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Each year, honorees are acknowledged because they demonstrate excellence in their professional fields or philanthropic pursuits in your community.
Excellence in the Arts
Presented to an individual whose work as either a visual or performance artist or writer has had a significant influence on the cultural well-being of our community.
Emily Behrmann After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in Voice from the UMKC’s Conservatory of Music, Emily Behrmann began her work in arts administration. Over the past 20 years, she has held positions with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College. After 14 years in the Foundation Office at JCCC, where she was involved in the capital campaign to raise $20 million for the construction of JCCC’s Regnier Center and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Emily returned to her first love – the performing arts. Emily sang with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus for ten years, and has performed solo for special events throughout the Greater Kansas City area. She also appears as host of occasional programs on JCCC-TV. As General Manager of the Performing Arts Series, she is responsible for booking artists, marketing events, and raising money. Emily wants to use the performing arts to make an impact on the citizens of Johnson County, KS and beyond, by presenting quality artists, championing arts education and collaborating with the many talented organizations and individuals in the Greater Kansas City arts community.
JCCC Manager of Performing Arts Series
Excellence in Advocacy and Public Engagement
Presented to a recognized leader who has made substantial philanthropic or public contributions to our community's improvement and development.
Kim Bowen HarburIn 1996, Kim and Nate Harbur learned that their infant son, Luke, needed a life-saving liver transplant. In the meantime, an Olathe family, the Drakes, lost their eight-year-old son Aaron and were able to donate his organs. Thanks to Aaron’s gift, Luke’s transplant was an historic collaboration between Children's Mercy and the University of Kansas Hospital. In 1998 the Harburs founded Gift of Life to build awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation. Their first project was to create a fountain at the Stowers Institute honoring organ donors. Next, Kim developed the Life Savers high school program for students to learn about organ and tissue donation, then share their decision with loved ones. Now offered to ninety area high schools, Life Savers reached 25,000 individuals this year. The result? Kansas City is one of the best places to be listed for a transplant, more families are discussing organ donation, and Kim leads forty volunteers in this effort. Luke is now a high school student and older brother, Cole, is in college.
Gift of Life
Harold FryeHarold Frye is the consummate volunteer. As if a lifetime of service to his church, scouting, universities, professional organizations, and civic clubs weren’t enough, his skills were put to the test when his youngest son, Jeremy, succumbed to a brain tumor in 2008. Rallying family and friends, Harold formed Music 4 Jeremy’s Cherubs Foundation to carry on his son’s love of music. In less than 5 years, more than 750 instruments have been collected, rehabbed, and donated to children and youth who, otherwise, wouldn’t have the joy of music in their lives. M4JC has awarded more than 20 scholarships to future music educators. Two years ago, Harold extended M4JC’s work to support Guitars 4 Troops and has shipped over 100 guitars and keyboards to deployed soldiers. More than 30 have gone to those suffering from traumatic injuries, usually the loss of legs. After more than 3 decades in leadership positions in urban school districts, Harold joined the faculty of Baker University, co-authoring a successful doctoral program in which he teaches and advises future school leaders.
Music 4 Jeremy’s Cherubs Foundation
Excellence in Business and Entrepreneurship
Presented to a business person who has demonstrated innovation, an exceptional entrepreneurial talent and spirit, and contributed dynamic growth and economic well-being to our community.
Larry LoukLarry Louk is one of the founding principals of Selective Site Consultants, Inc. (SSC), a leading provider of cell site development services to the telecommunications industry. Since its inception in 1997, SSC has opened offices in five key markets and employs over ninety people. Larry has over thirty years of management and business experience, fifteen of those as a practicing attorney. Larry also serves as President of SSC’s affiliated company, Selective Site Development, which develops, owns, and operates towers. SSC has been named as one of the top 25 engineering companies in Kansas City by Ingram's Magazine for each of the past five years and was named as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in 2013. Larry’s community involvement includes founding with his spouse, JoLinda Vega, Golfology Fore Cardiology, a premier charity golf event, and co-founding The Larry and Shirley Fund with friend Shirley Allenbrand, a 501(c)(3) that raises funds to support heart health initiatives. Larry is also President of the Cedar Creek Homes Association.
Selective Sites Consultants, Inc.
Excellence in Literacy and Education
Presented to an individual who has demonstrated a sustained commitment, either professionally or as a volunteer, to serving the causes of literacy or life-long learning in our community.