Community Champion Award

About the Award

  The America in Bloom John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award recognizes an individual who exemplifies community leadership through actions that reflect the mission of the organization. The award recipient, who must be from a community that has participated or is currently participating in the program, will have demonstrated a vision and selfless commitment to moving the community forward.

America in Bloom created the award in 2009 in memory of John R. Holmes (pictured left), the late CEO of OFA - an Association of Horticulture Professionals, who passed away unexpectedly. An AIB board member and officer since the organization's inception, John was a tremendous advocate for city beautification and a true believer in the power of flowers and plants to change lives.

Nominees must be from a community that has participated in the America in Bloom program.

Click here to submit your nomination today. Nominations are due by July 31.

2015 Recipient - Mary Hertel, Arroyo Grande, California






The six annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Mary Hertel of Arroyo Grande, California.

Here is an excerpt from Mary's nomination:
Arroyo Grande's largest projects over the years have been designed and inspired by Mary. Volunteers enjoy working with Mary since she is both knowledgeable and cheerful. She sets an admirable leadership example, and volunteers are able to learn from working with Mary on projects.

2014 Recipient - Nancy Chennault, Castle Rock, Washington






The fifth annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Nancy Chennault of Castle Rock, Washington (pictured left with Charlie Hall, AIB President).

Here is an excerpt from Nancy's nominations:

Nancy has a unique talent for recruiting Castle Rock, Washington volunteers and making them feel appreciated. Her selfless and energetic promotion of local volunteerism has created a positive can-do attitude in our community.

2013 Recipient - Beverly Dunkle, Gallipolis, Ohio






The fourth annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Beverly Dunkle of Gallipolis, Ohio (pictured left with Laura Kunkle, AIB Executive Director).

Here is an excerpt from Beverly's nominations:

She is dedicated to the goals of improving our community - not only by the beautification through flowers, but also by encouraging the interaction of businesses and city government to include environmental improvements and implementation of new ideas to all sectors of the city.

2012 Recipient - Marilyn Heifner, Fayetteville, Arkansas






The third annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Marilyn Heifner of Fayetteville, Arkansas (pictured left with Laura Kunkle, AIB Executive Director).

Here are excerpts from Marilyn's nominations:

Marilyn Heifner has been involved with Fayetteville in Bloom since its inception in 2002 and continues to be very active in the city and AIB judging and events to this day. She and others have positioned Fayetteville to be nationally recognized as one of the best places to live. Currently she is Executive Director of the Town Center which features and markets scheduled events all of types and sizes. She has been inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame. During her tenure as Mayor of Fayetteville she was very involved in establishing many of the programs which are now active in the community. As President of Heritage Trail Partners she oversaw the establishment of the trail system and is a strong advocate of preserving the environment and history in northwest Arkansas. An avid Razorbacks supporter and graduate of U of A she has made a tremendous positive difference to all of  Fayetteville and has worked hard to improve the quality of life for its citizens and visitors.

 

2011 Recipient - Vivian Lund, Warrenville, Illinois
  The third annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Vivian Lund, Warrenville, Illinois (pictured left with Laura Kunkle, AIB Executive Director).

Here are excerpts from Vivian's nominations:

Vivian is respected and admired by the community for her dedicated service, visionary eye, example of servant leadership, and caring for her neighborhoods.

Vivian has demonstrated that one person can make a difference by just doing what one can do to be a positive influence within your hometown. We are grateful for her attitude of “can do” and positive hard work.

Always aware of ways to enhance the neighborhoods improve the living conditions of its citizens in Warrenville, while Mayor, she began a program of memorial trees planted around the city. This legacy has resulted in over 145 trees being planted in memory of Warrenville citizens.


2010 Recipient - Bob Lund, Arroyo Grande, California
  The second annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Bob Lund of Arroyo Grande, California (pictured left with Dr. Marvin Miller, AIB President).

Here are excerpts from Bob's nominations:

Bob is the driving force, cheerleader, and father figure that has brought more than 90 volunteers into our local chapter of America in Bloom and kept us there for the past 4 years.

Not only is Bob Lund the quintessential organizer, but he gets out every week and digs, and sweats and prunes and weeds and plants and picks up trash alongside the rest of us. If every community had an energetic, selfless champion and role model like Bob Lund, every neighborhood in America would be lovely.

As AGIB chairman, Bob determines the weekly tasks, sends out e-mails to all the volunteers, brings the work trailer to the work site, assigns tasks and works along with the volunteers. He is our community champion. Good things happen when Bob Lund is in charge!
   
2009 Recipient - Rick Webb, Logan, Ohio
 
The first annual John R. Holmes III Community Champion Award was bestowed upon Rick Webb of Logan, Ohio (pictured left with Dr. Marvin Miller, AIB President). Rick ck spearheaded the community beautification effort in Logan before the town became involved with AIB and has led the effort ever since.

Here are excerpts from Rick's nominations:
Rick's major attribute is his endless energy and enthusiasm. He is Logan's energizer bunny. He is now on the Chamber Board, Tourism Board, Tree Commission, President of the Logan Town Center, and attends city council.

Rick has become involved in all the aspects of the operation of the city. (Government, Business, and Community) He has been recognized by the community with the Barton Holl Community Service Award.

Rick has spoken to several other towns about the benefits of the AIB program. He is always ready to share our progress in Logan due to AIB.

Most any day, Rick can be found hanging student flags, watering the trees that were planted with grant money, heading meetings, developing watering systems, speaking to groups, and sharing his pride for the city of Logan. He is our hero.