The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership and Professional Development Council has announced this year’s recipients of the annual Compass Leadership Awards.
This year’s three winners include Mayor Scott Getzschman, Nebraska Extension Educator Karna Dam, and youth winner Jacob Friedrich.
All three Compass Award honorees will be recognized at the Annual Leadership Banquet on May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fremont Golf Club.
The youth winner, Jacob Friedrich, is the son of Ronna and Curtis Friedrich and will be graduating from Fremont High School this Saturday at Wikert Event Center.
During his time at Fremont High School, Friedrich was actively involved in National Honor Society, Student Government, Spanish Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Band, Orchestra, Choir, Physics Club, Mathletes, Tennis, and Track. Jacob was also both a Nebraska Leadership Seminar and Boys State Delegate.
In his spare time, Friedrich volunteers with the Nebraska Traditional Archers, as well as the Fremont Rural Fire Department, responding to emergency calls, training, and assisting in training new members.
Friedrich volunteered with the Fremont Rural Fire Department during historic flooding in March, giving up his spring break from Fremont High School to assist those in need in the community.
“We were actually on spring break during that time, so I didn’t have to miss any school,” he said. “But the flood was a lot of no sleep and working all the time.”
Fremont Chamber Executive Director Tara Lea said that the application sent in on behalf of Friedrich was impressive and that he is an amazing person deserving of the youth Compass Leadership Award.
“Serving with the Fremont Rural Fire Department as a high schooler is pretty incredible, and you just love seeing those kinds of kids coming out of our community,” she said.
The adult female winner is Karna Dam. Dam is an Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Dodge County. For years Dam’s professional focus has been on 4-H clubs and volunteerism, Agriculture Literacy, STEM and College and Career Readiness.
Dam developed the first online education class for youth age 8–18 to teach Livestock Quality Assurance, which became the foundation of what is now the nationally recognized Youth Livestock Quality Assurance course for 4-H and FFA youth. This course reached 7,151 youth from 29 states and one foreign country.
“She has been instrumental in the development of young people whether it be through 4-H or just working with college and career readiness programs in schools here in the Dodge County area,” Lea said.
The adult male winner is Mayor Scott Getzschman. Getzschman served on the Fremont City Council from March 2005 through December 2010 and has been mayor since 2010.
He also served as Vice Chairman of Midland University Trustees, the Fremont Area Medical Center Foundation Board, as a board member and Past Chief Volunteer officer of the Fremont YMCA.
He currently serves on the heating and cooling advisory boards of Metropolitan Community College, and Southeast Community College. He is also a past President of Habitat for Humanity, Care Corps Inc. United Way, and Fremont Cosmopolitan Club.
He currently is a member of both the Fremont Cosmopolitan Club and Rotary Club.
“He has gone above and beyond for this community for a number of years,” Lea said. “I really think during the flood the community got to see the kind of leader he really is when he was out there sandbagging and helping the community during that time.”
Also being recognized at the Leadership Banquet are the graduates of Leadership Fremont and Youth Leadership Academy.
The Youth Leadership Academy began in 2011 by the Leadership Fremont Alumni class as a way to reach out to young people and keep young professionals in the Fremont Community.
The annual program involves local high school students, who are juniors and participate in monthly sessions over the course of nine months where they learn about various aspects of the community.
The students visit local businesses in a variety of industries, as well as meet and work with Mayor Scott Getzschman to discuss the city’s future and participate in a mock city council session.
This year 30 students participated in the program, while 28 area residents participated and will be graduating from the annual Leadership Fremont program.
“The purpose of Leadership Fremont program is to connect leaders to strengthen our community,” Lea said.
Tickets to the Leadership Banquet on May 20 are available online at www.fremontne.org or by calling 402-721-2641. Single tickets are $35 and a table of eight is $300.