The Daily Courier
|Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier|
Prescott Area Leadership Youth, Man and Woman Leader of the Year Kaileigh Koons, a Prescott High School Senior, Brad Newman, executive director of Yavapai Exceptional Industries, and Teri Drew, regional director of the Northern Arizona Council of Governments, share a hug after receiving their awards Wednesday night at the Prescott Resort.
Teri Drew and Brad Newman became Prescott Area Leadership's Man and Woman Leaders of 2012 in a ceremony Wednesday evening.
Drew is regional director of the Northern Arizona Council of Governments. Her nomination cited her commitment to making positive changes in the community through her role as NACOG regional director, her vigorous pursuit of success for the region's workforce and economy, and her service with various economic and workforce development organizations. Her nomination also noted her eight-year stint on the Governor's Commission for Employment for Women where she has worked to provide non-traditional jobs for women.
Drew said she was "certainly very honored and extremely surprised" by the award, and she expressed gratitude to NACOG "for allowing me to step out of the box and to be innovative and creative in carrying out my job responsibility.
"I am grateful to the Prescott community for all of the contributions they have made in the community to make our job easier. We have an open business community willing to open their doors to train and educate our labor force," Drew said. She also called Yavapai College "a close partner" that provides the necessary training for success of people going into the workforce.
Newman has been executive director of Yavapai Exceptional Industries for 36 years and "continues to work with the same vigor he brought to the organization from day one," states his nomination for PAL Man of the Year. "He has been a leading force in the move to give equality to persons with disabilities," and beyond that, he has contributed to other charities, such as Prescott Child Development Center, Church on the Street, the Prescott Center for the Arts and Arizona Classical Theater. Newman has also played a formidable role in creating programs for persons with special needs.
For Newman, Wednesday's ceremony "was a big night for old Brad. First, to be in a room with Sheila Polk, Elisabeth Ruffner, Bill Otwell and Sam Downing was a humbling thrill. And to be on a list with Gene Polk is humbling," he said, reflecting on past recipients of PAL Leaders of the Year recognition. "It's stunning, and I demand a recount," he joked.
Austin Popp is the PAL Male Youth Leader of the Year, and Kaileigh Koons received the Female Youth Leader of the Year award.
Popp, who did not attend the event because he was out of town, is a Chino Valley High School senior. An aspiring prosecuting attorney, Popp promoted and developed a student court at Chino Valley High for students to learn the consequences of inappropriate behavior and how effective communication can alleviate and avoid problems, states his nomination.
Koons, a Prescott High School senior, was instrumental in setting up the Teen Closet, which provides "like new" apparel for teens in the quad-city area who have no money for clothes. She also works at the North Star Youth Partnership, where she mentors younger girls and helps build their self-confidence. All in all, Koons helps more than 15 nonprofit organizations in the Prescott community, her nomination states.
Koons said she was honored and humbled by the award. "It makes me want to go out and do more volunteer work and encourage youth to help out in the community more."
She enjoys working with teens who come to the Teen Closet looking for clothes. "That's my favorite part - helping them find cute outfits," she said.
Marilyn Yetter, chairman of the event which took place at the Prescott Resort, praised the award winners.
"They look at their careers and how they live their daily lives by helping others without expectation or commendation. They are a true example of giving service to others, and their contributions have made an outstanding impact in the community."