On Thursday, February 7th, 2019 the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce honored and recognized recipients of awards at its annual awards dinner.
Fire Chief Kerry Minshall was recognized as Mason’s citizen of the year.
The chamber created the award to honor Mason’s living legends. Qualifications are simple: one must do well toward the Mason community. Recipients do not need to be lifelong Mason residents, however, they must actively engage in acts of service and volunteerism in Mason.
Aggie Corner received the first citizen of the year award for her service in the community. She received the award while serving as the chamber’s ambassador. The corner was a teacher, columnist, and lifelong volunteer. Her legacy continues in Mason. Graduating Mason High School students who show exemplary community service can win the Aggie Corner Community Volunteerism Scholarship.
Minshall is a lifelong Mason resident who grew up in the city and attended local schools. Minshall continued to reside in Mason after marriage and raised two children. Minshall said one of the best things about Mason is its small, hometown feel, and the city’s ability to bridge the gap between old and new.
Minshall has been the city’s fire chief for 12 years. Minshall started as a volunteer firefighter in 1980. By 2007, he’d worked his way up to assistant fire chief. According to Minshall, in 2007 the chief’s position became available, he applied.
Retired firefighter and past recipient of the citizen of the year award Dennis Howe said Minshall is not only an excellent leader but his friend and neighbor. Howe said Minshall has the skills to provide firefighters with the proper equipment and has the knowledge to lead a team.
Mason Police Chief Don Hanson said, “Chief Minshall is a hard-working, humble, conscious, and observant leader. Overall, he is a very confident leader and exhibits great leadership and skills useful to the community.”
A Mason citizen of the year must have the willingness to give and do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do, said Howe. Minshall said, “It was a real honor to be chosen to be honored among great individuals that are community oriented and dedicated.”
The 30-year-plus tradition in Mason of the citizen of the year honors what many would consider ordinary individuals, to Mason, their local volunteers are legendary.