don & Alice Michels

    1997          Bob Krueger

    1998          Jerry Frey

    1999          John Soderberg

    2000          Barbara Polfus

    2001          Helen Demulling

    2002          Jim Counter

    2003          Bob Peterson

    2004          Bob Peirson

    2005          Bill Buell

    2006          Bill Derrick

    2007          Tim O’brien

    2008          Dennis Horner

    2009          Mayor David Schnitlzer

    2010          Paul Mayer

    2011          Jim Zajkowski

    2012          Vernon Conrad

    2013          Stuart Nelson

    2014          Dr. Neal Melby

    2015          Patty Berger

    2016          Rachel Sauvola

    2017          Chuck Mehls

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